Around the World Blog Tour ~ Guest Author Helen MacKinven

The Around The World Blog Tour is a partnership between TripFiction and #BookConnectors ~ bloggers and authors, travelling the world, through fiction.

TripFiction was created to make it easy to match a location with a book and help you select good literature that is most pertinent and relevant to your trip. A resource for armchair and actual travellers, it is a unique way of exploring a place through the eyes of an author. We blog, and chat books and travel across Social Media, and love to meet authors and bloggers as we take our literary journey.

Book Connectors  was created as a place on Facebook for Bloggers, Authors and small Publishers to share their news.

We encourage book promotions; information about competitions and giveaways; news of events, including launch events, signings, talks or courses. Talk about new signings, about film deals .... anything really.

Book Connectors is  a friendly group, there are no rules or guidelines - just be polite and respectful to each other. 

I am delighted to be involved with the blog tour, although I am definitely more of an armchair traveller than an actual traveller. Having never been to Scotland, I am finding the location this month fascinating.

I would like now to introduce my guest today, Helen  MacKinven. She has very kindly written a wonderful piece about Bonnybridge. I have thoroughly enjoyed being paired up with her, she is an absolute delight to work with.

The Truth Is Out There…
Seventeen year old Angela is the main character in my debut novel, Talk of the Toun, and she lives in Bonnybridge in the central belt of Scotland, roughly halfway between Edinburgh and Glasgow. 

If you search Visit Scotland’s site it describes Bonnybridge as,” a small town which lies north of the Forth and Clyde Canal near Falkirk. It is situated by Bonny Water, a tributary of the River Carron which runs through the town and lies north of the Forth and Clyde Canal.

The current town was originally developed in the 19th century in association with a new papermill, sawmill and iron foundaries.

To the south east of Bonnybridge is a well preserved section of the Antonine Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the remnants of Rough Castle Fort, the most complete of the surviving Roman forts of the wall.”

It sounds fairly typical of many industrial Scottish towns and after reading this blog post I doubt tourists will flock to the town. But seemingly the Romans weren’t the only visitors to Bonnybridge. Visit Scotland has to stick to the facts but many believe that it’s one of the world’s premier UFO hotspots.  

Allegedly, there have been approximately 300 sightings reported every year in the area which covers from Stirling to the outskirts of Edinburgh and is known as the ‘Falkirk Triangle’. Who needs the exotic Bermuda Triangle! 

The ‘talk of the town’ phenomenon kicked off in 1992 when a local businessman claimed he’d seen strange lights in the sky and further sightings from locals made the town famous as an alleged portal to another dimension. 

But having lived for most of my life in Bonnybridge I can’t add to the claims and if you’re hoping my book will feature aliens and space abductions then you’ll be disappointed. My novel is set in 1985 although it’s the decade that fashion forgot and I’m sure any extra-terrestrial life on a day out would be too scared to stop if they spotted Angela with her crimped Cyndi Lauper inspired hair, fluorescent makeup, RaRa skirt and neon leggings.  And Angela’s teenage cynicism would never allow her to believe that ET had landed in her hometown, unless of course she’d knocked back one too many underage drinks at the disco in Falkirk.

Assign me a case from the X-Files and I’d be with Team Scully. I don’t believe in the existence of aliens but if you’re not a sceptic like me and a fan of Mulder and his theories of paranormal activity then maybe a trip to this intergalactic tourist hotspot to scan the Stirlingshire skies.  Come to Bonnybridge and who knows what you might see…

There will be a review of Helen's book featured here in October, as I have a slot on the blog tour. I cannot wait to read her book.

Helen MacKinven writes contemporary Scottish fiction, with a particular interest in exploring themes such as social class and identity, using black comedy and featuring Scots dialect. She graduated with merit from Stirling University with an MLitt in Creative Writing in 2012. Helen’s short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies and literary journals.
Her debut novel, Talk of the Toun, will be published by ThunderPoint in October 2015. The story is an uplifting black comedy of love, family life and friendship. The bittersweet coming-of-age tale set in the summer of 1985 effortlessly captures the religious and social intricacies of 1980s Scotland with the perfect mix of pathos and humour as two teenagers wrestle with the complications of growing up and exploring who they really are.
Helen blogs at and you can find her on Twitter as @HelenMacKinven

With my thanks to Helen for being part of the tour and taking her time to write the above piece.

The next stop on the tour is Anne over at Random Things, she will be having Susi Holliday on her blog. I do hope that you will check in there tomorrow.


  1. I enjoyed Helen's piece on Bonnybridge and its status as an 'alien magnet'. I lived and worked near there in the early 1980s - don't remember any visitations :-) I, too can't wait to read Helen's book and I have it on pre-order.

    Thanks, Helen and Leah. What a great idea for a blog tour, TripFiction and #bookconnectors

    1. Thanks for your comment and lovely to now 'see' you on book connectors.

  2. Nice work, Helen! I've passed through the triangle many times and haven't seen any alien activity either. Maybe we're just not receptive.....

    I hadn't heard of TripFiction before, so thanks both for flagging that up.

    1. Thanks for commenting. Trip Fiction really are wonderful. So many beautiful books reviewed on their site.

  3. Well, when I next travel between Ed and Glasgow I will keep my eyes pealed for Bonnybridge. Look forward to Talk of the Toun!

    1. I can't wait to read it now. Thanks so much for commenting. x