We are excited that Ali Bacon has joined our list of talented authors. Ali is known as a writer and blogger with her website Between the Lines and has been reviewing Linen Press books for quite some time. Ali has followed her first novel, A Kettle of Fish, with a work of historical fiction set in Scotland.

In the Blink of an Eye is a reimagining of the life of the Scottish painter David Octavius Hill from the moment of his encounter with Robert Adamson, a pioneer in the use of calotypes – pictures made by the light of the sun – until the day when his great Disruption Painting is unveiled. It explores the four tumultuous years of his partnership with Adamson, the hiatus resulting from the younger man’s tragic death and the story of love and redemption that brings the painting to completion twenty three years after it is begun.

In this original, multi-faceted approach to biographical fiction, Ali Bacon tells the story of D. O. Hill, using the voices of ten characters, each of whom reveals a stage in the artist’s emotional journey. These narrators, mostly but not exclusively women, provide the lenses through which we see into the corners of Edinburgh society: the architect’s wife held captive in his fairytale creation; the woman who has only a calotype of her missing husband for comfort after his death; the fisherman’s wife who feels her life change in the blink of the camera’s eye.

In the words of competition judge Nick Bellorini, “These are exquisitely rendered tales which reveal their truths with all the delicate resonance of the art they celebrate.”

About the author

Ali Bacon was researching a contemporary novel when she stumbled on the story of Hill and Adamson and the cache of images they left behind. An old interest in early photography was reignited and she felt bound to bring these people back to life, not as a historian or a photographic expert, but for readers of fiction.

Born in Scotland and a graduate of St Andrews University, Ali now lives in Bristol where she began writing after a career as an academic librarian. Her first novel was published in 2012. Since then she has been short or long-listed in numerous competitions and been published in anthologies. She studied creative writing at Bath Spa University and was recently co-judge for the Stroud Short Stories live event. In the last two years she has been invited to perform her work at venues in Bath and Bristol, the St Andrews Photography Festival and the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

Several chapters of In the Blink of an Eye, submitted as short stories, have won or been short-listed for awards.

Find out more about Ali on her website, Between the Lines.