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Acclaimed CalMac author from Coll to host book signing session on ferry MV Clansman

Julie Clarke


An acclaimed Coll author will be on board MV Clansman for a special signing event.


Julie Clarke, who works for ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne at the island's port, will be on the sailing to Coll from Oban at 2.45pm on June 16, and then again on the ferry to Barra via Coll and Tiree at 8.15am from Oban on June 18.


Her book, Becoming Julie published by Fledgling Press, is a personal and factual account of her journey from a boy born in 50s' Central Scotland to the woman she is today, living happily on the Isle of Coll and working for CalMac in the role she previously held as a man.


In some of the first reviews for the book, world-famous Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith described Julie's book as 'a remarkable account of a personal struggle which is written with great dignity', while Emma Cowing, features editor for the Scottish Daily Mail, said it was 'brave and heart-rending, her story stands as a powerful testament to the strength it takes to become who you really are'.


Julie is looking forward to meeting passengers on both sailings and chatting to them about her book and experiences.


"I've done quite a number of talks and book signings now," said port assistant Julie. "I've been interviewed by newspapers and magazines, appeared on live TV, including BBC ALBA, BBC Reporting Scotland and STV, The Riverside Show.  I featured on the Janice Forsyth show on BBC radio Scotland The Culture Studio, and more recently on the Kay Adams show again on Radio Scotland.


"I also appeared as one of the guest authors at this year's Aye Write Book Festival in Glasgow and have done quite a number of book signings at Waterstones stores around the country. 


"But these events on the ferry are a little bit different as I work for Caledonian MacBrayne. So to be offered a signing opportunity on board one of our ships and on the routes to the island where I live is really special.


"I'm just looking forward to meeting lots of people and hope that they not only enjoy chatting to me, but also reading my book and visiting these amazing islands."


CalMac's On Board Development Manager Anne Mitchell, who organised the signing events, said: "We're really excited about this. Julie has been a member of CalMac staff for many, many years and we're pleased that she has agreed to do a couple of book signings on board for us.


"The company is proud of her achievements with her book and I think our passengers will enjoy the opportunity to meet Julie and chat with her.


"It's something a bit different and we think it will certainly add a special element to the journey."


Julie's book is available on board major CalMac ferries on all routes and from book shops throughout the country.


Picture shows:

Julie Clarke with her book 'Becoming Julie'


Notes to editors:


1) Further information about CalMac is available at


2) Caledonian MacBrayne and CalMac are trading names of CalMac Ferries Ltd (CFL). Caledonian MacBrayne , CalMac and the lion rampant device are registered trademarks of Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL)and are used under licence by CalMac Ferries Ltd.

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