The Gothic years kicked in around 1999 and never really left. Looking at her now, with her blonde hair and god-knows-whatever-colour eyes, you would never guess that instead of a soul she has a dark abyss, and instead of a heart she has a dungeon full of depraved torture instruments.
Now, anyone who is familiar with the west coast district of Ayrshire will know that it is world-renowned (and proud) for being the birthplace of the poet Robert Burns – think Auld Lang Syne and Tam O’ Shanter. Since the man died over 200 years ago, Hayleigh decided that the place was due another writer… So, she enrolled at the University of the West of Scotland and completed a BA (Hons) in Broadcast Production, specialising in writing, directing and producing for TV, film and radio.
After the 3-year course Hayleigh returned to UWS and obtained a Masters in Creative Media Practices. Between qualifications she gained experience in researching and writing for the film, TV, and theatre industries – including Magicstone Productions (writing a surreal, erotic ghost story script) and writing a series of monologues for a promenade performance to celebrate the opening of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum (see, everything comes full circle!).
Later, while pursuing a Doctorate of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, she completed her debut vampire fantasy novel, Girl of the Ashes. Accrediting several 5-star reviews, the story blends kick-ass heroines with high-packed action, dark humour, and an alternative Scottish history. Basically, Hayleigh enjoys creating dangerous women with, let’s just say “interesting issues” … but it’s a side of her personality she’s choosing not to analyse…
Previously, she co-wrote a sit-com with the working title “All My Mates” which was under consideration by BBC Scotland alongside her witch themed radio play, “Confessions of a Cutty-Sark”.
During the pandemic, Hayleigh co-edited an anthology of short stories and poetry titled, “Stories from Home” which featured over 40 authors from the UK, USA, and Scandinavia. All proceeds were donated to The Ambulance Staff Charity.
Examples of her “quirky” short stories such as, “Office Politics”, “Rolling In It”, and “Happily Murder After – The Alternative Cinderella” can be found on the Disability Horizons website. For her recent article discussing the need for more disability inclusion within the entertainment industry, check out the BBC Social online.
Currently, Hayleigh is co-writing a disability-led romcom (working title “Crushing It”) with Jamie Hale which has recently been optioned by Red Productions. The show promises to tackle taboo issues surrounding sex and disability with an unapologetic unique sense of humour and “balls to the wall” attitude!
In the rare moments where Hayleigh has spare time, she is a Trustee for Pathfinders Neuromuscular Alliance and watches far too many shows about Vikings! Should not be left to her own devices too long for risk of inciting Armageddon or Ragnarok…