About Me


I live in Edinburgh, Scotland where I write across the genres of crime, historical and literary fiction.

My debut novel, The Other Mrs Walker was a Times bestseller and Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year. My second, The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing was long-listed for the McIlvanney Prize for best Scottish crime novel and a Historical Writers Association Gold Crown. Emily Noble’s Disgrace is my third novel.

My short stories and non-fiction have featured on BBC Radio 4 and in the Guardian Weekend Magazine, as well as various anthologies. In 2019 I was selected by Val McDermid as one of ten exciting LGBTQI+ writers working today. In 2023 I was named the Dr Gavin Wallace Fellow by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature, funded by Creative Scotland.

I chair events for festivals and bookshops and have conducted many in-conversations with authors including Kate Mosse, Ian Rankin, Barbara Kingsolver, Robert Harris and Maggie O’Farrell amongst others. I regularly review TV, books, theatre, film and art for BBC Radio Scotland. 

I have an MLitt in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow where, on graduating, I was awarded the inaugural Curtis Brown Prize for Fiction. In 2016 I was named an Amazon Rising Star and in 2017 I was Highly Commended as a Rising Star in the DIVA Literary Awards and shortlisted as a Breakthrough Author in the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards.  

In the past I have worked as a script-editor, arts administrator and tour guide. From 2010-2014 I was Writer in Residence at the Royal High School in Edinburgh, on behalf of the Edinburgh International Festival, and I have taught creative writing for other organisations including the National Galleries of Scotland.

I am a Hawthornden and Brownsbank Fellow, a committee member for the Society of Authors in Scotland, and convenor of the SoA local Edinburgh Group.

I am represented by Clare Alexander at Aitken Alexander Associates. For press enquiries please contact Rosie Friis at Pan Macmillan. Author biog and photos available from the Press Kit.

Mary Paulson-Ellis
Photo by Chris Scott