Author’s new book for young adults inspired by Caithness tour

A former Wick resident and teacher at Thurso High School has added to her growing list of publications with a fourth novel that is now available to buy online.

Julie Adams, who now lives in Angus, explained how a visit from relatives to Wick provided the impetus for the young adult novel called Broken Wings.

“About six years ago, I had a visit from my younger cousin, who had driven all the way up from Stratford on Avon to Wick with his two small daughters,” she said.

Julie Adams lived in Wick and was a teacher in Thurso.
Julie Adams lived in Wick and was a teacher in Thurso.

“They wanted to do a family pilgrimage – my mum’s father’s family originally came from Orkney and our family tree goes back to 1690 at least. While they were with me, I was their tour guide to Caithness, Sutherland and Orkney, and I saw my home turf through their eyes.”

Last year, when Julie published the novel Malbister, the girls asked her if she would write something for their age group, mid-teens. “So I asked them to offer me a few key ideas to get the book started. They suggested climate change, vintage fashion, recycling and they wanted me to set it in the places they had visited.”

And that proved to be the genesis of her latest publication, Broken Wings.

Broken Wings was inspired by the visit of some young relatives to Wick.
Broken Wings was inspired by the visit of some young relatives to Wick.

“My central character, Darcy James, finished her summer term doing a school strike, and she is passionate about saving the planet. She expected to spend her summer break with her mum, but instead finds herself on a train bound for Kinbrace, and a place on a drama residential course. Over the following four weeks, she meets a group of people who are keeping secrets, one of which will put their lives in danger.”

Set in the Flow Country, Caithness and Orkney, this young adult book explores themes that include friendship, trust, climate emergency and crime. “The retreat at Kinbrace is fictional. It does not exist, but it allowed me to look at the north rail route and the highlights on it. I mention locations in the area but all are used fictitiously,” Julie explains.

“I have my theatre group hire The Mill Theatre in Thurso, but I keep real people out of the narrative. I know Caithness well, having spent much of my life in Wick and Thurso, and I often find myself setting my stories in my former home.”

Broken Wings is available as an ebook for 96p and as a paperback priced £5.75 on Amazon at

Related article:

Wick author’s productive lockdown sees her write three books

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