Award Winning Author
Clio Gray was born in Yorkshire, and after a childhood spent by the sea in Saltburn, studied Philosophy and History of Art before going on to qualify as a librarian, working amongst the books that she had always loved. Moving to the Highlands of Scotland in the 1990’s, where she still lives and works, she was inspired by the stunning landscapes and unique Nordic connections to write. Learning the craft first with short stories, she won a number of prestigious prizes including the Harry Bowling First Novel Award in 2004 and The Scotsman Orange Short Story Competition in 2006. Some of these can be found in a Collection, Types of Everlasting Rest. From Italy’s volcanoes to the Russian steppe, to the fate of Boy Scouts in Czechoslovakia during the Second World War, these short stories are filled with intriguing historical backgrounds, and the fascination of the macabre. Laden with sumptuous detail, each story leads the reader directly into the compelling, and sometimes bizarre, inner worlds of her fascinating characters.
She was commissioned by Headline to write a series of four, Guardians of the Key, The Roaring of the Labyrinth, Envoy of the Black Pine and The Brotherhood of Five. Set in the Napoleonic era, the main protagonist, Whilbert Stroop, is a finder of Missing Persons and, whilst compiling a unique ‘Sense Map of London’, is often called upon to find persons in weird and wonderful landscapes peopled by bizarre and unusual characters across these islands and beyond. These met with critical acclaim.
Deadly Prospects and Burning Secrets are historical murder mysteries, set in the Highlands of Scotland, whilst The Legacy is a unique adventure murder mystery, linking the foundation of the first scientific society in Europe to the Irish Uprising of 1798 and
the wilds of Scotland with Deventer in Holland.
Her most recent novel, The Anatomist’s Dream, is a bizarre tale of Philbert, who, born with a ‘taupe’, is abandoned by both parents, and eventually finds refuge and companionship in a travelling carnival as it makes its annual migration across Germany bringing entertainment to a people beset by famine, repression and revolutionary ferment. He embarks on a dark and perilous journey that will have far-reaching consequences for a whole nation. The Anatomist’s Dream was nominated for the Man Booker Prize in 2015 and was also long-listed for the Bailey’s Fiction Prize 2016.
Clio is the founder of HISSAC, a short story competition to foster talent from up and
coming writers world-wide. She was also one of the founding comittee members of Bloody Scotland, Scotland’s first Crime Writing Festival, now an established annual event.