Cumbernauld was a modernist vision built in the brutalist style of architecture. Lorraine's family moved there in 1968 from a single end tenement flat in Glasgow and so she was part of the first generation to grow up in the New Town. Home was a council house on McGregor Road where Lorraine shared a room with her younger sister. At night, they whispered stories to each other in the dark and pretended to be dead. In the summer, cries of free the den, one, two, three, echoed through the streets as hordes of kids played Kick the Can.
Lorraine's great-grandparents were immigrants from Lithuania. Catherine Yuodivirsis, a shoemaker's daughter, married Joseph Zakel, a journeyman tailor, in Glasgow in 1900. They began married life in the Gorbals but by 1901 had moved to Bridgeton, living there for the rest of their lives. Catherine gave birth to nine children, the youngest being Lorraine's grandfather. Catherine died four years after his birth in the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. Joseph lived until 1934 by which time the family had changed their name to Jacques.
Lorraine lives in Ullapool, a fishing village on the north west coast of Scotland. Built as a herring port in 1788 by the British Fisheries Society, the village has experienced times of extreme hardship and plenty in the centuries since. The Klondyking era from the late 1970s to early 1990s was a particularly fascinating boom period. These days, the village retains a small fishing fleet and has a thriving arts scene, including the hugely successful Ullapool Book Festival. The village also boasts two independent bookshops.
Described by Ness Book Fest as having a touch of the chameleon about her, Lorraine has written in several genres including noir and dystopian fiction. Her current works-in-progress include a fictionalised history of Isle Martin, and a non-fiction book.
Niko niko means smile in Japanese and is a style of running developed by Dr. Hiro Tanaka. It means running at an easy pace for the sheer joy of it. Lorraine was introduced to niko niko in 2018 and enjoys running over hills, through forests and barefoot on beaches.
If a book doesn't grab her attention within the first few pages, Lorraine is liable to hurl it across the room. Books she's recently read right to the end include Chuck Palahniuk's Adjustment Day, As the Women Lay Dreaming by Donald S Murray and Killochries by Jim Carruth.
In August 2019, Lorraine was one of a crew of five who
rowed the Minch from Stornoway to Ullapool in a 22 ft. St Ayles
skiff. The row, 50 miles across open sea in extremely challenging conditions,
took 14 hours, 20 minutes and raised over £30,000 for the MS Society.