Kellan MacInnes has been climbing the mountains of Scotland since he was a teenager. For the past 25 years he has lived with HIV/AIDS. His first book Caleb’s List (Luath Press 2013) was acclaimed by readers, reviewers and mountaineers alike. Caleb’s List went on to be a best seller and as well as being entered for the Boardman Tasker Prize for mountain literature it was shortlisted for the Saltire Society Scottish First Book Award, Scotland’s most prestigious literary prize. Kellan’s first novel The Making of Mickey Bell was published by Sandstone Press in 2016.
Kellan MacInnes holds an honours degree in psychology from the University of Aberdeen. Diagnosed with AIDS related cancer in the late 1990s and given just six months to live, he did what HIV positive people did back then; he packed in his job in social work, cashed in his pension, went home and waited to die. Only he didn’t…
As the years passed and treatments improved, Kellan was able to return to work; first as a volunteer befriender and fundraiser for one of Scotland’s leading HIV charities, then later as a painter and decorator, a life coach, a bike tour guide, an Airbnb host and a supermarket delivery driver. Following the publication of Caleb’s List, Kellan was awarded a grant by Creative Scotland to help research his next book and to fulfil his ambition to become a writer.
Kellan MacInnes was short-listed for the Jessie Kesson Fellowship and has appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Tradfest, the Portobello Book Festival, Midfest, Previously Scotland’s History Festival, Stockfest, Bookends Festival and AyeWrite.
As well as writing for Scottish Field, The Sunday Mail, Walk magazine and The Scottish Mountaineer Kellan has been featured in The Scotsman and the Inverness Courier and was interviewed for and took part in the making of a ninety minute long special edition of the BBC Radio Scotland programme Out of Doors, on Victorian mountaineer and naturalist Caleb George Cash, the subject of his book Caleb’s List. Kellan was also the judge for the Edinburgh Writers’ Club non-fiction article competition.
Along with speaking to the Milngavie Mountaineering Club, the Grampian Hillwalking Club, the Ochils Mountaineering Club and the Cairngorm Club, Kellan has appeared at the Borders Walking Festival. He has also spoken at events organised by the Colinton Lit, Edinburgh City Libraries, the Highland Literary Salon, the National Collective, LEAP Scotland, Friends of the Pentlands and the Arran Antiquarians. Kellan has been interviewed for the popular UK Hillwalking.com website and a copy of Caleb’s List was exhibited in Scottish Publishing’s Leafing Through Natural Scotland exhibition.
Kellan MacInnes lives in Edinburgh with his partner and their dog in one of the streets at the foot of Arthur’s Seat.