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Book Anniversary


Who needs chocolate when they have this reminder coming up on their thread? I like treats as much as most people do but I have to say the thrill of seeing one of your books published is way up there. It doesn’t matter if it is your first or you are into double figures the feeling is still the same.

Mark you launching a book during the first lockdown was probably not the best idea. However, it was all ready to go before any mention of Covid. How could we have known it would be almost two years before any sort of normality returned?

For some so many changes have taken place that today’s ‘normal’ for them is still very different from what it was two years ago. We have all had to adapt in some way or another.

Like most people, I suppose given what was going on at the time it seemed so unimportant and almost frivolous to be celebrating a new book. Where Blàs of the Highlands book launch was concerned it was a bit of a non-event.

However, it does mean that although it is out there it probably isn’t as well-known as it should be. Good reviews help of course. So a shout out to all those that have written and posted a nice review for me.

Much has changed since the first Blàs book came out. Not least of which is the freedom of movement again. It is not just myself that can enjoy the abundance of daffodils blooming in my garden. My friends and family can celebrate the many different combinations of these flowers along with me.

Yellow is shiny everywhere I look at the moment. The countryside gleams with its many shades. The broom is glowing and producing ever-increasing blooms throughout Sutherland and Easter Ross.

The smell is intoxicating. Reminiscent of somewhere far more glamorous with the scent of coconut overpowering the air. For some, I suppose Scotland can be viewed as exotic. Our national animal after all is a unicorn, a golden eagle our chosen bird whilst our purple thistle grows ready to stab the finger of anyone that gets too close.

We are a mixture of hard workers and creatives and our national emblems reflect this. I think that is why I enjoy writing about my characters in Blàs so much. They are quirky and joyful, helpful and stubborn, full of challenges yet forgiving of each other’s many quirks.

My initial Blàs of the Highlands was set over a year. Full of humour and stories about the community that resides there. Two years later and I am on the third Blàs book. The stories are far more driven by the characters now. Although as in real life events come thick and fast.

I am enjoying writing this instalment. Since its original concept, it has evolved and taken me down paths I hadn’t considered before. The storyline has been developed and tightened, turning it into a better read. Editing is ongoing but the plot and the ark are all established.

I wait to see what the next edit will bring. No doubt something I hadn’t thought of. Whatever the editor says I’m sure it will bring improvements. It normally does.

It won’t be out before the next Grumpa book which is due out later this year. There is a massive difference between writing a 1000 or so for children and 70,000 for adults. The physical time alone to get all the editing done takes longer never mind the story itself.

So it looks like Blàs three will be launched in May 2023. I wonder what will happen to us all before then.

I hope you all have time to enjoy your chocolate, hopefully with a good book.


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