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We've launched Grumpa


I see Grumpa is reading a copy of his new book on the bed! I would rather he had at least taken off his blue wellies though. Thankfully, he seems to have left any mud in his garden. I suppose some people just can’t live without their wellies on.

Grumpa agus na Nàbaidhean Ùra has just launched or at least it has hit the Comhairle Nan Leabhraichean shop. So if you like to buy a copy please get in touch with them. If you live locally and you know if you do, drop me a line and I will get it to you.

A big thank you to all my readers past and present for buying my books, I love hearing from you. I'm so glad you seem to enjoy my Grumpa character. I love writing about him. His next adventure is already brewing in my head.

Comhairle nan Leabhraichean is very kindly helping to spread the word by mentioning it on their social media. Myself, I have yet to master Instagram. Well, not so much master it but actually get myself over that big wall I’ve built and get on with it. Speaking Gaelic is much less of a hurdle.

The timing is actually not so bad for its release, as along with the books I also received an interesting recording this week. A reading of Grumpa agus an Latha Fuaimneach. Grumpa now has a voice. It has been a long time coming but I have my first recording of him.

It was so exciting hearing Grumpa being read by someone else. I wanted the reading to reflect the uniqueness of Grumpa. Not a voice that we would often hear on other audiobooks. I was so happy when my reader Alasdair Mearns agreed to do the reading. He has done a great job.

I still have to edit it. Another skill I have yet to master or even start. But hopefully, soon I will be able to offer families the opportunity to listen to the Grumpa books. I intend to provide the audio free directly from my website. I have always been keen to help families use what Gaelic they have within the home.

On saying that this a plea from the heart that I know other Gaelic writers and publishers would endorse. Although we want our books out there for readers to enjoy, we can’t offer everything free in an attempt to build and enhance what speakers of all levels can access.

We need families, readers, learners and fluent speakers to buy our books so we can afford to produce more. Otherwise, instead of increasing the number of books available, there will be a decline in what is out there.

Writers, illustrators, typesetters, editors, publishers, all of these people who contribute to producing a book need to make a living or at least cover their costs so they can develop and create more for the reader to enjoy.

So if you are offered free audio of a book please at least buy the book that comes with it to allow us to produce more of a choice for you in the future.

It may be a while yet before this new book, Grumpa agus na Nàbaidhean Ùra is available on audio. For a start, I want to get the first Grumpa book, Grumpa, Am Bodach Busach read first. Why I decided to get the second book recorded before the first was down to logistics which I wouldn’t go into here.

Having Grumpa agus na Nàbaidhean Ùra out is still a great reason to celebrate. For me, as the writer is has meant no fan fairs or cosy wee get-togethers at the local library. I have missed the traditional music and the sweet pieces of cake that would normally be involved during a launch. I have also sorely missed that opportunity to time spent blethering to the old and young Gaels and indeed the learners and fluent speakers as well.

However, I am sure I will find a way of putting something special together at a later date for us all to enjoy. In the meantime, the book is simply out there to purchase and enjoy. I don’t know if this book with reach the dizzy heights of winning a prize like the last Grumpa book did but if I hear back from any of my young readers to say they enjoyed it that will feel as good as any prize.

Oh and one more thing. There is a young male out there who is apparently football daft, he asked during one of my school visits if football was mentioned in my last Grumpa book, Grumpa agus an Latha Fuaimneach, it wasn’t. But he may find it plays a part in this one, Grumpa agus na Nàbaidhean Ùra, but maybe not in the way he imagined.

Happy reading.

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