October is the busiest month! At least for me. I have two new books out. Firstly, Scotched Nation, the second Willie Morton political conspiracy thriller, which is now on general release after a month of pre-orders. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Scotched-Nation-Willie-Morton-mystery/dp/0993384056Thanks to those who pre-ordered. It is now available in paperback and on Kindle and an audiobook is in preparation. Secondly, the fourth edition of my local bestseller, Modern Dundee: Life in the city since World War Two, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Modern-Dundee-Andrew-Murray-Scott/dp/1780916000is now available in paperback. This popular social history is fully revised and has approximately fifty new photographs and additional material bringing the story bang up to date. It is the perfect Christmas present for Scots here and abroad with a Dundee connection. Details and more information on the relevant page here and quick links to buy direct are also included on ‘Buy Andrew’s books’ home page. Thanks for your interest!
This two minute video gives a brief insight into the concept behind my new political thriller series and the first title, Deadly Secrecy and forthcoming second title, Scotched Nation, due out in October. I’d welcome invites to give talks, including brief readings from the novels, at groups, bookgroups, branches, libraries and Yes hubs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-lp-KBXQzM&feature=youtu.be
Here’s a random selection of images from my book signing tour of bookshops in the north-east. It was a lot of fun and the weather was great. I signed copies in every store and met some real book enthusiasts. I hope to get invited to several book festivals in the area in the future and would like to thank all the bookshop staff who helped to make it such a pleasant experience. It wasn’t a sellout but I took a cardboard box of books and came back with just ten books. On the other hand, my wife and I also bought a lot of books!
As many authors and publishers would admit, it’s more difficult to get magazines and newspapers to review your books. Space is so limited these days and there are so many books out there. But you try not to think of that and send your book off for review, and of course try to get online reviews too.
But Deadly Secrecy has been lucky so far, we’ve had some great reviews and mentions in the press. The book has even been mentioned in The Times and read by the Daily Record‘s political editor who found it entertaining. This is a summary of the reviews so far:
‘Comprehensive and satisfying… from the opening pages I was immediately drawn into the intriguing plotline… a complex, multi-layered novel that demands the reader’s undivided attention… riveting… tension-filled from start to finish… very impressive’ – Dundee Courier
‘Loosely-based on the Willie McRae killing, a fast-moving novel… keeps you involved right to the end… a very good read’ – Scots Independent
‘This former press officer’s debut mystery, set in Scotland, is a page-turner’ – Evening Telegraph
‘Scott cleverly weave this politically-charged story together through journalist Willie Morton’s journey across Scotland’ – Scottish Field
‘Real page-turner… keeps up the tension throughout’ – Lesley Riddoch
‘Entertaining conspiracy fiction with the Brits as the baddies’ – David Clegg, Political Editor, Daily Record
‘a pacy read and an enjoyable story… the tension is maintained’ – Retired Reader, Amazon.co.uk
‘real page-turner and kept me engrossed throughout… very evocative. I really recommend it’ – Busy Bookworm, Waterstones.com
Local History Week: Andrew Murray Scott will give an illustrated talk at Lochee Library on Tuesday 5th March, based on his successful book Modern Dundee: Life in the City Since World War Two. Admission free. A Live Literature Event.
The book, first published in 2002 in hardback by Breedon Books was a chart success and was revised and updated for a first paperback edition in 2006 when it was again a local bestseller.
Reprinted in a second paperback edition by Derby Books in 2011, it continues to sell steadily and will be revised and updated in 2019 for a third paperback edition.
“Real page turner… keeps up the tension throughout” LESLEY RIDDOCH
My new conspiracy thriller, Deadly Secrecy, is out and available to buy online and in bookshops.
It’s the first of a three-part series featuring Edinburgh freelance journalist Willie Morton. This time, investigating the mystery death of an anti-nuclear activist, he runs up against the worst of British spooks and has to flee for his life. Chased by Daniel McGinley and the British Nuclear Installations Protection Squad all over the Highlands, Morton gets close to the truth – or as close as he can in a contemporary Britain that guards its secrets ever more fiercely.
Set against a backdrop of growing political tension between the two parliaments of Westminster and Holyrood, this contemporary thriller is persuasive, timely and politically-charged.
Available in ebook format (£1:99) and paperback (rrp £8:99) in bookshops and online.
Although new to podcasting, I’m giving it a try. I find reading stories aloud is a very effective way of editing the stories; refining what I’m trying to say. Also, of course, I hope my stories can find a new audience. I’m not sure about whether that’s true or not. I hope so. Anyway, they are out there now, on iTunes, Stitcher (for Androids), on TuneIn, PlayerFM, for good or ill. So far, four stories are on the platform, Telling U Stories. Ghosts – a young man drifts in and out of casual romance in Madrid, in the terrific summer heat and light. Twilight Incident, an anti-colonising narrative about the sins of Edward Beaton’s working life in Kampala, Uganda in the 1960s coming back to haunt him with a vengeance in a Gents’ Outfitters in 1980s Dundee. The Glasshouses, a gentle evocation of the diverging lives of a brother and sister as they visit the diverse habitats of the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens on a cold February day. And today, I’ve added Sharing, where hospital worker Stephen suffers the torment of knowing his girlfriend Susan has another lover. This is perhaps the most painfully autobiographical of the four stories although I have used aspects of my life in all of them. The stories have been recorded with fairly basic equipment and are presented without much embellishment, no music, no fanfares. I have no idea whether they will be listened to by any or many.
I’m hoping discerning listeners will find their way to the stories, and, of course, ultimately my other work too. I intend to put up new stories fairly regularly and if I receive ratings or reviews, will respond to suggestions. You can of course, listen to the stories via the player on my web blog: www.andrewmurrayscott.scot on the Podcasts page but I suppose the easiest way to engage is to search for Telling U Stories on your own podcasting app, whether that is Apple, Stitcher, or any of the others. Thanks for your interest!
Have been greatly taken up with music and songwriting of late, to the exclusion of other writing. This is mainly because I am still waiting to hear from publishers about various literary works. Music offers instant gratification while I wait. The guitar and mandolins sit there in the study, become impossible to ignore. “I’ll just plug in and play a few songs…” which of course turns into hours…
Songwriting is a natural progression from that. I am pretty much always in the process of writing a song and it can take up an almost endless time and not always be productive. And yet when I’m fully engaged in writing a novel or book-length project, I don’t write songs! It’s either one or the other for me, never both at the same time.
However, with my music buddy, after nearly two years of rehearsal, we’re nearing the end of getting twelve tracks into a suitable condition for putting onto a CD. Nothing too ambitious, its essentially a set list and four of them are covers. Eight of the tracks are our own, four of mine, four of his, and they fit within the general category of Scottish traditional folk or acoustic. We’re quite proud of our songs but we’re not expecting to win a Trad Award, at least not this year! It’s just for fun really. The biggest problem we’ve faced and continue to face is the struggle to improve our harmonies. The question of our band name is another issue. We did a gig as Stairheid Rammie but that suggests a ceilidh band, then we got two songs on a charity CD as The Ferryboys and now I’ve suggested Corbies’ Knowe which is an actual place that we both like and it has historical significance. So that might be it. No-one else is using that name, at least according to Mr Google.
Yesterday we went for a walk in the woods in Perthshire. It was mild, dry, there was even occasional sunshine and we saw lots of wildlife, lots of red squirrels, fallow deer, flocks of starlings, buzzards, Canada geese, wigeon. This time of year, before Autumn shrinks into Winter is an inspirational time for a writer. There’s something about deep woods that is iconic of wilderness or the outdoors. Of course civilisation emerged from the forests and so there’s something mythic about being enfolded in deep woods. It’s a symbol of the depth and darkness of otherness; some 18th century religions sought to portray woods as an actual source of evil and think how many slasher movies take place there. For me, a walk in the woods with the vibrant Autumnal colours always requires a notebook and pen in my pocket. And my most recently completed novel started that way. I was walking in the woods of Vermont, early fall, some years ago and it occurred to me how easy it would be to get lost and… what if you wanted to get lost? Would it be possible to stay lost, to survive as a hermit? From that idea, I soon came up with a character who wanted to escape… into woods and possible motivations… an unusual character, but harmless, likeable even, and if you have somebody who is lost, even willingly, you’re going to need to have somebody looking for him… I had half a plot already. So then you need a starting point… perhaps a failed romance…
And that was how my mind turned and twisted as I came up with my novel ‘The Way Back’ that has taken me longer to complete than any other project. In fact, I have worked it and reworked over years while other novels have been begun, completed and published. Recently, I spent some time with it and really got to grips with and this time I think I have finally nailed it. Anyway it’s out there, so let’s hope publishers agree.