A review of my historical novel The Brahan Seer has appeared today in the The Sunday Herald. The statistics of persistence speak for themselves: 25 years of published writing, eight novels and more than fifty short stories, to finally get one paragraph in a national newspaper.
Lesley McDowell writes:
“This poetic yet often visceral and brutal novelistic account of the mythic 17th-century Scots seer, Coinneach Odhar, begins in violence and ends somewhere else, in a mixture of regret and reconciliation. But it also explores the relationship between an unusual individual and his world, which he repeatedly disrupts, in touching and often illuminating ways.”
My sincere thanks to Lesley. But one of my favourite sayings is “the terrible thing about good luck is how it looks so much like something we’ve earned”, and the time has come perhaps to turn that logic on myself. Would this book have been reviewed had I not had the good luck to briefly make the acquaintance of the reviewer Lesley McDowell herself, and shame-facedly mention that I had a novel out in need of review? And how many brilliant books are out there in Scotland right now, unrecognised and unread because the writer does not have good luck or the backing of a major publisher who has arbitrarily decided upon their saleability and resolved to shove the book down everyone’s throats through buying up publicity channels? Let us all pause and spare a thought for the living tomb of the unknown writer. My other books are just as good… never believe in the myth of a meritocracy until it has arrived. I’ll keep you posted.