Strange tale from is­land of lost souls

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

Q. The fa­mous Ed­in­burgh body snatch­ers were known as Burke and…?

A Ruther­glen man is hop­ing for lit­er­ary suc­cess when his de­but novel is re­leased at the end of this month.

Kevin McAl­lion, 37, has penned ‘Moris­toun’, a quirky take on Scot­tish cul­ture and so­ci­ety.

The book is about the is­land of Moris­toun, which ex­ists in the af­ter­life for Scot­tish peo­ple who have com­mit­ted sui­cide.

Lawyer Wil­liam Buchan has been stuck there for two cen­turies so when he finds out he can get off by help­ing some­one in the liv­ing world avoid sui­cide he grabs the chance.

He is sent to help down- on- his­luck James McSorely. The lawyer takes James with him to Moris­toun, giv­ing him a job to help re­build his con­fi­dence.

While there, James meets the only other per­son on the is­land who did not com­mit sui­cide, a young girl whose preg­nant mum killed her­self, and their fates be­come in­ter­twined.

Kevin, who ac­tu­ally wrote the book in 2012, said: “It started out as a com­edy sketch about a guy sell­ing sou­venirs at a well known sui­cide hotspot.

“I then came up with the idea of hav­ing this whole world of Scot­tish peo­ple who have com­mit­ted sui­cide, where peo­ple stay un­til they find en­light­en­ment and move on.

“I thought it would be in­ter­est­ing to think about what hap­pens to peo­ple af­ter they com­mit sui­cide. There are lots of books about peo­ple who they leave be­hind but not much spec­u­la­tion about what hap­pens to them.

“Ob­vi­ously there’s a religious view of it, like pur­ga­tory, and I thought it would be fun to take it a step fur­ther.”

Kevin, who works as a jour­nal­ist, was in­spired by events hap­pen­ing in Scot­land when he was writ­ing the book.

He ex­plained: “It was in­flu­enced by the in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum. IsI started it right at the start of the ca cam­paign.

“I wanted to ex­plore the idea of Sc Scot­tish iden­tity and if we could put aga group of Scot­tish peo­ple any­where wo would they end up with the same kind of so­ci­ety.

“Also at that time the Rangers cri­sis sta started and I thought it would be fun to ex­plore that.

“In this al­ter­na­tive world some­thing ha hap­pened in the past that left them wi with just two teams. One of those te teams gets into trou­ble and fans of th the other side want them driven out of busi­ness, even though they are the on only team they can play.”

Kevin, who orig­i­nally hails from Du Dundee, moved to Kings­bridge Drive las last year with his wife Thanyalak and th their three-year-old daugh­ter Jen­nifer.

Al­though this is his first book, he ho hopes to write more in the fu­ture.

“I’d started a few books be­fore but ne never got through them,” he said. “In this one I al­ready knew the end­ing.

“When I started this my wife fell preg­nant so I knew time was of the essence. That mo­ti­vated me to get the first draft fin­ished in time for my daugh­ter be­ing born.

“Hope­fully, when she goes to school I’ll have more time to work on a new one.”

‘Moris­toun’ is out on March 31 from Austin Ma­cauley pub­lish­ers. Go to www.face­­toun for more in­for­ma­tion.

I wanted to ex­plore the idea of a Scot­tish iden­tity

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