Strange tale from island of lost souls
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.facebook.com/Moristoun for more information.
I wanted to explore the idea of a Scottish identity