UK Launch – The Piper’s Lament

UK Launch - Piper's Lament Oban Library Dec 9 2015

 UK Launch Event – The Piper’s Lament


Despite the best (or worst) efforts of the weather; including hail-stones, lightning, torrential rain and gale force winds, the UK launch of my second novel took place last week.

It was an appropriately dark and dreich affair outside but for the few hardy souls that fought their way to Oban Library, the conditions indoors were considerably warmer and more welcoming.

It was a big first for me, to be honest. My first book in the Ridge Walker series, He Who Pays The Piper, was not so much launched in a tumultuous fanfare of publicity as meekly tossed on to the ever-increasing digital heap of self-published eBooks back in 2012.

But things have changed since then.

I’ve got an imprint to publish my books, Seilachan Fort. They will be publishing other books too in the next year or so so if you are a Scots writer (unpublished) then get in touch with me and I’ll make the introductions for you.

I’m also very excited to have broken out of the Amazon/Kindle ghetto and The Piper’s Lament is being sold by mainstream bookstores in the UK and abroad such as Waterstones. I cannot tell you just how much that means to me. It would have meant so much to my old dad also, to have been able to walk into his local book shop and buy my book. He never did get the hang of the internet and he sadly passed away only this summer on his 84th birthday.

So we chatted about writing and the awful events around the world which always seem to overshadow even the most horrific international incidents an author could conjure on to the page. Books were sold and a little wine was consumed to warm our innards.

I would like to thank the amazing staff at Oban Library, particularly Sue, for the comforting ambience and also to the good people of the West Highlands who didn’t let horizontal rain deflect them from coming to see me.

All the best!

Alex x  UK Launch - Piper's Lament


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Tony Black – Scottish Book Week

Tony Black - Book Week ScotlandTony Black at Book Week Scotland

Tony Black has been described as Irvine Welsh’s ‘favourite British crime writer’ and I’ve also been a huge fan for ages.

So it was well worth the effort on a dreich Scottish evening to pop over to the mainland to meet Tony in the cosy venue of Oban Library as he talked about the craft of writing and his latest DI Bob Valentine novel, A Taste Of Ashes.

Tony Black A Taste of Ashes

As it turned out, Tony Black is also an island boy himself these days, in his case the picturesque Isle of Arran, just a little further down the West Coast and a popular biking destination for me when I’m feeling energetic.

Despite the weather and a plethora of Book Week Scotland events over the previous few days the turnout was excellent and the well-informed audience enjoyed a good chat and a warming glass of wine.


Tony was very relaxed and approachable for an established author with a dozen books behind him and we were all captivated.

Tony and I talked afterwards about the balancing act that authors must perform between using true-to-life vernacular in dialogue and attracting the widest possible audiences. I myself have not been a stranger to the odd expletive or two but my writing style would be classed as ‘vanilla’ in comparison to Tony’s early novels.

I mentioned that I would be swapping seats with him in a couple of weeks as Oban Library is the very place where my UK launch of The Piper’s Lament would be taking place. tony black

He gave me some valuable insights and tips and I left him with a firm pledge to keep in touch.

You can find out more about Tony and his work over on his Pulp Pusher blog. Tell him I sent you!

If you are lucky enough to live in Scotland, I hope you all enjoyed Book Week Scotland 2015.

And no matter where you live, go out there and celebrate books and reading!

That’s all for now. I must go and rehearse my lines for a talk I’m giving tomorrow for students of our local college, Argyll College. Perhaps there will be a budding Tony Black in the audience.

All the best!

Alex x  Tony Black


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