Adventures in Time:
As a youngster staying in Leith, I embraced the advantages and delights of Scotland’s capital city with open arms. Amenities and cultural venues plentiful, plus a top-flight football team to watch. Also, my parents had a cottage at Tarbrax, near West Calder, which allowed me to savour life in a rural setting. The best of both worlds you could say, and later I would write stories about both.
My work-related roles involved being based in different parts of Scotland and residing in interesting locations. The Royal Mile, Aberdeen and Glasgow’s West End, all full of character and culture. Once more, the experience was to prove invaluable for literary work.
However, a property on the west coast of Scotland would be responsible for composing tales of adventure.
It came in the form of a villa with a coach house built in 1854 overlooking the River Clyde. Viewing it was love at first sight. After the purchase, I went into the coach house, a building on two floors, and a thought came forthwith. Why not write a short story about it’s past?
Full of optimism, I returned to the villa, sat in front of my desk-top computer and began to type. 94,000 words and months later, this piece of work wasn’t a short story! I read over the manuscript, edited it and following much perseverance, a publisher offered me a deal.
The story featured a man from Leith, (James Carsell-Brown) who left his job in Scotland to live and work in Nice. The south of France being a warmer and drier climate. There, he meets the woman of his dreams and becomes embroiled in an espionage plot. He flees to pastures new and finds refuge back in Scotland.
There is a coach house attached to the property where he stays.
Throughout the ages, families who lived there suffered trauma. James enters the coach house and is thrown back in time for a series of adventures which include the previous families.
One takes place in and around Leith in 1940. Can he prevent this family’s trauma? The story also has a bearing on his Nice experience.
When considering a title for this novel, I settled on The Time Jigsaw. The protagonist’s adventures were time-related and the pieces fitted together to complete a puzzle. One which connected him to the property.
After the novel was published, a relative revealed my mother’s family tree had been traced back to where I stay – in 1745! Given I’m from Leith, it’s an incredible coincidence. Fate?
Before getting the publishing deal, I had written the first draft of a sequel titled, The Time Jigsaw Deliverance. The protagonist, Elizabeth, featured as a minor character in the previous book.
Set in New York during the Wall Street Crash of 1929, it tells the story of a Scottish couple and their plight in America’s worst economic era. The story moves from New York to a village in Scotland where past events catch up with Elizabeth.
An idea for a third book came from my time in the Royal Mile and a ghost would be one of the characters. Given the Mile’s ghost trail, appropriate.
In 1916, a young woman falls in love with a married army officer and after hearing of his death at the Somme, takes her own life. Can a certain time traveller avert the suicide and in doing so, protect his own existence?
As well as the Royal Mile there are scenes set in Granton and Trinity in Awakening
A minor character in book two received positive feedback. So much so, she became the protagonist in the next novel titled, Georgina.
The story is a spy thriller set during WW2 when Georgina infiltrates the German High Command. However, she becomes attached to an SS officer who she is spying on. The conclusion is in Scotland with Leith again highlighted.
The Adventures in Time novels are all set in the past, my passion and nostalgia for the past nostalgia being the main reason.
The genres are Fantasy and Historical Fiction, and all books can be read individually but there is a subtle link between certain books.
All the scenes set in Leith and Edinburgh echo my roots and love of the capital and its many happy memories. ■
Info: David gave a presentation and Q&A at Leith Library late August find out more on their website or David’s: www.timejigsaw.com
The Grey Gull, Ardrishaig features in the first 3 novels, author David Munro