Workmates get published

Two staff members at the Midlothian Volunteers Association Rebecca McKinney and Lesley Kelly who are now published authors.

Two staff members at the Midlothian Volunteers Association Rebecca McKinney and Lesley Kelly who are now published authors.

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Two work colleagues have come up with a novel way to keep busy while away from their day jobs at Midlothian Voluntary Action in Dalkeith.

Manager Lesley Kelly (46), and social enterprise officer Rebecca McKinney (45), have each had their debut novels published by Sandstone Press this year.

Tyne and Esk Writers group member Rebecca’s novel Blast Radius features a veteran returning from Afghanistan, and is set in the Bonnyrigg area. Lesley, whose book A Fine House in Trinity has been long-listed for the William McIlvanney prize for the best Scottish crime novel, said: “I’m competing against Ian Rankin and Val McDermid so I don’t fancy my chances!

“I didn’t start writing until my mid-30s. Before that I did stand-up comedy, but then the kids came along. So I got into writing.

“Rebecca’s background is more musical. She did music then got into writing.”

Lesley is glad to work beside a fellow author, although she admits that they will probably remain workmates for some time yet:“It’s really good having another author here. Her book came out first so I have been learning from her experience. It was really useful seeing the process she has gone through.

“Our books are doing well. Mine was the best seller at Waterstones at Ocean Terminal, which is the closest one to where I live. We are both now working on our second books.

“I don’t think anybody short of JK Rowling makes a living from writing. So we will be here for a while.

“But we both love our jobs here. We do our writing in our spare time.”