Midlothian writers are on an emotional journey

Catherine Simpson from Penicuik. Photo: Chris Scott
Catherine Simpson from Penicuik. Photo: Chris Scott

Short stories written by two Midlothian residents have beaten off stiff competition to be included in a new Book Week Scotland publication.

Penicuik author Catherine Simpson and George Roy, from Bonnyrigg, both impressed the selection panel with their journey themed tales.

First time writer George (54) explained his storiy, “I Saw It”, was inspired by glimsping the love shown by a woman to a wheelchair bound man on a recent bus journey.

“I looked over and saw the woman was very affectionate towards him. I thought they were both very beautiful, very ordinary looking people.

“The story focuses on their relationship I realised it was probably more likely to be her son rather than her husband,” said George.

He added that the experience made him think about his relationship as a father with his son, who he sees twice a week, since he separated from his partner two years ago.

“I came up with this idea of a journey following the separation with my son. It has been a journey over two and a half years,” said George, who works part-time at the Edinburgh College of Art library. He is a volunteer teaching assistant at St Margaret’s Primary, Loanhead, after carrying out a similar role at Rosewell Primary earlier this year.

Catherine (51) was inspired to write “Caravans, midges, fish and bollards” after recalling her first visit to Scotland as a child.

“I have live here (Scotland) for 20 odd years now but this was an important journey. It wasn’t juust a physical journey but an emotional journey in making Scotland my home,” she explained.

The mother of two used her experiences of bringing up a child with Asperger’s syndrome as the inspirtion for her her debut novel “Truestory”, which was published in September.

Catherine added: “I love being involved with these projects. The Scottish Book Trust have these projects every year.”

The opening chapters of “Truestory” won her a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2013.

To celebrate the fourth year of Book Week Scotland (November 23-29) more than 150,000 free copies of Journeys will be given to people throughout the week.

All the stories entered are available at www.bookweekscotland.com