Moray businesswoman publishes first work
Easier access to your trusted, local news. Have a look at our brand new digital subscription packages!
A ROTHES hotel owner has penned her first book which sees a newspaper correspondent embroiled in an other-worldly fight of good versus evil.
Maureen Humphreys said a number of strange coincidences surround the publication of Believe Me, which is the first in her series of fictional works.
Maureen, who goes by the pen name Trish Edwards, sat down to tell the story of international news journalist Glen Grant-Wallace 31 years ago.
A year later, her writing was put on hold when she and her husband Arthur decided to move north from England to buy a hotel in Rothes.
Having never visited the Moray village before, Maureen was shocked when she learned it was home to Glen Grant distillery – the first two names of her protagonist.
She said: "I didn't even know about Glen Grant, so I got quite a surprise. It was strange."
Maureen's father was a Scot and a descendent of William Wallace, which inspired the final part of the character's name.
Busy with the business, the manuscript was stored away and Maureen only returned to it 18 months ago when she cut back on her working hours.
Looking through her writing bundle for the first time in years, an unopened envelope dropped to the floor.
"It must have been there for at least five years and contained the name of a publishing house," said Maureen, who later recalled a conversation with a late friend, who was a news editor based in Singapore.
"I told him I had started to write a book but said I hadn't looked at it for years. He told me to 'go for it' and said he would send me details of a publisher.
"He must have sent me an envelope and I shoved it in a drawer without looking at it, probably thinking I would get to it later."
Spurred into action, Maureen sat down to finish the 42-page novella, which tells of Glen Grant-Wallace's journey after being sent on a routine assignment to check out a sighting of the Loch Ness monster.
Along the way, he comes face-to-face with beings from another planet, travels to another realm, and learns the truth behind the Bermuda Triangle.
Maureen explained: "My book is faction; the fact is absolutely correct and the fiction, as the title says... Believe Me it could be true."
Having sent the manuscript to the Pittsburgh-based publishing firm named in the envelope, she was over-the-moon when they agreed to publish it, fulfilling her lifelong ambition.
Maureen said: "They said it takes about four weeks to go through the editorial board, but four days later they got in touch and said 'send it to us'. I couldn't believe it.
"To me, it was a series of 'couldn't have possibly happened, but did' incidents – coming here to Rothes and Glen Grant, the envelope and then getting accepted."
Maureen has since been busy working on the second book in the series, entitled Minds, which is now with the publishers and should be available by Christmas. Her third work The Object is nearly complete.
Believe Me is available to buy as an e-book via Amazon or Google Books and in paperback via Dorrance Publishing's online bookstore.