|Cover image by Alan Lees|
This week, my slightly quirky love story, Ice Dancing, is being serialised in the Dundee Courier. It seems appropriate for that newspaper, since not only is Ice Dancing set in and around a small rural Scottish village - and Dundee has a rural hinterland - but a theme of Ice Hockey, players and fans, runs through the novel and Dundee is a good hockey town.
All the same, you don't have to know anything about the sport to enjoy it, because the novel's narrator, farmer's wife, Helen, knows nothing at all about it either, till she meets Joe, a visiting Canadian Ice Hockey player. Then she finds out all about it.
The book was a labour of love for me. I never expected it to be particularly successful. I just wanted to write it (probably the best of all reasons for writing anything) but to my surprise, I find that people who find it and read it seem to love it too. I suspect it doesn't have much to do with the hockey. It has more to do with what turned out to be a fairly sharp-eyed but loving observation of the realities of village life. After all, and with occasional spells elsewhere, I've lived in a rural Scottish village for some 40 years. And, as one lovely reviewer pointed out, it's about the realities of love and desire at first sight as well.
The reason for the title, which gives me no end of trouble when people think it's a how-to manual, will become very clear if you read the novel!