One of the most interesting writing projects I've ever been involved in is 'Lost Eden', a collaboration with three other writers: Douglas Thompson, Margaret Elphinstone and D P Watt. We have each written a four-part novella, as part of a quartet, celebrating or in some way responding to formal gardens. The resulting book is being published by Zagava, a publisher based in Germany specialising in extraordinary, one-off book productions. The hardback will be a thing of utter beauty nestled in a box of dried moss! There will also be a paperback version and, we expect, eventually an ebook.
The book was due to launch in Glasgow, at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, at 7pm on Tuesday 18 October 2022, but we were stymied by Brexit and the books could not get through customs in time. The launch is being re-scheduled for the new year. Click here for more details of the launch and the concept behind the book.
My contribution to the quartet is a novella called 'Ursa', which is the name of a yacht that sails into Loch Ewe one day in 1946. It is set in Inverewe Garden, where I was poet in residence, and inspired by sleeping in Mairi Sawyer's bedroom in Inverewe House, where she kept a shotgun in her wardrobe to shoot rabbits on the lawn. One of the four characters in the novella is Mairi Smith, loosely based on that historical Mairi, who designed so much of the wonderful garden, although the story into which I have placed her is pure fiction.
When I have copies in my hands I'll put the paperback up for sale here, but until then you can pre-order the book, either as a collector's item hardback or more affordable paperback, direct from the publisher here.