THE drama of Irene Taylor’s debut novel The Chateau is almost matched by her previous career of selling teeth across the world.
The Minto writer will be signing copies of the book – a romantic and mysterious tale set between Scotland and France – in WH Smith in Galashiels on Saturday.
Promoting The Chateau is far removed from Irene’s first job after leaving university with a dental company.
She said: “The job offered me the opportunity to travel the world selling teeth.
“Many amusing incidents occurred, including one occasion when a customs officer in Sydney fainted on witnessing the contents of my display boxes.”
A career change followed before she decided to take up writing full time. “This time I joined another Scottish company selling clocks,” said Irene.
“Again I was fortunate and loved the job, covering of 20 countries from Finland to Cyprus.
“It may sound glamorous but is somewhat demanding when arrested in the Middle East because the sound of ticking is heard emanating from your briefcase.”
But writing always remained a passion for Irene which she wished to share with a wider audience.
“I always had an interest in writing and I was used to doing it for commercial presentations throughout my career,” she said.
“I always felt I had a book in me and I got an idea for a plot that I had never seen before.
“We were living in an area of France that is renowned for its chateaux and one day I was walking through a wooded area and came across this chateau.
“I had been struggling to find a name for my book but at that point I decided it would be The Chateau. It gave me the push to go through with the book and I wrote it in three months.”
Centred on a family torn apart by tragedy and exposed to media speculation, The Chateau’s plot includes “a titanic struggle between love and loyalty versus greed, jealousy and betrayal”, according to Irene.
Saturday’s book signing takes place from noon to 3pm and The Chateau is available in most bookstores.