“EDDIE Graham was ex-police, ex-army and ex-Military Intelligence. He moved to Langholm for a quiet life. But then he started asking questions. Questions about 1941. And life was never the same again.”
So starts the first of a new series of four novels by well-known Borders historian, author and goldsmith, Brian Moffatt.
Entitled Falling Angels, Lost Highways, the book is set in 2003, and is the first novel of a series called The March Quartet.
All four books will be set in the Anglo-Scottish Borders. Two of these will be set in the 21st century, and two in the 16th century.
Brian has also launched a blog to give readers more information on the landscape and history of the area in which the action takes place.
The Moffatt family are award-winning studio goldsmiths who for more than 30 years have specialised in the research, design, and making of high quality works of art inspired by the indigenous folk art and mythology of the north.
Rocking Boat Press was established in 2002, and publishes occasional books and DVD’s of an investigative historical nature, and also poetry and maps.
Brian told TheSouthern the writing of the novels was something he has planned for some time.
“It’s a long-term project. I’ve had it in mind for years to write a series of four books to be known as The March Quartet, with two set in the 16th century, and two in the 21st.
“All four will be historically interlinked and I’ve been collecting the material for years.
Brian says he is pitching the novels somewhere between the Flashman series of works by the late George MacDonald Fraser and the latter’s seminal work on the Border reivers, The Steel Bonnets.
“The books are intended to showcase the Borders, and perhaps to shine a light onto aspects of our history and culture which mainstream ‘official tourism’ has a tendency to avoid,” he said.
“The modern novels feature an investigator by the name of Eddie Graham and I have the complete outline for the series mapped out.
“I was 30,000 words into one of the 16th century novels, when I decided to write a couple of pages about Eddie and it just ran straight on from there.
“I did 120,000 words, that is to say, 368 pages. It seems Eddie and his sidekick Shorty had just been waiting to get out and that is the origin of Falling Angels, Lost Highways.
“Now I’m back working on The Watchers of Enoch, which will now be number two in the series, set in the late 16th century, and out, I hope, by the end of this year.”
Brian has financed the publication and printing of the book himself. He added: “With Falling Angels, Lost Highways, we’ve done 500 hardbacks signed and limited edition for collectors, plus Kindle, and all of the other e-readers, and we have set up deals with all the major booksellers, and libraries.
“And the intention of all of this is to raise the profile of the Borders.”
z Published by the Moffatt family’s own Rocking Boat Press based at their Johnnie Armstrong Gallery at Teviothead, the hardback edition of Falling Angels, Lost Highways is priced £22, plus £3 UK postage and packaging, and available from www.thecelticgoldsmith.com
The book will also be available to download as an e-book from all major outlets worldwide.
Brian’s blog can be read at http://fallingangelslosthighways.blogspot.co.uk