Robert’s quantum leap from TV proves a novel hit

Robert Sproul-Cran
Robert Sproul-Cran

The mystery man behind a hit comedy novel has been revealed as Hawick’s Bafta-winning film-maker Robert Sproul-Cran.

Readers of Schrödinger’s Caterpillar have been attempting to work out who the real person behind the adopted name of Zane Stumpo is since it was released last year.

But with a book signing in Masons of Melrose on Saturday, Robert has finally stepped forward to admit to penning the story inspired by quantum physics.

The TV producer said: “In my day-to-day work with Voice Of My Own, part of Scottish Borders Council’s arts development programme, I help young people in the Borders to express themselves through making their own films.

“Over the years I’ve written as an escape from the pressures of television. When I’m writing thrillers and screenplays, I’ve tried to suppress the dafter side of my imagination, but with Schrödinger’s Caterpillar I decided just to let it all spill out.”

The book has been likened to Douglas Adams’ best-known work The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, which Robert admits was an influence.

He said: “Douglas Adams had a way of taking real scientific principles and weaving them unexpectedly into wonderful comic writing like in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

“Quantum physics is indescribably bonkers – what better way to celebrate it than through a humorous adventure?”

Robert self-published the comedy piece, which takes its name from the thought experiment Schrödinger’s cat and involves an alternative and exciting lifestyle for a downsizing consultant.

Sold worldwide as a paperback and Kindle e-book, it has earned five-star reviews on Amazon and has been described as “an astonishing debut novel” by Inga McVicar of literary company Full Paper Jacket.

Schrödinger’s Caterpillar is featured in the new edition of Borders literary magazine The Eildon Tree, available free from libraries and bookshops, and is on sale at Main Street Trading in St Boswells as well as Masons of Melrose, where the book signing will take place from 11am to 3pm on Saturday.