A BORDERS social worker is set to launch his first novel on Saturday – at the age of 64, writes Andrew Keddie.
Steve Smith, who lives at Southdean between Jedburgh and Hawick, has selected Latimer’s Bookshop in Kelso, which was recently under threat of closure, for his special day.
“I consider this a double celebration – signing my debut novel and marking the regeneration of a fantastic community resource,” said Steve.
Last month we reported that Norman Latimer had changed his mind about closing his Mill Wynd shop after an outcry from his customers and a resulting upsurge in business.
Steve said: “We are all delighted the shop is to remain open and that Norman has been able to adapt to challenging economic conditions. I am only too happy for my book to be launched there and hope other authors will follow suit.”
Steve described his book The Regulator (Authorhouse, £14.99) as part political thriller and part speculative fiction.
“It’s a novel about the aftermath of a successful revolution and how our new rulers come to terms with the reality of power in an advanced technological age,” he told TheSouthern.
Although Steve is a relative latecomer to published fiction, he has been writing creatively since the age of nine when he won a primary school competition for a story about a winter adventure.
Steve, who works in Hawick with the mental health charity Penumbra, has had a collection of his poetry published, and a number of his poems have been included in the Borders literary magazine, The Eildon Tree.
He wrote The Regulator in an adapted writing cabin at the bottom on his garden and is already working on another novel – a political crime thriller.
Steve balances his writing career with a busy life, for he also works with a fostering agency in Edinburgh, is secretary and vice-president of Jedburgh Rotary Club and is a member of Denholm Drama Group, Southdean Community Council, the Scottish Borders Hill Walking Club, Rulewater Horticultural Society and the local sub-committee of Scottish Borders Housing Association.
Saturday’s book signing, at which refreshments will be served, takes place from 11am. Copies of the book will be available at the discounted price of £12.50.