Geordie expat Shaun Baines moved to Dumfries and Galloway and has found the region has been inspirational in helping him write his latest novel “Woodcutter”. In an exclusive interview with DGWGO Shaun even compares our wonderful region to ‘a wet Disneyland‘
DGWGO recently interviewed Shaun who lives near Lockerbie, he said “My seven-year old niece asked me what a writer did for a living. When I told her, she frowned and said, “But when I make things up, I get into trouble.”
Shaun continued “My novel Woodcutter is set in my native north-east of England. Ironically, it took a move to rural Scotland to galvanise me into writing it. My wife and I moved into an abandoned cottage near Lockerbie with only one neighbour in view. I wondered what they thought of us. Were we a Geordie terrorist cell? Undercover cow inspectors? I decided they probably thought we were criminals on the run and Woodcutter was born.”
At six foot eight, Daniel Dayton finds it hard to hide from his criminal family. When his daughter is harmed, he leaves his Scottish home for Newcastle seeking revenge. Everyone is a suspect. The father who used him. A brother who hates him. A mother with her own agenda. But a rival gang wants to take over his family’s empire and Daniel gets suspicious.
The Geordie expat also told us “Without our new home in Dumfriesshire, none of this would have happened.
I love the area and the people. Newcastle is known for being friendly, but Dumfries and Galloway takes it to another level. I’m amazed by how many strangers offer me a ‘Good morning’ or ask about my health. I’ve actually witnessed people whistling while they work. Dumfriesshire is like a wet Disneyland at times.
When I’m not staring at a blank computer screen and scratching my head, I work as a part time gardener. It’s the perfect balance for me. Inside when it rains. Outside when it’s dry. I aim for a fifty/fifty split, but we all know about the Scottish weather. Let’s just say, I can get a lot of writing done in Scotland.
We also adopt ex-battery farmed chickens, (though judging by the size of their eggs, they are more like ostriches) and we keep bees. I grew up on a council estate so it’s important for me to explore the countryside and embrace rural life. If that means getting my boots muddy and trailing it into the house, so be it.
I always warn my gardening customers not to say too much in front of me. And that goes for you, too. I never know where my next idea will come from and I’m not above poaching a life story or two. That said, the characters in Woodcutter aren’t based on anyone I know and my family definitely aren’t criminals. They are a normal, working class family. Well, normal-ish.”
Woodcutter is now available as an ebook from Amazon. The paperback will be launched by Thistle Publishing on 7th June 2018. To find out more about me, visit shaunbaines.com or on Twitter through @littlehavenfarm.