The author and the story of the books.
Ethrick Brown is a pseudonym but the author is passionate about his writing.
Educated in Paisley, he attained sufficient educational prowess to attend Paisley Grammar School. In those days the top 10% of pupils were creamed off from the high schools and sent to grammar schools. The transition from being one of the smartest kids in the high school to becoming one of the dumbest kids in the grammar school wasn’t exactly a confidence booster and any interest in further academic achievement dwindled.
With various career paths to choose from and ambitions to work in the great outdoors applications were made to the Navy, the Forestry Commission and a few meteorology facilities but owing to a casual conversation at the back of the physics class, about massive police pay rises, an application found itself in their hands too. They responded first and a police career in Glasgow, then one of the world’s most violent cities, beckoned.
In those days it was advertised as ‘more than just a job’ and it lived up to the billing. Despite early promise and rapid qualification for promotion, opportunities for advancement narrowed due to disciplinary issues. Barred from management roles in the uniform branch and free from the politics of promotion, doors to the shadowy world of criminal investigation opened giving access to a world where truth and fiction became so intertwined it was hard to fathom what reality was. The world of Intelligence, informants, cops, crime and public interest was a very strange place where the enemy within was often a greater threat than the criminal.
Along with the excitement, adventure, satisfaction, conspiracies, demons and danger came hard work. The paperwork was endless and perfecting one's writing skills was essential. The opportunity for further education and training was always there. A BSc Hons in Psychology and Sociology was attained along with promotion but the real education was on the streets and in the pubs.
After thirty-one years in the fight against crime he moved to North Berwick where he combined his love of writing and his fondness for a pint. He took up darts as an excuse for a drink on a Monday night. His biggest contribution was writing the weekly match reports which were very well received and eagerly awaited each week. The manipulation of the night’s events, adapted to fit into current news stories or historic times, coupled with humorous anecdotes about players was a popular format and quickly gained accolade amongst its readers. Following an incident in the pub one night it was suggested a book should be written to commemorate the event and the challenge was accepted.
The idea that ‘Nothing Ever Happens in North Berwick’ inspired a book which had three aims. Its primary purpose was to tell a good story. Its secondary objective was to promote North Berwick and finally it was written to give some of the amazing characters from the pub a cameo role in the book. The story which drew on its surroundings was fictional but it was designed to provide an alternative reality to current events which was entirely believable.
The manuscript for ‘The Somali Pirate Adventure’ was never intended for publication but it fell into the hands of LADY June Douglas-Hamilton, a stalwart of the North Berwick community whose philosophy was to help people take advantage of their own potential. Heralding it, ‘absolutely hilarious and very well written,’ she instigated its launch at North Berwick in 2012. Local artist Ian Steel (81) designed its book cover. Over a hundred people turned up to purchase copies.
The book has since gone on sale on Amazon where it has attracted a much wider audience. The positive reviews given by people with no knowledge of the characters highlight the fact it achieved its primary objective and tells a good story.
Following calls for a sequel, the second book in the series ‘Judgement Day,’ is now available.