Worldwide best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith gave a talk at arts centre the Barn in Banchory on Thursday 8th of June during a sell-out event.
Mr McCall Smith discussed his eagerly anticipated new Isabel Dalhousie novel, The Bertie Project and his life as a writer. The event was a fundraiser for the Barn, which is a charity and uses much of its raised money for arts education projects.
The writer wrote and donated a brand new poem to the Barn for the occasion, which was the main raffle prize on the night. Mrs Susan Smith from Banchory was the winner of the exclusive poem, which was presented to her by the author on the night.
Alexander McCall Smith, often referred to as ‘Sandy’, is one of the world’s most prolific and best-loved authors. For many years he was a professor of Medical Law and worked in universities in the UK and abroad before turning his hand to writing fiction. He has written and contributed to more than 100 books including specialist academic titles, short story collections, and a number of immensely popular children’s books. His first book, The White Hippo—a children’s book, was published by Hamish Hamilton in 1980.
The highly successful The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series made Alexander McCall Smith a household name. The series has now sold over twenty million copies in the English language alone, and since the books took off, he has devoted his time to writing.
On the return of weather in Scotland
We don't expect much, certainly not
From April or May, when Spring,
A late visitor at the best of times,
brings rain and cold and occasionally,
As a not-so-gentle reminder
Of our latitude, a dusting of snow
On anything with an aspiration
To be a Munro; we are used
to such flourishes from the weather gods
resigned to their capriciousness;
But in June and July we begin to hope,
And are sometimes rewarded:
Who can beat a day of perfection
When Scotland's skies clear
And we see blue meet blue,
Sky to distant mountain,
And our burns and rivers are silver;
Who can beat our late nights
of gentle half-light, drowsy
Evenings of warmth and friendship?
A rare treat is always
The more appreciated for its rarity,
Better remembered, better savoured
Enough to make the winter worthwhile,
Enough to remind us of the reasons
Why we love this country - in spite
Of its weather, in spite of everything
Alexander McCall Smith