Deborah Muir sees Scotland as a nation full of untapped, compelling stories, and her new book, ‘We Are Scotland’, aims to tell them.
Inspired by a 20-year career in radio journalism, which has seen her report for BBC Scotland and a number of commercial stations, Deborah has trained her sights on human interest stories from around the country, which will make up her debut book.
“Because I’m a working journalist, my ears are always open,” Deborah begins. “I’ve got a natural curiosity and I just generally like talking to people and hearing their tales. Everyone has a story whether they know it or not.
“The book’s aimed at a broad spectrum of people. It’ll contain adult themes, as it’s about life and what happens to people over the course of their lifetimes.
“For instance one of the stories was told to me by a friend of mine when we were out on a walk one day; she told me all about her life in the States and her husband’s descent into mental illness, she didn’t understand his behaviour and had a newborn baby and was very scared. However it’s not all about dark times, she turned her life around and is happy now!”
Deborah says the idea for the book came about after 2014’s independence referendum, and divisive attitudes expressed on both sides of the fence. Scots, as a nation, are often known for their good humour, and this was often forgotten about during the campaign, she adds.
“I wanted the book to show the true spirit of Scotland, as a unique nation which is full of characters, and I wanted to get the stories behind these characters down on paper so the world could hear them.
“I find that people often get lost between politicians, the media, and businesses all pushing their own agenda, and the ordinary person’s voice is sometimes lost. I want them to have a say, and have confidence in themselves both as a nation and as an individual in achieving great things.
“In my career I’ve always really loved the human interest stories, but I find that a couple of minutes on air doesn’t give them the breathing space for the full backstory. Quite often in news you don’t get a conclusion, so I thought I’d follow these stories through to the end.”
Deborah is currently crowdfunding the book, with Penguin Random House lined up as the publisher. If you want to help, go here
She has pledged that 10% of the book’ s profits will go towards Moat Brae House in Dumfries, seen as the birthplace of Peter Pan, which is due to open as a children’s literature centre in 2018.