Introducing ... Ian Skewis

Monday, 4 September 2017

What goes around, comes around...

 

I started writing in 1989, aged nineteen. I was holding an exhibition of my lithographic prints and poems at Dumbarton Public Library and I was approached by the editor of a local free-paper, The West-Ender, who wanted to write an article about me. I did the interview and then she asked me if I would like to contribute to the paper by conducting my own interviews and writing articles. So I did this for the next few months. I was then offered the post of editor, but was unable to do it because I was about to leave my home town for studying at art school in Aberdeen.

 

Whilst up there in the granite city I set to work on a graphic novel - an eerie story based on a childhood experience I had ten years earlier, aged nine. (I'd found the dead body of a man hanging from a tree in the countryside.) I never managed to complete the tale, or my studies, and I moved to Glasgow, where I still live. But the bare bones of that story remained, haunted me even, just like my encounter in the country, and so the story kept resurfacing over the next 28 years.

 

By 1996 I was training to be an actor and my story had become a stage play, though it never made the stage. I had some professional interest in my tale, but then I retired from acting and the proposed play was shelved.

 

In 2009 I finally managed to complete the story in the manner which I had always wanted. It was now a full length novel. But it wasn't quite right yet. I couldn't stop tinkering with it, and so it remained a work in progress, otherwise known as 'development hell.'

 

In 2012 I sent an email complaining about the state of George Square in Glasgow, and it got published. It was the first time that I had been published since I was nineteen, and it encouraged me to pursue writing more seriously. The following year I joined various writers groups and wrote two short stories. I wrote another story the year after that, which was a Finalist in a competition. This gave me some much needed confidence. Then, in 2016, my latest short story, Inkling, was published in an anthology entitled The Speculative Book - I was thrilled.

 

Around that same time my novel, now entitled, A Murder Of Crows, was accepted for publication by Unbound. Since then it has become a success and I couldn't be happier.

 

My latest work is entitled, Remembering Miss Clare. It's a typically dark yet tragic tale, imbued with a haunting atmosphere. I hope you like it. I am proud that it stands alongside the other stories in this proposed anthology, and I hope you will join us and make this book a reality. All the proceeds go to the World Literacy Foundation, so it's a worthwhile cause.

 

And this brings me back to Dumbarton Public Library. Where it all began. My book will be on their shelves soon.

 

What goes around, comes around indeed...

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