Author’s debut novel inspired by Bute-born dad

Author Kirsty Logan's debut novel, 'The Gracekeepers', was inspired by her Bute-born father, Euan.
Author Kirsty Logan's debut novel, 'The Gracekeepers', was inspired by her Bute-born father, Euan.

Author Kirsty Logan’s first novel, ‘The Gracekeepers’, was inspired by her Bute-born father Euan, who sadly died suddenly a few years ago.

Although it was only published in April, it has already garnered a great deal of well-deserved attention, with Radio 2’s Simon Mayo selecting it as ‘Book of the Week’, and rave reviews from media outlets across the country.

We caught up with Kirsty, who will be coming to Print Point on Saturday, June 27 for a Q and A, in celebration of Independent Book Week, and asked her how she started writing, the inspiration behind her work, and advice for aspiring writers.

Was writing always on your radar - did you write as a child?

I’ve always written, ever since I was little. I would make up short stories - even before I could properly write I was making up stories and drawing pictures alongside them. I’ve always loved it, it’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do.

What inspired this particular story?

This one began with my dad [Euan]. He died very suddenly a few years ago at the age of 58 and it was the first real experience of grief I’d ever had.

I felt lost and didn’t know how to deal with it, and I envied friends of mine who’d been brought up with a religion, as there’s a series of steps to follow when someone dies. I didn’t have religion and didn’t know what to do.

About a year later I was out on a boat with my uncle - my dad’s brother - and I happened to see a floating buoy with a light inside it, and I thought it looked a bit like a bird cage. Mourning was still very much on my mind at the time, and I started to think that the buoy could almost be a marker for a burial site, and that the ‘Gracekeeper’ would be the person who tended to it.

It started in a very dark, sad place for me, but I hope the book is a magical uplifting story for the reader.

* Read the full interview in The Buteman - on sale now.