Bute helps sow the seeds of award-winner’s debut novel

Lisa O'Donnell's first novel, The Death Of Bees, is out now.
Lisa O'Donnell's first novel, The Death Of Bees, is out now.

DEBUT author and award-winning screenwriter Lisa O’Donnell says the encouragement of her teachers at Rothesay Academy was in large part responsible for setting her down the path of a career in story-telling.

Lisa, who won the Orange Pathe Prize for New Screenwriters in 2000, had her first novel, The Death of Bees, published to great acclaim last month.

Most fiction writers will admit that their work is based, to a greater or lesser degree, on their own experiences of life, and Lisa is no different. Indeed, the seed that would become The Death Of Bees – a dark, but often comic, story set in the grim surroundings of a Glasgow housing scheme – was to a very large extent sown by her Bute upbringing.

“I went to school at Rothesay Academy,” she says, “and I had some great teachers, like Mrs Bulloch, Mr Lavender and Mr Logan, who always told me that I was good at writing stories.

“It became a bit of a hobby from that point on. I wasn’t much of a one for going out and partying - my dad wouldn’t let me, for a start! - so I would stay at home and write, and it just took off from there.”

* Read more of the story behind the story of The Death Of Bees in the next issue of The Buteman - on sale from Thursday, April 19.