I JUST WANT TO THANK CRANACHAN PUBLISHING AND ROSS SAYERS FOR INVITING ME TO TAKE PART ON THIS BLOG TOUR, IT HAS BEEN UTTERLY DELIGHTFUL
An eight-year-old girl and her granpa are on the run…
“When me and Granpa watched James Bond films, he told me not to be scared because people didn’t have guns like that in Scotland. That must’ve been why the robbers used hammers.”
Orphaned Mary lives with her granpa, but after he is mixed up in a robbery at the bookies where he works, they flee to the Isle of Skye. Gradually, Mary realises that her granpa is involved. And the robbers are coming after him–and their money.
Mary’s quirky outlook on life, loss, and her love of all things Elvis, will capture your heart. Full of witty Scots banter, Mary’s the Name will have you reaching for the hankies, first with laughter, then with tears.
Heart-warming and heart-breaking, this darkly comic debut is from a fresh voice set to become Scotland’s answer to Roddy Doyle.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
Well if you can possibly call a book with violent criminals utterly delightful it would have to be this one. Ross Sayers’s main character is an eight year old Scottish girl called Mary and this is how she sees events that take place that will change her life forever. After both her parents were tragically killed in a road accident she has lived with her granpa for the past year. She really is the ‘mini me’ of him too, from her love of the same music to her knowledge of all the James Bond films, she has an old head on young shoulders far beyond her years.
At 66 her granpa had kept himself pretty fit, being a boxer in his younger days he wasn’t one for being walked over, which always made Mary feel safe when she was with him, but not much could be done when a gang robbed the Bookies he worked in when Mary was there too. Not long after they do a bit of a moonlight flit and disappear over to the Isle of Skye to stay with her granpa’s friend for the summer. Ross Sayers writes in a Scottish twang which gives the whole thing a glow when you read it.
Mary has the most wonderful innocent outlook on life that you find yourself really smiling at. You really want this little girl to have all the good things, the perfect friends, the little Cinderella that will go to the ball and find happiness at the end of the rainbow. Life unfortunately isn’t like that. This is certainly a novel that requires a box of tissues and a hug when you have come to the end. Truly delightful!
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ross Sayers is a writer of Scottish fiction, and his debut novel, ‘Mary’s the Name’, is released January 30th 2017.
Ross graduated from the University of Stirling in 2014, with a BA (Hons) in English Studies (first class), and graduated again in 2015 with an M.Litt in Creative Writing (distinction).
His stories and poems have featured in magazines such as Quotidian and Octavius, and his short story, ‘Dancin’ is currently used on West College Scotland’s Higher English course.
You can tweet him @Sayers33 or see more of his writing at rosssayers.co.uk.
Most of Mary’s the Name is set in Portree on the Isle of Skye. When I chose this as the main location for the book, I’d never been to Portree, or the Isle of Skye, or anywhere more northern than Aberdeen, to tell the truth. It was crucial to me that I had to visit Portree before I could begin writing about it. Here are a couple of stories from my trip…
From Stirling, I took the train to Inverness, then the train from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh. I don’t know it it’s the same now, but in 2015, the times of the buses to Portree didn’t line up with the train times into Kyle of Lochalsh. That’s to say, there was going to be a two to three hour wait until the Portree bus turned up.
I had a wander down to the bus stop, just in case. A handful of others were doing the same. As I walked away from the stop, an older gentleman asked me if I was heading to Portree. When I said yes, he told me he was getting together a group to share a taxi to Portree. He corralled about eight of us and led us to a taxi company just round the corner. Most of us were going to Portree, a couple getting off at Broadford. A brilliant solution to the bus dilemma.
The best part is, as we piled into the minibus, the man who had organised us all didn’t get on. Turns out he was just a local who knew of the bus problem, and wanted to help. So let me say thank you to that man, wherever he is, and also thanks for asking about the book I was writing. You kindly compared it to Katie Morag, as I recall!
On my second day in Portree, I had a look around one of the gift shops. I wanted to buy a couple of things, but having forgotten cash, I had to pop to the bank first. When I returned to the shop, I noticed both the employees, an older man and younger woman, staring at me as I browsed. I convinced myself I was being paranoid, but my suspicions were confirmed when I reached the till.
Turns out, when I left to get money, the younger woman came in to start her shift. The older man told her he suspected Daniel Radcliffe had been in! Apparently, she was gutted she missed him, as she ‘always missed the famous people when they visited’.
They realised their mistake when they got a closer view of me, as well as my modest purchase! It was very flattering though, and I’d recommend the shop for anyone visiting (Which, after checking, was Cuillin Crafts).
So, not only are visits like these vital for getting the little details right, you’re always bound to get some stories out of them. I really hope readers enjoy Mary’s the Name and its setting, and if you ever visit Portree, be sure tweet me and let me know!