A Leven mother has fulfilled her daughter’s dream of being an accomplished author by publishing the book she never got to see.
Aileen Young is to release her daughter Georgia’s debut novel ‘The Witching Stone’ later this month after her tragic death in 2011.
A former Parkhill Primary and Buckhaven High pupil, Georgia Paton (nee Young)studied at Edinburgh University and Glasgow Caledonian University, before moving to Australia with husband Andy.
There she worked as a lecturer in sociology/tourism at Newcastle University in New South Wales, and the couple had three boys – Ruairidh, now 18, Sean (16) and Drew (11).
But as Aileen explains, writing was never a life-long dream for her daughter.
“Writing a book wasn’t something that Georgia talked about until later in life.
“She said to me ‘I think I’ve got a book in me mum’ and I just thought, ‘Great!’, because when she was at school she couldn’t spell to save herself!”
In 2007, Georgia and her family got the chance to move to Germany, which meant they were much closer to home than ever before.
“I think when she was home, amongst familiar things, it reminded her of what she did while she was younger and the places they went to, and she got inspired and thought ‘I can do this’.”
“She got a lot of pleasure out of it, and told me that she was never happier than when she was writing. And she didn’t find it difficult to do, it just seemed to roll off the end of her pen.”
After two years in Germany, the family travelled to Chile where Georgia did most of her writing and within 12 months of finishing the manuscript, it had been short-listed for three UK awards, including the Kelpie Book Prize.
In 2010, she came first in a competition run by Local Legend, and was told her book would finally be published.
But after feeling unwell during a short stint back home in Scotland before moving back to Germany, plans were put on hold as Georgia was diagnosed with lymphoma.
Aileen spent 18 months caring for her daughter in Germany before Georgia’s death in 2011. To celebrate the launch of Georgia’s book, Aileen has planned a special event for family and friends later this month.
“We knew that this manuscript couldn’t lie in a drawer,” she said.
After approaching several publishers to no avail, Aileen decided to self-publish, and thanks to Duncan Lockerbie at Lumphanan Press, the book is finally a reality.
“It is a wonderful feeling that the book is now finished, because none of it came easy,” she added. “It was a lot of blood, sweat and tears, as well as happiness and joy, and frustration. It was so close to being published, so that’s why we have done it.”