Tayport writer’s first novel draws on a lifetime of experiences

Frank Woods has published his first novel.
Frank Woods has published his first novel.

Tayport writer Frank Woods is in his mid-seventies, but that hasn’t stopped him embarking on a new career.

So, in true entrepreneurial style Frank has just published his first novel, ‘Where the Bridge Lies’.

He’s no stranger to publishing: his short stories and poetry have appeared in a variety of magazines, he wrote many feature articles during his early career in journalism, and he is the author of ‘Dancer in the Light’, the biography of Gerda Geddes, a remarkable woman who is credited with bringing the ancient art of tai chi from China to the UK.

So why has it taken so long for his novel to appear?

“There are two reasons, really. First of all, it reflects the long life I’ve led. After a Clydeside childhood and a spell at Glasgow University, I tried my hand at a few things before finally settling into a 25-year career as a psychologist with a special interest in disadvantaged children and their families.

“One way or another, I’ve rubbed up against a fascinating range of people and experiences,” said Frank.

He continued: “I should emphasise that the novel isn’t autobiographical. It’s fiction, a tale that I’ve created. But I’ve been able to draw from my life in ways that enrich the story.

“Secondly, the traditional book market has changed. There’s stiff competition from e-books and profit margins have become tighter and tighter, so publishers are understandably wary about taking on a novel by someone who doesn’t already have a successful track record in full-length fiction.

“Then I discovered Ringwood Publishing, a small outfit based in Glasgow, that defines itself as ‘…dedicated to publishing quality works of Scottish fiction and non-fiction around the key national themes of politics, football, religion, money, sex and crime’.”

Where the Bridge Lies ticked a few of Ringwood’s boxes and, to Frank’s delight, they have now published his book.

The novel is set in 1941. The Clydebank Blitz has robbed Nessa Glover of her husband and five children. Struggling with her new reality she becomes a shipyard welder and involved in trade unionism.

The book will be officially launched at an event in Tayport Parish Church Hall on Saturday, January 26, at 2.30pm.