An Anstruther first-time author says the success of his first book has led to demands for a second.
Billy Horsburgh’s autobiography ‘Ring of Fire’ tells of his lifelong struggle to cope with cerebral palsy as well as glaucoma over the first 26 years of his life.
Billy was born with cerebral palsy and, when he was a 15-year-old pupil at Waid Academy, the symptoms of glaucoma begun and now he has only between 5-10 per cent vision.
But the 32-year-old added it was a visit from an author while he was still at Waid that gave him the idea to become a writer.
“The author gave a talk to our class,” he said. “I was inspired and started writing it then, so it’s been a while in the pipeline!”
“I didn’t feel I had enough to write about then, so I went back to it later on, then I finished it off in 2007.
“The book tells of a lot of the challenges I’ve had to deal with. I’ve had a lot of operations to correct my legs and feet and also on my sight.
“I tell about going to the blind college and meeting other people with my condition, but it’s not just about that. It’s about trying to be a normal person and trying to fit in.
“Basically, it’s a journey and about me trying to live my life.”
Despite living every day with two serious conditions, Billy doesn’t spend time feeling sorry for himself: “Never,” he says firmly. “There are people who feel sorry for me, but they’ve told me that, after reading it, they find me an inspiration. I’ve never thought of myself like that but it’s nice to hear people saying it.
“I don’t really dwell on my cerebral palsy anymore – it’s my eye sight that I’m focusing on really. It’s hard with one condition but when you’ve got blindness, that makes it doubly difficult.”
In his spare time, Billy is a huge fan of East Fife, sings country songs at open mic nights in the town, is working on an English literature degree and helps raise funds for the Royal Voluntary Service, as well as Blind Activities & Social Events charities that have helped him to enjoy his life.
He also revealed he has begun the early stages of a second book after he was asked.
“People have asked me what happened next, and there’s plenty to write about, but it’s a bit too soon. I need a bit more time.
“Writing ‘Ring of Fire’ was a real emotional journey.”