It was a book of old photos of his native Edinburgh that sent Johnny Jones on a literary journey around the Western Isles.
In 2000, ‘Old Edinburgh Views from Above’ was published by Stenlake. Johnny – a retired consultant civil engineer – was then in his mid 60s and this was his first foray into writing.
“I’d been given some old plate negatives that were found in Edinburgh Corporation,” he says. “Then my friend from Beauly took me up in a helicopter and we found the different parts of the city the photos were of.”
The old photos were taken in 1930 and were among the earliest views of Edinburgh from the air.
Johnny says he turned to fiction because he ran out of aerial photographs! But he was well and truly smitten by the book bug and in 2012 the first in his ‘Zander’ trilogy of comic novels – ‘A Storm in Any Port’ – was published on Kindle. It concerns the adventures of a crew of scallywags who hire a yacht and sail it around the west coast, getting up to all sorts of mischief along the way.
‘A Storm in Any Port’ appeared in paperback form last year, thanks to his family.
“The Kindle was rough,” Johnny says, but with wife Ann editing, son Steven looking after the website and the distribution, and another son, Paul, doing the illustrations, he is much happier with the finished product this time around.
The second in the trilogy ‘More Ports, More Storms’ was published last month and the third novel ‘Storm in a Tin Cup’ is due out in February of next year.
“Hopefully I sell a few more at Christmas but I have really enjoyed the whole process and I’m just delighted to be getting the books out there,” Johnny adds.