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Highland author pens children’s series for grandchildren he is kept apart from during lockdown

Kevin Muir, 52, began writing the six part children's book series The Adventures of Master Alfie London to help stay connected to his family in Aberdeenshire amidst the pandemic.
Kevin Muir, 52, began writing the six part children's book series The Adventures of Master Alfie London to help stay connected to his family in Aberdeenshire amidst the pandemic.

A Highland author is writing stories to help stay better connected to his distant grandchildren.

Kevin Muir from Lairg has never seen or held his eight-month-old grandson Eli due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

His daughter Laura Napier, 27, lives in Aberdeenshire with her new-born son and his two-year-old brother Chè.

In an effort to keep the bond with his family, Mr Muir – who began writing books more than 20 years ago – decided to produce a children’s book series entitled The Adventures of Master Alfie London.

The novels follow a young boy who goes to sea in the 1840s. It is described as a cross between Tin Tin, Indiana Jones, James Bond, Robert Langdon and Harry Potter.

Mr Muir said: “I was bored during Covid and I was really missing the fact I couldn’t see my daughter or my two grandchildren, one which was born during lockdown and I have never seen.

“I thought to myself instead of just sitting moping around, I want to write for my kids.

“I want to give my grandkids something that will keep us in touch and something for them like what I had when I was a boy.”

Mr Muir – who owns Overscaig House Hotel in Sutherland – began compiling the first book in April, just weeks into lockdown, and sent each completed chapter to his daughter.

Laura Napier with her two-year-old son Che and his eight-month old brother Eli.

Ms Napier is grateful her dad turned a negative situation into a positive.

She said: “I have loved every minute spent reading it. I can see personalities of our family members and bits of my childhood woven into the story, which is brilliant.

“I’m so glad my dad took a negative situation and turned it into a positive by using his ‘spare’ time doing something he loves and it feels amazing knowing he put such an effort into keeping in touch with us.”

The 475-page novel is set in December 1841 and  follows the tale of 10-year-old Alexandria Scott, daughter of Lord and Lady Scott of Craven Manor, who has been kidnapped at ransom by two opportunist London brothers.

Each adventure in the series will involve a “whodunnit” and historical education as well as a fantasy aspect.

The Highland author admits that writing the series has not only kept the family connected, but helped lift him out of a dark place.

“I am in the middle of nowhere and I’m literally 17 miles from the nearest little town, so I am out in the middle of the wilds,” he added.

“It gets lonely, dark and it can really affect your moods, so having that incentive, drive and purpose to go away and do something, it gets my endorphins going.”

Mr Muir is now eager to find a suitable publisher to help bring his books to life.

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