Campbeltown library visit for Edinburgh author

Want to read more?

At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall.

However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.

To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic.

The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.


We value our content and access to our full site is only available on subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device In addition your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Already a subscriber?


Subscribe Now

Love story, Russian Doll, imagines a world where Scotland is newly independent and occupied by Russia.

Last Friday, its author, Lucy Lloyd, staying with her sister in Carradale, spoke at Campbeltown’s Aqualibrium about her book, which was published earlier this year.

The book was originally published in 2017 at ‘Shotlandyia’, a title Ms Lloyd says is the name Russians use for Scotland. This year it was reprinted by Comely Bank Publishing as Russain Doll.

In a strange synchronicity, at virtually the same time as last week’s talk, former SNP leader and MP Alex Salmond, who now broadcasts for Russian television, was dumped as a potential chairman by the investor trying to takeover Johnston Press.

Drawing on her own seven years BBC radio experience, Ms Lloyd’s heroine, Anna, is a radio producer at the Scottish Broadcasting Corporation as it has been renamed after independence.

The book’s blurb states: ‘In an independent Scotland, Russia attempts a soft occupation under the noses of the novice government.
‘Anna is caught in the cross fire as she attempts to sneak fair material onto the airwaves.

‘Against her best intentions, she finds herself falling for a Russian diplomat tasked with delivering Scotland into Moscow’s hands.

‘As war looms, will this relationship save, or destroy, Anna?’
In notes about her own university experience at St Andrews and Cambridge,

Ms Lloyd, a scientist, runner and skier says she was on the river or pitch more than in a lab.

This description fits Anna who is often described as ‘out for a run’ and Ms Lloyd says is: ‘Feisty, smart, sporty and spouting opinions.’

‘When I wrote the book, the Brexit vote had not happened and Donald Trump was a bad television games show host,’ said Ms Lloyd. ‘It was written before the concept of fake news.

‘It is more of a love story than a political novel. I remembered looking at photos from when Paris was liberated in 1945 after the German occupation and wondering what happened to the collaborators.

‘It is written in a post-independence parallel world, so much has happened since 2014.

‘Russia presents an amazing enigma of tremendous wealth but is their relationship with the West more about posturing?’

One member of the dozen who attended the talk asked: ‘Do you think Scots would prefer Euros to Roubles?’

Ms Lloyd said she glossed over the question of Europe but did imagine that Scotland would have to renegotiate its seat at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Ms Lloyd is working on a second book and said: ‘I have young children so I can indulge myself.’

Russian Doll is available for £9.99 from Amazon and booksellers or direct from the author, who also sells a natty line in sports socks.