Australian author inspired by Davaar

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By Mark Davey

Tales of Kintyre, from a father-in-law born in Campbeltown, have inspired an author from down under.

Renee Graham writes Kindle books, under the pseudonym TJ Johnson and is the daughter-in-law of Kenny Graham who lived in John Street before emigrating to Australia in the 1990s.

Last week with her two editors, Alison Robertson and Jeanene Douglas, who also have Scottish links, Renee visited the Wee Toon for the first time having already written one in her planned six book Davaar series, featuring her heroine Abby.

Abby is introduced in that first book, Until You, having left her homeland and life, as Gale Carson and journied to the Scottish island of Davaar where she becomes her alter ego and starts to write.

In a case of life mirroring art, last week, the three booked a cottage on Davaar Island from Kildalloig estate owner, Mary Turner, who seemed surprised they wanted to stay there in the middle of November.

Renee, a mum of two, said: ‘I stayed in an AirBnB in Kirk Street for the first four days.

‘I walked up Beinn Ghuilean and swam at Westport.

‘It was cold but I swim in the sea at home all year round.’

Renee, 40, from Newcastle, two hours north of Sydney on the edge of the Hunter valley wine growing region, said that she has been writing young adult fiction for about 20 years.

‘The Davaar series is a love story for a female audience with a thrilling undercurrent,’ said Renee, ‘I was planning to send my manuscript to a mainstream publisher until a friend explained the logic of publishing independently for Kindle.

‘I own the rights and if by some fluke it was optioned (for a film) it would be much better.’

In another Kintyre link Renee contacted CS Wind worker, Rory Fulton, through Instagram and he supplied the front cover photograph for her second book featuring Abby titled Northern Skies.

Editors, Alison Robertson and Jeanene Douglas, with author Renee Graham who writes as TJ Johnson and copies of the two books. 25_c48author01_TJJohnson