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New book started life as uni work

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By Fiona Reid
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New book started life as uni work

WHAT began as university course work has turned a Dumfriesshire graduate into an exciting new author.

Margaret Armstrong, from Lockerbie, began writing The Hidden Compass while studying for an honours degree in creative writing. And from her initial assignment grew a powerful full-length novel. Margaret’s debut is not only a story of love and friendship, but also a study of human emotions. Seeing it published is a dream come true for Margaret, who admits she’s always had a desire to become an author and has been penning stories all her life. She said: “I first started writing stories in primary school and never stopped. There have been times in my life where I have written every day and at others I fail to get more than a few words down on paper.

“Regardless of this, my brain seems unable to stop collecting details and looking at the faces of strangers to see how they would fit with a potential character and working up scenarios which play like movies in my head. The stories are always there, whether they are translated onto paper or not.”

The Hidden Compass’s uplifting and optimistic narrative is set within dark times. Finding hope in moments of despair is a theme that Margaret hopes will resonate with her readers of all ages. She added: “There is an argument to be made for the fact that this world we live in has always been a weary collection of civilisations at odds with one another.

“This often leads each generation to feel just a bit doomed but in my experience there are forces alive in the human spirit that laugh raucously at our so called ‘differences’ and create bonds of love and friendship that transcend the divisions which hate and stupidity create.

“This is the notion at the heart of the relationship between my four main characters in The Hidden Compass.”

The book is now available in paperback and e format via Amazon.

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