Guest Post: The Mortality of a Writer by Shaun Allan


Shaun Allan, author of Sin  is here to share his thoughts with us! Let’s give him a warm welcome!


The Mortality of a Writer

I wonder if one of the reasons I wanted to write a novel – and all the stories and poems I’ve produced along the way – was because I longed to be immortal.

I realise that medical science hasn’t quite advanced to the stage where I can live forever, or at least until the end of an episode of Emmerdale (which feels equally as long), so perhaps my novel is my attempt at achieving that in other ways.

One of my favourite films is Highlander.  Immortals that live forever, unless they are beheaded by another.  Luckily, writers are not so blood-thirsty, especially as we’re told the pen is mightier than the sword.  With no Fountain of Youth spewing forth from my kitchen tap or mystical painting hidden away in my attic, I must succumb to the will of Time and all her minions.

And she is a hard task-mistress.

So.  I have written for as long as I can remember.  Since I could hold a pen, I’m told.  I remember, in school, trying to write my first book.  And failing.  But the stories were there.  English was my favourite subject and I did well at it.  Words have been my friend and kindred spirit almost all my life.

And then there’s the computer.  It is so much a part of life, today, that I’m surprised even a bacon sandwich doesn’t have a built in micro-chip to tell you the fat content, calorie intake and hyperlinks to where you can by the ketchup to go with it.  I have been using computers for only around 8 years less than I have been writing.  My class at school was one of the first to get computers back then, a good 30+ years ago.  You had to take an IQ test to get in – and, yes, they still let me play.

Since then, it’s a rare day when I’m not at a PC.  My full time job is heavily computer based.  My smartphone is almost surgically attached to my hand.

My eyes take a battering.  Staring at a screen all day – and, as much as I tell those I work with about taking breaks, I don’t myself – isn’t a good idea but it can’t be helped.  Add to that the time I spend on my phone.  Plus the fact that I like to relax on an evening, usually later on when I’ve done everything I need to do, and watch a bit of TV.  And I write.

I suppose there’s no wonder that I now need glasses.  Not for close up work, which surprised me as my world is mostly in-my-face, but for distance.  I notice I can’t so easily make out the details on the on-screen Sky guide.  At a concert, the singers and band are a little less distinct.  It was a subtle change.  I didn’t notice I was missing tings.  I put it down to tired eyes after a long day.  It’s not though.

It’s time.  And age (though I’m loathe to admit it).  At 45 years of abuse, my eyes are telling me I need to calm down.  Of course I can’t.  Of course I still need to work and I still HAVE to write.  My eyes must be, I suppose, casualties of war.

I’m not blind, nor am I close to being so.  The thing is, if I couldn’t do my job, well, fair enough.  If I couldn’t write…

So.  Given that Time and Age, two sides of a certain two-pence coin, play roulette with my body and my life, I wonder if I write to stick two fingers at the haughty pair.  I wonder if, by producing a book (especially one so well liked as Sin), I have joined Connor Macleod of the clan Macleod in achieving immortality of a sort.

I might lose my eyesight over it, but at least I won’t lose my head.

Sin by Shaun Allan


Sin is available at:

Also be sure to check out the interview Katelina did last weekend with the main character of Sin, Sin himself!



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