Jane turns to fiction after career in NHS

Jane Tulloch's debut novel, Our Best Attention, will be published by Comely Bank Publishing on 11 January.

Jane Tulloch's debut novel, Our Best Attention, will be published by Comely Bank Publishing on 11 January.

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A WOMAN who spent 30 years working in the NHS has turned her hand to writing and is publishing her debut novel next month.

Jane Tulloch’s book, Our Best Attention, is set in a fictional Edinburgh department store in the 1970s called Murrays.

After many years working with adults with Asperger’s Syndrome in the NHS and writing lots of very serious reports, it was wonderful to write fiction at last.

Jane Tulloch

Inspired by a part-time job she had as a student, Jane has created a novel that focuses on the lives, loves and adventures of the characters working there.

Monkeys, murderers, mayhem and more are all included in this heart-warming tale which brings the era alive.

Jane, who has lived in Edinburgh most of her life, said: “In the 1970s, I worked in a store very like Murrays.

“I was always struck by its likeness to a theatre and I really enjoyed working with the customers and staff. It was a lot of fun.

“After many years working with adults with Asperger’s Syndrome in the NHS and writing lots of very serious reports, it was wonderful to write fiction at last.

“My experience of working in a department store then working with and writing about unusual and interesting people and their families melded together and Our Best Attention was the result.

“It was very liberating to write things that do not need to be true – I found that the characters and stories just grew like magic.

“I can only suppose they had been there all along. I love creating characters. I found that I really cared about them – even the less likeable ones!”

Jane has worked for the NHS for 30 years and writes as a form of relaxation.

She lives with her husband, her cat and welcomes the occasional interruption from her boisterous grandsons.

She added: “Having found a format I like, I plan to complete a trilogy based on Murrays of Edinburgh. It’s a great vehicle for creating more characters or taking existing ones further into the future – the 1980s and beyond.”

Jane chose to work with the community publishing co-operative, Comely Bank Publishing, which was set up by author Gordon Lawrie in 2012. Gordon set up the publishing co-operative to give Scottish writers additional options for self-publishing and for writers to share their experiences and expertise.

Gordon said: “I set up Comely Bank Publishing because I genuinely believe that too many authors are failing to have their works published. Agents and publishers have become too cautious, grasping at poorer-quality work simply because it carries the name of an established author or a bankable name such as a celebrity.

“The future of literature can only be saved if bright new talent is nurtured as it used to be.

“Here at Comely Bank Publishing we want to share our experiences so that others can benefit from what we have learned along the way.”