John Gibson: Kerr’s books are moving with times

Pete Kerr
Pete Kerr
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Calm down. Jackie Bird’s twisted bowel’s been unravelled and, here’s the good news, looks like she’ll be fit enough to host BBC Glasgow’s Hogmanay Show.

Of infinitely more import, I’m talking about Pete Kerr, the author I’ve lost count of his books but it’s been one a year since Snowball Oranges. When we’d last met in his favourite Edinburgh eaterie, he told me publishing has changed beyond all recognition. Sufficiently, nearly, to have him spluttering his minestrone in the BarNap in Hanover Street.

“Ebooks have gone through the roof while paper books, hard copies, have slumped. So much so that I’ve turned publisher, reviving four of my books that were out of print.”

Peter Kerr, the former East Lothian-based farmer, is based in Haddington where wife Lori is first to see his work. He has long come to rely on her as his most acerbic critic.

He has ploughed on with his book-a-year policy, his 12th, Song of the Eight Winds, is a “sweeping adventure, an epic tale of medieval spin” with nary a snowball or orange in sight.

Warning signs

Post-script from my interview with Patrick Moore. I promptly learned not to dwell on astrology. Sir Patrick’s waspish words on the subject: “Don’t dare confuse astrology with astronomy,” he warned. “Astrology proved one scientific fact – there’s one born every minute. I call them the crazy gang. I could describe astrology in one word but there are ladies present.”