Stirling author Bert Mitchell’s most recent page turner is up for a top award – but he needs your help if he wants to see it take top honours.
The former Riverside Primary and Wallace High School pupil’s second novel The Hurting – about a religious war breaking out on the streets of Glasgow – was published last year and has been doing steady business ever since, racking up both sales and favourable reviews.
It has now been nominated in the Spring 2013 outing of the People’s Book Prize competition, whose patron is leading thriller writer Frederick Forsyth.
As well as looking to bring authors’ work to a wider audience the idea of the prize is to give readers themselves a greater say than most literary prizes do in deciding what they really think is the best of the best.
Bert is among 20 other titles nominated in the fiction category and hoping to secure a place at the gala final in St Paul’s Cathedral on May 29.
“It’s the first time I’ve been nominated for anything for my fiction and it feels pretty good,” said Bert.
“It would be great to win, of course, or even just make it to the final. And if people are kind enough to vote for me I would be very grateful.”
The Hurting follows on from Bert’s first novel to feature recurring hero DS Gus Thoroughgood, Parallel Lines, which drew on his Stirling past with sections set in the nearby Trossachs.
He is currently hard at work on book number three which brings the action even closer to home, with the opening set on top of the Wallace Monument and other parts playing out around Loch Lomond.
“I had three very good signing sessions for The Hurting , including a really successful outing at Stirling Waterstone’s, and then The Hurting was chosen by Amazon to feature in its Twelve Days of Kindle e-books promotion just after Christmas, where it also did very well,” he said. “It feels like this nomination is another step on the road.”
To vote for Bert’s book online go to www.peoplesbookprize.com