Horace the Haggis was born in Torrance

5.9.12 Photograph Paul McSherry.'Milngavie Book and Art Festival.'Sally Magnusson author and Norman Stone (Husband ) Illistrator.'Reading Horace and the Haggis Hunter to'Three local Primary schools'Clobber Pr, Glasgow Academy Milngavie Prep and Craigdhu Pr.'In Allander Church Milngavie.'Photo by Paul Mc Sherry 5th Sept 2012.
5.9.12 Photograph Paul McSherry.'Milngavie Book and Art Festival.'Sally Magnusson author and Norman Stone (Husband ) Illistrator.'Reading Horace and the Haggis Hunter to'Three local Primary schools'Clobber Pr, Glasgow Academy Milngavie Prep and Craigdhu Pr.'In Allander Church Milngavie.'Photo by Paul Mc Sherry 5th Sept 2012.

THE village of Torrance is the unlikely birthplace of a little, likeable chap who can’t help getting into scrapes with his pals.

Horace the Haggis – written by Sally Magnusson – is back in a new adventure after a successful first outing.

The creation of the cuddly little scamp was actually a family affair for Sally, who came up with ideas for the book with her kids on a rainy day in the house.

And it’s illustrated by husband Norman Stone.

Sally – BBC broadcaster, writer and journalist – explained: “It was the Easter holidays – a dreich, miserable day. The children were bickering and complaining about being bored and I suggested we should write a story as a family. I’ve always enjoyed the daft Scottish legend of the live haggis running about the hills. In a somewhat desperate move to engage the kids, I thought it would make an entertaining central character in a series of children’s books.

“Some great ideas were collected that afternoon. We decided to call him Horace and have him escaping from the haggis hunters in the hills and ending up down here in the lowlands in a valley not unlike the one we could see outside our own window.

“Writing it all up, giving the characters personalities and finessing the plot, was enormous fun. Quite a change from being a news presenter!

“It’s immensely refreshing to create a fictional universe where nobody will require you to check your facts or tame your imagination.

“It was several years before I thought of getting it published. When I did I was advised I would need some illustrations. Luckily my husband Norman is a talented cartoonist along with his day job as a filmmaker.”

* Have you got a story, picture or comment? E-mail kirkyherald@jnscotland.co.uk

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