When 'The Northern Wave' hit Moray
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A son of Burghead has written a trilogy of novels based on the clash between the Picts and the Vikings invaders.
George Ross spent lockdown hard at work on the three adventure books, the first of which is now available for sale.
His aim is to spread the word about the remarkable history of the village where he grew up.
And his inspiration came from an unlikely source – the Pict Fort sign by the Newton turnoff on the A96.
George says: "How many millions of visitors have driven past that insignificant sign, and barely gave it a glance?
"A sign for a public toilet would get more attention.
"Many people come to see the Burning of the Clavie but have no idea what the Clavie is burning on top of.
"The Doorie hill is the last remnant of the largest Iron Age fort in Scotland.
"Burghead was the capital of the Pict Kings for centuries.
"I wanted to go back in time to when there was no insignificant sign pointing the way. It didn’t need one."
As well as writing about adventure, George has lived more than his fair share of it.
Educated at Burghead primary and Hopeman secondary schools, he first left at the age of 15 upon joining the merchant navy.
After voyaging to Japan, he celebrated his 16th birthday in China.
He says: "I was brought up surrounded by mariners who told great tales of adventure.
"It was only natural to follow in their footsteps."
George's trip to the Far East was the beginning of a lifetime of travel that continues to this day.
For the past 40 years he has been involved with marine oil spill response worldwide.
His work has involved long-term stays in India and Vietnam.
He's also journeyed to much of the Far East as well as Australia, Africa, North America and South America, to mention a few locations.
However, lockdown forced the 73-year-old to hunker down in Aberdeen.
He says: "I'd always wanted to write but never had time.
"Now I no longer had an excuse.
"I set out to do just the one book but soon realised it would be impossible to cram in everything.
"If I was going to do the story proper justice it was easier to write a trilogy.
George adds: "Now I find it easy to go places in my mind – you don't get jet lag.
"However as soon as the travel restrictions are lifted I will return to Vietnam – juat least for a while."
'The Northern Wave' is the name of the first book in George's trilogy.
It is dedicated to the Burghead Headland Trust as well as "Clavie Kings and crews past and present who bring history to life each year on January 11 with the burning of the Clavie".
Written under the name of G A Ross, the book is published by Michael Terence Publishing.
It is available to buy now on both Amazon and Kindle.