Local author’s debut novel is a futuristic tale

Author John McGee
Author John McGee

Judgement Day comes to Bearsden in the form of a new novel by first-time author John McGee, from the Hillfoot area.

The retired man, who writes under the pseudonym Derek Beaugarde, has penned a futuristic tale of Armageddon and mankind’s ultimate fight for survival.

The 60-year-old is hosting a launch event at New Kilpatrick Church’s New Halls in Bearsden for his first book ‘2084: The End of Days’ on Thursday, April 7, from 7-8pm.

John said: “My idea initially surfaced in late 2011 as a semi-autobiographical story based on elements of my own life and facts that I had gleaned in researching my family history.

“However, I quickly realised that the storyline would work better with fictional characters set in an apocalyptic future and the story took off from there.”

When John retired from the rail industry in 2007 after 34 years’ service with British Rail and Network Rail, he set himself various ‘bucket list’ goals including setting up his own genealogy business ‘Wheech Scottish Ancestry Services’.

He also volunteered at Daybreak in New Kilpatrick Church, Bearsden, supporting people with dementia and helped people improve their literacy skills working with the ‘Big Plus’ programme.

However, one remaining goal was to write a novel - based on the adage that everyone has a book in them.

The father-of-one added: “Writing a first novel is no mean feat for anyone, but I think the key challenge is perseverance and belief in yourself. If I had to change anything about the book it might be to avoid too much technical detail about the future.”

‘2084 The End of Days’, which pays homage to George Orwell’s 1984, was published by Corkerhill Press in March.

However, the sci-fi story hasn’t yet ended for John and he is currently working on expanding 2084 into a trilogy.

John is now working on two future book ideas.

The first is a factual family history book with a twist due out by July 2017 and the other is the sci-fi sequel to 2084 with a working title of 2110 Revelation.

He said: “I joined a writing group called IndieAuthorsWorld based in Glasgow and this has given me the confidence and support to continue to do further writing. I would advise anyone with a book idea to contact IAW.”

John added: “Oh, and the burning question that everyone asks – why Derek Beaugarde? I picked the name in homage to a former pupil of the 1930s who attended Allan Glen’s School where I went in the late 1960s.

“The pupil was called Derek van den Bogaerde, the son of a Dutch father and Scots mother – better known as the late great actor Sir Dirk Bogarde.”

Tickets for John’s book launch at New Kilpatrick Church will cost £2.50 per adult.

All proceeds from ticket sales will be split between two charities; Callum Macleod Memorial Trust (meningitis research) and Jak’s Den (childhood cancer support).

The book is available on paperback for £8.99 (Kindle version £2.99). For more information email wheechmcgee@outlook.com.