An author and businessman from Musselburgh – well-known for helping good causes all over East Lothian – is set to launch a book in memory of his younger brother who died at the age of 27.

Alex Brown, 58, said his work of creative non-fiction Niddrie Boys will be officially released on November 15 – his late brother Stephen’s birthday.

Stephen passed away after contracting HIV when he was 15.

Alex, who owns Ideal Flooring Solutions in Musselburgh, has already enjoyed the publication of his first novel, Hit Me – a dark comic thriller about an ex-boxer who is wrongly diagnosed with cancer and ends up in the fight of his life.

An ex-boxer himself, Alex said: “Hit Me was a work of fiction and Niddrie Boys is a work of creative non-fiction and is based on true events and growing up in Niddrie through some very tough times like in 1984 when Niddrie, Craigmillar and the surrounding areas were so desperate that Oxfam donated £15,000 to be spent over a three year period, and the area was being compared to the Bronx in New York.”

“I was over the moon when I was informed that Waterstones would stock Niddrie Boys exclusively in all shops in Scotland, and they would also stock Hit Me.

“This is a great thing for me to have both books in Waterstones and Blackwell’s too.

“Niddrie Boys can be ordered just now from the Waterstone’s website and I have kept the cost low at £8.99 for paperback as I am very well aware of the issues with the cost of living crisis.”

Grandfather-of-five Alex – a strong supporter of many East Lothian charities and good causes – has also turned his literary talents to writing children’s books for his grandchildren and has been celebrating the self-publication, via Class Moustache Publishing, of the tales of Snoozlewhoosh, a toy owl, in Evie’s Christmas Adventure and Jude’s Jurassic Journey.

Evie Brown, now aged nine, and her six-year-old brother Jude, both pupils at Stoneyhill Primary School in Musselburgh, received their books as gifts last Christmas Eve.

A video for Evie’s Christmas Adventure will be available on YouTube next month and Jude’s Jurassic Journey attracted more than 1,000 views in its first week on YouTube and Facebook.

Alex is busy completing books for his other three grandchildren: Luna Autumn Brown, who will be three this month (Luna’s Moon Landing) and Kayen Jones, aged six, and his two-year-old brother Kody, who live in Dubai (Kayen’s Kenyan Safari and Kody’s Underwater Kingdom).

Alex explained: “I have put a team together to help me create the children’s books and videos.

“I write them and come up with ideas for the illustrations then Tomas Vostrejz creates the artwork and illustrations. Charlie Parker, from Broken Blonde Media, creates the video and Fiona McNeill, who has recently won a [Student] BAFTA, does the voiceover and sound effects.

“I am trying different things with Niddrie Boys just as I am with the children’s books and videos. It’s just sort of my way to try and create things outwith the norm or try different styles of writing.

“I am not writing books or creating videos for money, I do it because I enjoy it and while the children’s books and videos are for my grandchildren, I do hope other children from all over can enjoy the videos on YouTube for free,” he added.

Alex said the sequel to Hit Me called Hit Me Harder will be out next summer.