AN AUTHOR who began writing while recovering from a serious cycling accident is starting the New Year by celebrating the launch of his fourth printed book.

Billy Graham, of Tranent’s Bankpark Grove, was injured 17 years ago after an accident in Haddington.

Since then he has written 12 novels, five of which are on Kindle, while another three are awaiting editing.

His latest release, Oor Bit, is set in Glasgow rather than Newmains in Lanarkshire, where Billy was born, to give more scope to the plot.

He said: “Oor Bit was a piece of waste land where, as kids, we went to play and that provides the setting for this story.

“I’ve made the characters as colourful as they would have been back during the war years and after. The main players are cousins Mal and Calum and their pal Static, so-called as he is never on the same wavelength as the others.

“But Oor Bit has a gradual demise as the boys miss playing football and then find lassies.”

Although set in the west, Billy (pictured above with his new book), who describes himself as a storyteller rather than a writer, felt anyone who could relate to those times should enjoy the antics of the lads.

He added: “They try to help an old neighbour train a greyhound and find themselves mixed up with the local mafia, Static wins a dividend on the pools and marries, while Mal emigrates to Australia.”

The 79-year-old got the writing bug after being injured following a cycling accident in 2000.

He said: “I used to do cycle racing and I had an accident down in Haddington which terminated my career.

“So I was confined to the house for about a year and decided to try writing to cheer me up.

“The one that I have just put out is the one I wrote back then but I never thought of getting it published.”

Billy, who moved to East Lothian in 1976, is leader of the prose writing group in Haddington of Tyne and Esk Writers, a collection of nine prose and poetry groups across East and Mid Lothian.

He added: “All the groups meet regularly and are made up of beginners and published writers; the only criteria is a desire to work with words.

“We give helpful critiques of each other’s work at our meetings and throughout the year we have visits from guest speakers who are successful in their own field of writing.”

Oor Bit is available at various shops in Tranent, Macmerry, Cockenzie and Pathhead, as well as Humbie Hub and in local libraries, priced £5.99.