About the Book
I know that when you read about what I got up to you’ll probably think I got what I deserved. You’re right – I totally agree. Many of you will dislike me, no doubt, and that’s ok – I understand, I really do. I’m not all bad, though.
I left the Isle of Skye in the early eighties to start my nursing course in Edinburgh and it’s fair to say I embraced the Capitals temptations with arms wide open. When I moved into a shared flat I met Bill, a musician and got involved with his band Low Down – you know, helping them out, doing a bit of driving and humping gear.. It was great fun. Low Down was truly phenomenal. Man, I totally loved their music.
We took drugs, I mean, I took drugs. Nothing heavy like, just recreational and I met a fair number of lassies who I treated pretty badly. I’m not proud of my behaviour, I’m not… Look, nursing’s a female-dominated profession and male nurses were thin on the ground – the opportunities for getting up to mischief were many and though I knew it was wrong, It didn’t stop me. I worked hard and played harder.
A lot of stuff I regret now. Especially what I did to Lisa – and others. Anyway, it couldn’t last, could it? The way I was living – something had to give. And it did.
About the Author
Raymond Moore is a Registered Nurse, living and working in Saudi Arabia with his wife and three children. He also has a house and farm in Thailand. As well as being a writer, Raymond has been a record label owner, band manager, and singer with a band. Born and brought up in Glasgow, he left his parents and moved to the Isle of Skye as a youngster, and his life changed forever.
Raymond is the author of the Skye Stories Trilogy available on Redshank Books and has self-published Poetry? Probably a collection of poems from Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Qn 1: Can you tell us more about your book What is it about?
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll and Nursing is set in 1980s Edinburgh.
Calum Robertson leaves Uig on the Isle of Skye to start his nursing course in the Capital. It’s fair to say that he welcomes the city’s temptations with wide open arms.
Calum finds it easy to meet women but finds it incredibly difficult to remain faithful and ends up getting up to quite a bit of mischief.
When he moves into a shared flat he meets Bill a musician and gets involved with helping out his band Low Down. Calum falls in love with their music and is determined to do anything to help them on their road to success – all whilst working as a student nurse.
Of course, there are drugs, nothing too heavy just those of a recreational nature.
Once qualified as a Registered Nurse Calum isn’t keen to take a full-time job – this would cramp his style and he’d be unable to be Low Downs roadie. He joins a nursing agency and this allows him to work for as long or as little as he wants. Leaving him plenty of time for the band and for chasing lassies.
I’ve tried to create an authentic portrait of what it was like to be a twenty-something, relatively single guy in the 1980s. Calum’s motivations appear superficial and sex is what is on his mind most of the time. In order to keep it real, the sex is pretty graphic – nothing weird or paraphilic just what happens between a man and a woman told in the language of the time.
The writing style I’ve tried to keep simple. I deliberately set out not to use too many flowery words and descriptions as it wouldn’t be in keeping with the character.
The book is almost like a journal. On the face of it Calum comes off as an unlikeable guy. Selfish and hedonistic but he’s also a nurse and cares deeply about people – even the ones he hurts.
We meet a number of patients he looks after – their story and how their illness impacts them and him.
Music is an important theme throughout the book. Songs of the 80s are name-checked and Low Downs music in particular features heavily.
Living the way he lives Calums lifestyle ultimately becomes untenable. The hurt he causes weighs heavy and karma has a knack of returning to bite him on the backside when the love tables are turned.
At the heart of it, the book’s love letter to Edinburgh. A love letter to nursing and music. A love letter to the Isle of Skye.
It’s a simple story. Guy meets girl, meets another girl, meets another girl, loses girl, meets another girl and another ad infinitum.
Qn 2: Who do you think would be interested in this book, is it directed at any particular market?
Those of us who grew up in the 1980s for sure. Nurses definitely. Music lovers will appreciate how much music influences Calum story. I would say that it’s not a book for sensitive readers given the amount of sex and colourful language. For those interested in the mindset of a young guy who really doesn’t know what he’s doing it could prove to be pretty amusing. It’s not a book that takes itself seriously although there is a serious message within. Ultimately I think it has a broad appeal with a few caveats. Some of it’s pretty funny too.
Qn 3: Out of all the books in the world, and all the authors, which are your favourite and why?
Catch 22 and Catcher in the Rye are high up there on my favourite list. There have been a number of memoirs by Scottish writers that I’ve really loved. Fish Town, Blade in the Dark, Boy Friends and The Last Days.
Qn 4: What guidance would you offer to someone new, or trying to enhance their writing?
Write what you feel. Ignore the rules. Take a chance. If like me you go for self-publishing find a good editor and proofreader. Most importantly just start writing.