A LOCAL author is donating the profits from his seventh novel to the Motor Neurone Disease Association after he was given a diagnosis of the condition.

Ian Anderson, who lives in Pyrford, has recently published School Reunion, the fifth in his crime series featuring Detective Inspector Mo Strong.

The plot follows a thread from the previous book Two Wrongs, which introduced DI Strong’s new assistant, Detective Sergeant Laura Knight, who went to a reunion of old classmates that seems to be connected to a series of murders.

DI Strong’s methods are questionable, if effective, and he is being closely watched by his former assistant, Joe Campbell, who is now a DI with another force.

Ian said School Reunion took longer to write than his other books, partly because of muscle weakness from MND, which was diagnosed in November 2021, but also because the story has several separate strands.

He said the first symptom of MND was weakness in one arm, which spread to his other limbs.

Ian uses a wheelchair and is having his house adapted. He is taking medication aimed at slowing the progress of the disease and is receiving support from the MNDA and local support groups.

Ian’s writing began with an Open University course assignment in which he had to write two chapters of a book. He later decided to complete the comic drama and self published Jack’s Lottery Plan, about a young man, Jack Burns, who stumbles on an opportunity to get him and his girlfriend a share of a friend’s lottery win.

Next came a sequel, Jack’s Big Surprise. At that time, writing was a hobby alongside Ian’s work in IT sales. A combination of pandemic restrictions affecting his work and a long recuperation after an operation inspired him to write The Anniversary, the first DI Strong novel. It was recommended by Judy Murray, the tennis coach and mother of star players Sir Andy and Jamie, in her Scottish newspaper column, which mentioned that Ian was born in Fife.

He moved from Scotland to London for work after university before he and his wife, Gill, settled in Pyrford 25 years ago.

After spending many years as an accountant and then in sales, Ian says he is enjoying his new career.

“My brother in Scotland and my cousin in San Francisco both check the drafts and come back with loads of comments,” he said.

“They are pretty good at picking out things that I’ve missed.”

Like all writers, Ian has to check his previous work to ensure consistency with his current project.

“I was out with friends the other day and they’ve read all my books and know more about them than I do. I forget the detail of what I’ve written in the previous ones because I’m engrossed doing the latest one.”

Ian is starting to think about the sixth DI Strong book.

“I’m playing around with a few ideas.

“There has to be some sort of major crime and it’s working out what.

“School Reunion has a revenge theme and the book before that was mainly about gang war. I’m working out what different twist the next one will have.”

For more information, visit  https://ianandersonhome.wixsite.com/ianandersonauthor.