A GARTOCHARN novelist has spoken about how lockdown gave him the time and freedom to get no fewer than three books ready for publication this year.

Denzil Meyrick, who has worked as a police officer, distillery manager, freelance journalist and company director, now uses his experiences in the police force to inspire his bestselling crime fiction books.

In 2019, he was nominated for Bloody Scotland’s William McIlvanney Prize 2019, which honours the best Scottish crime novel of the year.

And this year, Denzil has not one, but three new books coming out.

He told the Reporter: “The first one is called ‘Any Other Truce’, which will be out one June 3, another called ‘Terms of Restitution’ which is out in September and is set in Loch Lomond and at the end of October ‘A Toast to the Old Stones’ will be released.

“Because I wasn’t going anywhere last year, I had much more time on my hands to write.

“I’ve been very fortunate because I’ve still been able to work, and my books have sold into the millions.

“I’m very concious that my experience hasn’t been the same situation for everyone, and there’s a lot of misery out there, which is very sad.”

Denzil has also been involved in charity work, looking to raise funds for a new helipad next to Campbeltown Hospital on his ‘home turf’ of Kintyre.

The facility, which will be owned by the South Kintyre Development Trust, is expected to be brought into use next month.

He said: “It’s a crucial thing because it’s the only emergency route out to the big hospitals and to date helicopters have been landing in a muddy field.”

For more on Denzil’s new books, visit denzilmeyrick.com, and for more information on the Robert Black Memorial Helipad, visit facebook.com/therobertblack memorialhelipad.