AN author, who published his debut novel last year, is hoping to inspire aspiring local writers to follow in his footsteps. Denzil Meyrick, from Gartocharn, released crime thriller Whisky from Small Glasses in November and the novel has gone on to receive widespread critical acclaim, with thousands of copies sold across the globe.

The 47-year-old writer will appear at Balloch Library tonight (Tuesday) as part of the Booked Festival taking place across libraries in Dumbarton, the Vale and neighbouring Clydebank. The author says he is thrilled to be given the opportunity to give back to a service he supports.

He told the Reporter: "I have experience in public speaking so I'm used to it, I can imagine being in the company of some of the authors appearing at the festival could be quite daunting for someone with no experience. That's not to say I'm not nervous."

Denzil, who publishes under the name D.A Meyrick, suffers from a rare form of arthritis meaning he can no longer work in the way he once did - but the condition has allowed him to fulfil a life-long ambition by becoming an author.

His book sees Inspector Jim Daley join the ranks of celebrated fictional sleuths from these shores, like Ian Rankin's Rebus, as he investigates a murder on the peninsula of Kintyre. Denzil said: "It's quite an exciting time for me at the moment - my agent is currently in negotiations over a major publishing deal. I'm in the process of writing the sequel to my first book called 'The Death of Remembrance' which will hopefully be released in the near future.

"I'm genuinely astonished at peoples' reaction to the book - it's fantastic.

"Hopefully through my appearance I can encourage aspiring authors in the area with advice on how to get a publishing deal which is no easy task I can assure you."

Denzil will appear at Balloch Library tonight, beginning at 7.30pm.

He added: "I think it's really important to support this festival as it's one of the only genuinely altruistic literary festivals and I applaud them."