A BORDERS author has managed to bag a publishing deal after writing a novel on his smartphone during his train journey to work.

Ninian Carter, who was born in Hawick and raised in Lanton, but now lives in Cambridge, wrote the sci-fi adventure Billy Twigg and the Storm of Shadows during his 90-minute trip to combat boredom.

And it took the 46-year-old three years to complete the story.

He told the Border Telegraph: “For my sins I work in London and commute on a rather awful and unreliable train service to King’s Cross (from St Neots) and back every day.

“A few years ago, to alleviate the tedium of travelling and frequent delays, I began working on an old book idea I’d had several years before.

“I’d never written a book, but had always fancied trying. 

“I figured it might be fun and if I ever finished it, I might self-publish it on Amazon Kindle.

“It took me a few years to write Billy Twigg and the Storm of Shadows, a genre-blurring sci-fi, adventure, mystery story aimed at young adults and up – partly set in a fictitious Cambridgeshire town, and with some sequences set in Scotland,” he added.

“I wrote the entire 100,000-word book on a smartphone during my daily train commute – about 90 mins a day. Five days a week, 46 weeks a year, for three years.

“Having young kids meant there simply wasn’t time to write it at weekends or during holidays. Commuting time was my only avenue.”

When Ninian was finished, he discovered Kindle Scout – an online writing competition organised by Amazon.

If you win, and your book is chosen after 30 days of public voting, you receive a contract with Amazon’s own publishing arm Kindle Press, who then market it for their Kindle devices and apps.

Ninian added: “I paid to have my manuscript professionally proofread and entered the contest at the end of last October, not expecting anything to come of it.

“In early December, I heard I’d won. My book, written riding a train from St Neots to London and back five days a week, had actually won an Amazon publishing deal. Since then I’ve received an advance and the manuscript’s been tweaked, edited and formatted by myself and the Kindle Press team in Seattle.”

The book was published on March 14. You can find it by searching Ninian Carter on amazon.com, or by visiting: https://goo.gl/CGWOJc

You can also visit: http://www.billytwigg.com for more details.