HOLLYWOOD and Hawick could not be further apart on the map; but this week, a local writer has brought the two together with the publication of a Scottish adaptation of one of the most successful book and movie series of recent years.

Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid books have been translated into 53 languages and sold over 200 million copies worldwide, spawning a blockbuster movie series starring Alicia Silverstone as well an upcoming television show.

But in Borders-based author Thomas Clark’s Scots version of the story, Diary o a Wimpy Wean, 13-year-old protagonist Greg Heffley is taken back to his roots as a hapless outsider struggling through the ups and downs of life at high school.

Thomas, who lives in Hawick, told us: “I’ve always loved the Wimpy Kid books; they’re just hilariously true to life about the trials and tribulations of growing up.

"So I was absolutely delighted when I was approached about doing a Scots version – I thought it was a fantastic idea.”

Itchy Coo, the award-winning publishers of the new book, are known throughout the world for their Scots translations of such beloved books as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

For Thomas, the appeal of working with such a well-respected publisher was obvious.

He continued: “Living in the Borders, and being immersed in our wonderful local dialects, really brings home to you the importance of language.

"It’s so important that our young people have access to books which represent the way they speak at home and with their friends, and Itchy Coo has been producing just those kinds of books for years.

"I’m really proud to have been part of that.”

With the Wimpy Kid series already spanning 13 books, there’s plenty of opportunity for Thomas to revisit Greg Heffley and Westmore Middle School in the future; but for now, the writer is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.

He added: “I’m just really glad that children and adults are getting the chance to reconnect with a fantastic book, and to do so in their own tongue.

"To be involved in something like that, helping young people connect with literature and their own language at the same time, I don’t think any writer can ask for more.”