Glasgow-born Lorraine Johnston is celebrating the publication of her first children's book, "Later Tartan Gator." However, she didn't set out to be a writer nor author of any kind. Johnston was a successful career woman, working in the occupational safety and health field when, on her 40th birthday, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Life as she knew it was over, and she could easily have let this send her into a tailspin. Fortunately for children everywhere, she did not.
At the behest of a couple of friends, and driven by the onset of this most unwelcome disease, Johnston re-examined her life's direction and decided to become a writer. Drawing inspiration from yet another friend, and using her storytelling skills honed in many years as a children's nanny, before going corporate, the result is "Later Tartan Gator." It's the engaging story of a Louisiana alligator in a New Orleans zoo, fed a haggis by a visiting Scottish family and suddenly finding himself TARTAN! Facing a life crisis, the gator relies on the help of others to find his way back to his everyday alligator green.
Why a Scottish author writing about a Louisiana gator? Like many writers, Johnston drew upon personal experience to develop her story. As a children's nanny she helped repatriate a Louisiana family from Scotland back to their home in New Orleans. Johnston fell in love with the city and considers it her second home, thus the book features characters and locations she knows and loves in New Orleans.
"Later Tartan Gator" is an engaging book for children 7 and under, but it's the story of Lorraine Johnston's determination not to let MS get the best of her that is both compelling and inspiring. Her decision to re-evaluate her life in mid-stream, to tackle a profession about which she was blissfully uninformed, and to attain the success of publication, will hopefully inspire others to know and understand that they can overcome any obstacle placed in their path.
A donation from the sale of each book benefits the St. Thomas Community Health Center in New Orleans. To obtain a copy of the book please visit your local bookseller, or you can order "Later Tartan Gator" from the publisher here.
The following writing resources are suggested by Lorraine Johnston: