A little shameless self-promotion today - and why not? Looking back, Banners of Alba was a complex subject for a first book, but my heart was in it and I'm not telling porkies when I say it was a labour of love from start to finish.
Shakespeare was to blame, because he maligned the character of MacBeth for the sake of a play. It was a good play, but I decided to look into the story of the real MacBeth. There wasn't a lot of written history available to me, and so I had to use my imagination. Gradually the shadowy figure of the king who reigned for seventeen years and thought of Alba as one united country morphed into my version of what kind of man MacBeth might have been. Because it is fiction and not a biographical study (not at all!) I gave him a new name - one I could spell, and a Gaelic one whose spelling I had to check every time I used it.
If I wrote it today, I suspect it would be shorter, but it might just lose something in the process. Best to leave it as it is, I think.