A BRAVE author found himself literally in the firing line whilst researching his debut novel.
Brian Young, from Carrickstone, was following a map of an old Roman road – Dere Street – which stretches from Scotland down to York when he accidentally stumbled across a live firing exercise which was being carried out by the British Army.
The surprised author reached a section of the road at the Borders and literally looked up and saw guns pointed back at him.
He said: “I got such a surprise when I saw the guns pointed back at me. I only realised I stumbled onto a live firing exercise when I was told the red flag means an exercise is taking place.”
The 44-year-old, however, laughs off the tale now that he has completed his book The Eagle Has Fallen which had its official launch in Glasgow on Friday, August 3.
The electrical engineer decided to write the book after becoming enthralled in Rosemary Sutcliffe’s The Eagle of the Ninth.
He said: “I did not do history at all at school. I wasn’t interested in it but now I have a real passion for it.
“We are surrounded by history with the Antonine Wall so close by and after reading Rosemary Sutcliffe’s book, I knew I had to learn more.”
His book is based on the legend of the Ninth Legion who mysteriously disappeared without explanation.
Young spent six years researching the story which has left many historians with a wide variety of opinion over what actually happened to them.
The Ninth Legion Hispania were stationed in York, Eboracum and of the three legions based in the UK, they were responsible for keeping the peace amongst the most feared British tribe; the Brigantes.
He said: “It is a historical fiction book but the events did happen and many of the people involved existed.”
Young’s novel provides his spin on the tale and takes readers on a journey which attempts to unravel one of the great mysteries of the Roman Empire.
For more information, visit www.eaglehasfallen.com.