If my father had been killed in North Africa or Italy during the Second World War, I know that for the rest of my life I would have looked at the few photographs of him and mourned our lost relationship. Unfortunately, he survived and came home.
Robert Douglas retired, aged fifty-five, in 1994. He intended to paint, write short stories and lie about the house watching old films. A one-off article he wrote about six weeks spent with a condemned man in Bristol prison led to him being told 'You should write.' His first book - the bestselling NIGHT SONG OF THE LAST TRAM - is centred around his Glasgow childhood and became the first book in the popular trilogy detailing his life as a miner, dock worker, doss-house resident, soldier, prison screw - and survivor. He hasn't painted for years.