AN author who grew up in Barrhead has told how childhood memories inspired him to write a book.

Alan Millar lived in the town’s Levern Crescent and went to school at Springhill Primary and Barrhead High.

Now an accomplished architect and living in Japan, he uses his spare time to pursue his passion for writing, which has led to the release of debut novel Normal.

Alan, 66, told the Barrhead News: “I’m working in Japan as an architect on an intercultural spiritual centre. I often write contributions on cultural matters but Normal is my first book.

“Chapters three to seven are about my youth in Barrhead and Paisley. I’m sure many people will identify with some of the places I have mentioned.

“I was born in Falkirk but I lived in Barrhead from 1964 to 1975 and went to Springhill Primary, Barrhead High and John Neilson, in Paisley.

“Looking back on growing up in Barrhead, I now feel privileged when I think of the complete freedom I had – being able to gallivant up the Levern and Kirkton Burns, the Braes, the Dams and the grounds of the Arthurlie ‘big hoose,’ as well as some places I shouldn’t have, like old factories near Neilston.

“The novel is partly an expression of thanks to the town for my formative years.”

Alan’s book also delves into a “small town boy” outlook and his initial reaction to working abroad.

“Subsequent chapters deal with the blur of student life in Glasgow, to the small town boy’s reaction to the kaleidoscope of working in Japan and staying at a famous ashram in India,” he said.

“The title Normal is, in some ways, a reconciliation of myself to my daughter’s mental illness. The cacophony of everyday life at times feels too much for her and can be for us all. She prefers things to be peaceful and normal.”

Described by publishers as “a semi-autobiographical, quasi-spiritual journey from a pre-birth dream to childhood in post-industrial Scotland” and “a voyage of discovery and uncertainty through Japan and India,” Normal is priced at £9.99.

It can be bought online at Amazon by searching for ‘Normal by Alan James Millar.’