By Ross Hanvidge

A MULTI-TALENTED optician is eyeing up success as an author after releasing his debut novel.

Diarmid MacArthur’s day job sees him running his own business – Look Opticians, in Erskine.

However, the 61-year-old Lochwinnoch man has still found time to pen Archie Blue Sky – a thrilling cross-over story of a hardened detective dealing with an alien invasion.

And Diarmid’s vision of the future has already earned him a five-star review from one of the UK’s leading crime-writers, as well as a place in the Scottish book charts.

He told The Gazette: “I started working on the idea about four years ago.

“It’s all set locally because, when I was writing it, I thought ‘why would I write about somewhere I don’t know.’

“I thought I would take it from an idea to actually doing something about it.”

Best-selling author Alex Gray is among those to praise Diarmid’s debut novel.

She stated: “Loved this debut sci-fi crime crossover and want to read more from this talented author.”

Dad-of-two Diarmid is hoping more readers will fall in love with his tale of intergalactic twists and turns.

He said: “The underlying premise of Archie Blue Sky is that, if you met someone who managed to convince you that they were, in fact, an alien, how would you react?

“Archie Blue, an unremarkable Detective Inspector in an unremarkable west of Scotland town, is fighting a seemingly losing battle with a new and brutal crime baron.

“However, his life changes dramatically when, in the space of a week, he suffers a dreadful personal tragedy and he meets a girl who claims to be an alien.”

Despite his demanding job, Diarmid is always able to make time for his passion for writing.

He added: “I started up my business 31 years ago but English has always been my strong subject.

“I have always been interested in writing, as well as being an avid reader, so it comes reasonably naturally to me.”

For more details, visit Amazon and search for Diarmid MacArthur, where the paperback and Kindle formats of Archie Blue Sky are both available.