On Friday 30th June at 3.40pm, Ullapool Bookshop sold their 1000th copy of the debut novel by John McLellan called ‘The Faultline.’ The book was first introduced to Katharine Douglas, Manager, by Peter Harrison, North West Highlands Geopark geologist back in Spring 2022 and sales of the book through Ullapool Bookshop have benefited the work of the Geopark ever since.
In May 2022, the Bookshop sold its first copy of ‘The Faultline’ and little did we realise the journey, that this novel would take. Katharine Douglas, Bookshop Manager takes up the story: ‘In early June 2022, John came to the Bookshop to meet me, as he was taking part in a Geopark field trip that week. He signed our stock of his book and it was fascinating to hear him talk about the surprise of being a debut novelist. A few days later, I had to phone him and ask for more copies, as we had sold out. By June 30th 2022, ‘The Faultline’ became a Number 1 bestselling book at Ullapool Bookshop and it has remained at Number 1 ever since. In July, John returned to spend the day in Ullapool, meeting customers, signing books and also giving a talk one summer’s evening. It is unprecedented in my 12 years of working here, to have a book which people just keep picking up and buying, either through word of mouth, or reading the blurb, or liking the subject matter. We have sold copies throughout the world, including online orders to Holland, Greece and USA….so far.’
In fact John has just had to re-order another reprint, as copies have temporarily sold out. The book is being printed in the UK, by Whitehall Printing, Bristol and will be available soon.
The Faultline has been the bestselling book every week since June 30th 2022, a fact which Ullapool Bookshop marks on their #Top5 chalkboard outside the bookshop, which is based purely on sales and is updated on a fortnightly basis.
“It’s been very special seeing my novel find its way into the hands of so many people who live in the North West Highlands or who are visiting and I’m grateful to everyone who has bought a copy. In large part the book is about love and an aspect of that is a deeply held affection for the mountains, scenery and people of this area. Geology first drew me to this part of the world, as a student long ago, and I’m chuffed that all these sales have given something back – via the region’s very own Geopark who have received a donation form every copy sold. The feedback I have been fortunate to receive tells me that readers have enjoyed the story and also find it uplifting, thoughtful and ultimately hopeful. A year ago I could never have imagined people being affected in this way but it is lovely to hear and if the novel is having a positive impact on people then I couldn’t ask for more. People might be interested to know here is a ‘book 2’ on the way too.” (John McLellan)
The novel is set in Kinlochewe in 1977, when a group of young people are brought together by chance. They discover more about life, the geology of the area, the history and about friendships and relationships. The Faultline is a metaphor for life in general, a feature the author was keen to point out.
“The Faultline is about a geological feature on Beinn Eighe National Nature reserve, but is used in the novel to illustrate something very human too. The book is a coming of age novel in many ways. A lot of people know that in their own lives, there are particular places and moments in time, where who you are became crystallised to a large degree. This story is about that sort of moment for the key characters.”
The only other novel at Ullapool Bookshop to have sold more than John’s The Faultline, so far, is Peter May’s The Blackhouse. John is now working on his 2nd novel, which will also mostly be set in North West Scotland and he has been invited and booked to appear at the St Duthac Book and Art Festival in Tain on 18th Sept.
Owner of UB Tina Thomson says:
‘Congratulations to John on this incredible milestone reached and UB is thrilled to be part of his journey as an Author. We wish him well with book 2 and also hope his novels will be hopefully be taken on by a Publisher soon. I can’t understand why no-one has snapped up ‘The Faultline’ already.’