Ailsa gearing up for debut book launch

North east writer Ailsa Ross will have her first book published next month
North east writer Ailsa Ross will have her first book published next month

A former Ellon Academy pupil is preparing for the release of her debut children’s book.

Ailsa Ross, who grew up just outside Tarves, will publish ‘The Woman Who Rode a Shark’ on Thursday, April 4.

The book has been designed to inspire young girls everywhere, and is a compendium of history’s most adventurous female trailblazers from 231 BC to today.

The collection of stories features female adventurers of all ages from across the globe.

Ailsa developed a passion for writing while she was at university in Edinburgh studying Law, where she often found herself writing stories for the student newspaper.

However it was during a year spent abroad at Copenhagen University that she decided to become a travel writer.

Now based in the Canadian Rockies, Ailsa has written for various publications and is the founder of the online community Women Adventurers.

Speaking to the Times ahead of the launch, Ailsa said: “I’m really excited for the book to come out, I first had the idea for it in 2013 and it took a year to complete from start to finish.”

When asked where the inspiration to write the book came from Ailsa explained: “I spent some time working in Berlin for a travel website, I used to write its newsletters but I found myself running out of ideas.

“I stumbled upon Amelia Earhart and ended up down a Google wormhole reading stories that I had never heard before and wondered if anyone else would have heard them.”

After completing the book, Ailsa sent it out to various publishers with AA in Britain agreeing to pick it up.

Ailsa added: “Scotland is still home to me so to have the book be published in the UK first is really exciting.

“My mum and dad run an art gallery near Tarves so I think they have been talking about it to anyone that visits.

“I think Ellon Academy made this book possible as I had exceptional English and History teachers, Mrs Hogg and Mr Morrison, who helped to inspire me.”

The book will be published in North America in September.