Writer Iain takes a last bow

Iain Blair
Iain Blair

FORMER Queen’s Park secondary pupil Iain Blair, who wrote novels under the name of Emma Blair, has died aged 68.

He is survived by his wife Jane, sons Angus and Tam from his first marriage, stepson Mark, daughters-in-law Liz and Alin and four grandchildren — Benjamin, Emily, David and Monica.

Born Iain John Blair at the Southern General Hospital, he attended Holmlea primary before moving to the old Queen’s Park secondary in 1953.

Jane said: “Iain loved a good pub, a good Scotch and a good smoke. And down in Devon, he kept us all enthralled with an endless stream of Glasgow words, slang and saying.

“He finally hung up his typewriter four years ago after being diagnosed with diabetes. Iain was the bravest man I have ever known”.

His father died when he was six weeks old and, after his mother died in 1956, he went to live with an aunt in the USA.

But he returned to the city in 1959, getting a job with an insurance company.

It wasn’t long before he moved again, this time to Australia. He got his first taste of journalism as a proof reader for the Sydney Bulletin newspaper.

Iain came back to Glasgow after a year, landing a job on the Sunday Post as a trainee feature writer.

As a writer Iain’s publishers noted that his books would sell better if readers, mostly women, thought the writer was female.

But when Emma was nominated for a fiction prize he decided to tell the truth and did so on the popular TV show Wogan.

His novels were among the most borrowed books from libraries around the UK.

He was twice shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year award and several of his books reached the number one spot in the Times’ list of romantic best-sellers.