A REFORMED gangster turned author who sought peace in the Highlands is chasing a top literary award for his grisly autobiography which tells tales of his life as an underworld menace in the mean streets of Glasgow.
Ex-con William Lobban, a former career criminal who admits armed robbery, fraud, drug dealing and GBH amongst his
crimes, is in the running for the MarSocial Author of the Year for his book, The Glasgow Curse.
It tells the chilling and disturbing story of 45-year-old Lobban’s life of crime in the Glasgow underworld, what it was like growing up in a notorious criminal family, how he masterminded break-ins and engaged in armed robberies and gang fights.
He tells his side of the stories of some of the biggest prison riots and hostage takings of recent years, and he gives his take on the crimes that he claims he was falsely accused of committing.
Lobban, who has lived in Beauly for the last seven years, admits the experience of putting pen to paper to tell his tales was a therapeutic one.
He said: "It’s given me a whole new identity.
"I’m used to people perceiving me as an author now, rather than a gangster, but changing is a never-ending procedure, and it is difficult at times.
"I’d been thinking about doing the book since about 2005, but I suffer from deep vein thrombosis, and during that year I went to Stornoway. I forgot to take my medication and went into shock and ended up losing a leg.
"As a result I had a bad, bad issue with drink, but I managed to pick myself up again."
Lobban sought peace and stability in the Highlands when he moved to Beauly in 2006, and he began penning his tales in 2011.
The MarSocial contest, which has seen 170 entries from countries across the globe, is a concept which aims to not only honour top writers, but give them as much exposure through social media as possible.
The winner of the competition may also see their story made into a film by Keeran Vaani Productions, and Lobban’s book, the sole Scottish entry, has made it into the top 40.
The books which are still in the running are set to be whittled down to 20 before a winner is revealed at the beginning of February.
The author added: "It’s such a huge thing online, and it’s great to get more and more people seeing it, retweeting it and getting more exposure.
"I don’t think it’s confirmed about the winner getting their book made into a film but it’s being negotiated so it could happen, so that’s exciting."
While he anticipates finding out the result of the competition, he is writing part two of his memoirs.
He added: "I’m currently writing the sequel to The Glasgow Curse, although I wouldn’t expect it to be out until 2015. I’ve got quite a bit still to write."
The book can be ordered at www.theglasgowcurse.com. To lend your support to his award campaign, follow him on Twitter at @TheGlasgowCurse.