Peterhead Writer’s ‘Peer Pressure’

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IN THE late nineties, rumours spread through Peterhead Academy that a teacher at Peterhead Academy was involved in an illicit affair with a pupil. Scandalous! The rumours turned out to be false, of course, much to the disappointment of the school’s teenage pupils. It emerged that the teacher in question had in fact begun a relationship with the mother of a pupil, not the pupil herself. Not quite the scandal the youngsters had been hoping for but, still, the possibility of suspicion and intrigue never left 15-year-old Chris Watt.

Now 31, Chris decided to write a book, based on what could have happened, had the rumours been true.

Romantic comedy ‘Peer Pressure’ tells the tale of sixth year girl called Jodie, who develops a crush on her charming new teacher Mr Peer. Things get complicated, however, when Mr Peer meets Jodie’s mum.

“It was the old school rumour mills,” Chris, “You know how it is when you are 15. But the truth behind the rumour was far more interesting to me. I thought it was quite dramatic, this love triangle thing between mother and daughter.”

Always keen on writing, Chris found his artistic flare at the Academy, and credits the school with helping him on his “first big push” towards writing professionally.

“I very much liked English at school,” says Chris, who works as Manager at arts cafe Books n’ Beans on Aberdeen’s Belmont Street, “I wrote quite consistently, school plays and things like that. We had a very good drama teacher called Phil Macmillan who let a friend and I write the school play one year. It was called Stage Wars - an embarrassing spoof of Star Wars - but I hear it was re-staged a couple of years ago, which was nice to hear.”

Chris graduated from Northumbria University in 2001 and, after several years writing for the TV and film industry, settled in Aberdeen and decided to write a book.

“I’d tried my hand at writing a book before,” says Chris, whose first child Ellen was born just five weeks ago, “but I had only ever got a couple of chapters in. Being surrounded by books at work spurred me on.”

Chris is now hard at work on his second book, which promises to be a lot more dark than the first, as it follows two couples in 1970s Peterhead.