This was quickly followed up by a piece in the Farmer's Weekly.
Last week the Dundee Courier and Advertiser picked up the baton, putting me on the front cover in a memorable pose.
Inside, the article focussed rather more on my parents' deaths than I was perhaps comfortable with. When interviewed, I'd mentioned this as how I came to inherit the farm. It was very much a minor part of the whole thing, though. Of course the journalist writing the piece was looking for an angle, so he's done a bit of digging and then polished it with a bit of journalistic licence. It could have been worse, so I'm not complaining, really. I just hope no-one thinks I'm trying to cash in on something that was a tragedy for a lot more people than just me.
On the back of the Courier article, I was interviewed by two Fife radio stations - Kingdom FM and Tay FM for their local news bulletins. Not being a habitual radio listener, I missed both, but a bloke who comes and hunts over the land here with his hawk heard me on Tay FM and was impressed. Not half as much as I am by his hawk, I suspect.
Then a nice lady by the name of Elspeth Badger came out with a big camera and did this:
This Friday it's been the turn of the Farmer's Guardian, a paper that is sold UK-wide.
But the prize for the best headline pun has to go to my local rag, the Fife Herald.
All of these stories have a common theme. The press are fascinated by the story of the farmer who has turned his hand to an unusual diversification - to whit writing crime fiction. Those of you who know me, and those hardy souls who've been coming here for any length of time, will no doubt snigger quietly to themselves about that one. Far from being a farmer who has turned to writing, I am more of a writer thrust into farming by my own idiot ideas and unfortunate circumstance.
So how, I hear you ask, have I managed to attract the attention of the press? Well, the answer is quite simple: I hired a publicist.
This isn't something I'd ever have considered myself, but Kenneth Stephen, of Heartland Media and PR, has done sterling work for my brother's company, Ecodyn, getting them high-profile media coverage of some of their more successful environmental projects. They only used him because he happened to be neighbour to one of the company directors - the idea of hiring a publicist is not something that would have occurred to them either. But when it worked so well for them, they suggested it might be worthwhile for me too.
So I contacted Kenny, discussed what he might do for me, discovered that his rates were the cheap side of reasonable and decided to give it a go. The above results would suggest that it was money well spent.
Of course the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and so far it's a bit early to say whether media exposure has lead to increased sales. What it has undoubtedly done has been to raise my profile.
Well, in Fife.