A TROON author and entrepreneur is up for a national book award in London.

Gavin Oattes, co-writer of SHINE, which is shortlisted in the ‘Self Development’ category for the 2019 Business Book Awards, is living the dream after teaming up with Dr Andy Cope to write the bestseller.

With a background in primary teaching as well as being a professional speaker, Mr Oattes couldn’t believe that his first novel could win a UK-wide prize.

He said: “It’s incredibly unexpected – myself and Andy are very proud of the book that we wrote. It’s definitely a bucket list moment.

“This is the first book I’ve ever written and of course you write it with all good intentions but I think to be recognised by the industry and your peers makes it that little bit more special.

“Andy is a very well known author and speaker, he’s actually the UK’s first doctor of happiness.

“We’re both professional speakers so our paths crossed at various events covering similar themes and topics - we just hit it off.

“Once we got to know each other a bit better and he suggested that we write a book together, it was a dream come true for me.

“SHINE is a book all about happiness and purpose and ensuring that you are making the most out of your life.

“It is taking everything that’s wrong with self-help and personal development books and made it right.

“It’s a mix of stories, real psychology and science but it’s presented in a way which is truly entertaining and engaging.”

As Managing Director of the Tree of Knowledge, an educational and motivating business which travels around schools and workplaces, Gavin understands the importance of promoting mental health. 

The 2012 Scotland Young Entrepreneur of the Year bought over the business in 2009 and instantly took it to the BBC hit show Dragons Den.

He added: “The more that we can put out there to help when it comes to mental health the better. It’s always been there, but nowadays there’s a huge amount of focus on mental wellbeing – as there should be. 

“The amount of mental health concerns there are globally, not just in the UK, its through the roof and actually there are adults in businesses suffering as well as children in schools.

“When SHINE went out into the world last year, to receive emails from people saying it’s helped them to change a bad habit or it’s fixed their relationship, I find it absolutely mind-blowing.

“I thought if one person who’s not a family member or a friend buys this, reads this, likes it and finds it helpful I’d have been delighted but to have thousands contact us saying all of this, it’s incredible to know that is actually making a difference.”

Gavin, who now lives in Edinburgh, revealed that a third book is on its way in July this year, called Zest: Squeezing the Max Out of Life.

However, while that won’t contain any tales of his childhood memories in Troon, a fourth book, which has just been started will.