When COVID lockdowns struck, Aberdeen student Joseph Brown found a novel way to keep himself entertained; by writing his first book.
At just 17 he has achieved the literary dream of many writers by self-publishing his debut novel, an epic fantasy tale entitled The Scroll of Angamor, online through Amazon alongside co-author Jasmine Snow.
The story takes place in the fantasy world of Hulbrok and follows the adventures of Arloth, a half-man half-beast, as he discovers magical secrets and a forbidden love amidst a cataclysmic world war.
Having previously written a number of short stories, Joe said the idea to write a novel didn't occur to him until the pandemic began last year.
"Everyone was stuck at home and I thought, why be stuck at home and do nothing when I can do something for myself and do something that I love," Joe said.
"It's good to put a positive spin on things when things get tough."
As many people around the world experienced working remotely for the first time due to the pandemic, Joe was fortunate enough to already be well versed in working online.
"Jasmine and I met through our distance education school and we've never actually met in real life," Joe said.
"We both just started talking to each other last year and said, 'What if we did a story together?'"
"We created this fantasy world that kept on expanding as new characters and cities and cultures formed and it was really quite a nice experience."
Not only did COVID lockdowns allow Joe time to begin working on his novel, parts of the pandemic also helped inspire events in the story.
"I definitely incorporated outside influences, like being stuck at home and that feeling of being trapped, into the story.
"With people disagreeing over COVID lockdowns and sort of going into factions, I kind of included that into the story as well to show that people can be divided but what we really need is for people to be united and to not panic."
When asked for his advice for other young writers who weren't sure where to begin, Joe said it was important to keep encouraging yourself when writing gets difficult.
"I always say when you're writing, whatever pops into your head just jot it down. Write down all the ideas and don't overthink it at first," he said.
"When you're feeling emotional about something, try to find a way to put it into writing and into the story."
Joe said he also hoped his accomplishment would inspire writers of all ages who had a story to tell to not give up on their dreams of seeing it published.
"A lot of people think that self-publishing is really difficult or you've got to have all these qualifications or you've got to have editors," he said.
"But the truth is that anyone can publish a book and it was a really simple process and that really helped me to be able to put out my book like that.
"I really hope I can maybe inspire other people who are interested in writing and show them that they can do it too."
As for his own literary inspirations, Joe said authors J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis as well as Homer's ancient Greek epics have had the biggest influence on his own writing.
After completing high school this year, Joe is planning to go on to study liberal arts at university where he's sure to be kept busy as he continues working on his next novel, the second installment of a planned trilogy featuring the characters in The Scroll of Angamor.
The Scroll of Angamor is available to purchase online through Amazon as an eBook or in paperback.