A WEE COUNTY author is crowdfunding so she can publish a graphic novel about the century-long mystery surrounding the fate of her great-grandfather.

Alloa's Katie Carmichael launched the Kickstarter for her novel on Monday, July 13.

The illustrated book, 'My Great Grandfather, the Alien', focuses on Thomas Carmichael, her great-grandfather who was a ship steward who left his family behind in Scotland in the 1930s, to travel to New York.

Thanks to Alloa's ScotlandsPeople centre, and the family history database Ancestry.com, Katie was able to piece together the sketchy information about Thomas' life.

She discovered information about his disappearance from home-life and his mysterious death in Depression-era New York – at a time when many Scots were emigrating in the hope of new lives and work.

Katie said: "Thomas grew up in Glasgow but shortly after he married, his work as a ship steward kept him at sea far more than he was ever on land.

"All the information our family had about him since then was his name and a story that he'd been murdered on the docks in New York.

"We finally got some answers from archive documents, and it's a story worth telling."

Katie added: "It would mean the world to me to raise enough from the Kickstarter campaign to bring the book in to print.

"Hopefully, I can make enough from the sales of books longer-term to fund a headstone for Thomas, now that we know where he is buried.

"Ultimately, I want to capture and preserve this fascinating piece of Scottish social history for generations to come."

Mary Evans, contributing researcher and genealogist for popular television programme Who Do You Think You Are?, is keen to the see the tale brought to life.

She added: "Katie has set out to find documentary evidence for the intriguing story of her great-grandfather, Thomas Carmichael, and the result is this fascinating and beautifully illustrated book.

"From the then rough side of Glasgow to the cosmopolitan areas of New York, his life is mapped out in detail.

"And there is still a chance to use the imagination: was his death accident or murder?"

To donate to Katie's Kickstarter, visit tiny.cc/MGGTA.