One compelling bit of evidence that the birth of the book is imminent is that you can pre-order it on Amazon here.
And I feel I would be failing in my duties as an author if I did not urge you to do just that.
Another particularly big piece of evidence is that the book now has a cover. Here it is on this page. I love it I have to say. Thanks to Rebsie from my publisher Skylight Press for creating it. The moody photo of the beach was taken by an old pal of mine Phil Murray and thanks also to him. How it came to be taken is a tale both ancient and modern.
Modern in that I got in touch with Phil via Facebook – we were mates when we were both in our 20s. I was guitarist and songwriter with a not particularly popular Indie rock combo called the Blaze Heroes, Phil was the bass player. But Phil left town, to get a proper job – with her majesty’s constabulary. And these days he also has a photography studio on the side – he’s a busy man.
So much for modern – now for ancient. Friendship – there’s something that hasn’t changed in a few millennia – and when Phil found he was in a position to do an old mate a favour, an old mate who needed cover photography for his book and couldn’t take a decent snap shot to save his life, Phil didn’t hesitate.
Not only did he insist on taking the photographs but he got up at stupid o’clock in the morning to do it and drove for an hour or so in the dark down the meandering roads of West Cumbria in order to reach the beach at dawn.
The beach in question is on Walney Island, off the coast of Barrow-in-Furness. It’s where I grew up – and where Song of the Sea God is set. Though I hasten to add, I just borrowed the geography from the island – not the people, not the plot. Walney island has an isolated feel, though it is attached to the mainland by a bridge. It is beautiful in a stark, uncompromising way – Phil captured that beauty in his photo, I hope I have also done so in my book.
A final proof that things are moving is that I have my first opportunity to read from Song of the Sea God – at the Cheltenham Literature Festival no less. The Cheltenham Festival is one of the biggest and most star-studded in the UK – packed with stellar names from literature and showbiz. I’m very pleased the organisers were willing and able to crowbar me in down at the very bottom of the bill. I live in Gloucestershire so it’s a local event for me and one I’m very pleased to be involved with.
I’ll be reading in the Waterstones Book Marquee in Montpellier Gardens, Cheltenham, at noon on Friday October 5th. Public readings can be an anxious experience for a writer – but I’m happy to do this as I feel I owe it to the book to give it the best delivery into the world that I can.