The first reviews are starting to come in on Amazon now for Song of the Sea God – and thank you to the readers out there who are taking the time and trouble to say what they think about the book.
You can see the reviews, and read the first few pages of the book here.
And readers in the USA can get it on Barnes and Noble here.
There were a couple of comments that I particularly related to from the reviews.
One was that the novel has a strong sense of place.
I’ve already said my piece about the book being set on Walney Island in the north-west of England where I grew up – but not really. I took the liberty of using the island’s geography for my own purposes but making it the place I needed it to be and populating it with my own characters. So it’s not Walney – but having that island in my head helped me massively in writing the book.
I’ve always been fond of books which do ‘sense of place’ well. It’s very important I think, it adds to the richness of the reading experience. Here’s my tip for a book which does this brilliantly – Waterland by Graham Swift. It’s masterful and beautiful. The place, in this case The Fens, percolates through the whole book and influences the characters, the action, everything. I would recommend the book to you if you have not read it. If I have achieved a fraction of what Swift did in Waterland on my island then I am a happy writer.
Another comment which made me very chuffed was that Sea God was refered to as a ‘page turner’.
That’s a particularly pleasing thing to hear about a literary novel. I had in my mind that I wanted to preserve the depth and the quality of writing that readers of literary fiction demand and expect, while at the same time making sure the book held the reader with its story.
I wanted to create a literary novel with the pace and plot of a thriller. Which, I accept, is a bit like wanting your cake and eating it. Did I come somewhere near succeeding? I would be delighted if you read the book and let me know.