So. Here is the news.
My debut novel, The Wasting Embers, is to be published by the lovely people at Freight Books sometime next year. Needless to say I am quite ridiculously excited about this and keeping it secret while the usual legal negotiations were underway was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever attempted.
Readers of this blog will know that I’ve long been a fan of Freight’s output. From their first book, The Hope That Kills Us (which I was lucky enough to be included in), through the nine issues (to date) of Gutter Magazine, to recent books by Rodge Glass, Pippa Goldschmidt, Toni Davidson, Tendai Huchu and Elizabeth Reeder (to name but five). The knowledge that one day my name will be included in that list was cause for a healthy amount of happy leaping and a less healthy amount of drink. My deepest thanks go out to Adrian Searle of Freight and my agent, Judy Moir, for making my dream come true.
The book itself I will go into more detail about at a later date (there are edits to be done in association with my editor, Rodge Glass) but at heart, The Wasting Embers is about four young men who join the Royal Air Force in 1943. The book charts the early stages of their pilot training, their new friendships and their attempts to form a jazz band. It’s a war novel, a coming of age novel, in some ways a campus novel, a novel of political awakening and identity. It’s funny, dramatic, thoughtful and exciting – at least, those were my intentions.
There will be a launch and a party next year, to which everyone is invited. Again, more details as they come in.
While that has all been going on, I’ve also been busy redrafting the book I now hope will be my second published novel, Silma Hill, as well as sketching out ideas for a themed short story collection. I never throw any writing away, regardless of how bad it is, and while The Wasting Embers and Silma Hill are out with editors and readers, I’ve been going through old stories, ripping them apart and putting them back together. So, short story editors beware, I’m building up a pile of new stories (mostly flash fiction) with which to bombard your in-boxes.