My dear friend and talented designer Daz Smith has come up with a great cover for my new book, based on a key scene of the book.
CONDITIONS – the blurb:
When Charles and Tony’s mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family.
The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which, in one way or another. has cast one aside.
Prejudice, misconceptions and the human condition in all forms feature in this contemporary drama revolving around a group of people who attend the subsequent funeral at the British South Coast.
Meet flamboyant gardener Charles, loner Simon, selfless psychic Elaine, narcissistic body-builder Edgar, Martha and her version of unconditional love and many others as they try to deal with the event and its aftermath.
The book is on Goodreads for now, publication planned for mid-October 2014
“Conditions” will be a strange and special occurence for me. I am going back to the very first book I’ve ever written. Five years ago I was working on a training manual when I decided to experiment with writing fiction. The planned short story grew quickly and when it reached 36 pages and showed no sign of ending I abandoned the course and continued writing. I put it aside and wrote my other novels. “Conditions” had a lot of the typical errors that a first book can have and I never was sure if I would ever be able to publish it. Ever so often I returned to it and made changes and improvements. The book underwent plenty of re-writes and edits but now I feel it might resonate well with some of those readers who liked “Time To Let Go”.
Two estranged brothers and their mother’s funeral. Charles suffers from a mental condition which Tony finds difficult to cope with. They have not spoken in years and so several friends come to support Charles at the funeral against a family that has cast him out.
Prejudice, mis-conceptions and the human condition in all shapes and forms feature in this contemporary drama set at the British South Coast.
I used to go to a lot of funerals when I was in my teens and might have developed a morbid fascination at the dynamics and processes involved. I also loved “Six Feet Under”, a TV series set in a funeral home.
I grew up as a bibliophile in a very macho and sports orientated environment and always bonded more with the odd characters and outsiders rather than the prom queens and sports heroes. Over the years I have met and befriended many people with mental health issues. In this respect the novel is probably one of the most auto-biographical, even though the events and characters are all a figment of my imagination. Re-telling something that has happened already has never had an appeal to me as a writer.
I imagine Tony somewhat hardened boxer type with a light gentle touch and Charles like Alan Cummings, Johnny Depp or even Benedict Cumberbatch in some of their more eccentric roles. The story has been likened to The Breakfast Club – I don’t know if that’s true as I have not seen that one yet. I am toying with a sequel for this book already since it all takes place only in the space of two weeks. I hope to have the book ready for publication in October 2014.