I wrote a book.
And whilst the journey was as rewarding as getting to the destination and all that sort of thing, I am trying to bring it out into the world. If you write and don’t publish its a bit like playing your guitar in your bedroom. There is nothing wrong with it, but it is part of the challenge to produce something that works in other peoples’ heads. That’s what makes it hard. And interesting.
So out of the bedroom, or the study, with it.
My book is called A Glorious Endeavour.
It’s literary fiction (that’s just how it turned out), a boy-meets-girl. She has religion and he doesn’t. This is the source of half of their passion, the other half is the usual thing: they like each other, rather a lot.
Someone in the business described it to me as an existential story about a doomed love affair with religious undertones. That’s about right. A slightly more marketable take might be ‘One Day’ but darker and with a theme – the limitations religion imposes on us – that is current and topical.
So, what happens?
Two people, Liam and Ammi, meet and in a consequence free environment, flirt and fall for one another. She pushes her religion to one side and they have a great time together in London: a simple tableau of drink, fun and plenty of sex. All good. But then life goes back to normal. She goes back to Sweden and they both return to their routines, of habit and circumstance and it all becomes a kind of cherished but fading holiday romance.
Then unexpectantly a few months later they find themselves together again in Sweden. They are still strongly attracted to one another but the thing that sets them apart – that she is a fundamentalist Christian and he is an atheist hasn’t gone away.
Their circumstances are unusual. He is living in Sweden – but not where her home is. So Ammi travels down to work out of his office two days (and so one night) every week. Their London experience is replicated, but meekly. It sets off memories in her of that special time. And this experience – where she is a kind of satellite in his life (and so also to her own old life with him in London) – confronts her and challenges her. She has to face up to the fact that the life she leads whilst real is a counterfeit.
At this time their assumptions about themselves and their beliefs and what they really mean to one another forces them to look inwards and find what it is they are made of.
Where would this sit on a shelf? Well I would say it would appeal to people who are interested in a good story, with strong, flawed characters and engaging themes. With regards to the style it may appeal to those who like Alex Preston or Jonathan Lee.
But what may be a better tack with regards to marketing would be to target the hundreds of thousands of people who read assiduously and passionately the books of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens. A book which dramatises not only the intense debate between religion and the humanist movement but that also draws attention to the benefits or otherwise of the harsher end of that debate, I think would be particularly welcomed in the marketplace.
Stockholm, Sweden. A man and a woman. She has religion, he does not. She is married. He is single. But together they have passion, desire and a yearning. They fall….
They will spend a great deal of love and lust and everything in between before the inconvenient truths of their coupling must be faced. And when it is, the challenge they realise, is to themselves…
A Glorious Endeavour is about the trials of an examined life. It is about the fear that hides in blind faith. It is a story of love, belief and how religion stands in the way of happiness. A compelling romance, wrought out of the twist of reason and faith.
So this is a mix of a blurb and a synopsis, and not really either. But if you want to know more (as an agent, or a concerned bystander) then do please let me know.