Delighted to announce that my new novel is set to be published early next year. It is called ‘Cold Calling’ and its plot may be familiar to a few of you. The story is one that I have been working on for some time. Originally a film script, I re-worked a few parts of it for a short play that premiered last year during Salisbury Fringe. Very much a character piece, it was a great experiment, drawing out my two leads, seeing how people took to them, and condensing part of their story to fit a brief 10 minute play. Thankfully, the response was good, and it was also invaluable in helping shape the story further. There was more I wanted to do with those characters, and stories I wanted to tell in that world.
It seems I’m a sucker for acid-tongued, sarky, gobby folk.
Because, there are lot of those in it. Surprisingly. It is, despite all that, a romantic comedy. Technically. Sort of. The powers that be like to be able to shoehorn your book into a genre, so I suppose it is closest to to that. Albeit the romance is fairly sugar-free. And the comedy, not always family-friendly. It is a love story, but one about the love between friends, and all the glorious imperfections that come with it.
It was just a phone call. Just meaningless words between two strangers. It didn’t mean anything…
Still reeling from the break up with the love of his life, insurance firm cold caller, Ray English, has become a bit of a screw up. To put it mildly. Cynical, and withdrawn, Ray is aimlessly drifting through life in London alongside his long-suffering best mate, Danny. Asked to reform their college band for a friend’s wedding, Ray is soon forced to face up to his old life, and the hometown he had tried so hard to turn his back on.
Anya Belmont is a woman with a secret, and a history that continues to shape her life. A coffee shop owner in Salisbury, Anya is successful, yet bored; married, yet lonely, and is also trying to avert a looming mid-life crisis, whilst struggling in vain to control her best friend, Eva Cunningham, a slightly unstable, child-hating children’s author.
Fate, coincidence, or just bad timing, Ray and Anya’s lives begin to change when Ray cold calls Anya and the two strike up a seemingly innocuous phone conversation. Against their better judgement, that conversation is soon the start of a phone relationship that grows in frequency and intimacy as the weeks and months pass, and a curious, almost dependent friendship is born. But can there be anything ‘real’ in a simple phone call?
As circumstances bring these two lonely souls to the same town at the same time, both are forced to question the truth of what they have started, and the realisation that if they are to move on in their lives, they will have to start by looking back and facing the ghosts of their past…
A big thank you to the ever-brilliant David Baker for once again producing a cover for me. We went ultra-minimal this time.
‘Cold Calling’ is due to be published in March 2016