I started writing this novel because I was tired – tired of reading what the publishers were publishing, tired of reading what the British literary establishment was saying I should read – The Mann-Booker prize, the Costa prize, Whitbread prize, The Guardian Review, Richard and Judy. None of these books really spoke to me. None of these books talked to me about my life, about my time, about my truth.
Which is why, four years ago or thereabouts, I started writing this novel – a lot of stuff has happened in that time – our government took us into a war nobody believed in or wanted and we were powerless to do anything about, we've hit a world shattering recession, gas is already being rationed for some UK businesses, the end of the world is apparently just round the corner and it's all our fault – except this time we can feel it, see it.
All of these things, I believe, infuse the work. Driving to work each day, feeling like I was bailing the boat out while the tsunami approaches, feeling like I was seeing out my time, limping to my grave.
And I thought, I can't be alone in this…
So I wrote about finding majesty in the mundane, nurturing the flame of love in a heartless world, finding purpose in a meaningless existence – universal issues through one man's eyes.
So, it started about me, but not anymore – it's about you, or rather 'us'. I've learnt that to write is not about the writer, it's about the reader. Otherwise it's pointless.
Read the opening chapters - if you can't stand it, let me know - it all helps.
And if you read it and love it, then thank you - that helps too.
Four years since I've started counting, four years of thinking, writing, reworking. Four years of going to bed every night shattered in the pursuit of this story.
And I'm not going to stop until it's done.