In the midst of turbulent times here in Britain, it is good to have things to look forward to.
As many of our readers will know, throughout the two-and-a-half years that we have been running Something Rhymed, and more recently writing a non-fiction book together, Emma has also been working on a novel.
I have written before about the joys of being able to follow the progress of Owl Song at Dawn – a project that has been a real labour of love for Emma.
As a reader, I quickly fell in love with its story too, even in its earliest, least polished drafts. For what feels like a very long time now, I have been waiting for the day when readers beyond Emma’s family and friends will be able to share in her wonderful book.
Owl Song at Dawn is a warm and deeply evocative novel. Its indomitable protagonist, Maeve Maloney – the octogenarian proprietor of the Seaview Lodge boarding house – has spent a lifetime in the seaside town of Morecambe, trying to unlock the secrets of Edie, her exuberant yet inexplicable twin. These are characters who will move you, and stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.
When Emma called me up to tell me that the publishing house Legend Press had acquired the rights to Owl Song at Dawn, it was a wonderful moment for both of us. While we’ve been hard at work on our joint book since then – and with Emma’s publication date creeping ever closer – it’s been fun to remain somewhat involved with her novel too.
We’ve talked a lot about early drafts of book covers, for instance, and the literary events Emma has planned for this summer. Recently, I was privileged to be able to get a special preview of a short story of hers, which will be coming out at around the same time as the book.
Now, finally, on the first of July 2016, the launch day of Owl Song at Dawn has arrived. And, not as Emma’s friend, but simply as someone who loves good writing, I urge you to buy a copy.
The novel is available to order here. It has, in fact, been available for pre-order for several months but I confess that I haven’t ordered it myself.
You see, ever since I first read a page of Owl Song at Dawn, I have looked forward to the day when I will be able to pick up a printed and bound copy from a bookseller’s display, glance at Emma’s name on the cover and then hand over my money with the lovely, satisfied feeling that my friend wrote this.
After waiting all this while, how could I deprive myself of that?