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Wednesday, 6 January 2016

ONLY THE 'LONEY' - debut author hits the big time

Photo courtesy of Lancashire Writing Hub 2010

A modest and extremely likeable  librarian who writes in his spare time has won the Costa First Novel Award 2015 with a  book described by  Stephen King as 'an amazing piece of fiction.'

The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley had previously received praise from a host of national newspapers including this from the Sunday Times: Dankly atmospheric his eerie narrative is packed with the palpable and pungent..'  Meanwhile the Daily Mail called it 'an eerie disturbing read that doesn't let up until its surprise ending.'

Interviewed on BBC Television North West Today this former schoolteacher who has been writing for 'ten to fifteen years,' seemed as surprised by his success as anyone else.

'I can't quite believe that Stephen King has read my book, let alone given it such praise,' he said modestly  adding  'It's taken me a long time to get here. I'm anything but an overnight success.'

Andrew, who has lived in Manchester and London but is now based in Lancashire, has used a stretch of waste ground in Preston that runs, he says,  'from the back of the council estate to the River Ribble' as the background for his spooky novel. 'Locally the area is called The Loney and I realised straight away that this would be a great title for my novel.'

The Loney was first published by  Tarturus Press, a small independent publishing company in Yorkshire  who agreed a first print run of 300 hardback copies in October 2014. It was some time later that Mark Richards of John Murray realised the book's true potential. Little did the author know that this would take him on a journey leading straight into the arms of the Hachette Group, a name synonymous with global publishing.

Now part of the Hachette Group the John Murray publishing house, founded in 1768, prides itself,  on the 'ability to foster genius.'

So here's to the genius of Andrew Michael Hurley. In a world full of so called celebrities who constantly sing their own praises I can honestly say that this great accolade couldn't have happened to a more deserving guy.

You can find out more about The Loney here

Perfect if you like the macabre, gothic and odd (Melissa Cox


Another Guernseyman said...

This is definitely my sort of novel - spooky and a bit crazy too! Like you, I hope it does well.

Guernsey Girl said...

Thanks, Mr Guernseyman, for your comment. This guy is genuinely modest and that's something you don't come across very often.

Nikki-ann said...

This sounds good. I'll have to look it up :)

Guernsey Girl said...

I'll let you know more when I've read it, Nikki-ann. Meanwhile the author lives locally so I'll try to get to one of his talks!