Somerflip, my third novel, was released two years ago.
It’s my most personal story so far, as it’s based on my experiences of growing up in a small town, where tough guys have reputations to uphold, and they pass them down from generation to generation, whether they wanted to or not.
It’s essentially a comedy, but there is a great deal of pathos and melancholy to be found alongside the crude jokes and boozy antics of the main cast of characters. These guys, doomed by their tough guy fathers to have to live up to their reputations, were some of my favourite people growing up, but they’d often have guys driving from three towns away to beat them with baseball bats over something that happened years ago.
The main character of Somerflip, Rob, is a huge guy – like his father – but without the violent, angry streak that characterised him. But still, he finds himself being attacked by idiots who want to ‘test’ themselves against the tough guy, the guy who’s dad was a fighting legend.
Rob knows that his boy will find himself in the same situation down the road, but he’s cut from a different cloth; a beautiful, caring, sweet lad who loves ducks and swans, not throwing punches.
Somerflip examines the pratfalls of small town celebrity and masochism in Britain, and it was an absolute joy to write. I’m celebrating it’s birthday with pride. I hope that some of you reading this will take a punt on it.