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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

the biggest question of them all... Secrets of a River Swimmer by S.S. Turner

"All along his journey, I could feel his emotional transformation, as Turner writes with great precision and feeling. There are moments of wonderful humour, beauty, sorrow, and ephiphany. There is so much heart in this beautiful story. I highly recommend!" Katie Z., Goodreads


Description:

Published: February 8th, 2022

As Freddy gazes at the majestic river gushing past him in the depths of a Scottish winter, he's ready to jump in and end his life. But what happens next is not what Freddy expects. From the moment he enters the river, Freddy starts a journey which is more beautiful, funny, and mysterious than he could have imagined. And through this journey, Freddy's story becomes interweaved with a cast of unforgettable characters who are equally lost and in search of answers. Eventually, they all unite in their quest for an answer to the biggest question of them all: will the river take them where they want to go?

In the tradition of inspirational works of fiction like The Alchemist and Life of Pi, Secrets of a River Swimmer is at once a profound exploration into living with meaning and an affecting story of people on the cusp of change.

GUEST POST
As an author, what scares me the most.

In my experience, being a writer means getting to know yourself well. Regardless of what your story is about, your writing always reflects you at a deeper level. I remember the first time I read my novel Secrets of a River Swimmer as a reader rather than the writer. It was like sitting next to myself at a dinner party for the first time. Each and every word on the page reflected elements of my character back at me. And amidst the story, it wasn’t hard to see what scares me the most as a writer. In fact, it’s a key theme within the novel and builds towards a powerful climax at the end. What I’m most scared of is not doing the best I can with my time, not living a meaningful life, not achieving fulfilment. Translation: being an average writer is a terrifying idea for me.

Maybe that’s why I’m focused on the literary fiction genre where resides the more unique and eccentric writing of the writing world. It’s not like the murder mystery genre which shares a common blueprint. Literary fiction is about seeing the world from unique and different perspectives. It’s about pushing the boat out and seeing where it goes as opposed to knowing where it goes before it leaves. It’s the perfect genre for authors like me who want to push the envelope rather than follow the more trodden writing career footpaths. It’s no surprise I’m loving writing in this genre. And it won’t be a shock to my readers to hear I’ll do my best to write unique novels which readers remember for their uniqueness and their lack of averageness.

EXCERPT

My thoughts drift to picture what life as a gillie must be like. I imagine you start the day by carrying all the fishing equipment your fat and wealthy clients will need for a day of luxurious and fully-catered fishing. You carry everything while they take it easy, and you locate the best spot to fish for the largest possible salmon. Your local knowledge about fishing spots has to be extraordinary. You then set up the fishing rod, position your client in the right spot, and talk them through what they need to do to catch that magic fish they’re all searching for. Of course, your clients are always searching for the largest catch of the season, so they can go home and brag to their friends and family about what skilled fishermen they are. It’s obvious to you, if not to them, that the subtext is being able to sing to the world that they have massive willies, bigger than everyone else’s.

Beyond fishing, you’re forced to listen to whatever the hell it is your clients want to talk about for the eight long hours you’re on the river. Your clients are all obscenely wealthy, so it’s more than likely you’ll hear a lot of moaning about all the small things in life they’d like changed. Many of them will complain about local wind farm developments, council plans to develop their neighborhood, and, of course, the big one: immigration. They all believe immigrants are responsible for all the problems in the world. These people are your quintessential NIMBYs, and will always complain about progress if it affects them in any way, no matter how minor. You do whatever you can to bring the conversation back to fishing because it’s an easier conversation for you, and less productive grounds for their complaining. They’re slowly sucking the life out of you with their negativity, so you carefully select your words to bring the conversation onto a more positive pathway. And, of course, your ultimate back-up plan, as it is for many British people, is to pull out the ultimate conversation filler when you’re at rock bottom: the weather. Yes, it’s a desperate move and the equivalent of holding up a white flag, but needs must.

About the author:
S.S. Turner has been an avid reader, writer, and explorer of the natural world throughout his life which has been spent in England, Scotland and Australia. Just like Freddy in his first novel, Secrets of a River Swimmer, he worked in the global fund management sector for many years but realized it didn't align with his values. In recent years, he's been focused on inspiring positive change through his writing as well as trying not to laugh in unfortunate situations. He now lives in Australia with his wife, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and ten chickens.

Author's Giveaway
the more you comment, the better your chances of winning

35 comments:

Stormy Vixen said...

Great guest post and I loved the excerpt, Secrets of a River Swimmer sounds like a fantastic read and I like the cover! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a beautiful day!

marisela zuniga said...

How did you come up with the idea of this book?

Sherry said...

Sounds like a very interesting book.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting!

Bridgett Wilbur said...

I would love to read your book and I love your cover.

amanda whitley said...

Sounds like a great read and love the authors writing style based on the excerpt.

peg42 said...

Sounds like a great book.

abbie said...

This book looks amazing

abfantom said...

This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

abfantom at yahoo dot com

slehan said...

Looks like an interesting book.
Thanks for the contest. 

PAIGE said...

My husband the fisherman will love this book. Thank you

Barbara Montag said...

I so enjoyed reading this excerpt - well done!
Thank you for sharing it with us.

slehan said...

Do you listen to music when you write?

clc408 said...

The excerpt is interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

Debbi Wellenstein said...

I enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway!

slehan said...

What author do you most admire?

Barbara Montag said...

How many hours a day do you write?

Barbara Montag said...

How do you select the names of your characters?

slehan said...

Are you glad when a book is finished?

Barbara Montag said...

If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

slehan said...

Do you relax on the weekends?

Barbara Montag said...

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

slehan said...

Do you write more or read more?

Barbara Montag said...

What part of the book did you have the hardest time writing?

susan1215 said...

Sounds like a good book. I like the cover.

Barbara Montag said...

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a fun book to read. Thanks for the excerpt.

slehan said...

Do you set an alarm so you don't write for too long at a stretch?

slehan said...

This makes me yearn for summer and fishing.

Barbara Montag said...

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

Denise said...

Love this playful cover! Brings back memories. It reminds me of Charlie the Tuna and the old wooden fish flats that my mom and grandmother used to start seeds in the green house.

slehan said...

Do you fish?

slehan said...

Do you have characters living in your head?

Barbara Montag said...

What, to you, are the most important elements of good writing?

Denise said...

Sounds like a really different kind of story. The life of a gillie would be interesting, great scenery, fresh air. When visiting a fish farm on a river in BC, they had a fascinating display, where you could watch the salmon, at eye level, going upriver to spawn.