I was really pleased to hear the other day that when the paperback of The Glasgow Coma Scale is released in a few weeks, it’ll be part of WH Smith Travel’s ‘Fresh Talent’ promotion. A dozen titles are chosen to be featured in some or all of the company’s shops in train stations, airports, hospitals, etc; in our post-Net Book Agreement world, where debut authors can find it a struggle to be given shelf space or prominence in bookshops which tend to concentrate, understandably, on pushing more proven talent, this is a really great initiative, and a thrill to be part of. The paperback (pictured at left) will be out in WH Smithses from 27th June, a few days ahead of the official 2nd July publication date. I’m looking forward to seeing what other titles it sits alongside in the ‘Fresh Talent’ bay!
The Glasgow Coma Scale is my first novel. It’s published in the UK by Corsair in July 2014. Here’s the synopsis, from Corsair’s website:
Set in Glasgow, this is a bitter-sweet story about two very different people trying to survive very different kinds of crises. Funny, sad and tender, The Glasgow Coma Scale is a richly layered novel about art and economics, friendship and isolation; about how much reality we can bear and survive; about the wafer-thin line that we sense separates us all from imminent disaster: it announces a major new literary talent.
Lynne is a young woman who once dreamed of being an artist, but whose promotion to supervisor at an insurance call centre in Glasgow is sucking the soul out of her.
When Lynne hands a fiver to a homeless man on the street in town one day, she is shocked to recognise Angus – her former art teacher on whom she once had a crush. What on earth could have reduced him to life on the street? In a gesture of uncharacteristic rashness, she invites him home.
So begins The Glasgow Coma Scale. Set against the gentrification of Scotland’s second city, this is a taut, ticklish, tender and truly unexpected story of art, of the city, of feelings, and about the redemptive power of an unconventional kind of love.
I’ll be posting more in the run-up to publication. Stay tuned…