It seems like an eternity since my last blog – I’ve been busy!
On Wednesday evening (from 6:30pm) 23rd November at the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast ARTHUR’S DEAD will receive its first public airing – perhaps you would like to be there?
The following is the book’s blurb:
SOMETHING TERRIBLE HAPPENED SOME TEN MILES
OFF THE NORTHERN IRISH COAST.
Arthur’s Dead is the latest novel from the new Irish writer Thomas Jobling. Although a (small) step away from his usual writings on competitive sailing, for this novel he has produced a gripping tale of tragic romance, but has nevertheless, remained faithful to his genre of ‘nautical fiction’.
The acclaimed writer and journalist, Martina Devlin said of his work; ‘A dramatic story with gripping seas scenes.’
Set in the near present, Arthur’s Dead features three lead characters: husband and wife, Arthur and Bronagh McKitterick-Kirk, and … a boat – which at best is jinxed, or worst case, could hold within it something much more sinister. Other prominent characters include Bronagh’s younger brother Paddy O’Connell, the Coxswain of the lifeboat – Detective Sergeant Florence McPeake, Justin deBruin, PJ and a ‘fat English git’ also figure large as the tale develops. It is no secret that Arthur dies, the question is; how, and why?
‘Jobling’s knack of good character building shines throughout this tale of (nautical) deception’ wrote Debbie McGrory, presenter at NVTV’s Novel Ideas Arts Programme.
As well as creating a thrilling story, the author – as only a skilled yachtsman could do – has also wrapped around this chilling tale, a panorama of wondrous beauty in the depiction of both the Galloway and Irish coasts. In intricate detail he draws the reader into the attractions of boating, and indeed spends time lovingly discussing the craft in question … and indeed the inherent dangers of life afloat, if ‘rules’ are disregarded. Arthur McKitterick-Kirk had little time for rules…
Throughout, Arthur’s Dead carves a deep and moving commentary on the up’s and downs of volatile relationships, and volatility was something that the KK’s (as they were affectingly known around marina and yacht club scene) had in abundance. When trust has been swamped by the cancers of jealousy and alcohol induced assumption, this tale enters very dark waters indeed…
The tale opens in Northern Ireland, develops on the shores of Strangford Lough and in Portpatrick, but ends in dramatic fashion at a County Dublin quayside.
This is very much, a tragic romance.
Yes, I know. There has been little (none) attention paid to this site since, well, last year. Look, I’m sorry – I’ve been distracted… But I’m back in harness and almost fully focused again.
So, what’s been happening?
1) I got the second book finished. However, I find myself high and dry on a literary sandbank so to speak. Just as I was about to press the ‘self-pub’ button wasn’t the full manuscript called up by one of the country’s foremost publishers! Manuscripts, piles of them, grind their way through various alcoves towards the decision makers every day. That’s why the promised novel, entitled ARTHUR’S DEAD has yet to see the light of day. It’s a waiting, waiting, waiting game. But one way or another, I am determined to have it published during this year – keep an eye out.
2) Then there was the now infamous incident of the stolen fire appliance … you may have noticed it all over the media recently? At 04.30 hours on the 5th March we (my wife and I) were unceremoniously awoken by what sounded awfully like an explosion! That said a fully loaded fire appliance – some 15 tonnes of machinery travelling at full pelt – is powerful weapon. With lights pulsing, it had torn into a line of parked cars, then careered across several front gardens before it was ‘parked’ in the front porch a dwelling within our Victorian terrace. Four cars were written off – mine was the first – and three others were badly damaged. One of the bystanders, perhaps it was a neighbour, said that I could write a book about it (but not just at the moment). I suppose, in the end there was some positives (for me) – I found myself being interviewed for BBC, Sky, CNN and a couple of other news programmes who covered the incident. Perhaps there is no such a thing as ‘bad’ publicity – but that experience was a bit extreme. “Did I mention that I was an author…?”
3) I’m preparing to ‘hit the road’ again. I’m opening in the home town. On Saturday 14th May at Larne’s beautifully restored Market Yard. I will be participating in the LATHARNA CREATIVES EXPOSITION which will run from 11:00am to 4pm nonstop throughout the day. They’ve provided me with a thirty minute slot around 1:30pm to talk, among other things, about the creation of Chasing Shadows. Needless to say, I will also be selling and signing copies of it during the day. But more importantly, I intend to introduce the new novel; ARTHUR’S DEAD. The plan is to read the opening chapter. It’ll be a first! If you were free and nearby I’d love to see you… Look out for my stall.
4) The sailing season is upon us, so my writing time gets further divided. For the next few months the afloat obsession rises to the top of my ‘must do’ list. Me and the crew of ‘Prodigal’ have a busy season ahead of us – especially in August. But first I’ve got the get the auld boat launched. But that is after the dreaded ‘antifouling paint’ is applied to its bottom; my favourite job – not.
I can’t believe where the year has gone! My ‘Illustrated Book Talk/sell/sign Tour’ is nearing the end of it’s run. It all kicked off in the spring – I remembers the day well; horizontal rain and a canopy which threatened to become a spinnaker! That was the Irish Boat Jumble hosted by Carrickfergus Sailing Club. The sailing season, for what there was of it this year, sort of occupied my mind a bit. But then, the latter end of the year has been manic … and now, after this Wednesday (25th Nov) it’ll all be history.
Yes this Wed (25th) I’ll will be travelling down into Mourne country. I will be chatting to the gentlemen of the Kilkeel Diners club at the newly refurbished Kilmorey Arms Hotel. And for the final event in December CHASING SHADOWS will be talked about at …. I’ll tell you later.
Finally, with Christmas only a matter of weeks away, have thought about ‘that’ present?
Yes, of course a proper hard copy -a book, especially Chasing Shadows – will be the perfect solution.
Simply go to www.lulu.com. Enter Chasing Shadows by TN Jobling and follow the instructions … Other wise email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07809691585 – I still have a few copies in stock.
WITH TWO VENUES ‘CONQUERED’ MY NERVES HAVE SETTLED, A LITTLE. I can’t wait to get back on the road with the Chasing Shadows tour – my illustrated talk and book signing event (could be titled, the ‘ITABS’ tour?).
Next venue is Groomsport, at Cockle Island Boat Club – what a title – on 18th November. Then the following week I’m away off, over to Donegal. The next day, it’s down to Kilkeel – but more details on these later.
I still have dates available if your club or organisation would be interested in having me for an evening or day event: Call on 07809691585, or mail me at email@example.com.
So, where has the tour been to? I re-opened at Coleraine Yacht Club in mid October, and then presented to the Larne Probus gathering in the Halfway House hotel a week or so later. Both occasions attracted full houses.
In Coleraine I met up with some old sailing friends and shared some craic, mostly centred around the club’s renowned 24 Hour [sailing] Race… It also spurned some good banter about seasons past when the big dinghy fleets were concentrated within GP14, Scorpions and Enterprise sailboat fleets.
At the Probus event I suffered a strange inner feeling! Has this ever happened to you? I was narrating a passage from Chasing Shadows when I was suddenly overcome with the feeling that everyone in the full house, was actually listening to me – then I made the mistake of glancing out over the book. I looked back, lost my place, and allowed that inner blast of nerves to unsettle me! However, with an intake of the Antrim coast air and a gulp of water, I had steadied myself and read on – not sure if anyone noticed. If they did they were far too polite to say.
It was a good day – good, until I attempted to get into my car! Electronic key fobs, and a run-down battery is not the most efficient combination for opening doors…. However, with the assistance of my mate George (who was just ‘up the road’) I finally got underway. But, it didn’t end there: The new battery cost £1.29, and after recourse to UTube, to understand how to open the fob, it got inserted – still the fob didn’t work; its memory had been lost. So, onward to the garage. And, £50 later …
Finally, could I say a big thank you to everyone who gave their support to my ‘ITABS’ events and if you missed out on picking up a copy of my book, simply go to www.lulu.com. Enter Chasing Shadows by TN Jobling in the appropriate box and follow the links. You’ll receive your own hard copy in a few days…
PS: Save this date – Thursday 12th November.
All will be revealed in next week’s Larne Times out on 5th November …
LATE SEASON ‘CS’ BOOK TOUR: 2015
Yes, it’s time to ‘hit the road’ again!
Commencing on the 14th (Oct) I will be travelling up to Coleraine Yacht Club to re-open this year’s tour.
Once again I’ll be talking about my writing, reading from Chasing Shadows, and, if time permits, maybe a line or two from the manuscript of the new novel.
Thereafter I’ll be selling and signing, and most importantly, having a craic with folk kind enough to have given of their time, to listen to me…
TOUR DATES & VENUES
- OCT 14th Coleraine Yacht Club
- Oct 27th Probus, at Halfway House Hotel, Ballygally
- Nov 18th Cockle Island Boat Club, Groomsport
- Nov 24th Lough Swilly Yacht Club, Fahan
- Nov 25 Kilkeel Diners Club, (venue to be confirmed)
- Dec 15 Glenarm Christmas Market
- Also, I have a gap for one further date on October 21st or 28th… any takers?
BUT WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING IN THE MEAN TIME?
Following the closure of the competitive sailing season (which I don’t want to talk about!) in early September, and after hauling the auld boat (quarter tonner type) out of Larne Lough and onto the plush hard-standing at East Antrim Boat Club, it was finally back onto the keyboard.
The manuscript for the new novel got finished – for about the tenth time – and just last Saturday (3th) I completed the re-formatting in readiness for sending off to my online publisher; undecided as yet who’ll get the ‘contract’ because, I’m still chasing up on conventional publishing houses – nothing yet.
I, along with my long suffering wife, travelled to Portpatrick (opposite) last month. It was just to check out a few issues relating to the novel. A beautiful couple of days, with much walking of headlands and investigating the history of the area. Our outing was however, spoiled a little, by the less than welcoming staff onboard P&O’s ‘Highlander…
As well as novel writing I am heavily involved with the Larne Writers Group (follow them on Facebook) in the creation of a book for the Christmas marketplace. Now titled “13” the anthology will feature thirteen short stories from LWG members, and their guests. I’ve seen the master draft – it’s lookin’ “fabulous darling.”
The group are aiming to have “13” available to purchase from early November.
So, its been a busy old time around the Jobling house hold of late, and with the aforementioned tour about to kick off, it promises to be even busier. But looking forward to it, and of course meeting up with my readers, and, potential new readers. See you in Coleraine?