Saturday, 7 December 2013

Coming soon: 'To The White Gate'

To The White Gate is my new 106,000-word novel which I began in July 2012 but was unable to finish until I could visit Manchester (England), where part of the novel is set, to complete some research there. I was able to get to Manchester in November 2013 and so was able to finish the book in January 2014.
To The White Gate is a fictional memoir of a ninety-year-old New Zealand man, Tommy Fyfe, approaching the end of his life. As Tommy is a kind, gentle and patient man he tells his story in a gentle fable-like way.
Tommy Fyfe leads a sheltered life working as a gardener in a park, in a myth-like land called Aotearoa,  where he spends his entire working life. Even when he is made to retire (at seventy) by the park management the park remains central to his life as he lives on its borders.
His work in the park, over more than fifty years, not only brings him close to nature but also into contact with a wide variety of people, some of whom become his lifelong friends. Each of the people he meets and befriends adds something to his understanding of the human condition which helps shape his personal outlook and provides the material for his homely philosophical observations and recollections which form an essential part of the book.
The story is divided into four sections — spring, summer, autumn and winter — each season being a loose metaphor for the stages of Tommy’s journey through life, from adolescence to old age.
I am now actively seeking an agent in England where I think To The White Gate will best be received. However the reality is that I have never been able to break through to publishers -- here or anywhere -- despite the fact that my writing is widely admired and my books and short stories are so popular. If no publisher will accept it then I will publish myself and make it available on my website and in New Zealand libraries.
Look out for it in 2014.