A Patrick Gale Journey
January 9, 2015
I first read Patrick Gale many years ago, when I was a fledging editor in another publishing house. Then, over the years, I fell in love with his writing, his very warm heart, sense of place, and his unerring way of digging deep into the soul of a character without ever being overbearing. There’s wit to his writing as well as a striking honesty. His are books that you just don’t want to finish. So, it was with some trepidation, but mostly excitement, that I went to meet him for the first time. I travelled by train down to Cornwall, a favourite place of mine in any case, gliding along that fabulous coast line and into Penzance by way of Mounts Bay. And there, as I stepped off the train and onto the platform, I was greeted, not by my author, but with a dollop of seagull guano, dropped perfectly on the crown of my head by an eager bird. It had to be a good thing, no?
A PLACE CALLED WINTER has all the elements I’ve mentioned above, and more. It’s a novel loosely based on a true story in Patrick’s own family and is a journey of discovery, both psychological and physical. It combines his stellar talents of writing beautifully about landscape and place, with delving into what drives people emotionally.
What I personally love about this book is the pioneer element, the sense of moving from the drawing rooms of Edwardian England to the great outdoors of Canada; an unexplored, undiscovered world – tough, raw, certainly – yet exciting and dramatic, too. It’s a novel of secrets, of sexuality, and ultimately, of great love. Think of it as Brokeback Mountain, with a little bit of E M Forster thrown in. It’s an exquisite piece of storytelling, brutal and breathtaking in places; an epic yet very intimate human drama.
I couldn’t be more proud to welcome Patrick Gale to Tinder Press. We’re a close knit bunch here, and the journey has been nothing but a pleasure, from the nitty gritty of working on an early draft as an editor and seeing such a professional author hone and craft their work, to listening to my colleagues in publicity, marketing and sales enthuse, create and inspire with their passion for this book. And discovering, strangely, that our art director is also related to the very Harry Cane that appears in this wonderful novel – something that Patrick certainly didn’t know when he came to join us. But that’s another story.
Publishing Director, Tinder Press