Maiden Voyage: Things in Heaven and Earth is sailing…

On Sunday 13th I held a launch for my book in my home town. Despite the current climate I felt I wanted to mark the occasion and what better place to hold it than a large open garage-cum-art gallery, directly beneath where I live? Funky Art was recently transformed from a storehouse for an upmarket junk shop, to a gallery that represents a spectrum of local artists. With so much space and room to stand in the open, it was a perfect venue for social distancing requirements. I invited 40 and prayed for good weather. My prayers were answered: the sun shone, nearly everybody turned up, some from far and others closer to home. Prosecco and goodwill flowed equally. People were glad to responsibly mingle the day before further restrictions would have prevented the launch from happening.  The highlight for me was the performance of the two charismatic actors who brought excerpts from the book alive in a semi-staged reading. We are so blessed in my neck of the woods with creative talent. Hastings was once described as “a poor man’s Brighton.” Interestingly it is that very fact that brought a host of creatives to its threshold. It was (not now!) a cheap place to live, and its biggest attraction was the sea. Yes, Brighton had captured that market too, once upon a time, but soon became known as “little London.” And now, here we are in the crazy little towns (separated only by an invisible demarcation line a short walk East from Queen Victoria’s imperious statue) of Hastings and St Leonards. But I digress.

The launch was a focal point for me; something to help Things in Heaven and Earth sail into the world on its maiden voyage. I have no idea where it will go and how many it will reach, but so far the feedback has been, on the whole, positive, the story clearly capturing the imagination of some and intriguing others.  I have been a little apprehensive about reader’s reactions to the sections that are of a deeply spiritual nature, but it is this, in my mind, that gives true value to a story that highlights the different levels of human connections and interaction.  In my ongoing quest to define the book, I have come to see that overall it speaks of a love beyond the limited definition of human love. We have only to fall in love to know that something utterly overwhelming has ripped us out of our habitual life and given it meaning. It’s what happens after the fuss has died down that challenges us and we may find ourselves yearning for a more meaningful, deeper, ever-present love. It is the restrictions of being human that frustrates, and yet Colin and Dee’s experience reveals the potential for”meeting” this all-embracing love. As someone wise once said: if it’s happened once, it can happen again.  Simply put, the story of Colin and Dee and what happened after their initial explosive meeting, gives love a whole new meaning.

Those who are not engaged by Things in Heaven and Earth keep silent. And that is fine. Reading  it prompted one reviewer on Amazon to write, “The book is interesting in that it is able to be read purely as a romantic story about two people on one level and yet it has far deeper things to consider almost constantly as one reads.”

Next up is another learning curve – the business of serious publicity!


The author finds time to laugh                        Funky Art Gallery – the stage is set


Rachel McCarron, starry-eyed as Dee                                                 Jonny Magnanti embraces the text