Those who know me will know I’ve been writing, nearly winning the Bath Novel Award (shortlisted three times), and narrowly missing publication for quite some time. But no more rejections for my debut novel, Fulmar, a coming-of-age story set in Cornwall. There’s a new publisher in the county, a traditional press for writers living in Cornwall called Hermitage Press. They’re based near Liskeard, and I’m truly honoured that they’ve chosen my book to be among their first to be published. Here’s the announcement and my author profile, which went live on their site.
New Author: Robin Falvey
We are thrilled to announce another author and title we will be publishing this year. Read on to learn more about Robin Falvey and his wonderful novel, Fulmar.
“I was living in an old Post Office van, trundling the Cornish lanes, stopping here and there, never for long, always leaving early. One day, I’d been surfing at Porthtowan and afterwards was sitting, eating my chips when, suddenly, a bunch of young people poured out of Porthtowan Surf Lifesaving Club. I was reminded of Dawlish Warren Lifesaving Club back in Devon, where I had been club captain. I began writing, and, Fulmar, is the result.
My protagonist, Jacob Penhallow, is a messed up fifteen-year-old looking for connection and belonging but finding it in the wrong places. It’s a story about how a young person can grow and change, and heal from trauma, and about the role a community can play in that recovery. It’s such a personal book, written with optimism from the back of a van in laybys, and woven through with my love of the sea. As someone said – I don’t know who – ‘It’s in the personal that we find the universal’; I think this is what shines through in this book and makes it very relatable and accessible.
A Devonian by birth, I’ve been living in Cornwall since 2009. I’d recently returned to the UK from a stint in New Zealand and the South Pacific, where I’d been working as a deckhand on the tall ship Soren Larsen and came to Penryn to take a Master’s degree in journalism at Falmouth University. Cornwall is culturally quite distinctive, but in some ways, doesn’t feel so very different from the Devon fishing town of Brixham, where I was born and raised during the 1970s and ‘80s. Back then, we visited Cornwall regularly because we had aunts, uncles, and cousins living down here. They were always lovely with us kids, and I have very happy memories of those times.
Fulmar was runner-up in the prestigious Bath Novel Award in 2015 but narrowly missed out on finding a publisher at the time. I’d more or less given up on finding a home for my book when a friend told me about Hermitage Press. I thought, why not give it a shot? I reworked it, submitted it, and here we are. I’m so pleased my debut novel is to be published here in Cornwall and that people will finally have the chance to read it. If you’re looking for a book that’s gritty, funny, hopeful, and full of heart, Fulmar is for you.”
Join me on the journey to publication
I’ll be blogging about the rocky writing road so far, plus my journey to publication as it unfolds. I’ll also be responding to questions about writing and copywriting, and, as always, I’ll post about my various creative ventures, plus adventures/misadventures in Cornwall. If you’d like to come along for the ride, please sign up for my newsletter via the form on the sidebar.