Following the launch Chasing the Sun with Henry, author Gary Brockwell shares the five things readers can learn from his debut novel.

Gary Brockwell

Gary Brockwell

No 1: We all need at least one thing that we can find solace from

For Eddie Dungiven it is the beach he walks Henry, his Collie - Spaniel cross early every Saturday morning.  It has to be early, to ensure it is deserted on account of Henry not being trusted to behave in company.  Eddie enjoys the solitude, the wildness and the silence of this place, it makes him feel safe.

For Sally, Eddie’s wife, it is her garden, which she has transformed over many years from a tired, barren space, into a serene wonderland, all captured and catalogued within her “Book of Perfect Brilliance”.  It is also a wildlife haven, perfect for “arthropod soirees” as she puts it.

No 2: We all have a Mr and Mrs Dungiven in our lives, sometimes without even knowing it

Not as a children’s entertainer and close hand magician, or an obsessive cleaner, you understand.  But rather disguised as an outwardly strong and stable couple, yet behind closed doors, this veneer is brutally stripped away to expose an inner truth, only they can ever share.

No 3: We all need to learn to deal with change

Change happens, positive and negative, we cannot stop it, we cannot ignore it.  It is how we respond to change that is of the upmost importance and our ability to adapt and accept it drives not only our futures, but directly and indirectly, those around us too.

No 4: There is often more to people then you realise from the image they project

As Gus Eastly can confirm it is possible to sample two margaritas on two continents within 24 hours all in the name of customer research.

He also knows, so as to not appear odd, it is best to have your shoes close by when meeting the British Prime Minister.

He has also learnt that Vervet monkeys will steal your picnic if it is left unattended.  Still, in the ensuing chaos trying to reclaim what is yours, you may find the love of your life.  So, every cloud and all that.

For Cerys Sindon her seemingly perfect material bubble of existence masks a crippling lack of self-confidence sparked and engrained over the years by her controlling older husband’s cruel behaviour.  Where could life have taken her in differing circumstances?

No 5: We all deserve a second chance to be happy

Guilt can make us unable to grasp or even recognise our own chance of happiness when it is presented before us.  The guilt can manifest as an unrelenting grief attached to the inability of letting go of what has been, or it can simply seep as disapproval into us, forcing us to “do the right thing” and conform to social convention.

Whatever form is prevalent in holding us back, we all deserve the right to happy.

Eddie, Sally, Cerys and Gus, all individually need to embrace their own version of happiness in the here and now and let the past be the past.

Gary’s debut novel, Chasing the Sun with Henry is out now in paperback and as an ebook. 

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