Secrets of a River Swimmer
by S.S. Turner
GENRE: Literary Fiction
As Freddy gazes at the majestic river gushing past him in the depths of a Scottish winter, he’s ready to jump in and end his life. But what happens next is not what Freddy expects. From the moment he enters the river, Freddy starts a journey which is more beautiful, funny, and mysterious than he could have imagined. And through this journey Freddy’s story becomes interweaved with a cast of unforgettable characters who are equally lost and in search of answers. Eventually they all unite in their quest for an answer to the biggest question of them all: will the river take them where they want to go?
In the tradition of inspirational works of fiction like The Alchemist and Life of Pi, Secrets of a River Swimmer is at once a profound exploration into living with meaning and an affecting story of people on the cusp of change.
From Page 7
I dip my toe in.
It’s fucking freezing.
I sit and watch the majestically sinister Scottish river hurtle along below me. I’m not sure whether to be in awe or terrified, but that was always going to be the case today, my last day. The idea of jumping into the river reminds me of the feeling you experience when you arrive at the beach, and you’re thinking about jumping into the sea, but you know it’s going to cause you grievous bodily harm from your nether regions up. For some reason, your legs are the one part of your body which can handle intense cold without too much stress. But all body parts above your legs are a whole different story. My voice just rose an octave, and I’m not even talking.
So you sit and watch the sea while contemplating your next move, as if this thinking time will give you the required mental strength to leap into the cold blue water. However, this thinking time just gives the water an opportunity to look you in the eye with laughing menace, because the water knows the questions you are grappling with deep in your soul. The water understands it is strong and you are weak—the eternal power imbalance at play.
The waiting period only makes it worse, of course. All it does is allow you to hand more mental power over to the cold water than a short and simple jumping-in maneuver would have done. Why do we employ such counter-productive strategies in our lives?
What group did you hang out with in high school?
I was unusual at high school in that I was friends with people from each of the cool, sporty, and nerdy groups, but I didn’t just hang out with one group.
What are you passionate about these days?
I’m passionate about writing, music, animals, nature, kindness, reading, fun, laughter, travel, red wine, and my family.
If you had to do your journey to getting published all over again, what would you do differently?
When I wrote Secrets of a River Swimmer, I really opened myself up to getting into the flow of the writing process. By the time I’d finished it, the novel was deeply personal with a unique voice—so much so that I was shy about anyone reading it at first. But I now realize that getting into the flow on a deeper level like that is exactly what I should always be aiming for with my writing. Rather than being shy about it, I should be confident about any writing I produce when I’m in that state of mind.
Ebook or print? And why?
Print one hundred per cent. For me, printed books are glorious things which contain wisdom, joy, learning, adventure, fascinating characters, and entire worlds to be discovered. We have a huge bookcase containing our all favorite books at it’s one of my favorite spots in our home.
What is your favorite scene in this book?
My favorite scene in Secrets of a River Swimmer is when one of the characters Wilfred goes into bat for the main character Freddy when Freddy is being threatened by a vertically challenged duke with a shotgun and anger issues. Wilfred is hardly a tough guy, but he manages to dance, slap, and dodge his way to victory despite the duke’s obvious fighting and aggression advantages. I cried with laughter when I wrote that scene, and I love reading it.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
S.S. Turner has been an avid reader, writer, and explorer of the natural world throughout his life, which has been spent in England, Scotland and Australia. Just like Freddy in his first novel, Secrets of a River Swimmer, he worked in the global fund management sector for many years but realized it didn’t align with his values. In recent years, he’s been focused on inspiring positive change through his writing and trying not to laugh in unfortunate situations. He now lives in Australia with his wife, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and ten chickens.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
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