What makes a man give up a lucrative job in the city to write what is currently being hailed as the next Fifty Shades of Grey?
In Tom Barry’s case a series of heart attacks and a passion for writing. When The Siren Calls, Tom’s first novel recently launched and has already leapt into Goodreads top 100 books. With 12 million readers and book recommendations Goodreads is the largest website of its kind.
On a cold November evening myself and 60 journalists gathered in central London to listen to Tom speak about how this celebration launch was the end of a journey. With this book being the first of a trilogy I believe the journey has only just began. After leaving the City Tom’s first thoughts were to write about business, and how to get inside selling, but he soon discovered that he could entertain people with his writing rather than just inform. The idea for When The Siren Calls was born. Developing the book from his main character Jay Brooke, Tom weaves a tale of intrigue, sex and adventure.
Being a neglected wife surrounded by wealth and financial security Isobel is swayed by the suave and slightly dangerous Jay. The feelings of guilt and indecision, mixed with the allure of a new relationship, and the giddy feeling of sexual awakening make Isobel a believable character that is easy to relate to.
A large part of the story is set in Tuscany, one of my favourite areas of Italy, an idyllic setting for a dangerous liaison. So the question is, will Isobel fall for the charms of Jay and follow her dreams or stay with Peter her reliable if somewhat predictable husband.
It’s interesting to see where Tom has drawn his inspiration, he can certainly relate to Peter the man obsessed with work, and Jay the man who does things for all the right reasons, even if they don’t always work out. Taking chances and new directions is something Tom has done in his own life, and with the first book complete, the overseas translation rights snapped up, and literary agents interested in the next two books, Tom will have to focus on finishing the next book in time to launch next Spring.
The evening had a wonderful Italian theme running through it with delicacies from Italy, and each copy of When The Siren Calls contained a discount voucher for accommodation at the beautiful Relais La Corte di Cloris hotel in Florence. One lucky person won three nights’ accommodation at the hotel and I’m thrilled to say it was me! Out of all the books displayed on the table I picked up the one with the winning ticket. Let’s hope that Tom gets the second book finished in time for me to take it away with me.
If you are looking for a little something for your stocking this year, When The Siren Calls could be just what you are looking for!
When The Siren Calls £5.99 available from Amazon