Andy’s first adult novel, TRAIN MAN, is published by Chatto & Windus on July 4th 2019.
It's a novel about desolation, and how desolation can sometimes turn into something else. Michael is the main character, and he's pretty much broken. We meet him as he awaits the 9.46 to Gloucester, where he'll get his connection for Crewe. The platforms are long at Crewe, and he can walk easily to the end of one of them, and step into the path of a non-stop express to London.
He’s planned it all.
He has a net of tangerines, and a juice carton, too. That's filled with neat whisky. He has his last credit card taped to the inside of his shoe - that should make identification swift and easy, for he has horror of being left in a mortuary drawer, unclaimed.
It all sounds horrendously bleak, but what Michael hasn't factored in is a twelve-minute delay. He misses his connection, and starts to make new ones. Can he silence the voices in his head, though? - ex-girlfriends, work colleagues, and the memories from his schooldays, decades old. They all torment him.
What he really needs is someone to listen, and ask the question that nobody's asked before. Journeys do intersect. People can find people when and where they least expect it.
'I use the train a lot,' says Andy. 'I'm fascinated by the non-conversations you can get into, and overhear, and I invented a man who’d become an expert in hiding behind a fog of blather and small-talk. Years ago, I worked with a Michael, and when he killed himself it was the same old story: we all agreed we'd never realised, never suspected...never probed. I can't do novels of despair: TRAIN MAN is a book about healing, and I just hope it's an intelligent one.'