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.
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?
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 as well as trying not to laugh in unfortunate situations. He now lives in Australia with his wife, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and ten chickens.
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If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
I’d love to be able to fly so I could travel to far flung parts of the world whilst gazing down at earth from above.
What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
Whilst I don’t speak any languages fluently when I’m sober, I’m fluent in Italian when I’m drunk.
When writing descriptions of your hero/ine, what feature do you start with?
When I write about Freddy, I first mention his mental state as being lost.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m more a pantser by nature but I’ve learnt to combine some solid plotting work with my fly-by-my-pants tendencies to ensure my writing reaches its full potential.
Did you learn anything from writing this book? If so, what?
Yes. I learnt about how to navigate through life’s challenges. I also learnt about healing, friendship, and ultimately about how to live a meaningful life. As you can tell, writing this novel was a joyful experience for me.
Thank you for featuring on my blog, and for answering my questions. I'm sure readers have learned a lot about you and your writing technique! (And LOL about your sometimes fluent Italian)!