Who's going to write the next Great American Novel?

 

Not me, no sirree. It's pointless trying to write something that has to be great with a capital 'G'. It's one of the surest routes to writer's block. But great or not, I do happen to be in the very late stages of writing a novel set in the US.

"Somewhere in Alabama, you stop to get gas. A cluster of three gas stations, all selling unleaded at exactly the same price. A Waffle House restaurant with a patched roof and just one car out front, a yellow VW bug. Nothing else but treetops and an almost black sky. No town, no signs to suggest where a town might be, not even a jokey SAN FRANCISCO 2,208 MILES, put up for no other reason than to remind a restless driver how small he is compared to the wide-open road..."

 

My work-in-progress novel is a darkly comic tale of suppressed desire, set across several hot weeks in the post-Hurricane Katrina American South. 

  Happy to See Me: a novel           

And here are a few things that I wrote earlier:
Keeping Mum

 

You wouldn't think a novel written by 15 authors, each voicing a different narrator, could end up being a gripping, page-turning read. But this one is. Loosely inspired by William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, which has a similar structure, Keeping Mum traces the wide-ranging fallout from a London woman's sudden death at a lodge in the Scottish Highlands. My character, a socially awkward young undertaker, helps to drive the story forwards, literally, at the wheel of a white van with the dead woman's body in the back.

 

Buy the paperback on Amazon

Buy the hardcover from Unbound

Keeping Mum book hardcover
 15 authors, one story                 
The Global Village book
The Global Village (Tell Tales Volume 4)

 

"When we are thirty-two years of our age the landlady says we must leave the apartment because we wash clothes on Sunday one time and play our mood-like music too loud always..." My short story 'The Experiment of Life' is narrated by Swiss twins in broken English. It's about an exhibitionistic culture clash in a quiet Zurich street.

 

Buy it on Amazon

 A story about odd twins                
Common Ground book
Common Ground: Around Britain in 30 Writers

 

With my life-writing essay 'Considering Phlebas', which looks at the years TS Eliot spent working at Lloyds Bank in the City of London (while having a breakdown, big marital troubles and working on The Waste Land). Though really it's about my own fear of office jobs and death.

 

Buy it on Amazon

 

 

 If it was good enough for Eliot...               
26 Treasures book
26 Treasures

 

The V&A / London Design Festival exhibition which spread to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland before becoming an award-winning  book. With my 62-word poem-story 'Leopard Flagon', about a decrepit gilded cat.

 

Buy the hardback or ebook from Unbound

Buy it on Amazon

 

 

 This cat has a secret              
Goldfish 3 anthology
Goldfish 3: An Anthology of New Writing from Goldsmiths

 

With my short story 'Connecting the Dots', in which a solitary young man on a summer vacation with his family lusts after a beautiful older girl with an imposing boyfriend. It doesn't end well for him. Or does it?

 

 

 A holiday romance (not really)              
Quote / Unquote
"Jonathan Holt writes convincingly about The Waste Land as 'an indictment of London's dark financial heart'...".
 
Times Literary Supplement