Jersey and Guernsey have a long history of friendly rivalry that usually sorts itself out twice a year, during the annual footie and rugby matches. For such close neighbours there are plenty of similarities but also many important differences. But both Islands do boast a long literary history going back centuries and many artists have travelled across the Channel to be inspired by our wild coastlines.
Today I’m delighted to welcome debut author, Anthony Le Moignan, who’s book, A LONG GOODBYE has recently been launched.
Anthony, can you tell me a little about your book and what inspired you to write it?
Although A LONG GOODBYE is my public debut novel, I wrote Point of Death first. However, this seemingly illogical publishing decision has come about for very strong emotional reasons. I was inspired to write A Long Goodbye after spending over two years visiting my father, Des, as he slowly succumbed to that most sickening of diseases, Alzheimer’s. As I watched Dad on a near-daily basis, turning from the father I loved, to a man who sometimes didn’t know who I was, I knew I was going through the most profound moments of my life.
In the middle of this period, I read about an attractive woman in her early 30s, recently married and an ex-ski instructor. She’d been diagnosed with something I’d never heard of at the time; early onset Alzheimer’s. ALG was born from my gradual understanding of care homes and my father’s condition, and the almost unimaginable horrors of early onset Alzheimer’s. A share of the sale of every book is being donated to Alzheimer’s Society in the UK and Jersey Alzheimer’s Association.
The book revolves around three main characters. Simon is 40, a successful partner in an accountancy firm in London. His doctor confirms the worst – Simon has early onset Alzheimer’s. With this knowledge, he closes his social and business life, applying to move to a care home just outside Cambridge. He hopes nobody will ever find him.
Emma, 42, is the manager of Orchard care home. Hard working, conscientious and admired by all. She’s a petite, attractive woman, married to Michael, a former manager of the same care home. Happily married for many years, their relationship has become more and more strained as Emma fails to fall pregnant. The situation isn’t helped when Michael rises within the care home group and travels away regularly to grow the business empire.
The attraction is instant and reciprocal, but how can Emma and Simon ever have a future? Emma is a completely faithful wife, and Simon is living on borrowed time.
I always enjoy asking the next question the best. You never know what will come up! Tell us 10 things many people won’t know about you, Anthony 😂
(In no particular order):
1) I’m not an accountant
2) My youngest son is my full-time publicist and manager
3) I was called ‘Toto’ or ‘Totie’ until 5-years-old, ‘Moggy’ at school, and ‘Tony’ for the last few decades
4) Throughout the Second World War my father was known as ‘Lemon Onion’ – phonetically the nearest anyone could get to his surname.
5) In March 1912, my great uncle famously said, ‘I’m just going outside and may be some time.’
6) I won the European Croquet Singles Championship
7) Twice (*see 6)
8) I have an incredibly irritating memory for numbers
9) I’m directionally dyslexic
10) I’m a huge fan of car sat-nav and google maps
OMG, I’m so pleased I asked that. Captain Oates, (Terra Nova Expedition) was your Great Uncle – Gobsmacked. Such a tragedy and a great loss…
I can see from your answers you have a great sense of humour. Toto, I’m directionally dyslexic too, or so I’m told.
Finally can you tell me about your next book…?
My next book (Point of Death) is liable to be published before the new year, but it’s a very VERY different story to A Long Goodbye. It’s best described as a dark and graphic thriller but with hints of Lassie – a novel for the extremist … For now, there’s a teaser front cover on the website, but that’s it; my lips are sealed.
Thanks, Anthony, for popping along for a virtual coffee. I wish you every success with your writing.
It was both a shock and a delight when Anthony Le Moignan received The English Prize at end-of-term assembly. He was 11 and in the 6th form, his final year at Prep.
The celebrations carried on for years – five in fact, at which point he was expelled from senior school (‘asked to leave’ was the official jargon). However, a lifelong lesson was learnt (even if an avoidance of alliteration wasn’t) – he was clearly unemployable.
So through a series of almost absurd luck which he cannot begin to over-emphasise, he seems to have successfully ploughed himself to this current moment in time.
He won’t excuse his love of Cambridge. Having travelled around the world playing croquet for a couple of decades, this little city is just about his favourite place on the planet. He’s not entirely sure why, but he seems to love being surrounded by people far brighter than himself, and buildings older than God (welllll, sort of…).
So, a lot of his novels are going to be set in or around Cambridge and London, all of which he hopes will be glanced at in the fullness of time. For now, he’d like to mention that all of the characters in his books, every single one of them, human and otherwise, are based on actual persons; fragments maybe, but they all truly exist. Quite how any author can claim otherwise is a complete mystery to him.