A local author has won the First Novel section of the national Costa Book Awards.Advertisement
Andrew Michael Hurley, from Preston, won the prestigious prize for his gothic contemporary novel The Loney ahead of four other shortlisted books.
The Costa Book Awards recognise the outstanding books of the year written by authors in UK and Ireland.
Andrrew said: “It was fantastic for me just to be on the shortlist, but to win is unbelievable.
“It certainly makes all the hard work worthwhile, but what really matters to me is that people just enjoy reading the book.
“I’m delighted to have won this, and I’ll have to wait and see how I get on with the overall prize.”
Andrew lives in Fulwood and currently teaches English literature and creative writing.
The novel tells the story of a Catholic family making a pilgrimage to London to try and cure their son. It is largely set on the Lancashire coast between the River Wyre and the River Lune.
Marcus Johnstone, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “I’m delighted for Andrew. It is a great tribute to Andrew’s literary skill to even be considered, let alone to win. I understand that the Costa judges were incredibly complimentary about the book.
“The recognition is made all the sweeter for me as the book is set in Lancashire, Andrew lives in Lancashire and he used to be a manager at Kirkham library.
“Andrew recently talked about his book and signed copies of it at St. Anne’s Library, and this evening was really successful.
“The book is receiving fantastic literary acclaim already. It has been hailed as a modern classic and even the world–famous author Stephen King has applauded Andrew’s work and described it as an amazing piece of fiction.
“I look forward to hearing a lot more about Andrew in the future.”
The Loney, which has a film deal with DNA Films and Film 4, will now be considered for the overall Book of the Year prize which will be announced on January 26.