I was first introduced to author Colin Browne, after he contacted me to enquire whether I would be prepared to read and give my thoughts about his new, debut novel, The Baggage Handler
He had apparently come across Fiction Books, when reading reviews that had been posted here, about his fellow author Nadine Rose Larter’s debut novel, ‘Coffee At Little Angels’.
Colin sold the concept of the book to me, as that of a ‘romantic comedy’ with a twist, it had been written from a man’s perspective … That idea intrigued me no end, and as I am certainly not averse to a light and easy to read interlude, here we are ….
First lets find out a bit more about the book itself …
Martin White, editor of The Shallow Review of Books, likes his life as he likes his work: shallow. Living in purposeful near-isolation in the middle of a crowded city, he keeps his relationships superficial and his life uncomplicated. His deliberate avoidance of social potholes prompts his colleagues to turn to him for assistance handling their own life and relationship baggage, which only strengthens his resolve never to allow any of it into his life. He’s pretty happy, albeit hollow and empty.
But then Kasia turns up. Young, Polish, focused on minding her own business, she neither invites, nor encourages Martin’s flailing attempts at romance, but he can’t help himself. For reasons that defy logic for an isolationist such as he, he falls for her, hard. Years of handling baggage have done nothing to equip him to handle his own however as he realizes with excruciating displays of ineptitude, again and again. He’s way out of his depth …
Faced with a challenge by Rich, his more socially adept colleague, to ask Kasia out within a week or Rich will, Martin has no option but to open the doors to all the complexity of modern life and relationships as he re-emerges from the shadows.
A twisted romantic comedy, written from the male perspective, The Baggage Handler is an acknowledgement that if you’re going to be serious about it, this love stuff is hard.
… And now, something about the author
Colin Browne, has lived and worked in several countries, including Belgium, Dubai and South Africa, however he has returned to his birthplace of England, where these days, he calls London his home.
Colin’s early career was in business-to-business magazines, writing articles which took him on his worldwide travels.
Latterly, he has become involved in the conception and and start-up of a successful sales resource company, ‘SALESGURU’, in South Africa, which he has now left in the safe hands of his two partners and which continues to flourish and develop.
Today, Colin is still very much in the thrall of corporate culture and it is this energy which drives him to speak on the subject at almost every given opportunity, where he enjoys sharing the hard fought lessons he has learned over the years, with his audience.
He is now making time to indulge in his love of writing, which has been a big part of his life for many years, although this has yet to bring him recognition as a published author.
I suspect that is all about to change, with the long awaited publication of his first novel ‘The Baggage Handler’. Colin bills this as a romantic comedy with the twist that it has been written from the male perspective.
In itself, this is surprisingly not a rare phenomenon, as there are more male authors out there, writing in the romance genre, than anyone would have guessed at. The difference lies in the fact that the majority of male writers in this genre, are writing under female pseudonyms, whereas Colin has had the courage of his convictions and published under his own name.
I am sure that many male authors, writing under a female alias, would have much preferred to be recognised and received credit for their work, as themselves, and in many cases that I am aware of, it was purely a publishers directive, which brought about the ensuing subterfuge. However, with access to todays increasingly easy to use, self publishing sites, many, if not all of those decisions are very much down to the individual authors discretion.
Colin is very down to earth and circumspect about his writing career and has written a brilliant post on his blog, about ‘Putting The Emphasis Back On Creating, Where It Belongs ..’
I haven’t yet started to read ‘The Baggage Handler’, however the PDF is sat there just looking at me, so I am sure it won’t be long before I am part of this somewhat quirky synopsis.
I wonder what the male equivalent of ‘chick-lit’ is?
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