Thanks for having me here today to talk about Anthem of the Sea.
Tell us about your book.
Anthem of the Sea is the first book in what I’m calling The Anthem Trilogy. Essentially a contemporary romantic thriller set on a luxury cruise ship on its return journey to the UK after a Mediterranean voyage. Daniel and Elijah are two guest entertainers who meet when they join the ship for the last few days at sea. The attraction is instant for both of them and the timing seems perfect. What better way to get to know each other than with a few days at sea? But this being a thriller, it’s far from smooth sailing for their relationship as well the ship.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I draw as much from real life as possible. This book was inspired by my own love of ships and cruise holidays. For me there’s nothing better than heading out to sea, knowing you won’t see land again for a couple of days. It can be scary too. The rough weather the ship encounters in the second half of the story is drawn from experience. On my very first cruise, we hit enormous seas in the Bay of Biscay on our second day. It was terrifying. Nowadays the high seas don’t bother me, but that first voyage was a real trial by fire. But it hasn’t put me off. There is no part of flying that I enjoy, so travelling by ship will always be my preferred option.
Who is your favourite character from one of your stories and why?
My favourite characters are always the ones I’m writing about now. Daniel and Elijah from this book are my current top two. I love these guys. Maybe because I’ve spent more time writing about them than any other characters. I’ve already completed the second book in the Anthem Trilogy, which picks up their story a year after book one, and am currently writing the third. I feel like they’ve moved in with me. It’ll be hard to let them go at the end of book three. Thankfully I’m a slow writer, so they’ll be with me for a few months yet.
What’s the biggest writing challenge you’ve ever taken on?
Writing this trilogy. I’ve only ever written standalone stories until now, so planning a three book series was a huge challenge. I knew it was a trilogy from the start, rather than a connected series of standalone’s, and planned it as such. I knew when I started writing the first book, where they characters would be at the end of the third, but getting there has required a lot of stamina. It was important that each book have it’s own identity and pay off the readers efforts. I hate getting to the end of book that leaves everything hanging till the next one. I want readers to be totally satisfied by each volume in the trilogy but still wanting more.
An ocean of possibility. For love, revenge and murder.
Daniel Blake, a handsome young singer, boards the Atlantic Anthem in Portugal for the final voyage of her maiden season. The state-of-the-art ship is the jewel in the Royal Atlantic cruise fleet. For Daniel, a one-time boy band member and TV talent show winner, it’s an honor to perform aboard such a vessel. Daniel loves the freedom and adventure of the sea. He began his solo career as a cruise ship entertainer and returning to the ocean as a headline act brings him full circle. He isn’t looking for love.
Neither is comedian Elijah Mann. Working at sea has given Elijah’s career the boost it desperately needed. Often considered too good-looking and sexy to be funny, work has been hard to come by since his TV show was canceled. With a potential new career opening up, he must remain focused. But when Elijah meets Daniel the attraction is mutual and instant. As the ship sets sail for England they have three days to get to know each other. Elijah can’t let that opportunity pass.
The voyage home is far from smooth. Also on board is a figure from Daniel’s past. A man who’s been holding a grudge for years, waiting for his moment. As a storm builds in the North Atlantic, Daniel and Elijah discover that the trip of a lifetime could be their last.
General Release: 20th June
Pride Publishing: https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/anthem-of-the-sea
Thom Collins is the author of the novel Closer by Morning, with Pride Publishing. His love of page turning thrillers began at an early age when his mother caught him reading the latest Jackie Collins book and promptly confiscated it, sparking a life-long love of raunchy novels.
The novellas Gods of Vengeance and Silent Voices were published by Pride in early 2017, followed by the novel Anthem of the Sea, the first book in the Anthem Trilogy. He has recently finished writing the second book in a series and is working on the third.
Thom has lived in the North East of England his whole life. He grew up in Northumberland and now lives in County Durham with his husband and two cats. He loves all kinds of genre fiction, especially bonk-busters, thrillers, romance and horror. He is also a cookery book addict with far too many titles cluttering his shelves. When not writing he can be found in the kitchen trying out new recipes. He’s a keen traveler but with a fear of flying that gets worse with age. Since taking his first cruise in 2013 he realized that sailing is the way to go.
Twitter: @thomwolf and @realthomcollins