Years ago I saw a hot air balloon over Bristol and wondered, as you do, what if someone wanted to shoot it down? You’re thinking I don’t know that the balloon is full of hot air and not hydrogen, aren’t you? Wrong. So the scenario is a challenge and is the beginning of a thriller, Hot Air. A feisty young woman celebrates her birthday by taking her boyfriend in a hot air balloon. They witness an unsavoury crime in a Bristol suburb but the gang need to stop them. The action takes the reader to Mallorca, the south of France and London.
On a whim I entered Hot Air for a best unpublished novel competition in which readers voted for their favourite. The competition was organised by a Netherlands Arts foundation called Wuacademia. Perhaps it was because the action was European based, and so was the competition, but Hot Air won a Silver and a Special Award. It even picked an Award d’Or the following year. My daughter came with me to Groningen to receive the award – photos and video here.
There’s a video trailer for Hot Air here
At last you can buy Hot Air. It is only available via the arts academy on their website here. I think it is rather pricey but if you like books that have a hand-made feel to them and know someone who would hug you for a rip-roaring adventure, where our heroine is held captive in Mallorca, where she meets one of Robert Graves’ muses, and escapes to the south of France then go for it!
The heroine is red-headed Erica. This is her photograph – her vivaciousness and determination is written in her face is it not? She’s perfect for the protagonist. Her real name is Karen and this photograph is used by permission of Doug Barber. His website is here. If you know Karen please ask her to get in touch so I can send her a copy of Hot Air.
The true story of the trouble I got into in the research for Hot Air was published here >> http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/muzzle-up-a-writers-nose-by-geoff-nelder#comment-6689