Chris Hill, an exciting new British fiction writer, grew up on Walney Island just off the coast of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, at the northern tip of Morecambe Bay. This “bladder-wracked” Island, the largest of the Furness Island group, forms the backdrop for his upcoming novel, Song of the Sea God, soon to be published by Skylight Press.
Now living in Gloucestershire, Hill is a twenty-year veteran as a regional newspaper journalist and currently works as a PR officer for a children’s charity, WellChild. Interesting and perhaps propitiously for a budding fiction writer, he served as a crime correspondent and was the news editor of the daily paper in Gloucester during the time of the Fred and Rose West mass murder case. With his background as a reporter, news editor, main editor and communications correspondent, Hill has always had an eye to develop his writing craft for more creative purposes.
Some early success came when his short story, The Runner, won the coveted Bridport Prize in 2001. This award is one of the most prestigious going for short story fiction writers and Hill caught the attention of a few literary dignitaries. One of these was Kate Atkinson, a judge for the prize and author of Behind the Scenes at the Museum, who appraised his work thus: “Funny and tender, ironic and crafted, bursting with great images and wonderful turns of phrase.”
Skylight Press is thrilled to publish Chris Hill’s first full novel, Song of the Sea God, which has been shortlisted (under a previous title, The Longing) for the Daily Telegraph first novel prize and the Yeovil Prize for Literature. Hill also appeared at the recent Cheltenham Literature Festival to read from sections of the book. The theme of the novel reflects Hill’s deep interest in the sociological and psychological aspects of religion. The novel is a wonderful lyrical allegory of the faith process from the pen of a powerful writer.
Chris Hill continues to live in Gloucester with his wife and two sons.