Book Jacket

 

rank  Editors Pick
word count 13269
date submitted 19.09.2009
date updated 16.06.2011
genres: Fiction, Romance, Popular Culture, ...
classification: universal
incomplete

Bailey of the Saints

David Alejandro Fearnhead

A Premiership footballer finds his way through love, life and football when he is 'loaned out' to New Zealand.

 

Life doesn't always work out the way you want it to. Jack Bailey thought he was destined to be the next big thing, now some years on he's a jaded professional still wondering what might have been. He seems happy to last out his days as just another Premiership benchwarmer, until one day he's called into the assistant managers office and told he's being loaned out to a side in New Zealand. Now he must cast off the arrogance of youth if he is to be accepted by his new team mates.

This is a story of friendship, of hope and desire. Based on real events and personalities from my time covering professional football, I aim to reflect the life off the field that most people never see. But this is not just a book for football fans. A character driven narrative ensures that anyone who is interested in the human condition will find interest in this novel.

I have uploaded the first five chapters of the completed novel which has undergone a reworking following the encouraging comments from Harper Collins

cover designed by Jordyn Moullette

 
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tags

australia, beckham, california, football, footballer, los angeles, new zealand, soccer, sports

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1148 comments

 

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HarperCollins Wrote

The voice in Bailey of Saints instantly draws you in. Football fan or not, the voice is clear, direct and the characterisation really kicks off from the start. The prologue is an excellent example of how sentences can be short but effective in establishing setting, mood and still get in the main character’s head convincingly. And this strength is carried throughout the novel.

Jack is an interesting character and one does feel compelled to turn the pages to find out more about what’s going on in his head and his view on the events that are going on around him. His odd sense of humour is also charming, for example his need to open a chip packet upside down and the origin of this habit, as well as the George Foreman reference. His indiscretions such as the incident with the stalker also bring him down to earth – it really does show that other side of the jock life, that it isn’t always such a cinch.

The game scenes are also well-written and the immediacy of both the highs and lows of playing football are effectively conveyed. They read as well as strong feature articles on sports, but still true to the fiction they’re contained within – an impressive achievement.

One thing that does become an issue is that Jack’s lack of motivation and ennui, which I do realise is somewhat a significant point of the novel, slightly weighs down the reading experience after a while and makes the novel’s pace seem a bit quiet. This momentum does pick up when Jack meets Miranda and all the pieces in his life seem to improve. The narrative flow may also benefit by planting the idea of Betty Garcia (the reason) a bit earlier than halfway in. Even if Jack doesn’t immediately take heed of the idea and run with it – at the moment it seems the concept is introduced and not longer after the potential Betty Garcia turns up a bit too conveniently. It feels like a bit more tension needs to be built up in this area.

Overall this was a very enjoyable read. It is an interesting take on the jaded Brit jock gaining some humility as he comes to appreciate a new country as his home, and aims to find direction within the game again. This tale of friendships and love tells a very human story as the spectrum of fun, fallibility, yearning and enlightenment are explored. I think that with a little work on the pace this novel has real potential. There is definitely a strong writing voice here.

JAMBAKWAL wrote 1393 days ago

Hi David. I've just finished reading chapter 1, having found myself with a spare 15 minutes and having found myself drawn to your work, and boy am I glad I was! I just think it's superb; the character is very, very, real and your writing is brilliantly weighted to hook your reader and keep them turning pages; Of course an interest in football is, probably, essential to getting your work picked up in the first place, but I still think that leaves you targeting a huge market. It 'pictures' well too, like a film, where, again, I'm sure there's a market for it. Obviously, I've only read the opening, but it doesn't strike me as being a 'typical' or cliched footballers tale; almost a reversal of that in fact.

As I say, I think it has huge potential and I'm happy to be backing it. It's a good work, well crafted and thoroughly engaging. The only problem I have now is leaving it alone while I try and read others work too. I'm not sure I can!

Good luck with getting it published, and God Bless

James

Andrew.C.Wilson wrote 1446 days ago

Hello David, have to be honest and say that the subject put me off at first, not being into sports as such, however, we all make mistakes and mine was' pre judgement' . Your book is not only well written, it is one of those rare stories that has something for everybody no matter what genre is preferred, very engaging and I look forward to reading more, well done , Andy .w " The Domino Effect "

Amy R wrote 1445 days ago

I am a woman and I enjoyed being in Jack's head. This is direct and yet powerful. You can feel his decent and I automatically understand what he wants and why he wants it. I am attached and have a stake in the outcome. This is something that we all strive for and many of us never accomplish. Really, Really, Really love this. Not even my kind of book and I love it...well I love Jack and I guess that says it all!

Kudos, you will go far with this piece...I am already making a mental note of your name...I will be seeing it again. Seriously.

Amy R.

Backed Backed and Backed.

Dead Air / Trust Me

Mohadoha wrote 1438 days ago

I know many men for whom this book might be the first reason to pick up something and read!

senyah nala wrote 1453 days ago

This is some of the best writing I've read on this site.
It was crisp, yet descriptive enough to tell the reader exactly what Jack was experiencing.
I can only echo what many of the other comments say and repeat my first sentence. This is great wriiting.
It will certainly get to the top and deserves to be backed.
I am backing it.

eloravelle wrote 1028 days ago

I like how you incorporate pace or movement so abruptly when you write.I Iike the narrative or the main characters point of view. Congrats on getting published in August! I bet you cant wait to see your book out on shelves. That must be something!

NorthernSi wrote 1050 days ago

Really enjoying this so far - a nice twist on the traditional tale of a rejected footballer.
Particularly enjoyed the scene in the bar with the plastic surgery victim and her over-inflated view of herself.
Also liked your portrayal of the Premier League club training facilities as sounding quite mundane, despite being packed with famous multimillionaires from all over the planet.
The medal is well deserved on the read so far. On my watchlist.
Good luck, Si.
PS - if you fancy a read of my own footballing efforts, set in the far less glamorous surroundings of Scots lower division football, please feel free. Would love your comments.
http://www.authonomy.com/books/33422/that-english-weirdo/

nchowell wrote 1303 days ago

This is such a fun and interesting piece. It's great for those who are into sports as well as those who just love to read (ha ha).

**Support Dani the Earth Angel**

Francis Albert McGrath wrote 1322 days ago

Well done, David - that's a review you can show to any potential agent!

KingOle wrote 1362 days ago

Really, really great writing. I'm a huge football fan and this story seems almost too real.

KingOle wrote 1362 days ago
lfk wrote 1369 days ago

Congratulations on getting to the editor's desk - I guess you don't need backing now but I'm backing you anyway. I've only read the first two chapters but thoroughly enjoyed getting inside the head of a player - I do wonder sometimes when watching a game, just what is' going through their minds. You clearly are so familiar with the subject matter I imagine the words came flowing when you were writing. It certainly reads very easily.

David Fearnhead wrote 1378 days ago

I've not uploaded all the chapters, so the ending would seem incomplete for that reason;)

I enjoyed reading your work. I found Jack’s character complex enough to grab me.
Originally I thought it’s gonna be a story about soccer and while it did have lots of game descriptions it gave me much more. Great job.
The one thing I’m not sure is the ending, sort of incomplete…I would have preferred something more on the up.

eurodan49 wrote 1378 days ago

I enjoyed reading your work. I found Jack’s character complex enough to grab me.
Originally I thought it’s gonna be a story about soccer and while it did have lots of game descriptions it gave me much more. Great job.
The one thing I’m not sure is the ending, sort of incomplete…I would have preferred something more on the up.

suezzyw44 wrote 1379 days ago

Hi David, I've started reading your book. I am a 44 year old woman with very little interest in football, so was a bit worried at first. However, I quickly found myself very attached to Jack, and very interested in his thoughts, relating to football or otherwise. Truly liking the characters (at least on of them) is a big must for me in a good read! Great book so far! Can't wait to have time to finish it! Congratulations on getting picked by HC to read. I think you're going to be very successful and will look forward to seeing your books out there on the shelves!

Laurel Lamperd wrote 1383 days ago

Great writing, David, about a sport I know little about. But your book is not really about that is it? It's about the hard facts of sportsmen/women who are at the top for a few years and what happens to many as they slip from the top. No wonder some leave when they are at the top, but many of them try to return and in most cases, shouldn't have. I hope you find a publisher.
I backed your book.
Laurel
www.authorsden.com/laurellamperd

Idea Girl Consulting wrote 1386 days ago

Congratulations! Now I know what they mean by STAR LOL it's Harper Collins way of saying they have picked your manuscript to read. Cool.. good luck!

Once you are published give me a shout, I can blog about it !

http://theideagirlsays.wordpress.com


I'm going to suggest you make a good book trailer and post it on youtube as well.. I like putting those on with the book cover and author's blog info...

Faine wrote 1386 days ago

Congrats, David.

Kevin

EltopiaAuthor wrote 1386 days ago

Congratulations on being selected for review! Way to go.

lcowden wrote 1386 days ago

As an avid reader, this has to be one of the most outstanding reads on Authonomy. If HC doesn't offer a contract for this work, then we're all in trouble! Jack is fascinating, passionate,and puts on a flawless performance.Your writing holds your readers hostage page after page forcing them to want to live in his little world. I can't wait to purchase this from a book store soon;)backed!!

tom s wrote 1387 days ago

This is good. You have a sparse staccato style that really flows. I hope you make the editor's desk.

Johanna Kern wrote 1387 days ago

"He saw beyond the game"...
Your story unfolds in such engaging, enchanting manner - I never thought I would ever read a book on this topic!

Very well crafted, superb writing. My complements!

Best of luck to you, David.
Backed with pleasure.

Johanna Kern
Master and the Green-Eyed Hope

jhegfrils wrote 1387 days ago

Backed

Radada wrote 1387 days ago

Backed

David Fearnhead wrote 1387 days ago

JayG appreciate your comments but I feel that you've jumped the gun on forming an opinion without reading on. The opening gambit - until we get to the "Some Years Later..." - is intentionally written in a minimal way. We are talking about the debut of a player who's senses are muted by fear and is not fully aware of the events. At this stage I didn't want to place the reader in a position of knowing more than Jack. At this point, so early in the novel, you don't need to know his motivation for every single movement. If you want all the senses revealed they come later when Jack is less focused and not blocking them out, but this opening is his debut. I don't believe in holding a reader's hand or insulting their intelligence by explaining every single thing incase they didn't quite get it. My favourite authors always allow the reader some space for their own thought and interpretation.

The comment on "art conceals art" may be a nice line to some but this quote doesn't seem to match up with anything you've said. With regards to the University comment I find this not only off topic but intentionally insulting. I make my living as a Journalist and have been published in some of the most prestigious and largest selling titles on the planet, so to suggest that I'm in need of an education in how to write is as ridiculous as is it erroneous. I'll gladly discuss anything else with you further but there is a place for that and on my comment page is not it.

lastman wrote 1387 days ago

I can't believe the nonsense spouted by JayG. It sounds petty, like a weak attempt to scupper the fact that you're on course for the ed's desk. In my opinion as a regular reader it is his kind of thinking which leads to the turgid write by numbers crap which is clogging up the slush piles of the publishing houses. Has he never heard of an informed narrator? As for "one can't read the words and know the movie that caused then to be said." That makes no sense at all. It seems to me like a gripe from someone who's own book is not doing as well as they wish and is steadfastly stuck in the belief that there is only one way to be a writer. I think if he was to take one look at the originality of many first time authors or even those successful ones he would realise how few of them have done a four year college course. Whatever his personal gripe is making bitchy comments on someone else's novel is not the way to go about things!
Good luck to you David and if I was you I'd ignore this ill-informed nonsense!

terri17055 wrote 1388 days ago

I love your book! The characters are real. The writing style is awesome. You are very talented. I've bookmarked your book to come back and finish reading it. I also backed you :)

All the best,
T.L. Doutrich
Lilly and Thomas, Throne of Pidl

terri17055 wrote 1388 days ago

I love your book! The characters are real. The writing style is awesome. You are very talented. I've bookmarked your book to come back and finish reading it. I also backed you :)

All the best,
T.L. Doutrich
Lilly and Thomas, Throne of Pidl

jhegfrils wrote 1388 days ago

Backed.

Radada wrote 1388 days ago

Backed.

tisseurdecontes wrote 1388 days ago

Excellent beginning. The prologue gives insight into Jack's character. In the first chapter I could see and hear the crowd through Jack's eyes. Though not a football fan (we call it soccer - so as not to confuse it with "real" football ;-), I found this interesting and well written. Backed.

Steven Lloyd
THE AUDACITY OF HOPE AND CHANGE

blue-eyed-princess wrote 1389 days ago

David what a well writen book. I fully accepted backing this book and can't wait to read more. I love it!

jhegfrils wrote 1389 days ago

Backed.

Radada wrote 1389 days ago

Backed.

lastman wrote 1389 days ago

Easy to see why this book should make the Ed's desk. It's probably one of the most commercial books on the site with a clear target audience. Plus you have the added bonus of the story managing to also appeal to those outside it's chosen audience because it's not just a football book. If I don't see this book on the bookshelves soon I will be seriously surprised, or perhaps dismayed at the publishing industry. Please give us men something to read that doesn't involve guns and Special Ops!

jhegfrils wrote 1390 days ago

Backed.

Radada wrote 1390 days ago

Backed.

jhegfrils wrote 1391 days ago

Backed.

Radada wrote 1391 days ago

Backed.

S.C. Thompson wrote 1391 days ago

David,
this is a good read for right now. Go USA! John Stewart of the Daily Show has done some really good satire on FIFA in S. Africa . . . anyway, liked your book, you know the game, and the game of life.
One typo - ". . .Still dazes he looks on as his centre forward . . ."
Backed.
Sc
Viene La Tormenta

David Fearnhead wrote 1391 days ago

What a great title, David. And the writing is very good. Did you ever think of turning this into a screenplay? I can see some Hollywood actor playing this guy.



Yeah, funnily enough it started out as an idea for a screenplay which quickly became a novel. It still holds it's cinematic pretensions. Maybe one day;)

David Fearnhead wrote 1391 days ago

What a great title, David. And the writing is very good. Did you ever think of turning this into a screenplay? I can see some Hollywood actor playing this guy.



Yeah, funnily enough it started out as an idea for a screenplay which quickly became a novel. It still holds it's cinematic pretensions. Maybe one day;)

D.S. Williamson wrote 1391 days ago

What a great title, David. And the writing is very good. Did you ever think of turning this into a screenplay? I can see some Hollywood actor playing this guy.

SusieGulick wrote 1392 days ago

You are like totally fantastic, David! :) How can I ever thank you enough for backing my 2 memoir books? :)
God bless you. :) Love, Susie :)

fletcherkovich wrote 1392 days ago

Hi David,

I have read your book very well but I did not read the whole chapters yet but I have it in my watchlist. I am honored to back another great work of literature where the messages to the readers are very realistic and easy to understand base from the creative manipulation of characters. I do admire your book. I find the beauty in its simplicity yet exciting when you come the real depth of it. I commend you for achieving your masterpiece. I will be spending much time to read the entire book. Anyways, you if you have time to keep reading some of my stories in my collection, please feel free to write any comments or constructive criticisms that you may think helpful to my improvement, as a writer.

Good luck to you and your writing career.

Fletch

fletcherkovich wrote 1392 days ago

Hi David,

I have read your book very well but I did not read the whole chapters yet but I have it in my watchlist. I am honored to back another great work of literature where the messages to the readers are very realistic and easy to understand base from the creative manipulation of characters. I do admire your book. I find the beauty in its simplicity yet exciting when you come the real depth of it. I commend you for achieving your masterpiece. I will be spending much time to read the entire book. Anyways, you if you have time to keep reading some of my stories in my collection, please feel free to write any comments or constructive criticisms that you may think helpful to my improvement, as a writer.

Good luck to you and your writing career.

Fletch

D.S. Williamson wrote 1392 days ago

Something he could "just do". So, he "did it"? A bit of a reference to a well-known shoe factory, I believe. Nice! Backed.

jhegfrils wrote 1392 days ago

Backed.

Radada wrote 1392 days ago

Backed.

Norma E. Hilton wrote 1392 days ago

During the World cup I've tried to keep my life football free, however I am glad that I read this. There are a couple of typing mistakes which need changing. One (dazes) has already been commented on.There is also (pulse) in chapter 1 I think this should be plus.
I love this kind of writing, it has rhythm almost as if you were writing it while watching a game of quick passes interspersed with slow play. All the senses are mentioned, like the taste of food, the smell of an expensive car and the noise from the crowd. BACKED.
Norma The Spell.

SusieGulick wrote 1392 days ago

Dear David, I got so excited when I saw that you had backed, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not." :) Thanks so very much. :) Since I have already backed your book, I will put your book on my watchlist. Could you please take a moment to back my completed unedited memoir version, "Tell Me True Love Stories?" I'd be ever so grateful. :) Thank you. :) Love, Susie :)
authonomy quote: "Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs."
Here is the response I received from authonomy concerning backing:
When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved."

St ONE wrote 1392 days ago

You deserve to be on that ed's desk and in publication.
There's a lot of footy fans out there just waiting to read this!

RosaTellall wrote 1392 days ago

Powerful book! I can see why you're ranked so high!
Insightful, dramatic, very well written!

Best of luck!

Caroline Hartman wrote 1393 days ago

Hello David, No wonder you are # 5. In fact, I'm thrilled to see a book that really deserves to be published in the top five. To give you a hint of how good this is--I'm American, know nothing of your football nor the drama behind the scenes and I loved Bailey... I like Jack, too. He's great and has great potential to grow. I know you'll have wonderful luck with this. If you have time please take a look at Summer Rose.
Caroline
KC Hart
Summer Rose

FIFA wrote 1393 days ago

Good luck you deserve to make it.