Ian's first book rings Covid pandemic bells - but with happy ending

Torbay Weekly

Torbay artist Ian McConaghy has published his first novel - and it is rather close to home when it comes to the current Covid pandemic.

‘Neuworld’ is the title of the book and Ian reveals: "The first draft of the book was written while we were still living in Bristol and starts with terrorists releasing a deadly virus at the 2028 LA Olympic Games. Desperate to find a cure, volunteers are asked to give up their lives to help save the world.

‘Sometimes it’s scary when your imagination coincides with reality. Covid 19 has been truly awful – but thankfully, not nearly as bad as in 'Neuworld.'

‘A futuristic thriller rather than a dystopian novel, “Neuworld” is ultimately, about mankind fighting to survive, and I promise it has a happy ending …eventually."

'Neuworld' was also the title and theme of Ian's recent art exhibition at Torre Abbey. It was his first art project since moving to the Bay.

He explained: "After spending an enjoyable weekend at the Imperial Hotel in Torquay, me and my writer wife, Suzanne, were determined to move back to my home county of Devon.

‘We found a lovely period house, with a garden for Suzanne, and a converted garage for my studio. These were the non-negotiables during our property search. Torquay has been perfect during lockdowns, with daily walks to Cockington or along the seafront, to help keep us both healthy and sane.

‘Like many artists I’ve used the Covid restrictions to concentrate on my artwork. I spent over five months working on a major new piece for the first exhibition at Torre Abbey after Lockdown in May.

‘It was a wall sculpture, nearly four metres across, constructed from recycled card, and incorporating both painting and collage techniques."

He added: "‘A follow-up book, “CrashCity”, was written during the second lockdown, and will be published early next year.

‘I’m currently writing the first draft for the last in the series, and then I’m back in the studio to prepare for the next exhibition.

‘There’s a close connection between my artwork and the books, with cross-fertilisation, which I hope provides a unique experience for lovers of art and of books. There’s no doubt in my mind that the wonderful place in which we live makes a major contribution to the creative process."

‘Neuworld’ is available as a paperback or eBook through Amazon.