Hollow Earth - A Great Read and Brilliant Promotion for Cumbrae

by Charles Kelly

It is some time since I have devoured a book, cover to cover, in one session. Hollow Earth, written by John and Carole Barrowman may be aimed at the teenage fiction market but it is a fast paced intertwining of events from the Dark Ages through to the modern day.  I have just had an opportunity to read a pre-release copy and, even though my teenage years were back in the 60’s, I found it a brilliant read, especially of course since it uses the Island of Great Cumbrae as its main centre of the action.

The story follows the adventures of twelve year old twins Matt and Emily who have the power to bring drawings to life and, in the book, they make use of this power in fighting against the villains. Much of the story is based on the Island of Auchinmurn just off a seaside town called Largs and two ferries cross over to the island every half hour – recognise the location. Just in case you haven’t got it yet, the map in the introduction will be instantly recognised as Great Cumbrae, there is even a Lion Rock (which has mysteriously moved to the west side of the island). Just to the south of Auchinmurm Island is a smaller island called Era Mina. Many other local features form part of the story, including the Haylie Brae, the Pencil, and even swarms of pink jellyfish.  A Viking raid on the ancient settlement on the island forms part of the story which links history to the modern day and, as with most of the book, keeps the reader on edge and hungry for the next page.

The key location on the Island of Auchinmurn is the Abbey which is owned by Emily & Matt’s grandfather and the book ends with some unanswered questions, leaving it open for Hollow Earth to become a series.

As a book for teenagers it introduces the young reader to works of art by painters such as VanGogh and Brughel and to characters from Mythology such as the Peryton (winged white stag) and Caldrius (a bird that can see into the future).  For the Island of Cumbrae though, it can do much more through introducing the island to another generation and placing it firmly in their minds, and those of the parents, as a place to be added to the ‘must visit’ list. The launch of Hollow Earth from the start of February is perfectly timed  in respect of widening the marketing of Cumbrae/Millport and a feature on the book will shortly be added to the www.millport.org web site in exchange for a link (already in place) from the Hollow Earth site. I am currently working on a revised Millport.org site will also be launched in February sometime and on a new e-brochure, both of which will now incorporate this unique promotional opportunity to feature the island from a different perspective.

Hollow Earth web site is at http://www.hollow-earth.co.uk


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Paul Watling says

Charles,

Glad someone else has picked up on the opportunities this affords. My post on Rebecca's original article was limited by my not having access to a pre-release copy & waiting for the actual release to ensure I was factually correct! However, I am still in contact with other interested parties, including Carole Barrowman & one of John's Scottish fan clubs, should a combining of efforts be required.

Margaret Kennedy says

Jennifer Hamilton at Mac Farlanes Newsagents has said that she should be stocking the book - hopefully they will have some copies soon.

Ross Goldie says

This was brought to my attention  recently by Margaret Kennedy .. its a potentially HUGE opportunity for the island as a whole .. lets all get  together and see what we can do.. Ive already arranged some meetings with various business groups , but all input , ideas , suggestions, etc are  welcomed ...  Im on 530743 / 07970 076737.. call anytime .

best regards

Ross Goldie

    

Paul Watling says

In case there's any doubt as to how huge 'Hollow Earth' could be, this novel was already in Amazons top 40 & rapidly rising in the children's best-selling fantasy list 2 days before it was even released! (Released today in the UK) - there have already been initial discussions as to the possibility of it becoming a TV series... 'Hollow Earth' is going to be very big & the inspiration for it is Cumbrae.

For those that are interested, here's the TV & Radio schedule 

Friday 3rd February - The One Show, BBC1, 7pm

Monday 6th February - This Morning, ITV, 12pm

Wednesday 8th February - BBC Radio 5 Live with Richard Bacon, 2pm

Tuesday 14th February - The Alan Titchmarsh Show, ITV, 3pm

Wednesday 15th February - Live With Gabby, Channel 5, 10.30am

Saturday 18th February - BBC Radio 2 Graham Norton Show, 11.30am

Sunday 4th March - TV Book Club, More 4, 7.10pm

The 'local' book signing is

Monday 13th February 2012

1pm - John and Carole will be signing copies of Hollow Earth at Waterstones, 174-176 Argyle Street, Glasgow G2 8BT (Tel: 0843 290 8343

 

Ross Goldie says

This opportunty could simply be of enormous benefit to Millport... and after discussing with various local individuals /groups ,  the feeling is, in order to avoid the publishers/ promoters being contacted by many local groups in a fragmented  way, and on behalf of  CCDC,  June Allison has agreed to be the single point contact to drive this very welcome situation forward, therefore I would appreciate that anyone with input,  ideas or ways we can maximise the spin off benefit to our island community , to contact June on 01475 530718 / 07766 765985. We have been in touch with the publisher today and have had a very positive feedback to our suggestions so far .... they want to sell books, thats very good for them and thats the business they are in   .. we want to put Millport and the Cumbraes firmly on the visitor destination map ,.... which is even better for us ........... so lets build on that .

best regards

Ross Goldie  

01475 530743 / 07970 076737     

Margaret Kennedy says

I have read the book and have no doubt that it will be very popular with both children & adults alike.

The story would lend itself very well to either TV or film with loads of opportunity for special effects.

Auchinmurn Island is easliy recognised as being Cumbrae, the authors' imagination highlights the history of the island and I am sure that the adventures of the characters in the book are based on their memories of adventures that they had when they visited the Island as children, playing out battles with Vikings and monsters.

Many of our visitors have been coming to Millport since they were children, bringing with them their own children & grandchildren sharing with them the sheer joy of the freedom children have to play - really play rather than be amused by computer games etc, and I am sure that his book will evoke the memories of long summer holidays and adventures on Cumbrae

Charles Kelly says

Just added a piece about the book to the www.millport.org web site as I agreed with Carole and her publisher in exchange for the link which they placed to ours following my initial contact. I have also passed on some extra images of the island at the request of Carole.

June Allison says

Thanks Charles - am trying to get some Cumbrae folk up to the 13th signing in Glasgow so that we can present the authors with a momento from the island which, we hope, will give Cumbrae and the book more publicity.

It is a great thing for Millport and could lead to great things for the island.

Tom McAulay says

I am sure everyone is grateful to June for her willingness to take the lead role in another high profile issue for the island, but perhaps there is someone else who could take the lead on this occasion. Charles Kelly clearly is keenly interested and has already been proactive in making contacts with Carole Barrowman. Margaret Kennedy would also seem to be interested. 

I know June is representing the CCDC but surely they do not need to lead on every issue that arises. Where there are individuals who clearly have an enthusiasm for a particular subject it would seem sensible to tap into that passion for the benefit of the community.

No disrespect at all to June, who is clearly a champion for all things Cumbrae!

June Allison says

Thanks for the interest Tom. Today myself and Ross Goldie from CCDC, Charles Kelly from IOCTA, Margaret Kennedy and her grandaughter Megan are all going to meet with John and Carole Bannerman and their publisher and publicist in Glasgow re promoting Cumbrae.

However, as you are now clearly very interested in all things Cumbrae, maybe you would like to take this project on yourself?

Or Tom the Sail and Oar Committee are looking for members and I’m sure they’d appreciate another pair of hands.

 

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