Former Sheffield journalist launches his debut novel

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An author who studied journalism at the former Norton College in Sheffield is set to launch his debut novel at an event today.

Wyl Menmuir, aged 36, will be headlining the Bad Language evening at The Castle in Oldham Street, Manchester where he will discuss his first book “The Many”.

Wyl was born in Stockport before going on to read English at the University of Newcastle. He also studied journalism in Sheffield, where he lived in Crookes, before recently completing an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. He now lives with his wife and two young children in Cornwall.

Described as “beautiful and frightening”, “The Many” tells the story of Timothy Buchannan, who moves to a remote fishing village. A surreal and unsettling novel, it deals with themes including grief, loss and isolation.

Wyl, who was formerly a teacher, now works as a freelance literary consultant.

He said: “I’ve been writing for years, ever since I was a young boy, and it was always my dream to one day write a novel. After writing several short stories and some poetry, I began writing what became The Many three years ago.

“I managed to write the novel by setting myself a target of 500 words a day, which wasn’t always easy after a long day at work and with young children to look after. But I made sure I did those 500 words, whether it took me 15 minutes or two hours.

“My advice to other budding novelists would just be to write, to have the discipline to sit down and do it. Also, make time to seek out interesting people, interesting books, interesting and out of the way places. That way, you have so much more depth of experience to then write the sort of book that you yourself would love to read.”

Loosely based on some real-life events, The Many focuses upon the experiences of Timothy Buchannan, who buys an abandoned house in Cornwall, sight unseen. When he sees the state of it he questions the wisdom of his move, but starts to renovate the house for his wife to join him there.

When the villagers see smoke rising from the chimney they are disturbed and intrigued by the presence of the incomer. And the longer Timothy stays, the more deeply he becomes entangled in the unsettling experience of life in the village.

Wyl will be discussing “The Many” and taking questions at Bad Language, which starts today at 7.30pm (Wednesday, 27 July). Admission is free.

The Many is available to buy now in all good bookshops and online.