To longterm Greenbelters, Simon Mayo needs no introduction. He is a dear friend of the festival and has been a much-loved and valued contributor to its life over decades. So much so, that we have perhaps grown to take him for granted. Like a favourite piece of clothing or furniture.
But this year we want to celebrate and spotlight his work and artistry afresh.
Most will know that in recent years Simon has birthed a succesful parallel career (to his award-winning one as a national treasure and radio presenter) as a well respected youth writer – with his series of Itch books. But this year sees the publication of his debut adult novel, Mad Blood Stirring.
In it, Simon tells the story of the American sailors of the good ship Eagle, held captive in Dartmoor Prison as the the Second War of American Independence was ending in 1815. It’s an overlooked and incendiary bit of history and Simon has unearthed a story that has has garnered such excitement that Hollywood film rights are already secured!
This will be big. And you can hear Simon share this incredible story at Greenbelt. And buy the book. And get it signed.
But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what Sir Kenneth Brannagh says: “An astonishing account of an explosive piece of neglected history. A cracking novel.”
We’re publishing this blog on the day that Simon’s novel is published – Thursday 19 May.