Two events, one planned and one a complete surprise, marked Spring 2015 as an exciting time for Tom Anderson. March saw the launch of his latest title, Code Black, while Mayday brought with it something Tom had considered so improbable he’d even written a book about it: a win at the Welsh Surfing Championships! It was the Senior division (28 and over), of course, but Tom was delighted nonetheless.
The Pierhead Building, in Cardiff Bay, was the venue for the launch of the 2015 ‘Quick Reads’ series – a national literacy project to promote reading for pleasure. Among the titles launched was Tom’s newest non-fiction project, Code Black. The book tells the tale of two popular characters in Welsh surfing, as they come together to ride and photograph the wave of the winter. Tom was particularly excited by the chance to write about one of his heroes, the photographer Claire Beach.
‘Claire is one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever met,’ says Tom. ‘Her life story is incredible, and her love of the ocean makes her an amazing person. As soon as I saw the shot she had taken of Ezra Hames at the Point last winter I knew the wave could make up the central narrative of a book. The Quick Reads contract was just the opportunity to do it.’
Code Black is published by Accent Press, and is available through most regular outlets.
Tom’s return to the writing desk was then disrupted in early May by a particularly welcome twist of fate. After sixteen appearances at the Welsh National Surfing Championships, Tom found himself in the Seniors final after a good wave during the semis had helped him dispose of the event favourite, Llantwit’s Mark Vaughan. Bank Holiday Monday brought with it an epic swell, and with it a once in a lifetime opportunity. Luck went his way, and Tom was crowned Welsh Champion for the first time. Tom was especially stoked, having actually written a book about his inability to do well at the Welsh in the past:
‘Lots of people were laughing about that,’ says Tom. ‘Yes, Grey Skies Green Waves was actually written as a response to the years of frustration I’d felt attending and bombing out of the Welsh. Vaughanie even joked that I need to add an extra chapter now! Winning an event like that makes me feel as if all the hundreds of hours I’ve spent forcing myself to enjoy freezing, awful waves around Wales and the UK has finally paid off. Plus, it means I’ll do the Welsh again now.’
As summer builds, Tom will be finishing his YA novel, which is tentatively scheduled for a Spring 2016 release, before heading to Indonesia and then working on another top-secret biography project, details of which will be released soon…