Ross Raisin, an English novelist born in 1979 in West Yorkshire, published A Natural in March 2017 (Kindle ebook, the Hardcover being set for October 2017). His first novel, God’s Own Country (2008), won a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for nine literary awards. In 2009 Ross Raisin was named the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, and in 2013 he was selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young British writers.
Ross Raisin lives in London.
He first attended Bradford Grammar School, then studied English at King’s College London and got a degree in creative writing from Goldsmiths, University of London. During this period, he also underwent a wine bar manager training.
His debut novel God’s Own Country (titled Out Backward in North America) was published in 2008. It was shortlisted for nine literary awards, including the Guardian First Book Award and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, besides receiving a Betty Trask Award.
Ross Raisin is currently a writer-in-residence for the charity First Story, a literacy charity founded in 2007 by Katie Waldegrave and the writer William Fienne with the aim of improving literacy and fostering creativity in young people through creative writing.
A Natural is a mix of coming of age, romance and sports novel, but not a sports novel in itself. It is about ambition, friendship, rivalry, talent, and how early potential always meets the implacable wall of adult reality. Also, it’s about the love that still dare not speak its name. The book was published in March 2017 (Kindle ebook, the Hardcover being set for October 2017).
Tom has always known exactly the person he is going to be. A successful footballer. A man others look up to. Now, though, the bright future he imagined for himself is threatened.
The Premier League academy of his boyhood has let him go. At nineteen, Tom finds himself playing for a tiny club in a town he has never heard of. But as he navigates his isolation and his desperate need for recognition, a sudden and thrilling encounter offers him the promise of an escape, and Tom is forced to question whether he can reconcile his supressed desires with his dreams of success.
Leah, the captain’s wife, has almost forgotten the dreams she once held, for her career, her marriage. Moving again, as her husband is transferred from club to club, she is lost, disillusioned with where life has taken her.
A Natural delves into the heart of a professional football club: the pressure, the loneliness, the threat of scandal, the fragility of the body and the struggle, on and off the pitch, with conforming to the person that everybody else expects you to be.