tim-quote‘River Boy is a story that seemed to come in snatches of dream that initially made no sense to me. The title came first. It just popped into my mind. I had no idea what the words meant or what I was going to do with a river and a boy, but I had a picture of a young girl in my head, and an image of my paternal grandfather. He was a lovely old man who died when I was 14, nothing at all like the crusty old grandfather who appears in River Boy, though I grew very fond of him, too, by the end of the book. The girl was called Lucy in the first draft, then for some reason she became Jess. I had several false-starts with the writing, then one day my wife came home with a painting of a river and suddenly the grandfather in the story became an artist and I realised that the painting and the boy and the river were going to become spiritual metaphors and the book was going to be about life and death and love and hope.’

Tim Bowler