The Old Familiar Places

neil hughes

Photo by Yoko Isami

We were delighted to be contacted by Neil Hughes of The Cinammon Club in Bowdon last week. Neil attended our event with Paul Carroll a couple of years ago. We like to think that he was inspired by this and, indeed, he has been secretly writing a novel for the past 12 months using the pen name Sam Emony.


The novel is called The Old Familiar Places and is a love story that spans a forty four year period between the funerals of Ruby and Freddie.  Neil tells us that the story combines two coming of age stories, both containing heart stopping moments that shape and change lives. Love can win the day, but grief and loss spare no man (or woman). Sounds intriguing!

The Old Familiar Places is not finished yet but Neil is publishing it himself and he has launched a crowd funding campaign to raise the cash to pay for proof reading, editing and printing. He is asking people to purchase a copy of the novel before he has even finished it! We had to ask – ‘Neil, what if you never do finish it? Even worse, what if it’s rubbish?’

Neil is superbly confident though. His CV is full of building successful businesses not the least the development of the fantastic Cinammon Club. His other passion is music and he is the driving force behind Southport Jazz Festival. This is a man who thrives on pressure and deadlines. Anyway, Neil is in the happiness business – he’s not going to let anyone down!

To be honest, Neil isn’t a complete novice. He has already written 30 000 words of his second novel and his phone is full of fantastic ideas for other stories. Neil says he has had these ideas in his head for years, but life, children and work has always got in the way. Not to mention the usual dose of procrastination that affects most of us!

If you would like to contribute to the fund by pre-ordering a copy of The Old Familiar Places have a look here.


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