✶ Signs of (a) Life ✶
Let's give a warm welcome to author, Liam Samolis.
Much like his beloved – and somewhat decrepit – cars, Liam Samolis (NOT his real name; that was changed in order to protect his wife and children from ridicule on the off chance some of their friends will read his work) is hurtling towards 50 with the brakes failing. The painful loss of his father leads Liam to look back at his life as he contemplates the legacy he is leaving his own children; resulting in a hilarious, often self-deprecating, and ALWAYS brutally, side-splittingly, honest glimpse at the path that has lead him to become the man that he is. With stories about growing up as a painfully shy child in England, going to an all-boys’ school, and what can only be described as the most uproariously hysterical bar scene EVER written, Liam also recounts his days as a police officer, the births of his children, and saying goodbye to his father. What began as a legacy to his children will send readers into peals of raucous laughter, likely leading them to tears and other unexpected bodily functions. If you read one book this year, Signs of (a) Life should be it – nowhere else will you be so moved by a man simply living.
Let's delve into the covers of this book and look at a brief extract.
My dancing - and I'm using the term ‘dancing’
loosely here - was learned mostly at disco dances at
my local rugby club. Therein lies a clue to my choreographic
expertise...Most male rugby players tend
to be reasonably large, and if not corpulent, rather
muscular. Now, while a strong/fat/muscular frame
used to be a useful asset in playing the glorious
game, it is by of course no means the whole package;
and as demonstrated by most of my worthy fellow
players, tends, among other things to not result in
the most supple or acrobatic of dancers. I’m being
kind, of course - what really needs to be said is that
rugby club dancing (for the male members at least)
generally involves a rather subdued shuffling of the
feet, half a pace to each side and almost, but – and
this is the crucial part - not quite, in time to the beat.
Accompanying this, by hunching one’s shoulders,
the hands are raised halfway to the waist level where
they hang nervously and awkwardly, waiting in vain
for something to do, and somewhere else - anywhere
else - to be.
It’s an attractive picture isn’t it? No...not really, I
know. In fact; not at all. I was of course aware that
such indolent mooching around the dance floor
achieved little, except perhaps to reinforce Mr.
Darwin’s assertions upon the evolutionary process, and maybe to propose a whole new (and ongoing)
ending to the theory of Neanderthal Man’s ‘demise’.
However, despite this issue being something that I
was familiar with, I was doomed by my training to
perform this same strange ritual of sliding around the
floor without apparently lifting my feet. Occasionally,
when dancing with my girlfriend - or if not a girlfriend,
the latest in a short line of deeply unfortunate
dance partners - I would try to vary my ‘moves’ (or
more honestly: spasmodic twitches) with what I considered
to be hilarious and endearing gyrations of the
arms and, for some inexplicable reason, the face. Yep;
sexy. I was sometimes (usually with the aid of liquid
intoxicants) able to kid myself that I attained some
level of dancing proficiency above the standard rugby
club level, however I’m forced to admit that in reality
all I ever managed to create was a vague impersonation
of an immature baboon having some kind of
seizure while trying to remove a parasitic insect from
Immune from such reservations on this night,
however, I launched myself upon the dance floor
and the tender mercies of the delightful ladies in the
immediate vicinity who until that moment had been
enjoying themselves. It was a tactic which had the
same effect as throwing a fresh cow turd into the midst
of a gathering of germophobes. At the sight of my
‘dancing’, women scattered in every direction; some
hugged their friends, some ran away looking over
their shoulder in open alarm, and some simply burst
into tears on the spot. A full, busy dance floor almost
instantly became an empty wasteland, across which
blew an occasional tumbleweed (well; a napkin). It
took me a little while to notice of course - just long
enough, that is, for me to look like a complete pratt,
shuffling and gyrating quite alone around the parquet
square in blissful, alcohol-assisted ignorance of the
effect upon my surroundings. Once I did notice what
was going on, of course, my stomach leapt up into
my mouth, my heart fluttered, and I began to panic. I
was faced with the classic dilemma - whether to get
out of sight immediately or bluff it out in the hope of
people returning to the vicinity...
Where can I buy this fabulous book?
About the author
Liam Samolis was born and grew up in the North west of England, where he lived until 2002. Having served for eighteen years as a 'British Bobby', Liam moved to Canada with his young family, and set out to look at life from a new and different perspective.
With a wealth of enormously varied experiences behind him, Liam draws upon his past, both in England and Canada, as he finds himself gravitating towards the humorous side to almost every facet of life. Despite - as a younger man - having tried quite hard to do so, he finds it impossible to take himself -or indeed life in general - very seriously. This is partly fuelled by the fact that an old friend recently confided in him that the first impression he created thirty years ago was of "...a big dope with a grin." It's hard to ignore feedback of that order.
Liam has published his first book, 'Signs of (a) Life' - a selection of short, and at times distressingly true stories scavenged from the treasure chest of life happenings and is actively engaged on a number of projects, including his reminiscences of English school life in the 1970s, and a dark, crime-driven work of fiction set in a remote BC community.