Suburban boy Dave Warner writes River of Salt

Dave Warner.
Dave Warner.

STORIES of brothers in organised crime have always fascinated author, musician and screenwriter Dave Warner, from The Godfather and On the Waterfront to The Brothers Rico.

“If a character has to forsake or betray a family member, it sets up a very powerful story engine and gives the character a long way to travel, which is good for the reader,” Warner said.

Published by Fremantle Press, the Suburban Boy author’s fourth novel, River of Salt, is due for release on April 1.

The book was inspired by Warner watching his guitarist Martin Cilia perform with Australian surf rock band The Atlantics in a Manly small bar.

“As I watched the band, and as I listened, I started buzzing on the whole idea of a TV series or book set in the early 60s, the years of my youth, but with a coastal feel, Watusi dances, surfing and so on,” he said.

“I remembered black-and-white TVs with lopsided screens, men with Caesar haircuts and kids playing in rumpus rooms, pogo sticks.

“I wasn’t sure whether it should be a comedy or drama, but then I went to what I know best and thought, why not a murder mystery?”

 

The result was River of Salt, which begins in Philadelphia in 1961.

“In my book, Blake a young hit man, hears the sound of a surf guitar record and it entrances him. It makes him want to learn guitar and surf, and be as far away from where he is,” Warner said.

“He aims for California but winds up in Australia, but even though he finds a new Eden, he learns human nature can’t be confined to good in one place and bad in another.

“Even in Eden there are snakes.”

Warner will be on tour with his new release in Perth, from March 27 to April 6 and he said it would be less like a typical book tour and more of a performance.

“I will talk about the book, but there will also be a lot of personal, autobiographical material that joins the dots between my career as an author and my career as a musician,” he said.

“I am working with my guitarist Tony Durant so the show will have musical interludes throughout.”

 

TOUR DATES

Armadale Library, 6.30pm, March 27

Boya Library, 11am, March 28

Subiaco Library, 6pm, April 1

Mandurah Library, 11am, April 2

Mary Davis Library and Community Centre in Baldivis, 4pm, April 2

City of Vincent Library Leederville, 10am, April 3

AH Bracks Library Melville, 6pm, April 4

Bassendean Library, 6.30pm, April 6