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Sam Emony has been a writer all his life and released his debut novel in 2022

Having studied English & Drama with the particular aim of writing, he fell into business, software writing, marketing and then 20 years as a music promoter. But he still carried a torch for literature, for debate and for dreaming. He now steps out of the copywriting and the corporate world into one of fiction.

His debut novel The Old Familiar Places is out now

The passage of time

Ruby and Sonny are thrown together at the end of the wake. From a grade 5 pianist to playing with legends, this is the tale of how one ordinary day can change your life. Sonny is desperate to escape his semi-detached suburbia in Manchester, and suddenly Ruby is in the driving seat. Hang on tightly as the past catches up with the present.

‘Filled with laughs, but the tears flow too.’

‘The loss is dealt with so compassionately.’

‘Crazy times, with moments that have you reaching for the tissues….a novel about yearning, music, love, grief and friendship.’

‘We all have back stories that have shaped us, be kind.’

‘Sometimes it takes someone to believe in you before you believe in yourself.’


This coming-of-age novel follows the story of Sonny, and we cheer and suffer with him. In 1975 Sonny is dragged along to the funeral of family friend Freddie Wilson, music mogul and lawyer to the stars. Whilst tinkering on the grand piano in the music room in walks two bona fide legends. They have him jamming along in no time. This sliding-doors, bittersweet moment propels him on a journey that he couldn’t have imagined, from Manchester to London to New York. Freddie’s widow Ruby pulls the levers, but can Sonny succeed?


The accident

Just 15 years after the wedding there was the accident, and Freddie was gone. Ruby was devastated, a young widow with her whole life ahead of her. Wanting for nothing but without her closest ally, how would she cope ? What support network did she have ?


Sonny was the son of Jess, Ruby’s closest friends. He knew Ruby and Freddie from the parties his Mum & Dad threw. A budding musician, Ruby takes Sonny under her wing and projects her aspirations through him.

Ruby’s pain

Ruby has known pain in the past but has kept It well hidden from nearly everybody. Jess knows the truth and thinks the accident is going to be too much for Ruby to bear. She is astonished to see that her own son has matured into a loving and supportive distraction for her. Sonny thrives in her company, his piano playing reaches dizzy heights, and his school work excels. He seems the perfect antidote to Ruby’s loneliness.

Freddie’s music room

Freddie’s music room with his grand piano becomes the centre of Sonny’s world, and he rushes around at every opportunity to practice. Ruby feeds him snippets of songs, tells him of artists she’s seen and writes out lyrics that have inspired her. He soaks it all up. It is a loving reciprocal relationship.