Book on mental illness wins Costa First Novel Award

A novel which documents one man's descent into mental illness has won the Costa First Novel Award and a film version has already been put forward, belfasttelegraph.co.uk reports.

'The Shock of the Fall' by Nathan Filer was earmarked as a future best-seller from very early on after it sparked an 11-way bidding war - which is almost unheard of for first novels. Eventually it was Harper Collins which won the publishing rights, after putting forward a "substantial" six-figure sum.

Having worked as a mental health nurse for more than ten years, Filer has plenty of experience when it comes to detailing such conditions. As such, his work is thought to be among the most accurate to reach the world of fiction literature. It is also hoped the book's now sure-fire success will shine a light on mental health and change the way people view those suffering with such conditions.

With there already being talk of a film version as well, the book's message could even be set to reach a global audience in the millions. This is on top of the 12 countries in which 'The Shock of the Fall' is set to be published.

Filer's novel the story of 19-year old Matthew, who lives with schizophrenia. Throughout the book he begins trying to come to terms with his role in the death of his older brother.

Praising his work, the Costa judges told bbc.co.uk: "It's hard to believe this is a first novel - it's so good it will make you feel a better person."