Credit: Mo Summers

Police guitarist Andy Summers‘ first fiction book, Fretted and Moaning: Short Stories, a collection of 45 short tales that all in some way involve a guitar, was published today.

The stories, which are filled with dark humor, ironic twists and whimsy, involve a wide range of characters and scenarios set in various locations and time periods.

Summers tells ABC Audio that featuring a guitar in every tale “was a way for me simply to present myself yet again to the public as a writer, but not…go so far out that [readers] go, ‘We don’t know this guy at all.'”

He adds, “So I’d include a guitar in each story somehow, but it wasn’t really about the guitar. It was about the characters, the way their lives would revolve and be involved maybe somewhat around the instrument.”

While many of the stories focus on rock musicians, Fretted and Moaning also includes tales about country singers, 1930s jazz musicians, gangsters, painters and even cowboys and Indians.

In many of the tales, things don’t end well for the main character.

“The idea is that they’re sort of dark comic tales,” Andy explains. “Most of them have got a tragic ending, you know…[T]hat’s my English sense of irony.”

As for how much of the book is based in reality, Summers notes, “Some of [the stories] are really made up completely. [With others,] someone might [tell me] an anecdote and I go, ‘Oh, let me see if I could…really broaden that out into a thing.”

Three hardcover versions of Fretted and Moaning are available now at AndySummersBook.com — a standard “Classic” edition, a signed “Signature” version and the “Ultimate” edition. Copies of the “Ultimate” version are signed and numbered by Summers and are packaged with a limited photo print.

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