Monday, 28 March 2011

Questions I was asked about my first book.


What prompted you to write this particular book – what was the inspiration behind it?
Some years ago I knew a woman who had spent her whole life blindly following a religious code.  When she was dying, she admitted to me that she did not really believe, but did not know what else there was.  She looked to me for help, saying that she was frightened of not knowing what would happen to her.  I reiterated the teachings of her religion, more or less saying that she was simply having last minute nerves and that everything would work out as she had been taught.  I told her this for the best of reasons but I wrote this book so that I would never again have to lie to a dying person.

Do you write in a special place or have a special system for writing?
When I set out to write a book, the story comes last.  Firstly I decide what I want to say.  Next I decide on the best setting to portray this.  Then I decide on the types of characters that would best demonstrate this point.  Lastly I invent a tale in which to wrap it all up.

What did you find most difficult about writing this particular book?
Trying to choose a few simple points from the plethora of anomalies in life.

What do you consider to be the best quality of this book?
Its simplicity.  As an author, I believe it is my job to explain, rather than the reader’s job to strive to understand.  That way the reader can immerse his/herself fully in the story without worrying about aspects which are not clear.  It is my job to do the hard work so that my readers don’t have to.

Is there a particular central message you want to convey to readers?
If you have strong beliefs about the way you should live your life and about what will happen when you die – fantastic!  If however you are led into saying that you believe because of fear or coercion, read this book.  You don’t need to be afraid!  Living a good life requires common sense not blind faith in a supreme being.  As for what happens when you die...... I’ll tell you that as well.

Of what facet of the book are you most proud?
The fact that I was selected to be the one to write it.

If you began to write this book again would you do anything differently?
Yes, I would stop worrying about it and enjoy the process more.  This book was written by countless characters I have come across in my everyday life.  I simply formed it into a story and put a few words down on paper.

Do you have any advice to pass on to aspiring authors?
If you want to write a book, there are many writing courses and clubs that you can join.  If your English is a little weak, you might benefit from taking a TEFL diploma.
If you HAVE to write a book, you will find your own way, and never let anybody tell you that you are wrong!

As an author, is there a book you wish you had written yourself?
No.  There are countless wonderfully written books out there, each containing a little piece of their creator.  To wish I had written one of these books is tantamount to wanting to be that author.  With all of my many faults I have never wanted to be anybody else.

Are you currently working on any other books?
I have written a book about the differences in people’s realities and how this affects their reactions to their surroundings.  The story concerns a plane crash and the attempts at survival among the (mainly) children involved.
The latest book I have written is a children’s book and is very special to me.  It is an adventure story which includes how to handle bullying, drugs, smoking and many other challenges.  It also explains photosynthesis and the energy cycle, in a way that young people can easily understand.  I am currently writing a sequel in which the young hero grows into a man, a parent and finally into an old person.  The book will end just before he dies.  My challenge is to explain adult feelings and actions to young people.
I could talk for hours about books I have planned for the future, but please just enjoy my current one.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Taster of my new book: The Redemption. Coming out soon on Amazon. Comments?

Emma changed her mind many times while she was getting dressed.  The problem was that she could not imagine it happening; could not envisage what it would be like.  Finally she was ready.  She had found a suitable dress earlier, in one of the suitcases that they had retrieved from the plane and even a small bottle of perfume.  She had decided to take the route up the rocks from the side she was on.  This would lead her up to the lookout rock from where she could then climb down to the coach’s cave without being spotted by the others.  With a giant breath to steel her nerves, she picked up the bag and began her trek up the rocks.
There was still a vague light on the horizon when Emma arrived at the lookout rock.  It was a particularly beautiful sight with the orange colour leaching over the edge of the world, to be replaced by the grey skeleton of the clouds before they too finally succumbed to the darkness.  When Emma was very young she remembered feeling sad that the sun had to leave at the end of the day.  She smiled at the memory.  It came from a different time; a time when everything else was so safe and happy that she could not think of any reason why the sun should ever have to leave.  Somebody told her that it had to sleep but that it sent its sister (the moon) to watch over us at night.  Somebody else told her that if the sun did not go out at night-time, we would not have the opportunity of seeing how beautiful the moon was.  Emma preferred this explanation.  She always thought that if she were a celestial body, she would look more beautiful at night.
Daylight had now disappeared and the harsh glow from the moon left Emma feeling empty and alone.  She had not felt like this about the night for many years and something told her that this would be the last time she would ever feel this way.  By the time the morning came she would have become a woman and would have no more need for such childish thoughts.
She shivered, even though the night air was warm.  She would go in a minute.  It was so peaceful sitting there on the rock with nobody to interrupt her thoughts.  She was caught in a time bubble.  Nobody knew where she was, or even cared for that matter.  How had she ended up on a rock on an island in the Philippines, staring out to sea, watching the moonlight shimmering over the softly breathing water?  How had she arrived at the stage in her life when she would lose all of her youth in a dark cave, so far from home?
Another shiver shook her body and she stood and looked over the edge where Danni had fallen to her death.  She might have hated the girl but at that moment Emma had a lot of respect for her erstwhile adversary.
She stooped to pick up her bag, took a deep breath and started the climb down to the cave, and to her fate.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Preface to my new children's book. Would love your comments.

Winter was over.  The snow had gone but the sun had not yet chased away the frost that froze time in the grassy shadows under the bushes.  The air was crisp with chill and anticipation as glints of sunlight flashed across the top of the lake, energising the water and promising the World its annual rebirth.
As I placed one tentative foot on the path between the lake and the small river that silently slid past it, I felt the ground tremble.  Mother Nature was not yet ready to release her grip on spring’s freedom.  Instead, she held it tightly to herself as the leaves were held in buds on the trees, ready to blossom forth when her signal released them.
As always, Mother Nature released the Snowdrops first.  They gathered in small groups, whispering in the silence of the chilled air, heads bowed in secrecy, lest anyone should discover their mysteries.  They were aware of my presence as I crept past, yet they never turned a petal.  They would not tell that I had been here.
A loud ‘crack’ echoed across the lake, repeated again and again as the Mallard duck called to his mate.  The sound seemed out of place around these still waters.  It was as though it should have been reserved for summer, when the clamour of young families of different species rocked the air itself.
I listened in silence and gradually distant bird song fell in soft flakes all around me.  Every living thing was awakening, everything knew its place.  Preparations were being made, old mates found and dances practiced to attract new ones.  All of this was being conducted covertly.  Nothing had begun yet, no signal had been given.  But everything was moving into the starting position.  As muscles strained and tensions grew, Mother Nature would make one final inspection.  When, and only when she was satisfied that everything was in its place, would she then release her grip and allow everything to spring into life.
Then the struggle would begin in earnest.  Leaves would burst forth to paint the canopy.  Plants would push through the soil, grass unroll as a carpet and the air would become alive with the sounds of creatures happy simply to exist.  Then Mother Nature would beckon in all the migrants, swelling the skies with sights and sounds.  What a wonderful time to be alive!
But for now the bow was still tight.  The tension in the air was almost unbearable!
The ground vibrated and I crouched behind a bush as a giant creature slowly lumbered past, oblivious to all the sights and sounds around it.  I would be all right as long as I kept still because its eyesight was poor.  It would not smell me either as this sad lumbering giant had lost most of its senses. A sound from the lake caused me to turn my head and witness a jumping trout, seemingly suspended in mid air, its shape transcribed by an arc of rainbow water above it.  We would go fishing today!
I skipped across the path and slid into the soothing water of the narrow river.  Once back in the Holt, my mate was excited.  I told her about my trip, but she could already taste it from licking my coat.  I mentioned the lumbering beast.  She said that she had heard that Man, (as it was called) did not hibernate because it had to stay awake counting the days to know what season it was.  I laughed, but part of the theory did ring true to me.  What a sad life it must be when you can’t feel the seasons turning around you.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Old knowledge

Hi everybody.  Firstly, let me thank you for clicking on this blog.  I am Des and am about to put my third book on Amazon.
I feel very privileged at being able to write something that others enjoy and by which they might also gain.  I am now in my fifties and feel that I have learnt many things in life which might benefit others.  Isn’t it ironic that just when we come to the stages in our lives where we have most to give, nobody seems to want to listen?  This is where the storyteller has the edge.  People remember stories and a good storyline can be a convincing argument.
In my first book The Diary of an Innocent’, I wanted people to understand that most of the major problems in the world have been orchestrated (or at the very least supported) by powerful bodies with their own agendas.  We are told what to think and how to act.  It is the story of a man who finds the diary of a catholic priest and how reading it affects his life.  He doesn’t hold the same beliefs as the priest, but in the end, he realises that there is room for all beliefs and lifestyles, and this knowledge makes his life very much richer.
My second is a book of short stories, cemented together by a light-hearted chat.  I have called it Different Eyes’ because that is the way a writer has to view the world, if he is to write anything of interest.  Hopefully, by explaining how some of the stories actually came about, potential short-story writers will benefit.
The book I will soon release is called ‘The Redemption’.  It demonstrates how different people perceive a situation in different ways, causing them to act out of all proportion to the position in which they find themselves.  Wouldn’t life be far more pleasant if we could see an adverse reaction by somebody, and nor react adversely to it?
The Redemption tells the story of a school swimming team and their coach who survive a plane crash in the South China Seas.  The story is told mainly from the points of view of one of the survivors and the coach, documenting the different viewpoints each one takes.
I have many more books that I want to write, and if people are still kind enough to read them, I will consider myself very privileged.