Saturday, October 10, 2009

An interview with the author

Where did Meddlers in Time come from?

I was always facinated by the concept of moving freely through time and space. This started at a very young age watching Dr Who and having the crap scared out of me by the Cybermen! Then at age 12 I discovered the works of Robert Heinlein, who was my inspiration for this story.

In 2004 I was badly injured in a car smash and decided to use my down time productivly and do something I had always talked about- write a novel.

How long did it take to write?

The original MIT of 85,000 words took three months, then another nine months to write what was then the second book- that was 115,ooo words. From there I spent several years tinkering with the story and editing it. Along the way the two books were combined into one.

Have you had any formal training in writing?

Very little, apart from high school to University Enterance level and a course in communication english that was once inflicted on all technician apprentices- in fact I used to hate writing until I discovered the word processer. I do have a background in business writing- producing technical and procedural manuals, writing formal letters and ISO 9000 documentation. I believe the latter qualifies me as a writer of fiction!

From the novel's ending it appears you have more to come- do you have any other novels planned?

Yes, I have a prequal to Meddlers in Time well underway- this time it will be serious Space Opera. I plan to write at least four novels in the Meddlers in Time series.

I see your main character shares your first name- is there a reason for that?

Yes, I found it easier to visualise in the first person- to see everything through Jamieson's eyes that way. Some peculiar part of how my mind works- I have to visualise everything I write about. I can close my eyes and see all the other characters, the scenery- everything. Sharing a name helped. I struggle with names as a part of me does not want to attach a name with negative memories to a character I like. Mostly I have taken names from past friends although here I need to add the standard all-persons fictitious disclaimer! I might have used a name and a trade, but here the similarity ends- or is meant to!

How do you see the typical reader?

I wrote this story to mainly appeal to male readers in their early twenties, who like adventure tales- this is a sort of 'Biggles Book' for lads of the 21st century. A critic compared MIT to one of those fast-paced adventure series of the 1970-80s 'The Executioner' This was not meant as a compliment, but I have taken it as such- after all those books SOLD!

I put copies out in a trial run and they were well-recieved by blokes in my target demiographic- but also by those who like a few twists and turns in the plot.

The story certainly poses many questions- some of which are still unanswered by the end of the book.

I planned to unravel bits of the story and the backgrounds of the main characters as the tale unfolded. I had to leave a few posers at the end to get the readers to buy my next book- although they will be waiting a while to get ALL the answers!

I have heard the question asked- why use 20th century technology when you regularly have contact with the future?

Yes, there are several reasons for doing that.
  • That would make life too easy for the characters!
  • In the story, we have brought new people on-board and it was decided to use equipment from their time period.
  • The main characters like to have better weaponry than the new players!
  • We want to use technology that will be able to be duplicated by the end of mission.
  • There are other reasons that will be revealed- but not yet!
To be continued:

The Really Important Stuff

You can’t change history, can you?

No- but you can make a new reality, when you alter events. ‘Meddlers in Time’ explores the shaping of a parallel earth, by altering events in 9th century England.

A small band of time-traveling adventures recruit a specialist team, mainly of engineers and set about advancing 9th century technology. While doing this, they have to fight off invasions, win over the local population and have a bit of fun along the way.

Leaving Earth for a temporary base many light-years away, they train and prepare for the time jump back to the 9th century. Following the jump, they establish a stronghold and start making contact with the local inhabitants. Meanwhile, a more deadly mission is changing the political structure of this world.

As the tale unravels, the story of the time/space travel capabilities is revealed, along with some of the unexpected effects of using this technology.

Some were lured by money, other by the adventure- a few just wanted a new chance at life. One thing remains constant- time travel changes all who follow that path…

You can buy the book here

For the first 20 customers, the price is US$2.50, the next 30 pay US $3.00, the next 50 US$3.50

The first chapter is availabe to download free