Wednesday, 9 December 2015

A SPECIAL REVOLUTION - a guest post by Tim Taylor

Today I have the great pleasure of welcoming back my friend and fellow-scribe Tim Taylor, who is here to tempt us with a very special offer!

Welcome, Tim!  Please, tell us more…




Hello, Sue. Many thanks for inviting me along!  As my novel Revolution Day is currently on special offer for Christmas at 99p/$0.99, I thought I’d share a short extract from the book. First, though, I’d better give your readers an idea of what the novel is about.

It follows a year in the life of Latin American dictator, Carlos Almanzor. Carlos has been in power for thirty-seven years and is now in his seventies. He is feeling his age and seeing enemies around every corner.  Yet he clings tenaciously to power, not for its own sake, but because he has come to believe that he alone can be trusted with the stewardship of the nation. He derives support from his secretary Felipe, who is trying to get him to show a more human face to the world through a video blog; and solace from his young mistress Corazon, who unbeknownst to Carlos maintains a discreet social life of her own.

                Carlos’s estranged wife Juanita, who has been under house arrest for sixeen years, is writing a memoir of his regime and their marriage, excerpts from which are interleaved with the main narrative.  It recalls the revolution that brought him to power and how, once an idealist, he came to embrace autocracy and repression, precipitating the catastrophic breakdown of their personal and political relationship. 

                Meanwhile, Manuel, Carlos’s efficient and ambitious Vice President, is frustrated with his subordinate position. When his attempts to augment his role are met with humiliating rejection, he resolves to take action. Lacking a military power base, he must make his move not by force but through intrigue, manipulating the perceptions of Carlos and others to drive a wedge between him and the Army.

                As Manuel begins to pull the strings, Juanita and Corazon will find themselves unwitting participants in his plans...

In the extract which follows, Juanita looks out from the house which has become her prison: 



It is just a line on the ground, a slight change in colour between the asphalt on one side and the gravel on the other, a few metres away from the door of my house. The same weeds grow on both sides of the line. After rain, part of it is concealed by a puddle. When I was free, I crossed this line hundreds of times without noticing it, except when the wrought iron gate lay closed above it. But even the gate had little significance. It was never locked in those days; its opening and closing were the task of a couple of seconds. Walking over the line made no impact upon my consciousness other than a rather pleasant, fleeting sense of entering a place of peace, of refuge from the demands of public life. Or – when I was going the other way – an odd mix of apprehension and excitement as I prepared to get back to work.

                The line has not changed in any way since then. It, and the gate itself – still the same gate, after all these years – continue to be ignored by all other forms of life but me. The birds fly over it. Snails and lizards move unhindered beneath it. My cat – how I envy her this – passes between the bars as if they were not there when she begins and ends her nightly prowlings. The gate is locked now, of course, but for the various men and occasional woman who come here for one purpose or another, that fact is of no consequence. They all have keys, and the act of unlocking it hardly delays their progress at all.

                But for me, the line, and the gate above it, are now an impermeable barrier. I have crossed it no more than four times in sixteen years, under armed guard. The trees on the other side of the road beyond the gate do not look any different from the ones I remember, the ones I could have walked among and touched if I had wanted to. They are no further away, in space. But I no longer see them as real trees. To me, they are like a picture of trees or, when the wind blows, a movie of trees swaying to and fro. They are beyond the line, and all that is outside it has for years been slowly fading out of reality.

More information and excerpts can be found on the Revolution Day page on my website: http://www.tetaylor.co.uk/#!revday/cwpf

Thanks again for hosting me, Sue!

My pleasure, Tim!  Please come again!

               
You can find out more about Tim and his books here:



Tim was born in 1960 in Stoke-on-Trent. He studied Classics at Pembroke College, Oxford (and later Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London). After a couple of years playing in a rock band, he joined the Civil Service, eventually leaving in 2011 to spend more time writing. 
                Tim now lives in Yorkshire with his wife and daughter and divides his time between creative writing, academic research and part-time teaching and other work for Leeds and Huddersfield Universities.

                Tim’s first novel, Zeus of Ithome, a historical novel about the struggle of the ancient Messenians to free themselves from Sparta, was published by Crooked Cat in November 2013; his second, Revolution Day, in June 2015.  Tim also writes poetry and the occasional short story, plays guitar, and likes to walk up hills.

2 comments:

  1. Interesting post, thanks both and good luck with the book, Tim!

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  2. Sounds like a fascinating story Tim. Hope the promotion goes well. Tweeted.

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