Today is a beautiful sunny morning in my part of Scotland (yes, for a change it is) and I'm delighted to complete my theme with a visit from Tim Taylor, a very supportive and lovely friend at Crooked Cat Publishing.
Welcome again, Tim, it's great to have you visit again. Please tell us about your summer writing.
Hello, Nancy, hope you had a good summer. It’s a great pleasure to visit you again.
I believe you’re inviting visitors to discuss how the summer has affected their writing output. Well, for me, I think the answer has to be ‘mostly positively’, though it’s been a bit of a roller-coaster.
Summer is usually a good time for my writing, because it is the long academic vacation, so I’m not working (I do part-time teaching and other work for Leeds and Huddersfield Universities). However, this summer started off badly when my mother had a fall in the middle of June and was in hospital for two weeks. She wasn’t badly hurt, but she lost a lot of confidence and needed a lot of assistance at first.
Anyway, the good news is that both she and the summer have got a lot better since then. After a period of wondering what to do next, I began a novel (as yet untitled) in the spring. Since then I’ve been making steady progress and have just passed the 40,000 word mark. It’s about a woman’s relationship with her father as he loses his memory. There are periods of his life – in particular his experience as a tail gunner in RAF bombers during World War II – that he has never talked about, but as his more recent memories are lost he begins to live through those events as if they were happening in the present.
Nancy says: Congratulations, Tim, on your WIP progress. It sounds very interesting and I can say that there were plenty of men who fought in World War 2 - like my father - who wouldn't talk of their experiences.
So this novel is rather different from either of my first two, although it has some things in common with both. It shares with Zeus of Ithome the fact that it deals with real history, although the events that feature in the two books could hardly be further apart (Zeus tells the story of the struggle of the ancient Messenian people to free themselves from three centuries of slavery under the Spartans, in the 4th century BC). I’ve enjoyed doing the research for it – you can see some of the results here: https://timwordsblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/18/fallen-icon/)
And although the subject matter is very different from Revolution Day (which is about a fictional Latin American dictator whose vice-president is plotting to overthrow him) there is a definite structural similarity between the two – each has both male and female central characters, and combines a real-time narrative in the present day with more distant events recounted by one of the characters.
I received notice of the end of summer this week with the arrival of an e-mail containing my teaching allocation for the coming semester at Leeds, and a ‘back to work’ meeting at Huddersfield. The challenge now is going to be keeping momentum going through a busy autumn and getting the novel finished. Perhaps I might be able to visit you again in a few months’ time to let you know how I got on?
You'll be very welcome, anytime, Tim.
Your readers might like to note that both Zeus of Ithome and Revolution Day are available on Amazon for 99p/99c for today only, as part of the Crooked Cat autumn sale. More information about the novels is available via these links:
Zeus of Ithome
Many thanks once again for inviting me round, Nancy, and best wishes for your own writing.
Other Links for finding Tim:
Facebook author page
Tim now lives in Yorkshire with his wife Rosa 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.
Thank you for coming today, Tim, and best wishes with your work in progress.