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Saturday, 8 July 2017

Guest Post: The Writing Process by Richard Abbott-Brailey

The inspiration for this book came from a history documentary about the retreating Spanish Armada, and how much of it was dashed upon the rocks during the worst storm in around 100 years. I tried to imagine what it might have been like to observe these ships being thrashed against the rugged coastline of the west of Ireland; perhaps looking at the bodies washed up on the shore. And then Azarias Tor was born – an accidental time traveller, whose father lived in a future some 170 years ahead. And the rest is history - or is it? I then developed the idea that a corrupt body is designing their present day world, our distant future, by manipulating the past, our history, and their history, to suit their own needs.

As for the characters, I wanted them, in this world anyway, to appear fairly normal, on the surface, yet have their demons, and the baggage of their history, weighing them down. In the future, the characters appear much more self-assured and confident, though their weaknesses are exposed later in the story. Aside from exposing the weaknesses of the main characters I wanted to portray the inner strength which most of us possess, wherein we would go beyond the call of duty to help other, even if that means making the ultimate sacrifice! With regards to research, I went out of my way to ensure that all details regarding weather on particular days, in certain locations, and that all music and fashion was appropriate to the time.

The biggest challenge, when writing the book, involved the use of time – finding time to write when I was working full time as a teacher. However, I managed to overcome that obstacle.

The whole experience of writing the book has been a journey but I think the fact that I have developed characters that deserve to live on in other books has been very rewarding. I have also enjoyed the many hours lost in the worlds invented in my mind, living with these imagined characters. More than that, though, has to the fact that the pub, with the mobile phone collection, does exist, though the people are fictitious. I used to wait in the bar for my wife to collect me, and I decided to incorporate the bar and the phones into the story. Finally, here, I would give consideration to the joy I experienced when I declared that I had finished, reached the end, only to later realise that I had more to write, and much to edit.

I suppose, initially, my target market is people who like to read for the sake of reading, and want to read. Beyond that my target audience would be anyone who follows the like of Dr Who, looper movies and stories, science fiction addicts – young adult upwards, though the book does contain themes of an adult nature, and scenes that some readers might find distressing. I wrote the book, with a view to producing a series, and developed the character, with ordinariness in mind, where the protagonist, in spite of his past, is living a fairly ordinary life, wherein he discovers the extraordinary within himself. I like to think that we all have this element, to be able to exceed our own expectations and rise to meet the occasion in moments of need –when others need our help. With that in mind I also wanted to explore the idiosyncrasies that make us tick, and the pain of loss, grief, and sacrifice, in the hope that readers may empathise, even sympathise, with the character’s malaise. Finally, I want the reader to believe that time travel is possible, or feasible!

About Azarias Tor

azarias-tor, book, richard-abbott-brailey
Image: Richard Abbott-Brailey / Austin Macauley
Do we make history or does history make us what we are? Do we allow our lives to be dictated by history or do we attempt to make our history the ‘new' future; do we have an impact in history, and the future, or do we allow ourselves to be the ‘victims' of the impact of history upon us, having the future shaped for us by others?

Imagine that there are people out there who will make us part of their history, and make their future our future; world leaders, artists, authors, and scientists. But what of the ordinary people - in the neighbourhood, or that person in their car, passing you on the road? Is that person harbouring secrets that you could not begin to comprehend? What if that person had secrets that they are not aware of; secrets that could have a major impact on the lives of everyone, everywhere, throughout the whole of time?


Azarias Tor is available to buy now.

About Richard Abbott-Brailey

richard abbott-brailey
Image: Richard Abbott-Brailey
The author was born in London and attended school in Watford having moved there with his family when he was aged eight. After spending some years working in the retail sector, and in sales, he returned to education as a mature student, obtaining a BA (Hons). Following a spell working in theatre, in lighting and stage management, he qualified as a secondary school teacher. An alumnus of The Central School of Speech and Drama, Richard now lives in Northumberland with his wife, Hilary, and two cats.

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