Today, I welcome to the blog fellow Trestle Press author Mike Evers. Here, he tells us all about his personal journey and how he became a writer.
As I am writing this, my debut novel has been out on Amazon for just under a week. I guess, like many other newly published authors, the news of its hitting the ‘bookshelves’ has come as something of a revelation to many – especially to friends and colleagues who had no inkling that I harboured a dark secret – yep, I write stuff. Sometimes it’s even a surprise to me (well, not really).
The genesis of my writing probably goes back to my days at university. I was doing an MA in Kent in 1995/1996 in conflict analysis, and at the time email was still quite a new medium. I remember we used a black and white DOS email program and I was astounded at the fact that I could send messages to people – and lo and behold they could reply to them and send their own back (sometimes within the hour!). Anyway, in short, I thought it might be amusing to start emailing a few of my uni friends an ongoing fantasy adventure every once in a while (it’s not like I had anything better to do). Nowadays you’d call it spamming, I suppose, but in those days spam was just tinned meat. But it turned out that one of my email victims was amused by the emails and said I should think about writing a children’s story. That comment lodged in my head and stayed there like an acorn for over 10 years.
The ensuing years saw me doing lots of things, of which only a few I’d call productive. I spent a couple of years in Canterbury not doing much in particular, before doing a course in EFL teaching and heading to Poland for 3 years to work in a language school in a city called Zielona Gora. These were happy years and felt almost like a return to being in my early 20s. The work was challenging at times, but the people I met and the good times we had are golden memories for me. It is also where I met my wife, Joanne, a lass from Guisborough (near Middlesbrough, UK). We returned to the UK and, after completing a post grad certificate in education, I settled down in West Yorkshire to teach English in a college.
On a Sunday - a few years ago – I was sitting, not doing much in particular, when the idea of ‘luck goblins’ struck me. It was simple idea: there are little creatures out there that can change your luck for the better, and something as innocuous as a sneeze could mark the moment. A couple of months passed and I decided to put the idea on paper. Then I realised they needed a setting. My local area would do, I thought, with its woods, gentle moorland and friendly people: a snapshot of Yorkshire life.
Now what? I needed an antagonist, and not just any old baddie. After some research I found out about a character called Rübezahl, a capricious and powerful being from central European folklore, who just happened to detest turnips and control the weather – perfect! I had found a chaos lord to take on my luck goblins.
‘The Chaosifier’ was born, and the story, much like the title, just spiralled out of control. And I had a lot of fun writing it – with many moments that made me laugh and one or two that made me cry. I hope it’s not strange or conceited to say so. In some ways it marks the continuation of an MA paper I wrote on the philosophical issues involved in predicting conflict. You just never know when those luck goblins may strike!
Get your copy of ‘The Chaosifier’ here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B006EKOC9K/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=elementaryvwa-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B006EKOC9K
Thanks again to Mike for giving us his time today.