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Please try your request again later. Before anything else, I'm a storyteller.
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My skills at writing are subject to opinion, my punctuation has been called interesting, at best--but I am a storyteller. I am, of course, many other things. In more than seven decades of living, there are great numbers of things that have attracted my attention. I am, for example, an electrician.
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I can also design, build, and install a range of things from stairs and railings to flooring and tile backsplashes. I can even giftwrap a box from the inside, so to speak, by wallpapering the house. I'm an engineer, one who has designed computers and computer systems--one of which--during the bad old days of the cold war--flew in the plane designated as the American President's Airborne Command Post: I've spent seven years as the chief-engineer of a company that built bar-code readers.
I spent thirteen of the most enjoyable years of my life as a scoutmaster, and three, nearly as good, as a cubmaster. I joined the Air Force to learn jet engine mechanics, but ended up working in broadcast and closed circuit television, serving in such unlikely locations as the War Room of the Strategic Air Command, and a television station on the island of Okinawa. I have been involved in sports car racing, scuba diving, sailing, and anything else that sounded like fun.
I can fix most things that break, sew a fairly neat seam, and have raised three pretty nice kids, all of who are smarter and prettier than I am--more talented, too, thanks to the genes my wife kindly provided. Once, while camping with a group of cubs and their families, one of the dads announced, "You guys better make up crosses to keep the Purple Bishop away.
It's some kind of a local thing that was mentioned on my last camping trip. The result was a virtual forest of crosses outside the boys' tents. That was the event that switched on something within me that, now, more than twenty-five years later, I can't seem to switch off.
Stories came and came Stories so frightening that one boy swore he watched my eyes begin to glow with a dim red light as I told them it was the campfire reflecting from my glasses, but I didn't tell him that. Then, someone asked for a copy of one of my campfire stories, which brought me to the word processor. When that was finished, I wondered: Can I write in the first person?
Having finally sold a few novels four, to date, the latest to Double Dragon plus a handful of short stories, I am living proof that if you work at something for long enough you will eventually get it right. Are you an author? Help us improve our Author Pages by updating your bibliography and submitting a new or current image and biography.
Learn more at Author Central. Thoughts on the Nature of the Universe. How do I make you believe?
Where can I find the columns of data that warm the hearts of scientists, while retaining the turn of phrase to move the dreamers? You who worship at the shrine of science will reject my words because I deal in a subject relegated to the trivial—the voodoo realm of the spiritualists. You who favor spiritualists will discard my words because there is no room for karma and old souls in what I. Several years ago I joined, WritingForums. A year later, the site asked if I wanted to do it again, and I said yes.
The Ballad of Roland Skye. Roland Skye, unhappy boy. No friends to meet, he owns no toy. Orphan poor, with face so plain, his life so dark, he knows such pain.
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So far, so you might say, so conventional. We read this book with huge admiration, amused, amazed and moved in equal measure. To me, historical fiction is simply a genre of literature onto which writers and readers project their own preoccupations and concerns. These concerns may reflect current events or fears for the future, but may also simply be the immediate preoccupations of any reader at any time.
I think, though, that Walter Scott would agree with Peter Carey. Get the weekly Five Books newsletter. But we need to take care. They are first and foremost readable tales. Can you tell us a little more about it, and why it was shortlisted? Such a good topic for a novel. Aristocratic flirtation was marvellously addressed by Kazuo Ishiguro in The Remains of the Day , and After the Party offers a less socially elevated but perhaps more insidious slant. Instead, she winds the hopes and fears of into a tale of sisters, the undercurrents of their relationships mirroring the early rumblings of the war.
Why was After the Party on the shortlist? She never cops out. What did the judges admire in it? Immediate transportation into the rural isolation and rough Catholicism of ! Best of all, though, and almost miraculous, is the anxious, occasionally querulous voice of John Reve, the priestly hero, as he struggles with poverty, superstition, his temper and fear of redundancy.
Here he is, railing against the medieval faith hierarchy:.
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And people lose faith because their protectors have not protected them, and the Lord loses faith in the protectors, whom he appointed to keep him in the hearts of all. But how accurate does historical fiction need to be? Can it be held to looser standards of accuracy, given it exists in an imaginative space?
Accuracy in historical novels only applies to certain facts: clothes; forms of transport; weapons; historical events, and of these only historical events are really fixed. Can we be sure, for example, of the exact date the first crinoline appeared on a London street?
Or a phaeton was driven in Bath? Things appear before somebody notices them.
As judges, historical accuracy is only a factor when it jars. Support Five Books. Five Books interviews are expensive to produce. If you're enjoying this interview, please support us by donating a small amount. Nobody who has read his The Crossing could have any doubts about his forensic dedication but, like flotsam and jetsam, there are things to pick up, and things to leave. Try getting a young person to imagine life without the internet.
Full accuracy can never be achieved, and even if it was, is no guarantee of a good book. To me, emphatically no. Have a look and see what you think.
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Warlight made the shortlist for the skill with which it paints the curious and sinister post-war reverberations most of us hardly think about, the London beyond the celebrations of VE day, the mopping up, as we might call it. Warlight is a book of mysteries shrouded in detail: life in the nether regions of a smart hotel; the watery byways of East London down which greyhounds are smuggled.
And matching the mysteries are the people: the Moth, the Darter; Marsh Felon.