My thanks to Richard Denning for stopping by Tribute Books Mama and sharing his thoughts about his book, Tomorrow's Guardian.
ABOUT RICHARD: I was born in Ilkeston in Derbyshire and live in Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands. I work as a General Practitioner with a North Birmingham practice. I am 43 and married with two children.I am a Young adult sci-fi, historical fiction and historical fantasy writer. I also write book and board game reviews and online articles on historical and gaming related topics. I own my own small publishing house Mercia Books and I am part of a board game design house Medusa Games.A keen player of board games and other games I am one of the directors of UK Games Expo (the UK's largest hobby games convention). I am a board game designer and my first Board Game 'The Great Fire on London 1666' was published by Medusa Games and Prime Games in October 2010.
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1. How did you come up with the title?
The story is about a boy who finds he can travel through time and has to decide how to use that power. Will he use it for self gain, will he help men who want to change history to their version or will he protect our world and our history and future. It is that idea of Tom and his friends protecting history and ensuring that the world of Tomorrow is as it should be that is behind the title.
2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I am not sure there is a deep meaning behind it but themes of loyalty, courage and sacrifice are explored. On the whole though it is (I hope) an entertaining adventure story. I don’t think I actually read that many books myself that are about profound and significant issues. I have to deal with a lot of hard and difficult choices and problems in my job as a GP (Family doctor) so when I read books I am looking for something escapist. That does not mean it does not make you think.
3. How much of the book is realistic?
The historical periods that are visited have been researched. These include the Great Fire of London in 1666, Alexander the Great’s camp, the Battle of Isandlwana in 1879 and a U-boat in 1943. I have tried to recreate those as faithfully as possible. I do explore some theories about time travel but of course at the end of the day it’s a time travel book and so that part of the book can never be realistic as such. However I hope the method of time travel I use, with its limits and opportunities is consistent and believable within the fictitious world I have created.
4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
You always look at a book and say – ah I should have said this there, or referred to that there. But overall I am very happy with Tomorrow’s Guardian.
5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Getting the plot right. That part takes time. In fact before I write much I try to plot the book out in detail. That is the time when you have blank pages and have to wrench the ideas out of your mind. Once you have the chapters and scenes sketched out the actually writing is quite quick.
6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned a certain amount of historical fact through the research of the historical periods. I also learned some time travel theory and physics. Out of writing the book I think I have learned how to pace a book better and create tension and excitement. At least I hope I have.
7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I have always loved books. I also enjoy fantasy, sci fi and horror and just wanted to see if I could come up with a story. Actually it was wanting to create a world I enjoyed playing in – for actually in the case of Tomorrow’s Guardian and my other books the world I create can start to become quite real. You start to KNOW how characters will act and how they will deal with a crisis or happening. When I return to the same characters and surroundings as I write a sequel there is a feeling a little bit like coming home after a trip away.
8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
JRR Tolkien is my favourite author overall for his world was so detailed that it is a joy to read about it. The opening chapters of both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are wonderful and if I am stressed I only have to dip into the shire to feel at peace. Of modern authors I would have to say the best are Terry Pratchett and Bernard Cornwell. I have read pretty much all of their books and spent many holidays reading about Diskworld or Sharpe’s latest adventure. Pratchett in particular has a way of looking at issues of our world through the prism of the diskworld. He has dealt with computers, the internet, wars, the media and many other aspects of our own world but examining them in the diskworld.
9. Tell us your latest news.
The sequel to Tomorrow’s Guardian – Yesterday’s Treasures will be out in May or June. A new version of my Dark Ages Historical Fiction, The Amber Treasures will be published soon as well.
10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Well pop along to my website and you can read excerpts of any of my books for free as well as see the trailers. My books are on Kindle and other ebooks as well as Paperbacks. I even have an audio book version of The Amber Treasure for free on my website.
ABOUT TOMORROW'S GUARDIAN: Tom Oakley experiences disturbing episodes of déjà-vu and believes he is going mad. Then, he discovers that he's a "Walker" - someone who can transport himself to other times and places. Tom dreams about other "Walkers" in moments of mortal danger: Edward Dyson killed in a battle in 1879; Mary Brown who perished in the Great Fire of London; and Charlie Hawker, a sailor who drowned on a U-boat in 1943. Agreeing to travel back in time and rescue them, Tom has three dangerous adventures, before returning to the present day. But Tom's troubles have only just begun. He finds that he's drawn the attention of evil individuals who seek to bend history to their will. Soon, Tom's family are obliterated from existence and Tom must make a choice between saving them and saving his entire world. Tomorrow's Guardian is a Young Adult Fantasy Novel.
For more information on Richard and Tomorrow's Guardian, please visit RichardDenning.co.uk
Congratulations to our winner: Lindsay Cummings!