Thank you, Jana for letting me chat about writing, time travel, love, and Genetic Modification of major foods. The 18th of July saw the release of my sixth book: Thirty-Three Days. It’s been a long but amazing journey to bring Jenny’s story to life.
All my life I wanted to write, yet for most of it I made excuses not to do so. There are two fabulous things about being an author. Number 1: my inborn need to tell a story, and to be able to entertain a reader for a while; take them out of their day to day lives and transport them to a place inside my imagination, well that’s fantastic. Number 2: When someone does read one of my books, and takes the time to post a review, send me an email, or stop me at a party to talk about the characters I’ve created for their enjoyment…… Well, I tell you, you can’t buy that feeling.
TTD, as I affectionately call it, came to me in a dream. Now that was highly unusual for two reasons. Firstly, I don’t dream, or if I do, I rarely remember them. If I do, they are nonsense. But I woke up in a state of euphoria having dreamt of Jenny, a lonely 68-year-old lecturer in environmental science who is approached by a man who says he is from the future. He is the sixth in a line of people who played leapfrog through time. They all took a leap of faith and injected a drug to send their consciousness back in turn. Why? To meet her and convince her to save the future of mankind from a Blight which is ravaging all plant life two hundred years in the future.
She agrees, and will wake up thirty-three years younger, with the dosage lasting for thirty-three days. She must convince a young micro-biologist not to release his genetically modified strain of wheat, which harbors the deadly blight in its gene structure.
But she faces many problems. In the past, she falls in love for the first time in her sixty-eight years with his father, and she must convince them both of her sincerity before her consciousness departs for the future, leaving her young self with no memory of the preceding month. If she fails, the men in the future will send an assassin and she is torn between saving the planet, or the man she loves who she knows is destined to die.
So, once I had that dream, I knew I had to write it. Time paradoxes have always fascinated me; yes, I admit it, I’m a Doctor Who fan. I also gave Jenny the chance to influence a team of soccer players, who haven’t won a championship in years. But, just maybe with Jenny, they can pull of a miracle win.
In all my books, no matter how deadly, or thrilling the storyline, there is always a love story at its core. I believe love is an intrinsic part of our lives, and further, that love, and family are why we are here in the first place. Anything else you come by is a bonus. The song title sums it up best: Love is all around us (The Troggs). We either want it, have it, or just lost it and want it back. We love our children, good food, a piece of art…. need I go on? For Jenny, her falling in love changes her, and becomes everything to her, but she knows she will not remember it beyond her thirty-three days.
Now its time to talk seriously, about the dreaded subject: Genetic Modification of food. This is the critical core of the TTD plotline. There is a saying Jenny uses to Iaine on their first date: The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. How many times have we seen people trying to do good, but inadvertently doing bad and causing a tsunami of destruction. Does Thalidomide ring any bells? Diet drinks using synthetic ingredients which we are now told causes health problems, including cancers. Trust me, the list is endless. Whenever Man dabbles in Nature it often goes poorly. When I was researching for this book, I found lots, and LOTS of similar cases. Here in Western Australia a while back, one farmer was suing his neighbor because he lost his organic certification. That was because the genetically modified strain of Canola had spread from one farm to the other and contaminated, not just his crops, but the very ground it grew in.
Jenny also says: “You can start a bushfire with a match, but the fire rages on when you blow the match out.” Some things we do to our planet are irreversible. I read we are losing 200 billion tons of ice a year from the polar regions, due to global warming. Apparently if, or should I say when, they completely melt; the sea level will rise 60 meters. Where will we live then?
So, lonely, mousy, Jenny has a chance so save every living person in the future by going back in time to stop an event before it happens. Can she succeed? And can she somehow find a way to keep the love that took her sixty-eight years to find? Oh, and can she help that soccer team win the championship?
Time for me to go. Thanks, Jana for inviting me on, I’d love any feedback from readers, I always respond to emails.
The other, less famous, (Australian) Stephen King
Blurb, THIRTY-THREE DAYS:
Jenny is a lonely university lecturer who's consciousness has traveled back in time to her younger body to try to save the future of the world. A young microbiologist is going to release a genetically modified wheat that will mutate and ultimately destroy all plant life, leaving nothing but barren windswept dust bowls. In the past, Jenny finds a love that has been missing from her life; the kind that comes just once in a lifetime. But Jenny can only stay in that time period for thirty-three days. Meanwhile, in the future, fearful Jenny will fail, plans are made to send another back in time--an assassin. How can she choose between saving the man she loves or saving the future?
“Oh I think healthy debate is a good thing, don’t you?” She squeezed his thigh again. She did not want to get too heavily involved in discussions of a nature which might affect their relationship. Not too early in the piece anyway. There would be time enough in the weeks to come.
“But Brad wants to be a savior to the worlds' food supply needs, not hurt it further.”
“Very true, and it’s to be commended, Iain. But, history is littered with good intentions having turned bad. There is the age-old debate about progress. ‘Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.’”
“But, who has the right then to make those decisions on behalf of the rest of us?”
“And therein lies the problem, Iain, who indeed should determine it? That’s why some of the things are in the mess they are. As an environmentalist, I just want to make sure there is something left for our kids, and their kids. I’m not necessarily against progress, but some things are best left as they are. Nature is in balance, once it goes out of that state, who can say where it will end?
“Hydro-Fluorocarbons are another good example. In the sixties, they were the propellant used in spray cans; it was a cheap way to be able to spray deodorant. But they were destroying the ozone layer and who would have thought it? They were banned worldwide, thankfully. Today, the layer is slowly recovering, but if we didn’t have the benefit of those studies and act on them back then, the incidence of some types of Cancer, particularly Skin Cancer, would be vastly worse than they are today. Oh, I’m so sorry Iain, I didn’t mean to mention Cancer because of Simone, please forgive me.”
“It’s Okay, it’s no problem, I’m really enjoying this discussion, tell me more.”
“All right, but we warned, once you get me started I find it hard to stop. Let me ask you a question, what do you think about Antibiotics?”
He glanced at her with a strange look on his face. “They have saved numerous lives, what’s wrong with them?”
“Well in some instances, undoubtedly they have saved lives. But, more realistically, in most cases all they’ve done is hasten a person’s recovery. We get sick, the doctors prescribe them, and we get better. But, we now have people who are developing allergies to them, and the incidence is growing exponentially. Worse we have bugs which have now mutated so much they can defeat the drugs. So, the germs are now not only immune from Antibiotics, but are far more virulent than they would be had they been left alone. If we had evolved a natural defense to some illnesses, they may well have disappeared by now.
“Polio is coming back, having almost been eradicated through a worldwide immunization program. Thanks mainly to Rotary International’s work, and right there is a truly benevolent effort. It was commendable and is a prime example of good intentions. But, the strain of Polio we are now seeing has no cure, and you cannot immunize against it.
“You see Iain, things mutate, it’s the natural order of things. When we look at bugs and parasites, it is the intention of the parasite to live off its host, not kill it. When the parasite kills, it effectively commits suicide itself and therefore does not fulfill its basic quest to live and survive. So, given time, humans can develop immunity, and the parasite gets to live within us, and everyone is happy.”
Ebook - http://a.co/ae6di0D Print - http://a.co/cYuoiLH
Life is about the journey, and not the destination, and what a journey my life has been. We are the sum total of our experiences, and not what we eat, in my humble opinion, and when I start talking about my life to people – just before their eyes glaze over – they often say: “You should write a book.” So I have, several in fact. I left school at fifteen in a totally different era to today. I got involved with the music business as a long haired rock guitarist, wrote poems and music and gave it all up for love. I've threatened to write a book for so many years my wife eventually pushed me into it by buying me a new laptop and said: "No more excuses, do it." And so began this amazing journey.
Thrillers and crime genres have always fascinated me, and in particular, the dark world of serial killers, and while my beginnings were in the ‘Make love not war’ sentiment, I love a good, unputdownable, thriller. You know, the kind you just want to read one more chapter of at three in the morning before bed, but you have to be up at six to go to work. Have I succeeded in creating stories that can take people to that place? Boy I hope so.
My first book, Forever Night, was contracted and published by The Totally Entwined Group's now defunct Evidence Press, and it was followed by a trilogy of Domin8, The Vigilante Taxi and Burial Ground. Repo, my fifth, saw me return to two characters from Forever Night as new private investigators trying to save a man from jail for a murder he did not commit. The Wild Rose Press were gracious enough to offer to publish Thirty Three Days. They have also contracted another Trilogy called Deadly Glimpses, and book 1 is due for release soon, called, Glimpse, Memoir of a Serial Killer.
I hope I have many more books in me, I often say: I work for a living, but write for a passion.
Twitter: @stephenBKing1 http://www.twitter.com/stephenBKing1