••• The International Writers Magazine:Q&A with Sam Hawksmoor
|The REPERCUSSIONS of TOMAS D
One Small Lie - Can Change History Forever
Tomas is a boy haunted by a nightmare. Night after night in his dreams he runs to the bomb shelter as the sirens scream. Every morning he wakes gasping for breath surprised to be alive. Now it is suddenly very real. He has no idea how he got to 1941, or how he will get back. Worse, the only person who believes he's from the future might be a German spy! The day after Tomas disappears. Gabriella discovers everything has changed. She is the only one who remembers that Germany didn't win WW2!
Review: 'Exciting and imaginative story. Lots of research obviously went into it and makes it a fascinating read'
Chapter Nine (extract):
The making of a hero
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| Where did the idea come from for the book?
I like 'what if...' stories. One the same day I found a photo of my grandfather pulled alive from the wreckage of his home after a German bombing raid, I was reading about the raids on Portsmouth in 1941. I had no real idea of just how devastating they were. Then, the next day, giving my elderly Ma lunch on the stoop, a WW2 bomber flew over on the way to an airshow. My Ma went totally white and suddenly told me the story of when she had just had my elder sister and she was walking the pram when a German bomber dropped it's bombs on the house next door. She flung herself over my sister, but the kids next door were killed and all the house windows blew in. She found her mother at home calmly sitting in the debris and broken glass reading a murder mystery. It sparked an idea from there. I looked again at the photo of my grandfather. He was now the boy in the rubble. How did he get there and more importantly how exactly did he become a hero?
Later on the beach in Anglet in France and I asked Tomas, the teenage son of a friend. 'If you went back in time to 1941, knowing what you know now, what difference could you make to the world and the war in particular? What would be the consequences of your arrival and all that knowledge you have in your head? Who would listen to you? Would anyone take you seriously at all? And if you did change anything. What about your girlfriend, left behind? – Would she still remember you? Or would it all change?It sparked a wonderful conversation about all the things he might do to change the outcome of the war as we walked around the concrete bunkers left behind by the Germans. Tomas very quickly began to realise that he'd find it hard to persuade anyone he was from the future. Just describing how we live now would be too fantastic to 99% of the population. So yes, the whole story came out of that conversation.
What genre does your book fall under?
Time Travel /Sci-Fi -WW11 historical fiction - it’s cross genre not forgetting the romance between Tomas and Iris
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Unknowns for the kids
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
One Small Lie - Can Change History Forever
Will your book be represented by an agency?
It's published by Hammer &Tong and we also published the dytopian novels Another Place to Die:Endtime and J&K4Ever
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript and do you look for feedback?
About six months. Could have taken longer as there is so much to research and it’s hard to let go of all the ‘facts’ to play with. My thanks go out to Dominic Robson who designed the book, Jo Plumridge, Kate Knight and Margaret Bateson-Hill for very useful feedback, all of which I incorperated into the book. When editing I think it's important to share the end result, gather remarks and listen. In the end the book has to make sense to a reader and any help you get with that must improve the work.
What other books or movies would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’ve always loved Time Travel stories and movies such as Twelve Monkeys or the recent Looper. I love the paradox and all the complexities. The Butterfly Effect was a pretty good attempt at showing just how impossible it all can be to go back and ‘fix’ things and more importantly they didn’t obsess about the machinery to do it. He just focused his mind and suddenly was there. Quantum Leap and Time Tunnel (not to forget The Philadelphia Experiment) spent a great deal of time on the mechanics of getting there. As Bruce Willis as Old Joe says in Looper ‘I don't want to talk about time travel because if we start talking about it then we're going to be here all day talking about it, making diagrams with straws’.
For every Time Traveler’s Wife there’s a Hot Tub Time Machine – equally valid, one definitely funnier than the other. Star Trek uses time travel (‘The Voyage home’ and ‘Into Darkness’ the new one coming out in May). Don't forget The Man in the High Castle by Phlip K Dick either. We can blame H G Wells, but I suspect there are other stories well before that and let’s face it who hasn’t wished they could go back and change one thing. The girl you never said hi to, or the boy you wished you never said yes to, or the two job offers that came in and you absolutely know you chose the wrong one. And since I’m writing this on Groundhog Day, you can be pretty clever with your plots too. The idea of a man stuck on one day and having to stay there until he finally learns the one important thing is a great one. Bill Murray’s finest hour and a half, probably. Kids still love Time Bandits and who wouldn’t like little people, worm holes in a Time Map, Satan, God and throw in some classic heroes such as Robin Hood and a small boy called Kevin, brilliant.
Does history repeat itself? We seem to lapse into default modes of hostility. You can see this happening in Russia now as Putin closes every avenue of freedoms won. He probably misses the cold war and all the excitement. Those who take us to war rarely suffer the consequences themselves. Do we really want our kids wearing gasmasks in the classroom again? Now President Trump has raised the threat level with both Russia and China. War may be inevitable...
||Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I always like the ‘what if’ game. I like Time Travel stories and the paradoxes they throw up. It's complex. Small things can have huge consequences. Although the war finished seventy years ago the ripple effects are still being felt and the rise of the right in Europe is disturbing. The recent adaptation of The Man in the High Castle and SS-GBshows that there is a strong interest in alternative history - let alone alternative facts. Timeless in TV right now also shows that history is important to us all.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Tomas only has to leave the present and the life of his best friend/girlfriend Gabriella, left behind, totally changes. Creating those changes was interesting and then choosing what to leave out. (One has to be very sensitive). I have to remember I am writing for young adults and adults. If you could have the chance to play the hero in any era you’d go for it. For Tomas he has to survive the Blitz, but Gabriella has to survive the consequences of a Nazi victory seventy years before she was born.
Read the start of Gabriella's story here
You can order The Repercussions of Tomas D here and Paperback and Kindle
Review: Hawksmoor is a vivid writer of compelling details and action. CD
* Note Repercussions is available as a Paperback and Kindle in the USA and Europe and Australia. In Canada you can read the Kindle version at Amazon.CA and now get the paperback printed there.
The Repossession Winner of The Wirral 'Paperback of the Year' 2013
* Detailed essay on Time Travel and about the inspiration for The Repercussions here
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