Already, I realize this blog is going to cause me to open up, far more than I normally would, if I want to honestly explain how the book came about. A kind of therapy perhaps, although personally I feel slightly uncomfortable with this term, as I do not consider myself in need of therapy. (smile)
I believe there are some things that are private and are not to be shared. An example being the ‘derrière’ scene within the vault. (This comes later in the book.) It would be wrong to say who inspired this, especially as I live alone. Perhaps there are parts of the story which have been influenced in some way or other by people I have met, or places I have been, but none of the characters are deliberately molded on any one particular person. I have simply tried to capture moods and attitudes, pasting them together to create new characters. I cannot describe an imagery cow without mentioning some cow-like features.
So … onto the next part of chapter one… where George is in the game. It starts with him high up on a plateau. I did not have any place in mind at the time of writing this, it just felt right. I needed to answer the question – why he hadn’t noticed Spoiler earlier? Which is very clearly answered by him having just climbed the rock face. As for Spoiler, that name is such a fantastic coincidence.
I had GoD, so I needed the devil. That was the original thought. Surfing the net however did not uncover anything which I felt suitable. I did not want to make the story cheap or kitschy by filling it with biblical names simply because of the abbreviation of George’s name. This left me stuck for a while. (Don’t ask me why – as I really don’t know) but I was reading Frankenstein at the time. I kind of get moods for literature, and end up devouring books from the same time period, until I am saturated. I was obviously rediscovering the Renaissance. (LOL)
When there it was, the name Spoiler. Mary Shelley referred to Death as Spoiler! I knew straight away that had to be the name of my character. Today the word means something else. This only went to make the name even better. Now I had God and Death!
If you find some of my facts within the book to be wrong, do write and let me know. I research them as best as I can, but in the end the information is from the internet, which is not always 100% honest. An example of internet information is concerning George’s jump off the cliff – and how he hits the water between 40 to 70 knots … This might be wrong. I’ve never done sky diving, and I don’t particularly like heights.
Also, the time difference between the virtual world and the real world is mentioned on a simple minute hour basis. This is because I do not want this time difference to play too great a role in the story. I don’t want the authenticity of my book to rely on numbers. George doesn’t know the exact ratio either, (and he plays the game.) It’s a glitch in the software.
Another repeated point within the series is the environmental side of things. In this one chapter I mention paper is no longer produced, something I doubt will ever happen. (Eighty percent would be nice,) and I also mention how most things have been moved into the digital form: conference schooling. This was a nice insight, as the story was written before the lock-down. In the days of ‘standing close together’. I honestly can see this happening. Perhaps not at junior school levels but certainly at University and graduation. Naturally not as crass as the lock-down but combined – online and in school.
Another two concepts are virtual museums and eFormula 1. (I don’t think I will win a lot of friends in suggesting Formula One racing goes virtual, it probably will go electric first.)
But don’t worry, I am not picking on the car industry. That really is not my intention. Looking at my own craft of writing books, I think the printed form should be redefined. Physical books should increase in status not in quantity. To do this though, and not destroy an industry, the social position of a paper-book needs to be rethought. The value of a printed book needs to be in a position that makes it collectable. Perhaps limited… I am sure there are lots of possibilities.
Did you know that eBooks can also be given first, second… editions etc, just like the hard and paperbacks have? This might be a good start. In one of my eBook copies, I dedicated it to Adam… just one copy. Then uploaded at different version, without his name.
In a way, I had signed it for him.
There are lots of ways of making eBooks more attractive, which leads me to the not so attractive part of my book – the fact that I have George using profanity. In simple terms he swears, using the F word, and quite a lot, actually. In the beginning I was not sure whether to do this, as books can influence people (I really hope mine influences in a positive way – hence the environmental thread which runs through them) and it is for this reason, I don’t spell the word. I think the reader will understand what it means, while appreciating the fact it should not be written. Dare I say it, it is my chosen word in profanity. However, I never use it for its meaning, only its sound. It is rich in sound, starting with a long f, which sometimes never makes it beyond a hiss, as it fights its way between my bottom lip and top teeth. On those occasions, however, where it does escape, like after smashing my foot against a chair leg, an odd kind of habit I have, I walk with my hands – checking my distance and the space around me – there is probably some long and cool medical term for this, but I just call it – ‘watch where you’re going’ syndrome (smile) But back to the f word. When the letter f finally breaks free, it is followed by a short but loud explosion of sound, captured by a dark guttural, (throated) K.
After, I kind of feel relieved (smile) and go and attend to my swollen toes.
I grew up knowing this word was a ‘bad’ word and should never be said – I cannot remember my parents ever using it – I do remember getting a clip from my mum for saying ‘bloody’. Amazing, how this memory warms my soul. Every memory of mum is treasured. Even when she was telling me off. …
Later in the story, GoD will be confronted with the true meaning of the f word, but I will talk about that when we get there. This chapter has been aimed at setting the background. By the end of chapter one, you should have a rough idea of the world George lives in, and have been introduced to his dad, and their relationship. (Probably influenced by my own relationship to my son, who is at the ‘when are you going to leave my room?’ age, or ‘I have more future than history,’ look – while asking me what time’s dinner? (smile)
And the funny bit is, I’m a dreadful cook.