Today, I’m handing over the reins of the blog to Tim E. Taylor, to tell you about a special offer on his novel Revolution Day. Tim previously joined me back at the start of November, so you can find out more about him and his writing here. For now, though, just keep reading below!
Over to you, Tim!
Many thanks for inviting me onto your blog today.
I’d like to share an excerpt from my novel Revolution Day, published by Crooked Cat and currently on special offer for Christmas at 99p/$0.99.
The novel follows a year in the life of ageing dictator Carlos Almanzor, clinging to power as his vice-president intrigues against him, playing on his paranoia to drive a wedge between Carlos and the Army. In parallel, Carlos’s estranged wife Juanita is writing a memoir in which she recalls how, from idealistic beginnings, Carlos’s regime descended into autocracy and repression. In this excerpt, Juanita recounts a critical moment in the revolution that brought him to power: Carlos and Juanita are leading a column of marchers in a protest against the old president, when the presidential guards suddenly attack their comrades ….
When the first shots rang out, and Raul ceased to be the darling of the Partido Socialista and became its most famous martyr, we had just managed to bring the column to a halt. That too was enormous good fortune. Had it been moving, in either direction, panic and excitement would have turned walking into running and there would have been no stopping it. Either we would have surged into the avenue just in time to be smashed by the guns and batons of the charging guards, or we would have fled headlong into ignominy and failure.
Instead, we stood and watched as, seventy metres away where our road joined the avenue, our comrades ceased to march from left to right and began to run from right to left, some falling headlong in their panic. Then, a few metres behind, the presidential guards in their blue uniforms charged after them, some pausing to club the fallen with batons or rifle butts; others to fire shots at the fleeing protestors. I remember thinking how odd they looked, actually fighting in their ceremonial tunics covered in gold braid and medals. A few seconds later, they too were gone; all that remained was the din of violence further down the avenue and a few bodies lying ominously still and twisted in the road.
It was then that I became uncomfortably aware of two hundred pairs of eyes focused searchingly upon Carlos and myself. “What shall we do?” they demanded silently. I had no answer for them. Now the moment of crisis had come, I was as paralysed and helpless as a frightened rabbit. I stood there, open-mouthed, and looked in desperation at Carlos. He too was still and silent, and at first he looked as dumbfounded as everyone else. Then his expression changed. His features became clenched in intense concentration; his eyes looked downward, moving this way and that as if the solution was written somewhere upon the pavement. I imagined cogs whirring in the machine of his brain as options were thought through to their conclusions, evaluated, discarded. Then he looked up, and from his face shone an expression of calm triumph that I had never seen before. He looked quickly behind him, and mounted some steps that led up to the door of a building, so he could clearly be seen by everyone.
“Comrades. You have seen what the dictator’s guards have done to our friends. This means that the fate of this nation now rests in our hands,” He spoke in a voice of great strength and assurance. We had sometimes forgotten that he had been a lawyer, but his training stood him in good stead at this moment. “Those of you who are afraid, walk away and go back to your homes. No one will blame you. But those of you who are angry, those who hate injustice, those who want to seize this moment that history has given us, follow me.”
If your readers are intrigued, they can find more information and excerpts on the Revolution Day page on my website: http://www.tetaylor.co.uk/#!revday/cwpf.
Many thanks once again for hosting me, Jen!
Not a problem Tim 🙂
Tim was born in 1960 in Stoke-on-Trent. He studied Classics at Pembroke College, Oxford (and later Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London). After a couple of years playing in a rock band, he joined the Civil Service, eventually leaving in 2011 to spend more time writing.
Tim now lives in Yorkshire with his wife and daughter and divides his time between creative writing, academic research and part-time teaching and other work for Leeds and Huddersfield Universities.
Tim’s first novel, Zeus of Ithome, a historical novel about the struggle of the ancient Messenians to free themselves from Sparta, was published by Crooked Cat in November 2013; his second, Revolution Day in June 2015. Tim also writes poetry and the occasional short story, plays guitar, and likes to walk up hills.