Thank you very much for inviting me onto your blog, Maureen, on the day my novel, Revolution Day, is published by Crooked Cat.
Revolution Day is my second novel. Unlike my first (Zeus of Ithome, a historical novel about the struggle of the Ancient Messenians to free themselves from Sparta in the 3rd century BC) it is set in the present day, and the people and events - and even the country - it depicts are entirely fictional.
It follows a year in the life of Latin American dictator, Carlos Almanzor, who has been the ruler of his country for 37 years. Now in his seventies, he is feeling his age and seeing enemies around every corner. And with good reason: his Vice-President, Manuel Jimenez, though outwardly loyal, is burning with frustration at his subordinate position.
Carlos’ estranged and imprisoned wife Juanita is writing a memoir in which she recalls the revolution that brought him to power and how, once a liberal idealist, he changed over time into an autocrat and embraced repression as the means of sustaining his position. In this brief excerpt, she recalls the immediate aftermath of the chaotic events which led to the deaths of both the old President Velazco and Raul, the leader of the revolutionary movement, and brought Carlos (unexpectedly and somewhat fortuitously) to power:
“I remember nothing of the speech that Carlos delivered from the balcony that afternoon. Or rather, I do not remember it as it was delivered then, though of course much of it has been repeated year on year for decades, gradually becoming empty and hackneyed, the subject of countless parodies. What I remember is my reaction to the speech at the time, my feeling that it was apt, and full of emotional power. It was also suspiciously well-structured and phrased, as if he had been planning this moment for years, even though it had always been glamorous, charismatic Raul, not middle-aged, pedantic Carlos who was supposed to become the President. But most of all, what I remember is the crowd. No longer an angry mob, they were dancing and cheering and singing songs. And they were cheering for us, for Carlos most of all, of course, but for all of us; when I waved, they cheered; when I blew them a kiss, they blew kisses back. I felt suffused by their joy and their love, and found myself laughing out loud, that this day of fuck-ups and murder and revenge and treachery had somehow turned out to be the greatest day of my life and possibly the greatest day in all history. Despite everything that has happened since, the happiness of that moment lives with me still.”
When Manuel’s attempts to increase his profile are met with humiliating rejection, he resolves to take action. As he moves to undermine Carlos’s position and make his own bid for power, Juanita will eventually find herself an unwitting participant in his plans.
If your readers are intrigued, they can find out more on my website and Facebook authorpage, and they will be very welcome to drop in on the Facebook launch event, where there will be competitions and other fun things to do with the book.
Many thanks once again for hosting me, Maureen - and good luck with Trace your Roots!
Tim Taylor was born in 1960 in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, UK. He grew up just outside the city in Brown Edge, then at the age of 11 moved to Longsdon, near Leek. Tim went to Newcastle-under-Lyme High School, then studied Classics at Pembroke College, Oxford. After graduating he moved to London and spent a couple of years playing guitar in a rock band. When it became clear that he was never going to be a rock star, he sadly knuckled down and joined the Civil Service, where he did a wide range of jobs before leaving in 2011 to spend more time writing. While still in the Civil Service Tim studied part time for a PhD in Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London, achieving it in 2007.
Tim’s first novel, Zeus of Ithome (a finalist in the Chaucer Awards for historical fiction), was published by Crooked Cat in November 2013; his second, Revolution Day in June 2015. He has also published a non-fiction book, Knowing What is Good For You (Palgrave Macmillan 2012), on the philosophy of well-being. As well as novels, Tim writes poetry and the occasional short story. He also plays electric and acoustic guitar and a little piano, and likes to walk up hills.
Connect with Tim on Twitter
Tim's Crooked Cat author page
Buy Revolution Day on Amazon UK and Amazon.com