What made you want to be a writer?
The joy of creating worlds and people and whole lives, and letting them write themselves once I’ve started them off. Maybe I have some sort of God complex. I prefer to think I have a restless imagination that needs an outlet. It’s also one of the most accessible and affordable means of expression – I don’t need to keep buying supplies or spending money on production. As long as there are words, there will always be stories.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
What I found very difficult with both novels was consistency – I am unfortunately not the most consistent person, so after having planned out my storyline and chapters, I’d find myself having a brilliant idea halfway through and having to change everything else to fit around it. Tracking down every part that would need changing was so laborious, it almost made me want to keep everything the way I’d originally planned, but ultimately I can’t write anything if my heart isn’t in it. Also I’d find that quite often my mood changed significantly enough to have an impact on writing style, sometimes partway through the same chapter. Again, keeping the balance between consistency and being heartfelt was difficult. I suppose it all comes down to the age-old heart vs. head tug-of-war that needs to be balanced for anything to work.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
Research! And that on a budget too. Since I was out of work, in debt, and mostly penniless, I had to do as much research on places as I could without being able to visit them. Tourist sites, travel blogs, and YouTube videos all provided necessary input into what a place looked and felt like. Thankfully I found work and was able to actually do some travelling around Britain afterward, visiting a few of the places I’d written about, and I was relieved to see I’d built up a fairly accurate picture. Then there is the difficulty in writing for events that have never taken place before – what is likely to happen, how are people and the governments likely to react? Maybe I got it all wrong, but by looking into how things are handled now, and what contingencies are in place, I felt ok with a bit of poetic license if it was at least based on a few grains of reality.
Do you intend to make writing a career?
Nothing would make me happier. If I can be talented, prolific and determined enough to do this for a living, then I’d be over the moon. Especially if it buys me a nice house in the countryside.
How did you come up with the title?
It’s actually the title of a short story I wrote years ago – the subject matter is completely different, but I liked the title so much I always wanted to do something bigger with it. In truth, I originally stole the idea from an album I’d bought, called The Light at the End of the World. I was captured by the word-picture and the whole play on “end”, and naturally decided to steal the idea… or is that “be inspired by”?
September, 2013: When the summer ended, so did the world.
Staggering under a volley of meteorite hits, cities the world over are evacuated by the military as violent earthquakes, floods, storms and fires rage across the planet.
The journey unfolds through the jaded yet childlike eyes of Silas Stanley, a recently escaped psychiatric patient who must travel hundreds of miles across a devastated Britain to find his dying daughter before the world ends. Through ruined and deserted cities, flooded countryside and burning fields, Silas makes his way from an evacuated London all the way to his old home town in the Lake District, all the while startled and amazed by the world around him. En route he must avoid the strict martial law that is in force, and steer clear of the huge nuclear explosions being set off by the military in a last-ditch attempt to correct the earth’s faltering orbit.
On a world knocked off course and brought to its knees, love for his family finally forces Silas to face the enormity of his own past with just as much bravery as his uncertain future.
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Genre - Apocalyptic fiction
Rating – PG