My books reflect the difference between peoples in this land, and they draw from my experience of growing up at the tail end of the peace and love generation. I have lived through the seventies, a generation I have to admit that although slightly wacky, was actually one I very much identified with. I felt great sadness as we entered the eighties and nineties, as I witnessed the slow decay of a way of being that for me seemed like the only way to live. For the last three decades I have seen with my own eyes, how money and power have crept into society and replaced friendship, and community spirit.
The world of Mason Knox is not very far from the reality we live in today, and those years of the woodland attitude in my mind are now very much a distant memory. I suppose like all writers, and although in many ways I am still very much at the start of my life as a writer, I do have the added benefit of being able to look back on 40 years of life and report my observations via the stories I write.
The events of recent days, which has seen a large volcano in Iceland erupt, spewing massive amounts of ash into the atmosphere, has again brought to mind the very reasons that I divided my world in the ‘Heirs to the kingdom’ series into those of Mason Knox, and those of the woodland family of Lox. I very much think that if Mason was indeed a real person today, he would be investing heavily in hotel stock as he grabs an opportunity to jump on the gravy train that is the suffering of those left trapped in foreign lands with cancelled plane flights. Across the world Humanity is being trashed, as the greedy owners of hotels charge up to ten times more per room, per night, to line their pockets from the misfortune of those who are stranded. Today it feels very much like the stories I write are closer to that of the reality of the modern age than even I realised.
In the past, one of my critics has labelled me a hopeless idealist, and in some ways I had to agree with them, but I also think I am very much a realistic thinker, I have sat for years talking and watching the world around me. It does very much appear at this moment in time, that for Robbie and Runestone, and a great deal of people who read my work, do hold that ideal of family and a peaceful life close to their hearts. I have not met many people who do not dream of a peaceful; and fairer world, where everyone lives in harmony, yet I find it ironic that as a teenager campaigning in the seventies for such a dream, I was scoffed at and ridiculed, yet here I sit each day answering emails and talking on social networks to those who have read HTTK, and they too seem to identify with the themes of my story and dream of the same things for their lives.
As I sit here I am reminded of my character in the Lost Sword of Carnac, (HTTK Book two) named Fuse. When asked by Robbie what the modern life was all about, he gave his impression of the world he lived in (Today), and in many ways his view of the world feels very apt today, even though it was first written in 2006. It is fascinating for me as a writer, and as an observer on the world, to see how the story of life in the real world compared to the lives of those in my imagined world pan out. No doubt there are many more chapters in both to follow, and with luck and good health hopefully you can enjoy the journey beside me.