When I first began to seriously write Heirs to the Kingdom, I thought I would take the story that I had built up in my mind over what had been a long period of time and get it down on paper without really thinking about the words I was committing to the file. I know that sounds a little odd for someone writing a book, but at the time I was just doing an exercise to see if I could actually achieve it. There wasn’t any thought of publishing, or even having to talk to other readers of a finished work, it was simply me alone with my thoughts and feelings, letting everything I had kept deep inside me flow into my fingertips. It is still like that today, I cannot allow the thoughts of what others may think to even enter my mind, it has to be plain and simply that deep inner voice guiding my words, and although most of the people reading my work do not see it, it is probably some of the most deeply held parts of myself that come to the surface.
Personally it can be quite a surprising experience, as things I never actually intend to share come out in the words I put down, of which I would say the most obvious has been the power that is contained in my love for the plant world and the whole of the planet on which we live. Shortly after writing the first two thirds of the Bowman of Loxley, I let a few very close friends read what I had done, and then waited with baited breath for their comments, it was to say the least quite a nervous point in time. I suppose having been surprised myself at what had come out on the paper my insecurity did increase a little, because I had made some bold statements about how we all live within this world, and pointed out a great deal of my private disillusion with the world.
One of my market trading friends Pru was actually the very first person to read HTTK, and she surprised me a great deal when she informed me that it was indeed very thought provoking, and she had thought a great deal about what was written for quite some time after reading it, and that became a bit of theme, as I allowed others to read the first drafts of the first book. I have never forgotten that time, and even though I still do not allow the opinion of others to cloud my writing of the books, I have begun to open up and share a lot of what I feel passionately about in my Blog posts.
The blogs are for me, another way of expressing my thoughts in a none story environment, it’s a place when I can be a little more direct about my point of view, yet remain within the confines of the HTTK themes. I have found that there are quite a few readers who have not read the books, who still read the blog posts, and as a writer it’s another wonderful way of allowing all the thoughts tumbling through my mind to tumble out for another audience.
The story of HTTK is very much the representation of my struggle through life with various issues, especially that of a green campaigner and supporter. I do see the world as two separate sides in these days, and to be honest at the moment I think the side of stone builders is winning. I see a lot of the ways of Mason Knox in the world today, especially in our Governments across the world as they are seduced and corrupted by big large multinational corporations, I think if Mason was indeed a real living person in today’s world he and his evil mother would very much be the people behind the scenes pushing government’s into raping all of the natural resources of the planet on a road that can only lead to the eventual destruction of everything.
I am and always will be a member of the Woodland Realm, like young Robbie in my own early teens I sought to fight those of power to change the world, and even today I still try to educate people in a way that opens them up to what is really going on globally. I have been ridiculed for a great many years for being the Hippie type campaigning for trees and life, and to be honest what felt like insults in my youth, I wear today as my badge of honour. I have campaigned for petitions and protested and even at times employed a few Specialist tactics under cover of darkness to strike one for the green cause, although these days I am getting a little too long in the tooth for covert activity, and my mind has turned to thinking about other solutions.
Writing is certainly one of them, it’s a little warmer sat at the computer than walking the cold streets handing out leaflets, and I also look at today and the way the world has changed so much since my youth, and ponder as to whether there is a better way for all of us to live together in a more balanced way.
In the UK this week, we have been told that over the coming years we will see our bills rise to an unprecedented level because as our natural gas supply runs out, and old coal power stations are taken offline, we will need to import more gas from the continent. It’s a reality that in a world where those like the Knox family, have corrupted every system, and brought the global economic climate crashing down to the benefit of themselves. Once again the poor of this country and countless others, will be forced into the hardship of bearing the costs, and the costs are not just financial, they are also a cost to the world we live in, a cost that will punish our future generations.
The biggest argument I face is that in this world of technology, people will not support an environmental point of view, because even though they are not calling the government’s into question over their lack of effort on the environment, they have embraced all the new technology so much that to take an environmental road will deprive them of the little joy they have in life these days. When you look at the wide range of products we have available to us, it is a valid point, let’s face it communication and labour saving devices have never been so good, and our lives have been transformed by all of them, but surely there has to be a way forward for all of us to do our bit.
It can appear like a double edge sword, either we change drastically and give up everything, or we continue on the road towards destruction, but really do the choices need to be so stark?
I think not. Why is so impossible to see that the environment and technology can walk hand in hand. In my books I take the best from the old
world and add it to the natural world, in a way that benefits people and yet has little impact on the world, why is so hard for the UK and other countries to follow the same lead? Oil does not have to be the future of everything and neither does Gas powered, I am very anti-nuclear, simply because it’s just too expensive and as we have seen in Japan, it’s not quite as safe as we thought it was. Britain is considering fracking as a gas alternative, but that is actually banned in many European countries because it has been proven to be far more harmful to the water table than our Government are admitting. We have already had one large scale earthquake caused across Yorkshire and Lancashire because of the early drilling; do we really want to destroy and poison the North West of England?
We need jobs to get the economy growing again and take the pressure off the benefits system, as well as move away from the old fossil fuels, so why are we not looking towards Germany for inspiration? Literally on our doorstep, we have so many solutions that are good for everyone that it must provide a way that leads to jobs and cheaper fuels for all. In Germany they invest heavily in green technology, not only do they encourage solar power plates on homes, they have solar farms, which they combine with wind power to create a substantial amount of clean green energy. Ok the costs for setting it up have been high, but let’s be honest, it has to be better to pay UK citizens a good wage and build and install these systems rather than just paying our money to an Eastern European country for extra gas. Wind power across the globe rose by 20% in 2012, Ok so there are a great deal who hate the sight of windmills; personally I think they look a lot better than the gaping holes we create for strip mining, or the sight of large Fracking drills. I love windmills I have to confess, I want a small one on my house, I will probably paint it to look better than just plain white, but yes as soon I can afford it, I will get one simply because it will drop my household bills over time, which means I can invest in more fun tech for me and the kids.
The environment and technology can work as partners, and benefit all of us, but it takes a slight change of thought before we can implement it. Governments can change their view when they see that votes will not go their way, and it is up to all of us to finally make that stand and point them in the right direction. The future of this planet can only come with the will of the people, and it is up to everyone to share the information that will eventually force governments to change their mind. We have to abandon our complacency and apathy towards the way we choose to vote. It can be done as we have seen with the banking industry recently; as it was the public’s opinions that forced the government to make changes that are finally bringing them into line, and caused some very high profile job dismissals.
Just imagine this small point. This country has a huge amount of public buildings, what if we all made it clear that the government should fit solar panels to every one of them. Have you any idea how many jobs that would create in fitting and manufacturing them? Do you know how much pressure that would take off our old and rapidly decaying oil and gas burning power stations? New technology can be environmental, and a shift such as this would not change the life of anyone, but it would do a massive amount towards reducing carbon emissions in this country, let alone globally. There is a very important lesson to be learned from some of HTTK, and it shows that we can share the best of every world and create a sustainable future for our children and our grandchildren’s generation, it just takes a few moments to think about it, and then voice your opinion, which funnily enough was what the hippies were saying forty years ago, It kinds makes you wonder why we didn’t listen?
There is always another way forward if you take the time to think about it, and then get out of your seat and do something about it. If you look hard enough there are so many other ways to improve our lives and the planet we all share, and whether you believe it or not, it does not belong to those like Mason Knox, it actually belongs to all of us, its home to seven billion people.