Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Timeshaft by Stewart Bint

The Booktrope edition of Stewart Bint’s time travelling saga, 
Timeshaft, is now available.

By the twenty-seventh century, mankind has finally mastered time travel—and is driving recklessly towards wiping itself out. The guerilla environmentalist group WorldSave, with its chief operative Ashday’s Child, uses the Timeshaft to correct mistakes of the past in an effort to extend the life of the planet.

But the enigmatic Ashday’s Child has his own destiny to accomplish, and will do whatever it takes within a complicated web of paradoxes to do so. While his destiny—and very existence—is challenged from the beginning to the end of time, he must collect the key players through the ages to create the very Timeshaft itself.

“Do our actions as time travellers change what would otherwise have happened, or is everything already laid down in a predetermined plan?” he asks. Stewart Bint’s Timeshaft is an expertly synchronized saga of time travel, the irresistible force of destiny, and the responsibility of mankind as rulers of the world.

Following the fortunes of two sets of time travellers, Timeshaft extends Stewart Bint’s popular novellas, Malfunction and Ashday's Child (both published by Smashwords in 2012), linking the two completely unrelated storylines into a full-length novel.

Set in Australia, London and Scotland, along with an unknown geographical location called Thiecon, Timeshaft combines Ashday’s Child’s activities and hidden agenda, with an accident befalling the very first time journey by the fledgling Time Research And Exploration Project, rocking along to the past and future with paradoxes and twists galore.

The Author:

Stewart Bint is a novelist, magazine columnist and PR writer. He lives with his wife, Sue, in Leicestershire, in the UK, and has two grown-up children, Christopher and Charlotte.

He is a former radio presenter, newsreader and phone-in show host, but always wanted to become a fiction writer -- a dream that came true when his first novel was published in 2012 at the age of 56. Now the author of five novels, a collection of short stories and a compilation of his early magazine columns, he was signed by Booktrope in 2015, who published a revised edition of his paranormal novel, In Shadows Waiting, in August.

As a member of a local barefoot hiking group, when not writing he can often be found hiking in bare feet on woodland trails and urban streets.

Interview with Stewart Bint:

When did you start writing for publication, what made you decide to put your work out there to be read by others?
In my twenties it was my ambition to become a published novelist by the time I was 30. I was only 26 years too late for that…achieving it when I was 56 in 2012. I kept writing fiction as a hobby, and it was on holiday, bobbing up and down with a friend in the Caribbean sea when he said I ought to try and get published.

So I dusted down an old manuscript, gave it a thorough working over, and submitted it. Now, with five novels, a collection of short stories, a compilation of my early magazine columns, and short stories in three anthologies, I’m mighty glad I took his advice.

Timeshaft is dedicated to him and his wife as a small show of my thanks to them both for pushing me onto the publishing path.

What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?
Not sure there are any easy bits. But I can certainly say the hardest is the marketing side. Even with my publisher’s marketing manager playing a part, there is still so much for me to do.
Also, I found the edits required by the publisher’s editor for Timeshaft were extremely hard. I was working on them from June to November. But I will say that the new beginning, new ending and the addition of several new scenes that she asked for have made it a much better book.

Who or what has helped you become a better writer over time?
Definitely the two Booktrope editors I have worked with during the last year. Before that, reading, reading and more reading. I would advise any budding writer to read as many different authors and genres as possible.

Where do you find your inspiration?
Inspiration for the actual storylines and books is very different from the inspiration I need to knuckle down and write every day.
Inspiration for the books comes from a variety of sources, and have included reading an article on the Chernobyl disaster, Twitter bullying and harassment, and it was a walk in Cranford Park in London which inspired Timeshaft. In fact, that features as a scene in the book, with my wife, father-in-law, son when he was 4-months old, and me all getting a little cameo role of that real-life incident.
Perhaps the biggest inspiration was a real “Eureka” moment when I was planning Timeshaft. All my books are stand-alone, although the stories of my first two novellas, Malfunction, and Ashday’s Child, are contained within Timeshaft. No-one reading the two novellas in isolation can see how they could possibly connect – many people have come up with the same wrong answer. I had actually started writing Timeshaft, using Malfunction as its opening chapter, before the light bulb suddenly went on and I realised how I could bring Ashday’s Child in. I renamed my main character in Timeshaft, calling him Ashday’s Child, and the rest, as they say, is history.
But what inspires me to write each day is a different pan of potatoes altogether. Sometimes I am full of beans and raring to go…which is no problem. Other days I am too easily distracted by the coffee machine and biscuit tin, and have to tell myself: “No dinner until you’ve finished this chapter/scene.” That definitely inspires me!

Did you start with an outline or just go with the flow, and see where the story took you?
With Timeshaft I had a vague outline based on the twist which occurs in the opening chapter, and that got me thinking about time paradoxes and trying to weave a number of them into one story. I was two chapters into writing the story based on that outline when the Eureka moment described above hit me. I worked out where the new idea was going, and at this stage the scenes start to unfold before my eyes as I write – rather like a film. But as I’m just watching my characters by now they start to go off on tangents doing their own thing.
Then, towards the end of Timeshaft, a minor character said something which changed the entire premise that the hero had been working to through his whole life. That wasn’t supposed to happen, ánd that led to the book’s final twist.

Do you listen to music while you write?
No. I need quiet to be able to function properly.

What is your favourite part or scene in Timeshaft?
Quite difficult for me to pick one just one, as the book flits between high drama and what I like to think are quite tender, moving scenes. But I’ll pick one of the latter. There’s a scene where the hero, who has saved the world many times, returns in hiding for his parents’ funeral, and learns that everyone thinks he just a waste of space.

Can you tell us anything about any of your current work(s)-in-progress?
My next novel is completed and ready to be submitted to Booktrope shortly, for publication later this year. That is a reworking of my book The Jigsaw And The Fan, a satirical ghost story about a dead trades unionist who can’t get into heaven or hell because of a strike the afterlife.
I am currently working on a new book for 2017, called To Rise Again. It is set on Jersey with chapters alternating between the 1980s and the German occupation of the island during the Second World War. It was inspired by my visit to the famous underground hospital there while I was on my honeymoon.

When you consider your future, what would you like to make happen for you?
At my age (I’m 60) I really ought to be thinking of slowing down…but I’m currently working harder than at any stage in my life, and thoroughly enjoying it. I think it’s that, that is keeping me young.
Your next question has actually provided the answer. I’d love Timeshaft to be made into a film or television series.

In a perfect world where you could cast your book for a movie, who would you pick for your main characters?
Without a doubt, Donald Sutherland to play Ashday’s Child. At 80, he’s seven years older than the character, but I think you’ll agree that with a little makeup he could readily transform into how I describe Ashday’s Child the first time we meet him: Bradman stared at the tramp’s old, lined face, noting with distaste the small weasel eyes set too close together, the lank grey hair desperately in need of a wash, and the narrow tapering chin desperately in need of a shave.

The wonderful Jenna Coleman would be absolutely perfect for the role of his young assistant and shuttle pilot Caitlin Lang. And, of course, she has considerable experience of time travel, having played the companion for Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi’s 11th and 12th incarnations of Doctor Who.
Jennifer Lawrence, perhaps best known for The Hunger Games, could be Nadia Reeder.

And I’d pick the relatively unknown English actor Jack O’Connell for the part of Phillip Oatridge. He was actually born in a suburb of Derby, around five miles from where I spent the early part of my life. He’s appeared in numerous TV shows and films, and his upcoming film is Money Monster, with George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
Two things. First, my wonderful family – my wife Sue, son Christopher, and daughter Charlotte.
And second, the fact that I made a full recovery from a severe period of depression and psychosis in the 1990s.

If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
My Dad died when I was 11. I would change things so he was around a lot longer. I still miss him, to this day

What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you when you were a child?
My mother always used to recount this tale
I was five-years-old, and having tea with my Mum, Grandmother and Grandfather. Suddenly I needed to say something, and started to talk. But unfortunately for me, Mum and Granny were in full flow.

Mum turned to me sternly: “Stewart, we’re talking. Be quiet.” So I was duly quiet for a few moments, but the urgency of the situation grew.

“Stewart, be quiet.”

Another minute passed. “Mum…there’s….”
“Stewart, you wait until Granny and I have finished talking before you say anything.” To which I replied: “If I wait for you and Granny to finish talking I should never say anything.” At this juncture my Grandfather started choking on his cup of tea, before eventually uttering the immortal phrase: “Out of the mouths of babes.”
Order was swiftly restored, as was Mum and Granny’s full flow.
When they finally finished, Mum turned to me and said: “Now, Stewart, what did you want to say?”
“I just wanted to say there was a big hair on Granny’s piece of cake. But she’s eaten it now.”
Cue Grandfather choking on his tea again.

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained anyone quality or ability, what would it be?
The ability to fly. I often dream I am flying, and it is just so wonderful and liberating.

Where did you go to high school? What was your high school like?
It was an English Grammar School, called Spondon Park, in Derbyshire. I attended from 1967 to 1973. While I have fond memories, including my first kiss (and, yes, it was behind the bike sheds – everything seemed to happen there), I wouldn’t say they were the happiest days of my life. I remember many of the teachers, as they had such a profound impact on my life, helping to develop my writing skills when it became clear I would starve if I had to make my living using numbers.

What is your favourite holiday?
Cruising. My wife and I try to do at least one a year. I love seeing so many wonderful places in one go. And of course, the onboard food and wine is superb. Also, it was on a Caribbean cruise where my friend persuaded me to try and get published.

What gifts did you receive on your last birthday?
As it was a special one (my 60th), the next cruise (South America in March, which is also our 34th wedding anniversary); some of my favourite malt whisky; a wonderful orange and brandy liqueur – now don’t go getting the wrong idea about me there; clothes (but not shoes – I think most people know from my twitter account and author profile that I go barefoot); and a hardback copy of Stephen King’s The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams, which I have yet to start.

What is the best book you've read in the last three months?
Michael J. Elliott’s “Portraits Of Dread,” which is described as a gallery of decidedly evil short stories. I like to think I gave Michael a helping hand during his early days of writing fiction, and I have seen him come on in leaps and bounds. He is a very talented storyteller of chilling and un-nerving tales, and Portraits Of Dread demonstrates his skills perfectly.
The book encompasses stories across the board, many of which the reader can identify with, and be freaked out by. His wonderfully descriptive writing style appeals to me immensely.

What is the best TV show you've seen in the last month?
Doctor Who just falls outside a month, or it would have been that. There’s a new series that has just started, by Stan Lee, who created the comic book hero Spiderman. Called “Lucky Man,” it’s a crime drama with a slight supernatural element, and stars one of my favourite actors, James Nesbitt.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule and joining me today, Stewart, it's been great!
All the best with the release of Timeshaft and all your future ventures.

Other books by Stewart Bint:

  • In Shadows Waiting
  • The Jigsaw And The Fan
  • Malfunction
  • Ashday’s Child
  • Thunderlands
  • Up Close And Personal

He has also contributed to three short story anthologies:

  • Awethology Dark
  • December Awethology Light
  • Blood Moon

No comments :

Post a Comment