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August 18, 2006

Venturing out into new waters ....

The Monk has ventured into a new field (for him anyway) and is now locked in discussions with a publisher. While he has previously published a number of technical scribblings in the form of a book, several study guides and numerous articles for technical magazines and papers for conferences, he has never before seriously attempted anything in the line of fiction. That has just changed and his first work of fiction is now in the hands of a publisher, the culmination of a lot of work, a lot of soul searching and a serious testing of the patience of numerous friends who have helped edit, proof read and all the miriad things that go into getting a written novel into a printable and readable form.

The book will be published around the end of November and is titled "Out of Time" and is an old fashioned adventure story set in a Sci-fi universe two hundred years from now.

Several things have given rise to the inspiration for the story and its gestation has been years in the moulding. Among the fun things was how to name the various characters in the story and some have come from grave stones, others pure invention or the combination of names of several different people the Monk has encountered. Some are family and friends and one or two are people the Monk has taken a dislike too at one time or another. It has been enormous fun making it grow and getting to know the characters who feature in it. One of the most important things was to actually flesh them out, turning them from words on a page to real people in a real universe. Then there is always the question of "what happens to them after this" - important as this is where the fairy stories always leave one wondering - is "happily ever after" all its cracked up to be? Or is there something more to this?

While Tolkien is not everybody's cup of tea, his greatest achievement in writing his great tome about the struggle of "Middle Earth" was that its characters are more than just idealistic cardboard images - you could expect to meet some at least of the human ones in the street (I suspect some of the less savoury ones are actually running Whitehall!) and even the mythical ones such as the Hobbits are all to human in many of their attitudes to life. That is what the Monk has tried to do with the characters in his story. The other aspect of any Sci-fi setting is that the alien worlds have to be believable or at least scientifically possible - to many flights of fantasy and you lose even the marginal credibility the genre has. And, like Tolkien, there has to be an overall theme. Why are they doing this? What is the motive? Is there a deeper message such as the struggle between good and evil, between the corrupt and the guys who try to get it right?

It has been fun, there is much still to be done, but it is now in the final stages - and while the Monk does not anticipate getting fabulously wealthy from it, he hopes at least that some people will try it and even buy it. When published it will be on the AuthorHouse Bookshop site and on Amazon. Something different as a Christmas gift perhaps?

Posted by The Gray Monk at August 18, 2006 10:12 AM

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