I’ve just come back from a couple of fabulous days in the beautiful city of York, where I got to meet author Tim Taylor in person. I managed to persuade him to pay a visit to my blog; here’s what he had to say about his new novel Revolution Day, amongst other things:
Hello, Emma! Thank you for inviting me onto your blog to talk about my novel, Revolution Day, published on 30 June by Crooked Cat.
Revolution Day, my second novel, follows a year in the life of Latin American dictator, Carlos Almanzor. Now in his seventies, Carlos is feeling his age and seeing enemies around every corner. And with good reason: his Vice-President, Manuel Jimenez, though outwardly loyal, is burning with frustration at his subordinate position.
Meanwhile, Carlos’ estranged wife Juanita is writing a memoir in which she recalls the revolution that brought him to power and how, once a liberal socialist, he changed over time into an autocrat and embraced repression as the means of sustaining his position.
When Manuel’s attempts to increase his profile are met with humiliating rejection, he resolves to take action. Lacking a military power base, he must find a way to drive a wedge between Carlos and Angel, the head of the Army. As he moves to do so, Juanita and others will find themselves unwittingly drawn into his plans.
In this excerpt we get some insight into Carlos’ character and the dynamic of the relationship between him and Angel.
The President drank a little more coffee, then retired into his dressing room. Even on a day like today, when there were no public appearances to be made, he would put on an admiral’s uniform for the working day. He was, strictly speaking, the head of the Navy, such as it was, though he had seldom stood upon the deck of a warship, and had tended to become very seasick on these occasions. His choice of dress was partly due to aesthetic considerations – blue seemed so much smarter than the olive green in which the Army clothed itself – and partly to political ones. Even after nearly four decades, Carlos was not so taken in by his own propaganda as to be unaware that Angel, as a military man by trade, had a greater hold on the loyalty of soldiers than he, a lawyer, could ever have. That loyalty made Angel the only man with the power potentially to take the presidency for himself, and it also made him a very dangerous man to remove from his post in the absence of a clear justification for doing so. And although Carlos had never fully trusted him, and saw hints of plotting in every ambiguous remark or sideways glance, Angel had never provided the President with any clear pretext to get rid of him. So Angel remained in charge of the Army. But as a lieutenant-general, he was still outranked by a full admiral, even if the navy was no more than half a dozen old World War Two destroyers that spent most of their time in port, slowly turning to rust.
Finally, a very brief word about my first novel, Zeus of Ithome. Like your novel, Five Guns Blazing, it deals with slavery and is a finalist in the Chaucer Awards for historical fiction. It recounts the struggle of the ancient Messenian people to free themselves from three hundred years of subjugation to the Spartans. The events are real, though the story is told through the fictional lives of Diocles, a runaway ‘helot’ slave and Aristomenes, an ageing Messenian rebel
If your readers are intrigued, they can find out more about both novels on my website and Facebook author page. Thanks again for hosting me, Emma! I’m looking forward to the launch of Five Guns Blazing!
Facebook launch event for Revolution Day: https://www.facebook.com/events/770280243092134/
Tim Taylor was born in 1960 in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, UK. He grew up just outside the city in Brown Edge, then at the age of 11 moved to Longsdon, near Leek. Tim went to Newcastle-under-Lyme High School, then studied Classics at Pembroke College, Oxford. After graduating he moved to London and spent a couple of years playing guitar in a rock band. When it became clear that he was never going to be a rock star, he sadly knuckled down and joined the Civil Service, where he did a wide range of jobs before leaving in 2011 to spend more time writing. While still in the Civil Service Tim studied part time for a PhD in Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London, achieving it in 2007.
Tim married Rosa Vella in 1994 and their daughter Helen was born in 1997. In 2001 they moved to Meltham, near Huddersfield, and have lived there ever since. Tim now divides his time between creative writing, academic research and part-time teaching and other work for Leeds and Huddersfield Universities.
Tim’s first novel, Zeus of Ithome (a finalist in the Chaucer Awards for historical fiction), was published by Crooked Cat in November 2013; his second, Revolution Day in June 2015. He has also published a non-fiction book, Knowing What is Good For You (Palgrave Macmillan 2012), on the philosophy of well-being. As well as novels, Tim writes poetry and the occasional short story. He also plays electric and acoustic guitar and a little piano, and likes to walk up hills.