Our Tim is doing the rounds this week, talking about his exciting new release, published on 30 June by Crooked Cat. I loved his first book, an excellent historical novel which uncovers the story of slavery in ancient Greece. You can find my review of it HERE. Best of luck with this one, Tim – I’m looking forward to another treat.
Hello, Jane! Thank you for inviting me onto your blog to talk about my novel,
Revolution Day, my second novel, follows a year in the life of Latin American dictator, Carlos Almanzor (my first, Zeus of Ithome, is set in ancient Greece and is a finalist in the Chaucer Awards for historical fiction). 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.
Carlos’ estranged wife Juanita is writing a memoir in which she recalls the revolution that brought him to power and how, once a liberal idealist, 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. As he moves to undermine Carlos’s position and make his own bid for power, Juanita will find herself unwittingly drawn into his plans.
In this excerpt, Juanita, who is under long-term house arrest, looks out at the boundary that separates her from the outside world:
‘It is just a line on the ground, a slight change in colour between the asphalt on one side and the gravel on the other, a few metres away from the door of my house. The same weeds grow on both sides of the line. After rain, part of it is concealed by a puddle. When I was free, I crossed this line hundreds of times without noticing it, except when the wrought iron gate lay closed above it. But even the gate had little significance. It was never locked in those days; its opening and closing were the task of a couple of seconds. Walking over the line made no impact upon my consciousness other than a rather pleasant, fleeting sense of entering a place of peace, of refuge from the demands of public life. Or – when I was going the other way – an odd mix of apprehension and excitement as I prepared to get back to work.
“The line has not changed in any way since then. It, and the gate itself – still the same gate, after all these years – continue to be ignored by all other forms of life but me. The birds fly over it. Snails and lizards move unhindered beneath it. My cat – how I envy her this – passes between the bars as if they were not there when she begins and ends her nightly prowlings. The gate is locked now, of course, but for the various men and occasional woman who come here for one purpose or another, that fact is of no consequence. They all have keys, and the act of unlocking it hardly delays their progress at all.
But for me, the line, and the gate above it, are now an impermeable barrier. I have crossed it no more than four times in sixteen years, under armed guard. The trees on the other side of the road beyond the gate do not look any different from the ones I remember, the ones I could have walked among and touched if I had wanted to. They are no further away, in space. But I no longer see them as real trees. To me, they are like a picture of trees or, when the wind blows, a movie of trees swaying to and fro. They are beyond the line, and all that is outside it has for years been slowly fading out of reality.”
It’s been a pleasure, Tim.
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Crooked Cat Author page: http://crookedcatpublishing.com/item/tim-e-taylor/