My latest novel, The Prole Soldier, became available for download this week. There are already a few reviews up on Amazon and I wanted to share how happy the general response to my change of genre has made me. I thought about copying and pasting them below but that’s going too far. I would like to share a couple of sentences, without attribution. If you’d like to read more, please click on the image link above. It will take you to the book’s download page and from there you can scroll down to the comments section. A word of caution, a couple of the reviews are quite detailed, so for anyone who intends reading the book and doesn’t like to know too much before going in, perhaps it might be wise to wait. That said, I don’t believe there are any spoilers there.
I came to know this author as the writer of crime/mystery/thriller stories. This isn’t so much a change of genre as a widening of the horizons, as there are crimes, thrills and mysteries enough for anyone in here.
I was hooked from the start. The whole thing is believable if not frighteningly so.
Dystopian fiction works best when it’s believable and Rainbow City is only too easy to imagine. A disaffected electorate who are persuaded to relinquish more and more control to the Government following acts of terrorism and who don’t bother to vote – the results are frighteningly easy to believe. Perhaps like Orwell in 1949, Oliver Tidy has written a book that should be considered a prophetic cautionary tale… The Prole Soldier is a thoroughly gripping and intelligent page-turner of a novel and after this superb start to the series I can’t wait to read what comes next!
The book is excellent, really well written as I hoped (and expected!), the characters are great and work really well together and the plot is superb. It is such an easy read and I flew through the pages, I was hooked and needed to read it in one sitting.
Will Oliver Tidy never stop astounding me? Yet another change of genre from him, and flippin’ ‘eck job’s a good’n! I was completely involved. It’s deep. It’s meaningful. It’s painful. It has parallels in history and warnings for the future. It’s frightening. It works. I cannot praise it enough.
I also did a Q&A for the blog tour that is ongoing. I’m posting that below. Because I can.
Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?
Is it OK if I just give you the blurb for the book? I’m worried that if I start going on about me or this book most of the people reading this won’t get to question two.
Theo lives and works in the Blue Zone of Rainbow City. He is almost sixteen at which age he will begin four years conscription – military or mines. He wants neither. He hates his life and despises the cruelty, injustice and inequality that prevails. When the opportunity arises for Theo to be involved in the fight for change he grabs it, knowing that failure will cost him everything.
Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?
Generally, I have an idea. I give it some thought. I start writing. And then, usually, it pours out of me like a broken pipe. That’s the way most of my books get written. On the Creative Writing MA courses I believe they call it ‘making it up as you go along’. That’s me. I think through my finger tips as I type.
I’m essentially a self-publisher. But I’ve always wanted to be traditionally published. I really believed The Prole Soldier was a book that was worth touting to literary agents. So I did. Three of them. And then I got fed up waiting three months not to hear back from anyone and decided to self-publish. Because life is too short and I could get killed by a bus next week and then no one would get to read my story.
Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?
As the title of this novel suggests (I hope) the story is strongly influenced by George Orwell’s 1984. I read other books that encouraged me for this one: We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. The Iron Heel by Jack London. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. There were also films, notably The Hunger Games trilogy. I was going through a phase. Actually, I’ve been rather susceptible to a good dystopian tale for as long as I can remember.
Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?
I cannot remember the title of a single book I read as a child/teenager. I did read but it’s all a blur. I can say that my earliest reading memories are of when I was a young man and devouring Wilbur Smith, Dick Francis, Desmond Bagley and others like them.
Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?
I can’t say that there has been one special experience about being a writer. But I consider that my greatest achievement as a writer involves The Prole Soldier. I had a real and well-known literary agent ask me for the full manuscript for the book after I’d submitted it for consideration. (Yes, one of them got back to me.) That was amazing. She wasn’t interested in taking it any further, which wasn’t so amazing. Apart from that, every time I hear from a reader who has enjoyed one or more of my books is a very special moment. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true. It’s a ray of sunshine in my day.
Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?
Undoubtedly it’s my readers, most of whom I have never met. The encouragement and ongoing support I’ve received from a good many regulars has been touching and motivating and among the most rewarding aspects of being a writer. There are a number who have gone the extra distance in their support, but I shan’t mention any names for fear of embarrassing them and missing out others. If you’re reading this, you know who you are. My sincere thanks for everything.
Have a great Sunday, everyone. 🙂