We are delighted to welcome Jon Wallace to the Blog. Jon’s brilliant debut novel, Barricade is out now in bookshops and online.
My debut novel, Barricade, is the story of Kenstibec, a taxi driver in post-apocalyptic Britain. He is a member of the “Ficial” race, a breed of superhumans who were intended to save mankind, but ended up trying to exterminate it.
One of the defining traits of the Ficial race was its “optimisation”. Each member was bred as a specialist in a particular vocation, like construction, soldiering and mining – even (after Ficial production was privatised and twisted by marketing folk) the sex and entertainment industries. Ficials consequently entered the workforce with complete surety about their place in it.
Then, after a nuclear war, that certainty fell away. In post-apocalyptic Britain there was no need for many of their specialist skills, and many Ficials had to adapt to new roles. Kenstibec, a creature whose every gene was tuned to design and construction, had to become a taxi driver.
I guess this part of the story was inspired by modern working life, which compels most of us to toil at jobs we never saw ourselves doing. I know many talented people who are manacled to roles they don’t fit, and dream of other, cruelly distant careers. That’s why I consider myself blessed (or just plain jammy) to be a published writer.
I don’t know if you could optimise a Ficial for writing, but if you did you might want to consider making it more than creative. The ideal Author Ficial would also need to possess the patience of a saint (essential when searching for an agent or publisher and waiting on publication) and some pretty thick skin too (to help cope with rejection letters, and maybe a poor review.)
A month has passed since Barricade came out. It’s been a joyful, frightening, and exhilarating time. It’s also been considerably more eventful than I expected, and hopefully it’s taught me some things. So it is that I thought I’d open one of these Q+A author groups on Goodreads – it will run throughout Friday 25 July.
It seems like the right time to do it: my memories are still fresh, I have a day off work, and I am getting a new telly delivered – which I will hug for comfort if nobody joins the group.
But what, I hear you ask, can some bloke who’s only been published a month tell me? Well, if you’ve read Barricade I can tell you about anything from the writing process to getting published and reviewed. I might also have something useful to say about finding an agent or publisher. Hell, ask me anything apart from my PIN. I would be thrilled if you’d like to take part. Welcome one, and welcome all.
To join the conversation tomorrow on Goodreads click here.