Tim (T. E.) Taylor has a brilliant new novel out called Revolution Day. I’ve invited him here to tell you all about it, and he’s brought an extract too. His first novel, Zeus of Ithome, is a historical novel set in ancient Greece. This one has a different setting, but contains the intelligent, perceptive content and political intrigue that we’ve come to expect from Tim…
Hello, Jeff! 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.
Carlos’ estranged and imprisoned 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. Angel, the commander of the Army, is loyal to Carlos, so Manuel must find a way to drive a wedge between them, using the resources at his disposal as Minister of Information. As he makes his move, Juanita and others will find themselves unwittingly drawn into his plans.
In this excerpt, at a meeting of the Revolutionary Council, Manuel first plants in Carlos’ mind the idea that there is a US-backed conspiracy to overthrow him:
The meeting had dragged on for two hours, and the air was now unpleasantly thick with cigar smoke. The attention of Angel in particular had begun to wander some time ago, and he had started to concentrate more on the brandy than upon the Agenda. The President himself from time to time appeared to be on the verge of falling asleep. Only Manuel, with surprising stamina, was continuing to talk at any length, though it was difficult to discern anything of great import in what he said. The eyelids of the President wavered, and then closed altogether for a few seconds. Then his whole body jerked, and the eyes were wide open once again. Suddenly alert, he glared at Manuel, the loose flesh of his face composing itself into a frown.
“What is there in all this that the Council needs to decide upon? I already know that the Americans do not like me. Could you not have got someone to put this in a written brief, if it needed to be said at all? I am going to close this meeting unless you have something more important to say.”
If Manuel was upset by this dismissive treatment, his face did not show it. Patiently, he took a deep breath and began again.
“I am sorry if what I have been saying is, in itself, less than enthralling. But it was necessary background to put in context what I am about to say.”
“And what, pray, is that?”
“To put it simply, we have some evidence to suggest that the Americans are backing a plot to destabilise this government.” As Manuel looked around the table, eyes that previously had been staring into the middle distance were now focused sharply upon him. A little smile played upon his lips. “There is nothing concrete yet, but encrypted signals traffic to and from the US Embassy has doubled in the last three months, and several of the known pro-democracy activists we have under surveillance have been showing increased mobility, suggesting that they are up to something. As I have said, there is nothing conclusive here. Nevertheless, the signs are suggestive, and consistent with what we have seen in the prelude to other attempts at subversion in the past. The wider picture I have been describing, concerning what is being said about this country – and about you, Carlos – in the United States and elsewhere is also consistent with that hypothesis. So my people are monitoring developments carefully and are under instructions to obtain harder evidence that I can bring to a future meeting. Unless, of course…” He paused, and threw the President a smug little grin “…the matter is not considered of sufficient importance to put before this Council.”
If your readers are intrigued, they can find out more on my website and Facebook author page. Thanks again for hosting me, Jeff!
Links: Facebook launch event for Revolution Day: https://www.facebook.com/events/770280243092134/
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/timtaylornovels
Crooked Cat Author page: http://crookedcatpublishing.com/item/tim-e-taylor/
Revolution Day on Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Revolution-Day-T-E-Taylor-ebook/dp/B0106GALR4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1435449288&sr=1-1&keywords=Revolution+Day
on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Revolution-Day-T-E-Taylor-ebook/dp/B0106GALR4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1435512473&sr=1-1&keywords=Revolution+Day&pebp=1435512460458&perid=1CCVM4BE2J6WKH55WM9Y
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.