A few weeks ago, I was approached and offered the chance to take part in a Character Blog Tour. I was invited by fellow author, Shari Sakurai. So, before I get into this very fun project, here’s a little information on Shari herself.
Shari Sakurai has always loved to write and published her debut novel, Demon’s Blood, in January 2014. Demon’s Blood is the first of her planned vampire novels. Shari is very interested in other countries’ cultures and mythology; in particular Japan. Japanese themes and influences can often be found in her work. Shari’s second novel, Perfect World, will be released on 19th July 2014.
Now, to the quest at hand. The purpose of this fun idea is to take part in a Q&A about one of my characters from one of my books. A fun little experiment then. I’ve been asked to answer seven questions about this character. It was a tough decision to make, but I’ve decided to answer the questions about one of the main characters, Rupert Shaw. He’s not a hero by any stretch of the imagination but of all the characters in All or Nothing, he probably changes the most when put into his impossible situation. His story is one of redemption and humanity overcoming everything to prove that, despite what’s going on around him, being a good guy will prevail…however hard it is.
So, let the questions commence.
1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
His name is Rupert Shaw, a former Reverend – more later – who’s coming to terms with his faith (or lack thereof). He’s a fictional character, funnily enough the last one I created for All or Nothing. He isn’t based on anyone I know. If anything, he’s the face of religion in this story. When writing All or Nothing, thinking about it logically and realistically, religion would play a part in proceedings at some point. It always seems to have a presence – and if The Game were real, it certainly would – and All or Nothing is no different. However, religion is more a curse than a lifestyle choice in All or Nothing…something you will soon discover.
2) When and where is the story set?
As for a time-line, All or Nothing doesn’t really have one. I kept it vague; after all, with reality TV popularity at an all-time high, and technology where it is, the events of All or Nothing don’t seem that fictional…but it can be relevant in several ages of society.
The setting for All or Nothing is a dystopian near-future where reality TV is king (sound familiar) and it’s become so popular that a wealthy conglomerate, The Company, has decided to cash in. In secret. Exclusively for the wealthy and elite of society. That’s right, you’ve heard and read those rumours and conspiracy theories about politicians and MP’s etc. In All or Nothing, it’s going down in a big way. You think they waste tax payers money now? You’re in for a shock.
Our suffering characters, or Choices as they are called, each have a different location – desolate streets, a nightmarish replica of his own house, a clone laboratory – and they are monitored each and every step of the way. Big Brother has no chance against the evil involved here. The Company are so powerful they’ve bankrupted and emptied a town just to ensure that one of our unlucky Choices doesn’t find any help. Now that’s power.
3) What should we know about him?
As mentioned, Rupert Shaw is an ex-Reverend. A recluse who still lives with his domineering mother, Rupert is forced out of the church against his will. Stumbling on some nasty goings-on in his church, he blows the whistle on a respected, veteran colleague. Evidence doesn’t stick and his colleague is reinstated, albeit in a different country, and his career goes on. However, Shaw’s reputation lies in tatters and he is forced out of his church. Taking up a parish in a small, unknown town, Rupert is questioning his faith when he is selected to compete in The Game.
Rupert is the most vulnerable of The Choices. He’s at an all-time low when he wakes up on his dingy, dark bunk. The first time we see him, he’s a snivelling, emotional wreck. Throughout the novel, faced by challenges and horrific torture, he develops before our very eyes. I don’t want to ruin this for you but Rupert was very fun to write and has received generous feedback from beta readers. He really brings heart and soul to All or Nothing. I hope you enjoy him as much as I do.
4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his life?
His main conflict is two-fold. His religion and his past. Both haunt him on a daily basis. Some would argue his mother is his main conflict but she just wants what’s best for her son and because of his experiences, he fails to see this. The problem is, his past haunts him and it’s because of his religion that this came to light, so he finds it difficult to separate them. All of The Choices have demons in some capacity – it’s why they were selected for The Game – but Rupert’s are probably the most demoralising. His life has literally come to a standstill because of his conflicts and he is actually given a chance at redemption – as unlikely as it seems – through The Game.
5) What is the personal goal of the character?
To find peace. I think every human being would enjoy finding this, if they haven’t already. For Rupert, it’s necessary. His past haunts him and affects every moment of his personal life. However, once placed into The Game, he just wants to survive. His need to survive, face his demons and get back to his normal life are now his personal goals and he is willing to do anything – literally – to achieve them.
6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
All or Nothing is complete. It’s my first feature length novel and is due for release in 2014. You can read more about it on my website, which also contains my blog. Updates are frequent on there. Details are minimal at the moment, but the full plot summary is available on the website. Expect promotional material on my Facebook and Twitter pages in due course (links are on the right).
7) When can we expect the book to be published?
The book is currently with a potential publisher, however, the book will be released in 2014, the date is yet to be determined. I’m put a lot of time and effort into All or Nothing so I want to ensure the book is released correctly and in a way that benefits the book and the readers.
Now it’s time for me to nominate some authors to continue this Character Blog Tour. They will be posting next Monday (21 July).
Jack Rollins – An up and coming horror author. He recently released his latest novella, Dr Blessing’s Curse, or, The Baby in the Bell Jar, a historical horror set in the 1800’s. Crafting stories reminiscent of Hammer Horror and Jack the Ripper, with a greater level of menace and evil, Rollins is an author to watch. I know a few British based authors, Jack is one of them, and they display a passion and desire for the written word that is rare and it’s clear in his writing that this is his calling. Baby in the Bell Jar is the first in a trilogy of Dr Blessing stories, and he already has me eager to read the next instalment. You can read about Jack on his Facebook page here.
Ian David Noakes – I recently got to know Ian through our love of horror and the macabre. Ian has recently released Hourglass Heights, a supernatural thriller with shades of Japanese folklore and noir influence. I had the privilege of reading this novel before its release and it’s one of the most original pieces of work I’ve read in a long time. Another British based author, Ian is a former projectionist and has been writing screenplays since 2007. Needless to say, I think this is a writer that has a bright future and conversing with him over the past few weeks has been a pleasure. His second novel, The Ancient Lawman, is out now! Read more about Ian on his website here.
Jim Goforth – Since my introduction to self publishing, Jim has been an inspiration to me. Providing some very sage advice early on, Jim has helped me find my feet in a very uneven industry. Jim is the author of Plebs, a throwback book that homages and pays tribute in the most honourable way to the 70’s/80’s horror movies. Receiving rave reviews, and currently in my Top 5 for this year thus far, Plebs deserves to be read. As fate will have it, Jim and I have crossed paths and shared TOC’s in a couple of anthologies in 2014. Terror Train is the first, currently available on Amazon. An upcoming anthology is Axes of Evil II, which is scheduled for a Fall 2014 release. You can read more about Jim on his website here.
And that’s it. Thanks for reading and if you like the look of any of the novels/books above, click on the links. They take you to Goodreads so you can read reviews or purchase worldwide. Until next time, ciao!