GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Interview: Adrian Cole (The Shadow Academy Book Tour) | I Smell Sheep

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Interview: Adrian Cole (The Shadow Academy Book Tour)

Please welcome Adrian Cole to I Smell Sheep. The Shadow Academy is a current release by

let's all hate Adrian for being
at the beach in Devon!
Thanks Adrian for joining us today from the beach at Devon in the UK, on I Smell Sheep. How are you doing today?
Had a very nice day - a bit cloudier, but still amazingly warm.

Thanks for joining us. Can you tell us about The Shadow Academy?

The Shadow Academy is set in a world that is very like our own, in which events have taken a slightly different path. Britain is almost totally forested and civilization has stumbled, technology lost. A strict authoritarian regime imposes the rules on societies from a central base in Londonborough and in Dumnonia (equivalent to our Devon) the local "pagan" society is showing signs of rebellion. A young teacher is appointed here and discovers a number of disturbing truths, not least of which is a murder...but why was it committed? What is the Authority trying to hide

What was your favorite thing about writing this book? What did you enjoy most?
Using my local background (I live in rural Devon (in a small town) and superimposing an imagined world on the real one in such a way that I could write about things close to my heart - I've always been fascinated by the way aurthority has a tendency to overstep the mark, from the central Government, right on down to the little people - I worked in a large school for 20 years and saw examples of this!

Who was the most interesting character to create and why?
Probably Deadspike, who is a nasty piece of work, although he believes in what he is doing, i.e imposing the rules at any cost. He's not at all likeable, but I have tried to make him all too credible. In earlier books a lot of my villains are straightforward bad guys - Deadspike is a shade more complex.

What a great character. What does he look like?
I can still see the guy in my mind's eye - he's tallish, very thin, with long, pale hands and an expression that rarely gives away what he is thinking. Interestingly to me, in the audio book (quick plug there!) he is voiced extremely well by the actor, who has caught the underlying menace in the character very neatly.

What is the most paranormal element of The Shadow Academy?
The paranormal constitutes an atmosphere that hovers over everything from the opening, so that the reader is not sure as the book progresses whether there are supernatural elements at play - certainly at least one of the characters is sure that is the case and the main protagonist, Chad Mundy, grows ever more uneasy as the plot unfolds.

There is also a mystery to the underlying Plague Wars - what, exactly, did they unleash all those years ago?

What is strangest thing that has happened to you personally?
I was up on Dartmoor, alone and some distance from civilization, climbing over the rise of a long tor, searching for a tall menhir, or standing stone, called the Beardown Man. The mist was closing in but I found the stone (about 11 feet high) and although I'm skeptical about the supernatural, I couldn't bring myself to touch the stone. For me, that was quite a powerful moment. I incorporated it into a children's book I wrote some years ago called MOORSTONES.

Incredible. Talking about children, you have been writing since you were a child. How did you get started writing?
I think it was reading that got me fired up - I started any number of hand-written "novels" from the age of about 10 onwards (first one was a take on BLACK BEAUTY, complete with illos!) but when I was in my late teens, reading LORD OF THE RINGS, DUNE and Dennis Wheatley's black magic books got me at it seriously - I hand wrote my first shot at a novel and after some four re-writes and a typed version, I sent it off to an agent and, somehow, it sold!

Do you have any advice for young writers?
My advice to young writers is probably what a lot of established writers would say - it is very very hard to earn a good living out of writing, so don't give up your day job. Make sure you earn enough money to keep yourself (and family if you have one) from starving and write as much as you can around the job. If you are lucky enough to get a big break, then go for it, but remember, to earn the equivalent of a proper annual wage, you have to sell a heck of a lot of books - do the maths - it's daunting!

In the end, what makes it worthwhile for you as a writer?
I always get a huge kick out of holding the finished, published book. It's also very heartwarming when even one reader says they enjoyed your work. I am an exhibitionist, so I like an audience, even a small one! It's also exciting to see your characters come to life on the printed page - and if you have an audio book done (another plug) it's very satisfying and a bit spooky. Never had anything filmed, but that would be amazing - well, if they got it right.

Thank you Adrian for joining us today.

Thanks for having me on I Smell Sheep!

The Shadow Academy
by Adrian Cole
Genre: Science Fiction
Paperback, 224 pages
Expected publication: September 1st 2014 by Hades Publications
ISBN 1770530649 (ISBN13: 9781770530645)
Publisher: EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing
After the Plague Wars they waited for the invasion. And as the new Dark Age dawns… there is one who can bring light.
In a world little more than a whisper away from ours, the islands of Grand Brittannia lie just off the shores of the deeply forested content of Evropa, the dark and forbidding realm of legends scarcely remembered.

Grand Brittannia, itself almost completely a place of deep forest and mystery, has at its heart the crumbling, anachronistic administrative city of Londonborough. From here the Central Authority wields power over the Islands and exercises its control rigidly and clinically. Since the rigours of the Plague Wars, some hundred years in the past, when almost the entire population of the world was wiped out and the gradual decline of civilization began, industry and technology have atrophied, their development now strictly vetted by the Authority.

Out on the far-flung coasts, a network of ancient fortress ports wait in readiness for an invasion that some say will never come, their ancient, declining Academies committed to the rigours of training the defenders of the Islands. These Academies are subjected to regular inspections by Enforcers from Londonborough, and their native inhabitants are constantly being swelled by the young military graduates from the Authority’s own Military Academies in the center. Into a cauldron of intrigue and subterfuge that is the town and Academy of Petra comes Chad Mundy, the Authority’s replacement for Drew Vasillius, a veteran teacher who has committed suicide. At least, that is what he’s been told.

About the Author:
Adrian Cole was born in Plymouth, Devonshire in 1949. He was formerly the Director of College Resources in a large secondary school in Bideford, where he lives with his wife, Judy, son Sam, and daughter Katia. Now retired and writing full time, he is best known for his Omaran Saga as well as his young adult novels, Moorstones and The Sleep of Giants.His recent collection of short stories, Nick Nightmare Investigates, has been published by Alchemy Press (UK). The Shadow Academy is a new release by EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing.(Canada/US)

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