Recently I was blown away when one of my books, Thirty-Three Days, was announced as a finalist in the RONE Literary Awards for 2019. For reasons I won’t bore you with, me getting a literary award is about as surprising as discovering I’ve just won a lottery, only more pleasurable. While I’ve been celebrating, I’ve also been retrospective about how the book came about, and in particular, because it’s a long way from the genre I usually write in, where did the inspiration come from.
Thirty-Three Days is my sixth book and I’m now on number ten, so you can see a bit of time has passed since the idea first came to me. The story was given the first breaths of light by two aspects. Number one was a dream I had about a woman coming back in time to stop a terrible plant disease which in the future would destroy all plant life, and ultimately us as a race too. Once in the past, for the first time in her life she falls in love, but can only stay for thirty-three days. Now I don’t know about you, but generally if I remember a dream at all it is a jumbled lot on nonsense, but this dream was different. It was vivid, chronological and concise, so much so, I woke up my wife, around 4 am to tell her about it.
Now, if you knew her at all, you’d know she is soooooo not a morning person, and for me to risk waking her at that time could result in death, maiming, or at the very least a damn good yelling at. Yet I did, and she listened, and agreed with me, it would make a great story. So I got up to think about it, and make some notes fearing that if I didn’t I might forget.
So as I sat there, in the grey predawn light, sipping coffee, the second aspect came into play and I began to ask myself my favorite question: what if? (as an author, I get to do that a lot)
Thirty-three Days is, as most agree, different to any other book you might have read, yet it’s heart and soul is a love story. So, here goes, what if:
- What if you were in your sixties (or thereabouts) and a complete stranger said to you that they were from the future, and they were convincing, would you believe them?
- What if they said you had been chosen to take a drug they had manufactured, which would send you back in time to your younger body by thirty three years for a short time, would you take it?
- What if they then said that they were one of seven people chosen to take a time leap of thirty-three years to their younger body, so that cumulatively, over two hundred and thirty years had passed since it began? Would you believe that?
- What if they said you had been chosen to be the last of these seven people and only you could save the future of everyone living 230 years into the future by talking a young micro-biologist out of genetically modifying a strain of wheat? If you fail, the modification inadvertently also houses a blight, which over time will mutate and become an unstoppable super disease destroying all plant life. Will you take the drug and go back to your younger body for a month until the dose wears off, and take on the mission to save mankind?
- What if you decided to do it, and through your history you knew the man responsible is destined to die in a car accident, along with his father, after the wheat is released, would you want to try and save them?
These are only a small sample of the problems Jenny, a lonely a sixty-eight year old lecturer in environmental studies has to face. If she agrees, how can she convince her target she is genuinely from the future, and than instead of feeding the world, Bradley Destain will kill it with his wheat?
She has also been told, if she fails, another will be sent with a different mission, his job will to murder Brad. But that’s only the beginning of her problems; Jenny can only stay for thirty-three days in the past, and for the first time in her life, falls in love with Iain, Brad’s father. A side effect of the drug means she will lose all memory, in both time streams upon waking, so if she succeeds, she won’t remember.
I know what you’re thinking…….that was some dream, wasn’t it?
I’m thrilled that so far it has reviews 14 x 5star reviews on Amazon, with some very high praise indeed.
Here’s the official blurb:
Jenny is a lonely university lecturer who’s consciousness has traveled back in time to her younger body to try to save the future of the world. A young microbiologist is going to release a genetically modified wheat that will mutate and ultimately destroy all plant life, leaving nothing but barren windswept dust bowls.
In the past, Jenny finds a love that has been missing from her life; the kind that comes just once in a lifetime. But Jenny can only stay in that time period for thirty-three days.
Meanwhile, in the future, fearful Jenny will fail, plans are made to send another back in time–an assassin. How can she choose between saving the man she loves or saving the future?
Thirty-Three Days is also available in Audio, narrated by the amazing Geoffrey Boyes
Buy link via Amazon: amzn.to/2XVmN2m
Stephen B King