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Steve Norris - A Very English Revolution

 



 

 

 

 

Steve Norris - A Very English Revolution

 

 

 

Steve Norris has written a new novel that will change your views on the political stability of Britain forever.

Already attracting a number of rave reviews, the book is available on Amazon (as a paperback and on Kindle - at £2) where you can also see the great reviews. A review by Digger will be added shortly:

 

 A Very English Revolution, by Steve Norris

Steve Norris - A Very English Revolution

Buy at Amazon

 

Digger talked to Steve about his motivations for the book and about Englishness and Britishness, as well as his thoughts on the current and recent shenanigans that have been going on in the world of politics and the press...

 

Steve Norris - A Very English Revolution



 

Steve Norris

 

Digger: Can you please tell us a little bit about your background?

Steve: I was born in north Manchester, obvious to anyone who meets me. Much of the early parts of the book cover the streets I walked as I grew up. I went to college, got a job and ended up living and working in Yorkshire. My professional life started working in HR in the NHS but progressed into the IT Consulting arena and for the last 15 years I have been travelling the UK and the world working on HR and Payroll projects for major corporations. I was never a natural writer, it is something I have had to learn along the way. I think my English teacher would spill his coffee if he picked this up. However the amount of travel I have done over the years has given me free time to improve and work on storylines.


Digger: What was the inspiration for this book? 

Steve: The inspiration for this book is trying to balance what I like to read and what I have seen in my experience. A few points stand out though:

  • I love reading great thrillers, whose characters you can buy into and want to go along with for the ride. In my books, I donít want supermen. I want to write about real people such as you and me, confronting them with extraordinary situations. The north is full of diverse characters and locations which are little explored in the literary world. Finally on characters, I wanted to add strong female characters who change the dynamic in predictable thriller scenarios. A Very English Revolution sounds like a manís book, politics, dead people etc. Actually much of the drivers in the book are around female motivations and it probably contains more for women than you might expect. (note all the reviews on Amazon are written by women)

  • I was never inspired to write a political book, I simply wanted to write about people, what drives and motivates them but use the thriller format to tell a story that draws people in. Politics just fell out of some of the thought processes that put the story together.

  • I feel religion and politics portrayed through the media are tools for mass exploitation of people and the architects of social division. I was brought up a Catholic and I know how priests used that to position us as a race above others. I never understood that. When deciding what to write about, these things seemed to provide so much scope. 

 

Digger: And please tell us more about A Very English Revolution.

Steve: It is framed around the timeline of a fictional Leeds bi-election in 2009. The vacuum of leadership in government meant minor parties were growing in strength and the book picks up in Leeds where an opportunity emerges for a new style nationalist politician who can present arguments, usually formed in male drinking clubs, in a sexy media-friendly format. The other side of the story is an old fashioned mystery whodunit from the 1980Ďs where a journalist stumbles on a cover up of child abuse in the Catholic Church. You think the story is going one way, but wonder where the bi-election fits in. The story draws the reader into a world where questions and connections keep coming, and where coincidence starts to turn into conspiracy. Before the characters realise what they know, they are at the centre of a very dangerous storm.

I canít deny the story is controversial, there are some very striking events and views in it, but I would like to say that although there are some definite bad guys in it (every thriller needs bad guys) every argument is played out naturally from various viewpoints. They all get their day in the sun. The real moral of the book is not that one view or another is right, but simply our inability to talk openly about what concerns us creates a negative environment which those with darker motives can exploit.

 

Digger: What does Englishness, or Britishness, mean to you and how much has it changed in your lifetime? 

Steve: Englishness and Britishness have always been difficult concepts to pin down. Strangely or maybe not, Iíve never gone out of my way to feel English or British. I am British, I refer to it in my passport etc. but not in terms of identity. Itís not that I am not proud of my nationality, Iím just neutral about it. My identity is much more defined by where I come from. As I grew up, concepts of nation and country were not important. I was much more defined by the estate I lived in and the fact that I liked rock music. As I travelled, I compared myself with others who defined themselves very much by their nation, Dutch, French, American, all waving flags. It never would have crossed my mind to bring out a Union Jack or St George's cross to represent me. The reason why becomes clearer when we think about it. We are such a diverse nation and our media seeks increasingly to separate us, even our geography is consistently used to define us, yet we are such a small island. Perhaps we should unite under one flag, black, white, Mancunian or Londoner, male or female, but our media is very good at portraying what separates us and not what we have in common. The other comment about this is that Britishness/Englishness is more important abroad than it is in the UK. Maybe that is due the need to identify your origins in a foreign environment, rather like foreign communities gather in the UK.

 

Digger: The book is gaining some very positive reviews. This must be encouraging - how important is this sort of feedback to you? 

Steve: One thing I have learnt about writers and artists in general is that we all love good reviews. I donít believe I set out on writing the book to get good reviews, more because I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could do it, but once done, you want people to like it. This gives you confidence, not only to invest in marketing to stores, but also to want to do it again. The problem for new writers is getting exposure, it is a competitive business and most new writers have to do all the work themselves, big publishing agreements are few and far between. Proof-reading, design, and marketing are all part of the authorís work, the easy bit is the writing. I am pleased to say I have had no bad reviews, of course people are polite one to one, but that doesnít mean that they didnít point out the odd flaw in it. In particular the first edition had some production errors, one of the problems of doing it all yourself, but now the second edition is done and out there, the only thing holding the book back is exposure to the market. I am confident that were it to be on the shelves of every book store in the country it would sell as well as anything else.

My publisher Mirador has helped where they can, but they are small company investing in new writing talent without a big infrastructure and marketing budget. So rather like the music industry in the twentieth-first century, it is a very much a do-it-yourself world.

 

Digger: Financial crises, MP scandals, phone tapping scandals - do you think that a lot of the bigger and more long-term issues in this country tend to get overlooked by these 'distractions'? 

Steve: Indeed, the government must be loving this national distraction. That anyone is surprised by the behaviour of our media is more surprising. Given where I have now placed myself in terms of political observation, then this is all material for the future. I wonít give anything away on the new book, but you can assume some of this will be taken to new heights.
I think it is worth noting that writing books is not just about a great idea. Something like phone-hacking sounds like a great idea, but just writing a book about the behaviour of Murdochís Newspapers wouldnít interest me. That is more like journalism or biography. The joy for me is taking the premise and attaching it to another unrelated story or stories and weaving them together and coming up with an original idea. The fact that it happened in real life, means it has been done before, so there is nothing original to write about and itís predictable. The writerís challenge is to turn it all on its head, use it by all means, but donít just rehash old stories.

 

Digger: What are the best things about writing? 

Steve: The best thing is that you can create a whole world on your terms. Forget about fantasy games such as second life, within a story I can create numerous versions of myself and take them on an adventure I could never do. Also I can reap a literary revenge on everyone who ever crossed my path. Working full-time I donít have endless hours to research detailed facts or police procedures, which concerned me when I first set out writing. However I realised that I never question writerís facts or how much is really true. A writer simply has to convince the reader that their premise holds water, either through endless detail or just a clever scenario the reader is able to buy into. A Very English Revolution has little in the way of true facts, it is all completely made up and no research supports it, but readers still felt the story and characters real.

 

Digger: I understand you're planning further novels? Can you please let us know more?

Steve: I am working on a second book which is an escalation of A Very English Revolution but across a different landscape, plus there is some unfinished business. It wouldnít be interesting to do the same story again, so I have reworked the context and the timescales to create what should be a heart stopping spectacular British thriller. The challenge for me is to write a book that fits the brilliant plan I have on paper. Ideally it will be ready early next year. I have written a number of short stories and run an internet writing group called Writers Cave (www.writerscave.co.uk). Story lines and characters are everywhere. Sadly the only thing I lack is the time to write it down.
 
 
July 2011


 

Steve Norris - A Very English Revolution

 

 A Very English Revolution, by Steve Norris

Steve Norris - A Very English Revolution

Buy at Amazon

 

Steve Norris website

 

 

 

 

 

 


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