This the first in a series of interviews with our publishing authors on Free-eBooks.net.
eBookEnvy: Tell us a little about you, your writing, your passions.
Peter Ward: Well, I live in London with my girlfriend and a very small cat. My passion is making people laugh, and I had a huge amount of fun coming up with the cast of characters in Time Rep and watching what happened when they found themselves trying to save the world. For anyone who has read Time Rep, my influences are probably quite obvious – Douglas Adams is my absolute hero, although I can’t help but feel that comparing me to him is like comparing a leftover Chinese takeaway with a stubbed-out cigarette in it to a seven-course Michelin-starred meal.
eBookEnvy.: Tell us about ‘Time Rep’ – Where did the idea from? How long did it take to go from idea to novel? Any challenges along the way?
Peter Ward: Time Rep started off as a simple concept in my mind: wouldn’t it be great if you could go on holiday to different time periods? Where would you go? Who would you meet? What crazy things would you get up to? From there, I thought about the idea of having holiday reps for the different time periods, and how someone might try and abuse the time-tourism industry to change the course of history. I began writing the book in 2002, and it took me five years to complete. The biggest challenge really was coming up with an exciting story arc, but keeping a handle on the continuity – these things can often go astray in books about time travel, and it was important to me that the reader wasn’t let down by a contradiction or loophole in the story. The tone of the book was also something I spent a long time working on. Time Rep deals with murder, conspiracies, and the end of the world and has a lot of geeky science to get your head around, but I still wanted the book to be an accessible, light-hearted caper that people would enjoy reading.
eBookEnvy: Your bio on Free-eBooks.net mentions that you had had trouble publishing ‘Time Rep’ the traditional way – is there anything about the process you would like to share with our community regarding the process you pursued in getting ‘Time Rep’ published?
Peter Ward: I’m no expert on this subject; however my understanding is that first and foremost, you need a literary agent to represent your work to publishers. I tried and tried and tried and tried to get an agent, but no-one was interested. I think the problem is that sci-fi is quite a niche genre, and people aren’t prepared to take a risk on a book about time travel, especially when it’s written by some guy no-one’s heard of. I think if I’d renamed the book to something like “Tender Memories”, set the story in wartime Europe, and made it a romantic tale about two lovers who try to overcome some generic obstacles to be together, only for one of them to tragically step on a landmine in the final chapter, I would have had more success.
eBookEnvy: Do you think you’ll write anything else?
Peter Ward: Yes, for the past three years I have been working on a new book called “Note to Self.” It’s got nothing to do with Time Rep, although it is another sci-fi adventure with a fish-out-of-water main character.
eBookEnvy: Is there anything in particular you would like to share with the Free-eBooks.net community of readers OR authors?
Peter Ward: I would say putting Time Rep on free-ebooks.net has given me a tremendous amount of satisfaction. The book sat in a drawer gathering dust for two years before I decided to make it available for free, and since then it’s been a pleasure seeing how many times it’s been downloaded, and the things people have to say about it. To authors, I would say that if you’ve written something and haven’t succeeded in finding a publisher, take the leap and put it on free-ebooks.net – knowing that people are finally reading your book (and hopefully enjoying it) is the most rewarding feeling in the world. To readers, I would say keep reading, and keep posting those comments – good or bad. It’s very difficult to get genuine feedback on your work from friends, so having an impartial forum where people don’t give a monkey’s about hurting your feelings is a really refreshing way to learn about your strengths and weaknesses as a writer.
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