The town of Unity sits perched on the edge of a yawning ravine where, long ago, a charisma of angels provided spiritual succour to a fledgeling human race. Then mankind was granted the gift of free will and had to find its own way, albeit with the guidance of the angels. The people’s first conscious act was to make an exodus from Unity. They built a rope bridge across the ravine and founded the town of Topeth. For a time, the union between the people of Topeth and the angels of Unity was one of mutual benefit. After that early spring advance, there had been a torrid decline in which mankind’s development resembled a crumpled, fading autumnal leaf.
Following the promptings of an inner voice, Tula, a young woman from the city, trudges into Topeth. Her quest is to abide with the angels and thereby discover the right and proper exercise of free will. To do that, she has to cross the bridge – and overcome her vertigo. Topeth is in upheaval; the townsfolk blame the death of a child on dust from the nearby copper mines. The priests have convinced them that a horde of devils have thrown the angels out of Unity and now occupy the bridge, possessing anyone who trespasses on it. Then there’s the heinous Temple of Moloch!
The Abdication is the story of Tula’s endeavour to step upon the path of a destiny far greater than she could ever have imagined.
1. Which character would you like to be in this book?
Enoch. It’s an age thing, I guess. He’s older and wiser, and uses his experience to help guide the other characters in the novel. Also, he’s the link and connection between the two worlds – represented by the two towns of Topeth and Unity.
2. Do you always take a book/e-reader wherever you go?
No, not always. But I always like to have a notebook nearby. I think you have to be ready when the muse calls, which can be any time, any place.
3. Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?
In life, no-one is all good or all bad. The human condition is that we’re bits of both, sometimes one, sometimes the other. A great example is Major Nicholson in David Lean’s film The Bridge Over the River Kwai. Set during the Second World War in Burma, the Major is building a bridge over the river with his men, who are in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. He thinks he’s doing ‘good’, because the bridge building maintains discipline in the ranks. But in the wider context of the war, the bridge provides the Japanese with an important strategic route for moving their troops quickly to the front line, and in this sense, he’s doing ‘bad’. So, I’d be more interested in the motives of the character, because in the end that’s what defines them.
4. Do you prefer to read/write standalones or series?
I prefer to read and write stand-alone novels. I think an author should aim to endow his or her novel with all the plot threads and character arcs that he or she wants. One of the most annoying things for me is to finish a novel, then read an epilogue, which is in effect the preface to the sequel.
5. Where can I find you when you are reading?
On the sofa.
6. Where can I find you when you are not writing/reading?
Doing book signings, watching TV, on the phone.
7. Can you walk past a bookstore without going inside?
That’s difficult. I’ll probably pause outside the window, and browse the books, see what’s hot and what’s not.
8. What are you most proud of?
Where I’ve got to so far, and what further possibilities that portends for tomorrow. What is yet to be won, to be written, to be discovered.
9. What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?
Two things. First, a sense of achievement. And all the work that went into making it happen. All the people who helped.
Second, there’s the thought that just as a fisherman is only as good as his last catch, so an author is only as good as his last book.
So, get working on the next one.
10. What piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Work hard, and don’t give up, ever. Write only what you are passionate about, because if you don’t, you won’t finish that novel.
Writing dedication, skill, life management, buckets of inspiration and loads of cups of coffee are what’s needed to be a good writer. And where art is concerned, remember that Beethoven could not have written his Ninth Symphony if he hadn’t written the previous eight.
Thank you, Justin Newland and Lola’s Blog Tours
About the author
Justin Newland is an author of historical fantasy and secret history thrillers – that’s history with a supernatural twist. His stories feature known events and real people from history which are re-told and examined through the lens of the supernatural. He gives author talks and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Bristol’s Thought for the Day. He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.
Website : http://www.justinnewland.com/
a paperback copy with dedication handwritten by the author directly from the author’s website here: https://www.justinnewland.com/the-abdication~190
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of The Abdication. Two winners win a paperback copy of The Abdication (US only).