Author Interview: Clive Eaton

21 12 2012

This week Clive Eaton the author of The Pyramid Legacy is joining us to talk about his book and his writing process.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

It happened a few years ago when I was reading a news item about how a robot was being used inside the Great Pyramid at Giza. The objective was to find what was hidden behind a secret door. All the authorities actually found was another door, but my mind went into overdrive about what could have been hidden behind it. I told my wife it would make a great central theme to a novel. Her reply was ‘What’s stopping you writing about it?’ Well, nothing. So I did.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

The one thing I steer clear of is ‘Writing Rules’. Before I started to write I read a number of books about how to write a novel. Talk about confusion! It was the most subjective topic I’ve ever read about. In the end I decided I want to write a book that I would like to read, based upon the premise; if I liked it hopefully others would. So the ‘rule books’ were discarded to one side as I typed my first words into a word-processor. I’ve met many fellow authors since who share the same point of view. Being restricted by rules stops the flow of creativity – and creativity, in my humble opinion, needs to be the soul of a good book.

What do you think makes a good story?

An interesting central theme. I recently read ‘The Colour of Death’ by Michael Cordy. The book was based around the central theme of synaesthesia.  Straightaway it had my attention.  Michael Cordy has a great knack for picking a thought provoking subject, and building a superb story around it.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

So far I’ve had very little in terms of truly negative criticism, but I guess the more copies which are sold the sooner one will end up in the hands of a person who doesn’t enjoy the story. One person said the storyline regarding the Internet could never happen, but that was such a subjective opinion I didn’t really see it as criticism. With regard to the positives it has to have come from my 22 year old daughter. She read the book and said that after the first few chapters she’d forgotten I was the author. We have a good enough relationship that she could give an honest opinion without offending me, but she said she loved it. She’s now read it three times – almost as many times as her Harry Potter books when she was younger. I couldn’t ask for a bigger compliment.

Who are your favorite authors and what is it that really strikes you about their works?

I guess in some part I answered that in the earlier question about what makes a good story. Michael Cordy is right up there. I also enjoy books by Raymond Khoury, Sam Bourne, and the recently departed Paul Sussman

Are characters in The Pyramid Legacy based upon people in your life?

No one character is fully based upon a single person I know, but I have mixed certain characteristics together from people I’ve met. Ben shares one of my phobias – like him, I hate heights – so writing about that was relatively straightforward. As I spent several years in the armed forces, when I was younger, the military personnel in the book were based on a composite of a few characters I came across.

What sort of research did you have to do to write The Pyramid Legacy?

Where do I start? It seemed never ending. I went to Egypt to visit the pyramids, and I was lucky because at the time internals of The Great Pyramid were open to the public. Google was a close friend for several months and many of the links I’ve created in the book are factual, not artistic licence.

Were there any facts, symbols, or themes that you would have liked to include, but they just didn’t make into The Pyramid Legacy?

Well, that last question led neatly into this one. The short answer is yes. But I have to be patient, as many occur in the sequel – Operation Stonehenge. Not wishing to give too much of the plot away, but there is a measurable link between the two central subjects in the book titles. You could say I looked at things from a slightly different angle. Now . . . no more clues ;o)

What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing The Pyramid Legacy to life?

The biggest challenge was developing all the parts of the ‘jigsaw’ so they came together. There are several sub-plots where readers will probably start to think – this doesn’t seem to make any logical sense – only to find the characters agreeing with them. This was very intentional. I also wanted to include some controversial subjects which could provide readers with some topics to debate.

Did you travel to any of the locations mentioned in The Pyramid Legacy?

Apart from the field visit to Egypt, no. But if you read the book you’ll understand why I was so limited .

Do you believe in intelligent extra-terrestrial life?

How long do I have for this question? Perhaps if I explain my simple philosophy regarding life it will answer both that question, and many other similar questions you could have raised after reading the book. I often hear the term ‘too far-fetched’ being used to describe books, films etc. To me, that is one of the most unintelligent remarks a person can make. To put it into a nutshell, ‘people don’t know what they don’t know’. So how can something be ‘too far-fetched’ when there is so much we don’t know or understand? With that point in mind, I remain totally open minded over the issue of ET. It would be certainly foolhardy to dismiss such an idea of ET due to the lack of confines of an infinite universe. And that’s before we even get started on parallel universes.

What are your current projects?

I have two works in progress. The first is the already mentioned sequel to The Pyramid Legacy, namely – Operation Stonehenge. This will be coming out sometime in 2013. After that my focus will be on developing the book I’m working on with my wife. She is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, working in a secure hospital. So there’s no prize for guessing that book will be a psychological thriller.

Will your next book also feature Dr. Ben Anderson?

Yes, Dr Ben Anderson will be the central character in Operation Stonehenge. A few other characters from The Pyramid Legacy will also join him. Some you might expect to see, but there are also one or two shock appearances.

Do you expect to explore the same themes again?

Well Ben will be getting a deserved rest after Operation Stonehenge but I can’t tell you if this is voluntarily or not. I’ll certain be returning to similar themes after the joint project with my wife is complete, and who knows, Ben may, if he survives the action of Operation Stonehenge, yet again be employed as the reluctant hero he has become.

Where can my readers purchase The Pyramid Legacy?

The book is available as an ebook, or paperback from Amazon



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