Andrea Faye
Christians

Blog

Time Binder, or in other words...

As the countdown to June 30th and the publication of Suspension, Book 1 of the Time Binder series approaches, a number of people have asked me about the series name, Time Binder, and what it means. 

In effect, all of us are Time Binders. It is what sets us apart from animals and why we are no longer living in caves. Unlike animals who evolve, humans have the ability to learn from past generations.  Just take a look at any significant past civilization and we can see that each left its legacy. Take the Egyptians, for example. They gave us astrology, paper, medicine, and mathematics - to name but a few! Or the Romans,  who gave us roads, sanitation, aqueducts, and public health whilst the Chinese gave us paper making, the compass, and alcohol! 

From a personal point of view, I believe that we are here to learn and that the soul is meant to evolve. This too can be seen as a form of Time Binding, albeit an emotional one, but with humans being human, there are always those who want more.  In the second book, the story continues with a pivotal character who has taken it upon himself to change things for his own advantage with potentially cataclysmic results. It also reiterates the fact that, all too often, history has a  way of repeating itself.  I hope that answers the question.

June 12, 2022

The birth of Suspension

I remember the moment I finished Suspension. It was May 2020 and I felt quite tearful as I walked out onto the terrace to look out over the Gurfa Valley in Sicily. As I gazed out over the hills, my thoughts turned to my father who had passed away in the UK just a month previously, and whom I’d been unable to visit because of the Covid 19 lockdown. Standing there, I was convinced that I heard his gentle laugh and him whispering that he was proud of me; I thought of absent friends and loved ones who had encouraged and cajoled me from afar to finish the story. Lastly, I thought about the characters in Suspension. They too had become friends. My feelings for them were entwined in sadness as if they were in the nearby guest rooms, packing their suitcases, soon to leave.

Several years ago, the box under my bed became a computer folder of half written novels that had each faltered somewhere along the way.
 Suspension could have easily followed the same path, but the difference, this time, was that I saw the story in its entirety, from beginning to end. It is certainly very different from anything I have ever written before.

In retrospect, I now realise, that part of the reason for my failure to finish those earlier stories was down to a lack of self-discipline. Life had a knack of getting in between me and the keyboard and, what I originally thought would be finished within six months, always ended up taking a lot longer, and I would lose interest. Another issue was confidence – just because I wrote magazine articles and had published a few short stories, who said I could write a book?

Working as a freelance writer brings with it a certain liberty. Over the years I have chalked up my fair share of air miles between Malta, Sicily, and the UK. My journey back home to Wales is via Bristol Airport, that invariably means passing under the majestic Clifton Suspension Bridge. Designed by Isambard Brunel, the bridge was revolutionary in its time and, gazing up at it, I knew there was a story waiting to be written.

The story that would become Suspension had subconsciously been formulating in my mind for some time and when I finally sat down and thought about it, the plot came to me quickly. It has a few twists and turns and is, essentially, a fantasy tale of time travel.

Both the location and storyline are quite cinematic, which is intentional, as it was originally envisaged as a six-part miniseries or a film but, having zero experience of scriptwriting, I opted to write it as a novel.

Apart from Brunel and Hemingway, the characters are fictional, although a number were inspired by actual people. For example, the real-life Sabrina was tragically killed several years ago. I remember reading the local news story and being deeply saddened by a life that was snuffed out in an instant. Matilda’s laugh is infectious, and, in real life, it belongs to a high-powered professional, whilst David is a composite creation of two very different people.

When it came to Carla’s character, it was not quite as straightforward. Although I could see her clearly in my imagination, I wanted her personality to evolve and change as the story progressed. Physically, her red hair is mine and the different coloured eyes are those of my late grandmother. In character, she has aspects of a younger version of myself whilst her feisty exterior, that disguises an inner vulnerability, is something that I recognise in my daughter.

The name of the book also took its own time in presenting itself. I remember a gathering at the Sicily farmhouse for a late dinner and chatting afterwards around the fire. Talk of my ongoing endeavour to finish my novel led to an offer from a young voluntary worker, staying with us at the time, to read the first few chapters. An avid reader of dystopian literature, Dan, who hails from Cambridge, will be on my Christmas card list for life for coming up with the title of Suspension, that so perfectly encapsulates the story.

Finishing Suspension and working closely with Echo Garrett and her team, has been a great learning experience and one that I am looking forward to repeating with Lucid House Publishing.

If you enjoy reading this book, I hope that you will love the sequel, Time Binder, that picks up where the first book ends and will take you on an even wilder journey.

Suspension is scheduled for release by Lucid House Publishing in June 2022.

Welcome to my blog page.

This is the first, of what I hope will be, quite regular instalments and a chance to share with you the trials and tribulations of a writer’s life – particularly of trying to hold it all together when the muse has gone shopping, got a hangover or just doesn’t want to put in an appearance!

The first instalment should be about my forthcoming debut novel, Suspension – a literary child that was over twenty years in gestation. I should add, that when I completed this book, I was happy to have done just that. It felt enough of an achievement - but fate and friends thought otherwise, and I thank you, Marcia Scaggs and Isobell Tesch, for that lovely ladies’ lunch in Sicily in June 2020 that set me on the publishing path.

©Andrea Faye Christia​ns 2022