Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Guest Post: Guardian Angels by Andrew P. Weston

Today's guest is Andrew P. Weston, author of Guardian Angels. Andrew P Weston was born in the city of Birmingham, UK and grew up in the towns of Bearwood and Edgbaston, eventually attending Holly Lodge Grammar School for Boy’s where he was School Captain and Head Boy.He was an active sportsperson for the school, college and a variety of rugby, martial art, swimming and athletics teams throughout the city.On graduation in 1977 he joined the Royal Marines fulfilling a number of roles both in the UK and abroad.In 1985 he became a police officer with the Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, and served in a variety of uniformed and plain clothed departments until his retirement in 2008.Over those years, he wrote and illustrated a selection of private books for his children regarding the life of a tiny kitten, called, “The Adventures of Willy Whiskers”, gained further qualifications in Law and Religious Studies, was an active member of Mensa and continued to be an active sportsperson, providing lessons free of charge to local communities.An unfortunate accident received on duty meant Andrew had to retire early from the police force, but after moving to the sunny Greek island of Kos to speed up his recuperation, he was at last able to devote time to the “Guardian Concept” he had developed over his years in the military and police.
When not writing, Andrew enjoys Greek dancing and language lessons, being told what to do by his wife, Annette, and hunting shadows in the dark.Andrew is now contracted to Pagan Writers Press for two books.“Fairy Tail”, is a dark and gritty paranormal thriller with a twist.The second book, “Guardian Angels” is the introductory book to the “Guardian Series”, a sci-fi/fantasy epic set in the near future.Further work on the Guardian Series and a new paranormal series has been completed and will hopefully be presented soon.

Take it away, Andrew!

Topic: I'm always fascinated with authors' techniques of "world-building", so how about that topic?

 “Guardian Angels” is a story that describes the adventures of a futuristic Global Emergency Service as they introduce themselves to an unsuspecting world at large.
As we get to find out, they have always been there behind the scenes, watching and waiting, itching for the time when they could reveal themselves to us at long last.

The extended blurb sums it up:
A small boy runs in front of a truck.
Miners trapped in the aftermath of a devastating underground explosion have no hope of escape.
A stricken passenger aircraft plunges thousands of feet towards the earth below.
Everyone survives!
Because they are among the first in a number of miraculous interventions that heralds to the world that, “Guardian Angels”, blessed with extraordinary powers and incredible technology, actually exist!
While society in general reacts with euphoria, not everyone is pleased!
There are those in power and those within the criminal underworld, who seek to counter the threat they feel these awesome newcomers represent.
Early confrontations ensue, leaving many hungry for retribution, and their revenge is exacted at a terrible price in lives and suffering.
The resulting deaths do succeed in creating a backlash that causes people to lose hope in their newfound friends, and which changes public opinion forever.
Is the fairy tale over before it even begins?
 “Guardian Angels” is a powerful and compelling story about the catalyst that could at last, galvanize society to unite and look towards the future with hope.
Sadly, it also reveals how fragile such a spark of hope could be.

Yes – their revelation brings suspicion, as well as welcome. A mixed bag in fact! So, it’s no understatement when I say that once I was ready to actually begin, the concept was so involved that I had to add almost 6 months of work to my schedule before it ever got to the typing stage. Let me explain.

Before I began writing what was to become the first book in the series, I had to spend those months building a realistic “world” and a “history” in which to fit the Guardians.

Included within this framework was their own personal history in relation to that of the people of earth. For example, where are the Guardians from? How did they come to be? Where have they been until now and what have they been doing? WHY did they remain hidden? What made them decide that NOW was the time to reveal themselves?

Okay – they also have special abilities and futuristic technology.
Regarding the tec…
 How was that technology developed? How far in advance of current “earthly” technology is it? Is what I devised “in agreement with known/developing theoretical science? Is it plausible that advanced science could develop in this way so the reader can relate to it without thinking…’that’s too far-fetched’?
Regarding the abilities…
What abilities are we talking about? Can people relate to them? How would they be employed? What are their limitations and strengths? How much training would be required to realistically be able to use them in a real life disaster or emergency situation?

The Guardians themselves are a disciplined service.
So, where and how do they train? What does that training involve? For how long? How are candidates selected? Where would they go for such incredible instruction? What education/schooling would they need to enhance their technical, physical, and psychic capabilities? What would be an acceptable/believable threshold?
What uniform would they have? What rank structure? How & when are they promoted? How are their ranks and abilities reflected or represented on their uniforms?

Building a realistic world, with a believable history and time-line formed a huge chunk of the preparations that took place BEFORE the story itself even began to be written. In my case, almost 6 months of planning went into this stage, so that I could add a depth and realism to my creation that really helps it stand out from the crowd.
Once it was in place, I then had to select “where” along the timeline it would be best to introduce our story, and how I would then dip from there into, eg, history, ancient history – the future or the culmination of the entire series.

I’m a firm believer in being thorough.  “World Building” allows you to achieve something wonderful.
Your story and characters reflect a richness they would otherwise lack, and the reader is helped to appreciate…”THIS is something I want to get to know and be part of”.

I look forward to introducing you to my special world over the coming years as the Guardian Saga unfolds. See what you think, and feel free to lose yourselves as often as you want.

Thank you so much for answering my question, that was very insightful!


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