I’m so pleased to have guest author, Rob Shackleford visit us today!
He is going to tell us a little about himself, and share his latest book Traveller Inceptio with us. Welcome to Reads & Reels Rob!
Hi, my name is Rob Shackleford.
I live in Australia on the Gold Coast, which is a pretty nice beach area. Fortunately I live away from the majority of the commercialism, where empty beaches still beckon.
Though not yet an old fart, I have two adult kids and my lady love also has two adult kids, so we are kept busy. No grandkids on the horizon yet!
My status is semi-retired. I hate that description, but we have cast off the mooring lines and, for the past few years, spent our time travelling and trying to gather an insight into the background for my books. Hey, it’s a good excuse for seeing some pretty fabulous parts of the world. We have been fortunate to see much of Asia and India, the USA and England, and Turkey, Mexico and many other places. We think of ourselves as travellers – not tourists!
My background is in media, tourism, and time as a college teacher. I have run my own businesses and learned some of life’s harsh lessons, have a couple of degrees, and know that there is much more for me to learn and experience in life.
Besides travel, I love to experience nature, scuba dive, play the djembe, look at the stars, and play in the surf.
If you were sent a thousand years into the past, would you survive?
With the accidental development of the Transporter, university researchers determine that the device sends any subject one thousand years into the past.
Or is it to a possible past?
The enigmatic Transporter soon becomes known as a Time Machine, but with limitations.
An audacious research project is devised to use the Transporter to investigate Medieval Saxon England, when an international team of crack Special Services soldiers undergo intensive training for their role as historical researchers.
The elite researchers, called Travellers, are to be sent into what is a very dangerous period in England’s turbulent past.
From the beaches of Australia to the forests of Saxon England, Traveller – Inceptio reveals how Travellers soon learn that they need more than combat skills and modern technology to survive the trials of early 11th Century life.
About Traveller Inceptio
Traveller Inceptio is a mix of science fiction and historical fiction that examines how members of 21st Century Western society could survive the world of the 11th Century.
I was inspired one day when I sat on a beach imagining how the location would have looked 100, then 200, then 1000 years in the past. Fortunately I lived close to the beautiful beaches of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia and the exercise of imagining the location before resorts, powerlines and phone towers brought to mind a very different world.
The next step in the tale was to imagine how modern humans would survive ‘back then’. Then – how was this leap of imagination possible?
Traveller Inceptio (Latin for Beginning) examines what could happen if such an accidental discovery was not hidden from public view. How would a device that takes one back a thousand years be used? Where would one go? In a world where historians are not like Indiana Jones, who would be sent?
I took every effort to thoroughly research any role the military might play, the consequences of inevitable bureaucratic and political interference, and the world of the Saxons in 11th Century England. England was chosen because of the interests of the nations involved in the research that developed the device, called the Transporter, and the attempt to access a place that might be safest for the Travellers, the title of the researchers involved.
Traveller Inceptio examines the interactions of the Travellers with local Saxons and their efforts to integrate into the village of a people of the great forest. This was the time of the Viking invasions, an unsettled time of conflict.
Through it all I tried to make the Saxons human and examine how they would interact with a highly trained soldier from the 21st Century.
So far the reviews of Traveller Inceptio have been overwhelmingly positive. Fortunately it is a book that appeals to both guys and girls.
For those of you who delve into this tale, I thank you and hope you enjoy.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Much in writing is about your own personal confidence and desires.
My first piece of advice is to start writing, no matter what. Too many believe they must have the whole story before writing starts, while I find the story develops as I write. It’s like painting, or weaving a rich tapestry with words. Like a journey, it starts with the courageous first step.
Second is to not worry about what everyone else thinks. Writing is like running: you have to practice to get good at it. I find the process of writing and rewriting allows me to get better. Just go for it and let your creativity shine.
Third: Never be happy with the first draft. I always go back through the story, the words, the creative writing many, many times. It might feel like an OCD thing, and that is what makes writing so personal. My format will be different to everyone else. Find your way and follow it.
Fourth – and the hardest. Be prepared to be disappointed at criticism. As my first book, Traveller Inceptio was self-published, critiqued, then edited. My first British editor metaphorically tore off my arm and beat me over the head with it. Wiping away my tears I followed his advice in most areas, reduced the draft by 50,000 words, sent it out for review and received positive response and 5 star reviews. My head still hurts though.
Fifth – have a market in mind. Writing is a creative art, but selling books is strictly a marketing endeavour. I aim to become an author that sells. That is my goal. For any writing to sell it must appeal to a market, to a slice of humanity who likes what you produce. Publishers only seek what will sell and then leave it to you to create the market for them. Gone are the days of offering a new author a million dollar contract. Yes, it’s a tough gig.
Tell us something unexpected you uncovered during your research
I found that with Traveller Inceptio I had to research extensively about the relevant subject matters: the Special Forces of Australia, Great Britain, the USA and Canada, the Saxon people, and the great forests of England. Once I immersed myself into the subject matter, sometimes odd things happened.
On more than one occasion I found the story running in a direction I didn’t expect, where I would go, “Wow, I didn’t know that was going to happen!” While this is probably a creative process many might experience, I found that most surprising. It was only possible for me when I had the material assembled by research.
Thanks so much for sharing with us today! Guys, if you want some thought-provoking science fiction, look no futher than Traveller Inceptio!
Add it to Goodreads!