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The International Writers Magazine: Author Interview

Q & A with Sam Hawksmoor
An interview with Sam Hawksmoor author of The Repossession Trilogy
on his YA novel set in 1941 during the Blitz.
The Repercussions of Tomas D is available on Amazon Kindle and Print
Paperback: 234 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1491032015
ebook: B00B8QKXR0

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I was reading about the bombing raids on Portsmouth in 1941 and just how devastating they were and saw this image of a boy still alive trapped in the rubble. It sparked an idea from there. Who was the boy and how did he get there and more importantly how exactly did he become a hero?


I was then on the beach in Anglet in France a month later and I asked Tomas, the teenage son of a friend. 'If you went back in time to 1941, knowing what you know now, what difference could you make to the world and the War in particular?  What would be the consequences of your arrival and all that knowledge you have in your head?  Who would listen to you?  Would anyone take you seriously at all?  And if you did change anything.  What about your girlfriend, left behind? – Would she still remember you?  Or would it all change?'

It sparked a wonderful conversation about all the things he might do to change the outcome of the war as we walked around the concrete bunkers left behind by the Germans. Tomas very quickly began to realise that he'd find it hard to persuade anyone he was from the future. Just describing how we live now would be too fantastic to 99% of the population. So yes, the story also came out of that conversation.

What genre does your book fall under?
Time Travel /Sci-Fi -WW11 historical fiction - it’s cross genre not forgetting the romance between Tomas and Iris.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Unknowns for the kids and Gary Oldman to play the baddie.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
One Small Lie - Can Change History Forever

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About six months.  Could have taken longer as there is so much to research and it’s hard to let go of all the ‘facts’ to play with. My thanks go out to Dominic Robson who designed the book, Jo Plumridge, Kate Knight and Margaret Bateson-Hill for very useful feedback. When editing I think it's important to share the end result, gather remarks and listen.

What other books or movies would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’ve always loved Time Travel stories and movies such as Twelve Monkeys or Looper.  I love the paradox and all the complexities. The Butterfly Effect was a pretty good attempt at showing just how impossible it all can be to go back and ‘fix’ things and more importantly they didn’t obsess about the machinery to do it.  He just focused his mind and suddenly was there.  Quantum Leap and Time Tunnel (not to forget The Philadelphia Experiment) spent a great deal of time on the mechanics of getting there.  As Bruce Willis as Old Joe says in Looper ‘I don't want to talk about time travel because if we start talking about it then we're going to be here all day talking about it, making diagrams with straws’.

For every 'Time Traveler’s Wife' there’s a 'Hot Tub Time Machine' – equally valid, one definitely funnier than the other. Star Trek uses time travel (‘The Voyage home’ and ‘Into Darkness’ 'Discovery' ).  We can blame H G Wells, but I suspect there are other stories well before that and let’s face it who hasn’t wished they could go back and change one thing.  The girl you never said hi to, or the boy you wished you never said yes to, or the two job offers that came in and you absolutely know you chose the wrong one. And since I’m writing this on Groundhog Day, you can be pretty clever with your plots too.  The idea of a man stuck on one day and having to stay there until he finally learns the one important thing is a great one.  Bill Murray’s finest hour and a half, probably.  Kids still love 'Time Bandits' and who wouldn’t like little people, worm holes in a Time Map, Satan, God and throw in some classic heroes such as Robin Hood and a small boy called Kevin, brilliant. Of course there was the brilliant alt history 'The Man in the High Castle' by Phillip K Dick recently dramatised on Amazon TV.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I always like the ‘what if’ game.  I like Time Travel stories and the paradoxes they throw up. It's complex. Small things can have huge consequences. Although the war finished seventy years ago the ripple effects are still being felt and the rise of the right in Europe is disturbing. Does history repeat itself? We seem to lapse into default modes of hostility. You can see this happening in Russia now as Putin closes every avenue of freedoms won. He probably misses the cold war.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Tomas only has to leave the present and the life of his best friend Gabriella, left behind, totally changes.  Creating those changes was interesting and then choosing what to leave out. (One has to be very sensitive). If you could have the chance to play the hero in any era you’d go for it. When writing the TV adaptation it was interesting exploring the idea further and playing up the resistance role more.

We shall see who is right!
You can order The Repercussions of Tomas D here
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping!
By Plum
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This is an enthralling and fast paced book, which will keep you entertained until the last page. Aimed at teenagers and young adults, it's also a good read for those of us in our 30s upwards! Very well researched and full of fascinating details about WW2. Buy this book - you won't be disappointed.

5.0 out of 5 stars Great WWII story with an alternative future
By Debz
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This is a really exciting read. Kept me interested to the last page. I deliver WWII workshops to visiting schools and I'd recommend this for two reasons (apart from it being a good story) - It really shows what the Blitz and life at the begining of the war was like - and - it encourages the reader to think 'what if?' Ever thought what life would be like if Britain lost the war - then read this story.

5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting!!
By carine
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
Exciting, scary story of a boy time-traveller and the girl he left behind. If you ever dreamt you could change history if you went back in time. Read this first. Terrific fast paced read. Highly recommend for teens / YA / and adults too!! :)
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Sam Hawksmoor

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