In a city at war with itself, Jeremiah Tully already knows how to survive; now he must learn how to live. Mute from birth, of mixed race heritage and his only possession a charmed flute, Jeremiah tries to discover where his remarkable talent as a musician will take him.
Is he the catalyst that will free the metropolis of its demons? Can he rid the streets of the Gangers and Wannabees who terrorize and dominate? The path to freedom is long, dark and twisted.
Jeremiah is also mute. He has never been able to speak, but communicates using sign language. His magical gifts include an uncanny ability to play the silver flute left to him by his mother, Sylvan, despite never having received formal musical training.
His challenges are to survive in a city that’s become an urban jungle. He discovers that he has a half-brother, with whom he tries to develop a relationship with little success. His ultimate challenge is to rid the city of the demons that invaded it centuries ago.
T: In the second chapter of your book, you tell us that Jeremiah “knew how to survive, but not how to live.” Can you explain the significance of this statement and how it applies to Jeremiah?
K: Being mixed race, he is spurned by both the Norms and the Elwyns. The Norms see him as a stupid halfwit, of dubious lineage, the Elwyns see him as impure. His days are spent simply fighting to survive, leaving no time to make friends or simply to enjoy his life. The only thing reliable thing in his life is the flute. His constant fear is that the instrument will be taken from him.
T: Music is a powerful theme in this book. Is music an important element in your own life?
K: Yes, music is wonderful. It can inspire, lift your spirits, make you happy or sad. Unfortunately I work full time and when I’m not doing that I’m writing, which leaves me little opportunity to just sit back, relax and immerse myself in my favourite tunes.
T: How did you come up with the idea for your novel?
K: People are going to think I’m mad, but before I can plot out a story I have to have a location in mind. In this instance it was a small blockhouse on top of the Littlewoods Building in Liverpool. I worked in a call centre, with large plate glass windows. There was a lull in the calls and I was staring at Littlewoods, saw the blockhouse, and inspiration struck. From there it was a matter of coming up with the characters. The rest of the settings are loosely based on Liverpool city centre. Jeremiah’s name was inspired by the 70’s band, Jethro Tull, whose lead singer plays the flute.
T: Are there any other projects on the horizon?
K: I’ve started a sequel to Midnight, called Through the Gloaming. It continues Jeremiah’s story and I’ve kept some characters from the first novel and introduced some new ones. All in all there will be three books, hopefully.
T: You’ve worked very hard at setting up a website and a blog. How important is it for an author to have a platform for their work and an online presence?
K: I can’t stress too much how important it is to be visible to your potential readers. A website and blog are two ways to get yourself and your work out there. You can also use it as a medium to attract readers to other authors’ work, by interviews and recommendations.
T: What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
K: This has been said many times before, but only because it’s true. Never give up, stick to your guns and write, write, write. Learn your craft, excellence is the keyword; give your readers that and they’ll repay you with their loyalty. And don’t forget, it’s important to read, read, read too.
I completed my MA in Creative Writing, at Liverpool John Moores University. In the summer of 2009 one of my novels, HORIZON, was shortlisted at the annual novel writing competition Pulp Idol, part of Liverpool’s Writing On The Wall Festival. I also attended a weekend writing course at Ty Neywdd Centre for Writing in South Wales, where all the finalists had one to one sessions with published author Jenny Newman.
My main influences in the fantasy genre are: Robin Hobb (aka Megan Lindholme), Jim Butcher and David Gemmell. Hobb’s work is more indicative of classic fantasy, as is Gemmell’s, and Butcher’s is a mixture of both classic and contemporary urban settings. These authors’ skills at world building and characterisation are, in my opinion, supreme.” ~ Kate Jack