The Bomber, my debut novel which will be released on June 24th, took me the best part of year to complete. It is about a soldier, returning home and struggling to fit in to society. He is driven to acts of revenge by a murderer and once revenge is achieved he has to live with the terrible reality of his crime. Loneliness, anger and fear are central to the main characters motivation.
The idea of The Bomber came to me one day as I drove down a highway through the centre of a small city. Next to the road, a billboard sign read, -“Welcome home our brave soldier, returned from war in Iraq. We are proud.” There was a name on the sign and it was a person I knew. I went to see him and we discussed things and he told me about life in the army, about life in the middle east as he found it and about some of the things he faced. I asked him questions which, while they did not annoy him, I could see he found them naive, I could see that because I had not experienced the things he had, I could never understand. So I stayed quiet and listened. That was the best way to allow him to described what he had experienced. It came out slowly, it came out vividly. He was living in a small apartment at the time, across from a Pizza Hut and we went and grabbed a pizza and played video games. He went to a party that night which I did not go to and when I came to see him the next day I saw that he had consumed a lot of alcohol and hew was unwell, regardless of how he felt, we went swimming in the river across town and then walked back.
We had been friends in high school and there was something different about him, something that would mean we would forever be distant from each other. I haven’t seen my friend for a few years now but it was that feeling, that he was not the same and the war had changed him that I wanted my main character to reflect. So The Bomber has been in my mind for a long time and I am glad to finally see it appear in book form.