My debut novel, The Bomber is released in June this year. It is a story about a man returned from overseas where he was fighting for his country. When he returns he finds that his life as a civilian is not as he expected. After his best friend is murdered by her husband he seeks revenge on the killer by detonating an explosive. His life begins to unravel until he meets a woman, who with her own issues, helps the man overcome his problems.
This novel is primarily about social isolation. It is a theme I find very interesting. It is my experience that social isolation is a factor in mental deterioration and I would suspect that it is a factor in people becoming fanatical to the point of violence. isolation creates paranoia in an individual. It gives a person a view that society is hostile. I have heard people admit that they feel ‘the world is against them’ when they lack friends and steady social interaction.
Social isolation is a terrible thing to face. It can hurt any person at any age, it is as crippling as a physical illness.
My main character, Joseph Starling, the man who becomes the bomber in the novel, is stunned by his isolation. His paranoia leaves him frightened, he sits in his apartment where his dark thoughts engulf him, drive him to a point which may seems abnormal or extreme, but which he feels is perfectly normal in the circumstances.
It is important to be kind to people. This is a major point of my work, there are people around us struggling every day. The lonely, the sick, the disappointed, we all have dreams, some are caught and some are dropped. No matter how strong a person seems, kindness is the best way to deal with others. Even when they are rude, mean, cruel, the best reaction for them and yourself is kindness.
John Green, a great writer- a man who could never be describe other than a good person (as far as I can tell) reminded me (not personally but through the interwebs) the other day of a Philip Larkin poem. Philip Larkin was one of the twentieth centuries greatest poets. He was also a man who suffered social isolation and crippling shyness. Sometimes his personal views on life were extreme and even offensive but his poetry was literary gold. I have included a poem of his I associate with my main character Joseph Starling. When he exploded his enemies apartment, Joseph also killed innocent people in the building below. It is something which Joseph will never forgive himself for or forget.
BY PHILIP LARKIN
The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed. It had been in the long grass.
I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably. Burial was no help:
Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful
Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.
THE BOMBER will be released June 2015. Please visit my publisher Pennamepublishing.com for more information.