Hasn’t it been exciting so far though? But before anyone thinks this present bunch of authors are so much tougher than the ones here in March, I do think I should clear up a few misunderstandings. Yesterday, for example, no way did Steve Emmett have these dogs anywhere near his character Tom. The dog Steve was about to produce before Tom bolted from the scene, was perfectly friendly, the latest in author promotion.
See? With the natty book jacket and all. As for Abbie…what a carry on over a plastic spider, that on closer inspection, looks like this,
The idea is to have a happy week here celebrating Aimee Duffy and Charley Descoteaux’s forthcoming releases. Can we help it if certain characters choose to overreact?
So today here in the seat we have British author Peter Romilly.
Please pay no attention that it says warrior on the picture. Peter just chanced to be standing there. He wouldn’t harm a fly, which is why he has kindly agreed to sit in the chair in order to convince Marc just why he should be the hero of 500 Parts Per Million.
Marc. So, ‘The year is 2050, the weather is … devastating.‘ What’s that exactly? You live in Scotland don’t you? Knowing what that’s like you want me to appear in some book where the weather is even worse than there? Peter, look at the picture Steve Emmett showed here yesterday. His character gets to go to Italy. I would like to be in his book.
Peter. (aside. Steve also showed him these dogs) Okay, the weather in Scotland’s fickle, but I think you’re missing the point about living here. It’s a beautiful place when the sun shines and when it doesn’t. Great scenery, wide open spaces, and lots of very fresh air.
Sure, the weather in 500 Parts Per Million is a lot worse than Scotland, but that’s because we kept pumping out carbon dioxide (CO2), screwed up our climate and kicked off weird weather patterns. You’re too young to know this, but atmospheric concentrations of CO2, the main global warming gas, already reached 400 parts per million in 2013 and carried on increasing. The gas acts like a greenhouse, letting sunlight through but trapping the heat. Greenhouse turns pressure cooker as the CO2 rises from 400 to 500 ppm and one momentous day in 2050 the planet’s weather goes haywire and our way of life falls apart. Imagine not being able to use your mobile phone or tweet your mates, or go to the supermarket to buy your groceries!
But I think you’re a guy that’s up for a challenge – you’re smart, you’re a survivor, so even when times are bad you can tough it out. It’s a great opportunity to take part in an adventure, and hang out in some interesting places with interesting people.
Marc. An adventure … you mean like in one of these adventure parks or things? Where I get to hang out somewhere cool?
Peter. Of course. It’s on a sea-going yacht, or to use the nautical term, a sloop. You can catch a little glimpse of it on the book cover. The boat is small, but it comfortably sleeps two people, and there are no problems queuing for baggage check-in at the airports because there aren’t any flights. You get to sail round the rugged Cornish coast of south England, the Floating City in Rotterdam and up the PeeDee River…
Marc. The what?
Peter. In Carolina, so there are plenty of attractions to soak up. I mean just look at this.
As nice As Steve’s picture don’t you think?
Marc. Go on.
Peter. I have to give a big shout out for the PeeDee, which is a very scenic and interesting river, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy its meandering charms (but watch out for the crocs). Did you know the PeeDee is thought by some to be the inspiration for the song “Old Folks at Home”, known by its first line “Way down upon the Swanee River“? It’s the official state song of Florida. Not a lot of people know that.
But I do know you’re a good sailor and you like lots of fresh air, so a yacht is an ideal opportunity to breathe in huge lungfuls of the stuff. There are only two drawbacks I can see – you have to travel with an oddball fella called GM Joe, and you have to batten down the hatches when a hurricane strikes off the east coast of the US.
Oh, you fall 800m feet from this building, oh you go down with the Titanic, oh a meteor strikes your spaceship catapulting you into some galaxy where the aliens live on your space suit for ever more. Why don’t you go in the book yourself if you’re so keen?
Peter. Because I want you to escape that boring office job as a risk analyst in the City of London. I don’t know how you put up with the rush hour traffic and all those stuffed shirts and city slickers. You can be your own boss and take charge of your own destiny for a change. There’ll be plenty of excitement, especially with GM Joe in tow, and you’ll get to meet a sexy lady called Constance, who’s the daughter of the mayor of Jamesville, a town under siege in Carolina.
Marc. A mayor’s daughter?
Peter : Gorgeous.
Marc. But what if I tell you I’ve come to prefer sailing up the PeeDee River with GM Joe? What do I want to be involved with her for? And all the complications it will bring because let’s face it women always do.
Peter. Are you out of your mind? I don’t think you can possibly be serious about preferring GM Joe to Constance, so I’ll ignore that remark. Besides, GM Joe has a love interest of his own. As soon as you meet Constance, you’ll be hooked, believe me. As for complications, well, no relationship with a woman is smooth sailing (excuse the pun), but I think you need to get out more, know what I mean? You’ve had a good relationship with your current girl Dayna, but Constance is in a different league. Okay, she can be a bit demanding at times, but hey, so can you!
Marc. Basically you’re wrecking the world. And you want me to live in it?
Peter. In a word, yes. I’m really sorry your parents, grandparents and people like me made such a mess of our planet. We burnt way too much fossil fuel in our quest for consumer heaven, and we chopped down forests, melted the ice and filled our rivers and oceans with garbage. We squandered our precious resources and we ignored the danger signs. Now your generation has to pick up the tab.
But I think you can be better than us. You can learn from our mistakes and do the right thing. You can put the pieces back together and restore the planet’s health. It won’t be easy, but I’m confident you can do it. But it can only happen if you agree to take part, which is why you need to be in 500 Parts Per Milion, at the centre of the action. And if you don’t…well….
Marc. What is it they say about subtle persuasion?
……………………………………..Folks. See that? How we don’t hurt characters here? Marc is gonna save the world and Peter didn’t need a spider, or a pack of hell hounds to do it. It only remains for me to say tomorrow’s guest is the lovely Susan Taylor and here is Peter’s blurb and book jacket.
The year is 2050, the weather is … devastating. Marc, a young man working in London’s financial district, is summoned to a business meeting in Amsterdam and
finds his life changed forever. Washed up on an embankment after a huge storm surge overwhelms Amsterdam’s sea defences, he sets sail on a dangerous adventure that takes him from the rugged Cornish coastline of south west England to the Floating City in Rotterdam, then across the Atlantic to the east coast of the United States. On his travels he encounters an oddball companion, GM Joe, and together they sail up the PeeDee river to the town of Jamesville in drought-stricken South Carolina, where Marc gets friendly with Constance, the mayor’s daughter. But Jamesville has plenty of problems of its own, not just drought, as Marc soon
500 Parts Per Million is based on the contemporary environmental issue of global warming, a tale of life, love and survival in a
warmed up world. It’s about a planet where the weather has gone haywire, the technologies we rely on don’t work, and where communities face new threats and have to relearn forgotten skills to survive.
You can find Peter here. http://peteromilly.com/blog/