“Out of habit he looked down, expecting to see Dougal padding alongside, eyes fixed straight ahead and eager for the scraps of ‘dropped’ food and hugs from the small children.”
I live in Ashburton, in the middle of the South Island of New Zealand.
Ashburton is a small town surrounded by lots of agriculture.
The borders of Mid-Canterbury – south and north are the Rangitata and Rakaia rivers, the Pacific Ocean to the east, and the Southern Alps to the west. (Yes, parts of The Lord of the Rings were filmed here.) Paradise.
Skiing in the winter if you like that sort of thing. There used to great runs of salmon in the rivers, but alas, that is a sad story best swept under the carpet of “progress.”
Being brought up on a sheep farm, I was surrounded by animals – chooks, geese, ducks – lots of ducks during the duck shooting season seeking a safe home, cats that could hunt and working dogs. All sorts of trees to climb and many places to explore, including the South branch of the Ashburton River, which used to good for fishing and swimming, (it was clean when I was young). Consequently, I have always had an affinity for Nature, more so as the “modern” world gets crazier.
I first began thinking about writing science fiction over 20 years ago. The Apostle series came together over roughly a 10-year period. Although the first book went through many titles before I settled on, The Vanity of Hope, the ending of the series is still the same after all these years.
As the story kept growing the originally trilogy morphed into five books.
Originally, the main character, Thomas Ryder, wasn’t a gamekeeper charged with protecting Nature and keeping the balance, but the story just seemed to go that way – it was an unexpectedly “good fit” to what I wanted to say – later on. There were lots of these instances during writing where ideas came together in unexpected ways to link to something I’d already put in the story—as if….
I hope you enjoy The Vanity of Hope and stick around to see what great and heroic deeds unfold. Apostle is a large story in every sense.