Saturday 7 April 2018

Psychosis by Roger Bray @rogerbray22 #BlogTour Random Things Tours #MyLifeInBooks

When Hazel disappears, the police are convinced that her husband, Alex, has killed her. Three years after his conviction for murder, Alex and his sister, Alice, are devastated when their last appeal is rejected by the courts. With nowhere left to turn, Alice must start to put her life back together. Living in limbo herself, Alice has a chance encounter with Steve, an ex-solider turned PI who offers to look at the case files. Steve is convinced that the prosecution’s case is shaky at best, but can he find out the truth before it’s too late for Alex?

Psychosis by Roger Bray was published on 6 March 2018. As part of the Random Things Tours Blog Tour, I'm delighted to welcome the author here today. He's talking about the books that are important to him in My Life In Books

My Life In Books - Roger Bray

I suppose everyone has a certain few books they have encountered through life which had had an impact on them. When I was asked to do this list a few came to me easily, others I had to consider. They all have one thing in common, which I struggle to define, but it, to me, is almost a sense of loss when you finish reading it. They leave an impression, a mark, which pops up now and again to bring a smile or moment of reflection.

In no particular order.

Time and the Conways, by J. B. Priestley.

I had to read this play, and supposedly understand it, for my ‘O’ level in English Literature. Why it has stayed with me the way in which it has, I have no idea. Much Ado About Nothing and The Canterbury Tales passed me by quite quickly, but Time and the Conways stayed. Over the years I found myself thinking about the characters and the way Priestley moved the narrative back and forth revealing the sad truth of the character’s aspirations. I think about it often because it was the first time I understood the written word could be used so well to layer truths that should be apparent, but often aren’t.

The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien.

We all know what The Hobbit is about, if not the book then the movie, so I shan’t belabour it. It was definitely the first book I remember reading that left that gap in my life once I had finished it. About 11am on a cold, November, Saturday morning, the sense of loss was so great that I hot footed it from H.M.S. Osprey on Portland Island to W. H. Smith’s in Weymouth so I could buy the Lord of the Rings and continue the saga. About 17, no car and had to take the bus after walking a few miles through a gale coming off the Channel to get to the bus stop outside the dockyard main gate. That is how much it effected me.

The Throwback, by Tom Sharpe

I was glad, when I read this, that my appendix had been removed ten or twelve years earlier. Had it not I fear it would have exploded such was the uncontrollable belly laughs this novel brought forth. Sharpe is, though some may disagree, the funniest writer in English. He always made the absurd seem perfectly plausible, possibly from some parallel dimension in which I would have felt completely at home. His ability to make words dance across the page in one believable disaster after another is the reason I haven’t tried to write farce or comedy. It would pale into pathetic insignificance next to the Master. I still laugh at The Throwback even though I haven’t read it for years and I still remember the laughing, crying moment when I finished it for the first time.

Exodus, by Leo Uris

This was the first book by Uris that I read, unaware of the political realities that drove it. Uris, in this and his subsequent works, is a master of driving a story forward with strong characters all of whom their strengths and weaknesses, laid bare in Uris’s excellent writing. When I read Exodus I had little understanding of the socio-political realities of the period, I enjoyed it for the story telling. Now, with an academic interest in the area through two degrees in international relations, I understand a lot more about the background and can see clearly now what drives the characters, the goals they were striving for and the mistakes that were made. It is a book which caused a lot of controversy and yet, for me, it was just a thrilling and immersing chronicle of its time.

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, by Louis de Bernières

It is not often I find a book that captures my imagination so much as Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. I thoroughly enjoy historically set novels and this, with an historical background which had largely been ignored by the world and successive Italian Governments, did not disappoint. It also introduced me to de Bernières light but engrossing style of writing which if have enjoyed in all his works. The central plot struck me as a basic ‘good overcoming evil’ scenario on many levels, from the actions of the protagonists to the human kindness displayed by those who had previously been nominal enemies. I found the plot really took hold of me and I often think of the funny moments in the book, even in the midst of suffering and war.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops.
My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider.

Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing.

Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school.

So here we are, two books published and another on track.

Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.

Twitter @rogerbray22

Facebook Author Page: Roger Bray Books

No comments:

Post a Comment