Happily Ever After Giveaway Hop: Caught in a Moment by Martin Dukes

Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Murphy's Library.

Welcome my stop of the Happily Ever After Giveaway Hop.
This hop runs from October 9th to 14th.

Caught in a MomentCaught in a Moment
by Martin Dukes
Paperback, First Edition, 261 pages
Published June 2012 by Parola Press

GoodReads | Amazon | Smashwords
Caught in a Moment is the story of Alex Trueman, a teenager who daydreams himself unwittingly into the strange world of Intersticia. This is a world outside of ordinary time, that exists in the slender intervals between instants. From Alex's point of view the world around him freezes into immobility. At first it seems the he alone is free to wander the hushed streets with their motionless cars and people. But he is not alone. Alex soon discovers that he shares the world with others. There are a few dozen fellow daydreamers who share his fate. There is plump, bespectacled Will, pretty brunette Kelly, and the rebellious outcast Paulo. Presiding over them all is the enigmatic Ganymede, and irascible vagrant who distributes food to his dependents and sets them perverse tasks to perform in return.
Alex soon finds that he has rare skills in Intersticia. Most uniquely he can affect the motionless world of 'Statica' around them. He can open doors, help himself to food, and move objects. But this forbidden activity soon sets him on a collision course with Ganymede in which the very existence of Intersticia is put at risk.


Imagine what it would be like to time travel from 1984 to 2012. You'd struggle to understand a good deal of what people were talking about around you - Wifi, Bluetooth, Google, Facebook, Twitter, iphones, ipads. Huh? What's all that then? And what's this 'web' everyone's always referring to? And there are computers of course, the vital prerequisite for civilised life nowadays. I sometimes feel like a time traveller myself, when I compare my past experiences to my life today. Back in 1981 I recall visiting the head office of the company my father worked for and being ushered reverentially into their new computer suite; two interconnected rooms filled with tall, humming cabinets, reel to reel tapes rotating purposefully, all this served by white clad technicians with white cottons overshoes, going silently about their mysterious business like some kind of temple acolytes. I guess you've got that much processing power in your average corner store pocket calculator today. When I started work at a girls’ school in Birmingham, England in September of 1984 I dwelt in a strange computerless, disconnected, internet free world. I wonder now how I filled the empty hours. I can hardly remember what it was like to pick up a non-mobile phone with a cord connecting the business end with the base unit and laboriously dialling out eight digits on a clicking circular dial. How did I manage without periodically glancing at my (mobile) phone to check for texts? How did I look things up before Google? How did I communicate before email? What is retrospectively weird is that everything seemed just fine at the time! Anyway, that September, long ago, I arrived in a place where I was expected to teach Graphic Design. What! Are you insane? - you might ask. How can you possibly teach Graphics without Photoshop, without computers, even? And indeed it seems unreal to me now. Typography was the real killer. Lots of girls could make pretty pictures but very few could draw 72pt upper case Garamond without making you want to weep.

But those days are gone. The combined forces of Apple and Adobe have ushered in a golden age of artistic accomplishment (at least in my classroom), and my job has become more rewarding with every passing year. I teach girls from 11 to 18 years old. The old premise that all men (or girls) are created equal comes seriously unstuck as soon as you ask them to draw. Some can sketch it out like Michelangelo, others are equipped only for abstract expressionism. Photoshop is the great leveller, since even the most unpromising of artists can suddenly discover an innate flair for composition and image making. We design posters, cd covers and book covers for the most part. I tend to steer clear of packaging because designing toothpaste boxes doesn't float my boat and I doubt it does much for my pupils' boats either. I generally get girls in Year 10 (I've no idea what you guys call it, but they're fifteen years old ) to design book covers. I love books and I like pictures - seems like a good combo to me. I set an imaginary book title to get them all going and they set off to take photos and make drawings, assembling the results of their endeavours attractively in their lovely A3 sketchbooks. Given that each girl pursues their own path towards artistic fulfilment there's usually an individual request for a change of title at some point, to reflect the changing realities of their projects. That's just fine with me. If they were working for a real world graphic studio there'd be some awkward questions asked, but given that they're working towards GCSE exams there's no one to object. All I care about is the look of the outcome and the validity of the artistic journey they have undertaken. Here are some of the most recent crop of designs. Some of them make me wish there was an actual book to go with them. I provide a basic template and the blurb is a generic one I supply them with too, on the basis that Art examiners are rarely, if ever, going to take the trouble to actually read such a thing. Occasionally, when the muse comes upon them, my students write their own to match the content of the cover but this is very much the exception.

I've designed my own book cover too (see below)and in this case I actually do have the book to go inside it. I've been writing for a few years now but at last I think I've completed something that I can put out there with the confidence that it has some value. My book is called 'Caught in a Moment'. This is the synopsis, which I like to think has a fairly original idea at its core:

"Whilst all the world stands still, Alex Trueman wanders alone in the silent streets of the city. All around are the motionless figures of his fellow citizens, solid as marble. "Caught in a Moment" describes Alex’s adventures in the unique world of Intersticia. “He’s a Daydreamer,” states his
school report and no one who knows Alex would disagree. But this mental state, this condition of temporary disassociation from reality is one that Alex has immersed himself in once too many times. He has daydreamed himself unwittingly into a world outside of ordinary time, that exists in the slender intervals between instants. From Alex’s point of view the world around has frozen into immobility. There are delightful possibilities in the hushed streets with their motionless cars and people, but as the hours pass exhilaration is succeeded by anxiety. And he is not alone. Alex soon discovers that he shares this world with others. There are a few dozen fellow dreamers who share his fate. There is plump, bespectacled Will, pretty brunette, Kelly and the lonely outcast Paulo. Presiding over them all is the enigmatic Ganymede, an irascible vagrant who distributes food to his dependents and sets them perverse tasks to perform in return. Alex soon finds that he has rare skills in Intersticia, skills that set him on a collision course with Ganymede in which the very existence of Intersticia is put at risk. Nor are all the inhabitants of Intersticia dreamers. Some of them are dead; spirits lingering on after the instant that was their last on earth. The terrifying Cactus Jack, Death’s delegate in Intersticia, stalks the streets in search of these loose ends. Alex is soon engaged in a desperate struggle to cheat Death of at least one of his victims."

If you want to read this it's obtainable digitally in a variety of formats through Amazon and Smashwords. The print edition's on the way too.

This is intended for YA readers. I've been told that I write good dialogue. My home and work circumstances undoubtedly contribute to this. I have two teenage sons of my own and I spend my working days surrounded by teenage girls, bombarded by adolescence and oestrogen. I'm pretty sure something of their speech patterns has seeped into my tissues. I'd be really interested to hear how it sounds to the American ear!
 







 
About the Author
A bit about me - I teach Art and Design at a girls' school in Birmingham in the UK, having taught there for the past twenty eight years. I've been doing a lot of writing in the last few years and I've finally taken the plunge with a novel, securing publication with a small local publisher. Over the course of my career I've taught thousands of girls and my extensive network of ex-students through Facebook has been really useful to me in spreading the word about my book, at least in the UK.

 
Now here's your chance to get "Caught in a Moment"!
Martin Dukes is giving (1) ebook copy a very special winner anywhere in the world.
That's right!  This giveaway is US & International. 
Enter via the Rafflecopter below.
Good Luck! 
 


1 comment:

  1. I think it would be so cool to be able to time travel! Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete

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