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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway: Tom Jackson

I would first like to thank my hosts Autumn and Kari for giving me the opportunity to participate on their blog today and talk about my debut novel, ‘The Devil’s Legacy’. I’m very happy to join you all here at ‘From the TBR Pile’.

First, what inspired me to write?
Well I think I have always wanted to create . . . to share my thoughts, even as a child I took pleasure in writing - my first attempt at a short story was around the age of ten. I believe that my desire to write stems from reading. Every Monday I would visit the local lending library and stock up with five or six books to keep me going for the week. My preference is undoubtedly for the cocktail of adventure/mystery/crime. For example, I enjoy Agatha Christie, Alistair McLean, Robert Ludlum, Frederick Forsyth and Ken Follett. Although I do have a decided passion for historical novelists such as Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice is my all-time favourite novel), C.S. Forester, John Buchan, and naturally, Dickens.
I vividly remember a high school essay contest I won back in the autumn of 1963 the plot of which surrounded the assassinations of the American President, John F Kennedy, and the Russian Premier, Khrushchev. Within two months JFK was dead, and I was in a state of some shock. Spooky! It took me some time to get over the experience.
Anyway, for far too long, serious writing was not an option - work got in the way. What changed was early retirement. I was with a British Bank, initially in my home city of Manchester, and then here in Greece. With retirement came the resurrection of the deep-rooted desire and ambition to write.
 
Secondly, what about ‘The Devil’s Legacy’ itself?

Many years ago I attended a conference here in Athens on the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles. The keynote speaker at the event was the late Jules Dassin (the film director and husband of Melina Mercouri). I must admit that my initial attendance at the conference was somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Like the vast majority of British nationals I had little knowledge of the exact sequence of events leading up to the Parthenon Marbles being owned by Britain, and housed in the British Museum. For me they were merely another collection of antiquities we had acquired a couple of centuries ago. We owned them! Why should we just hand them back? What was the big deal?
However, the conference stimulated my curiosity, and I became interested in the actual events surrounding the removal of the Marbles by Lord Elgin’s agents. This led me to undertake research here in Athens and in the UK - including a visit to the archives of the British Museum.
This research in turn led me to the undoubted conclusion that the Marbles had been removed illegally, without any proper authority. In fact, the man actually responsible for the removal, Philip Hunt, admitted quite openly at the time that he was able to remove the Marbles only through a combination of ‘cajolery, threats and bribery’! The bottom line is that I felt, as an Englishman, I must do something to rectify the errors of our ancestors.
Thus, my research gave me the germ of an idea for a work of fiction with the removal of the Parthenon Marbles as the underlying theme - and ‘The Devil's Legacy’ was born.
There have been many publications of a purely academic nature regarding the removal of the Marbles, however, I am not aware of anything fictionalising the event - and thus felt that my novel may well offer a uniquely interesting and thought-provoking perspective. As well as a good and fun read!
One final point. I had already chosen the name of Natalie Sinclair for the main protagonist before embarking on my research in London into certain historical elements in my novel. In ‘The Devil's Legacy’ part of her backstory is that her great-grandfather had been a minor minister in Churchill’s government, and a Trustee of the British Museum. During my research I discovered that there actually was a ‘Sinclair’ who had been a minor minister in Churchill’s government, and also a Trustee of the British Museum. Again, a bit spooky!

About the Author

Tom Jackson hails from cold and wet Manchester, England and was with a British bank for over 30 years. He moved to Greece in 1977, met his wife (who is Greek and an artist) and decided to remain in the land of sun and sea. He has a daughter, Natalie, who is a lawyer, and the inspiration behind the protagonist in his debut novel, ‘The Devil’s Legacy’.

He is already thinking about a sequel to ‘The Devil’s Legacy’, and also has an idea for a trilogy set in nineteenth century Greece.

Tom maintains his close links to the Greek shipping community, posts occasional articles on financial and shipping related matters, is enjoying his new Kindle, has started to cultivate roses, and is an avid Manchester United supporter.
Where you can find Tom:
The Devil’s Legacy Facebook page:  http://www.facebook.com/people/@/152698424831830 
Also I have also just started a Book Blog
Blog:  http://bookblogs.ning.com/profile/TomJackson

Giveaway:  Tom will be giving away 1 copy of his book.  This will be an ebook so it is open internationally.  This giveaway will be done a little differently.  In order to enter you must correctly answer the question below (in the form), the answer can be found in the sample chapters of Tom's book which can be found on Smashwords (you don't need an account to read samples).  I will pick randomly from the correct answers on January 17th.

1 comment:

Jessica L. Buike said...

Great giveaway! I linked to it in my blog today: http://authorjess.blogspot.com/2012/01/whats-up-wednesday-giveaways-book.html