Ask the Author: Ian Wilkinson
“Ask me a question.” Ian Wilkinson
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Ian Wilkinson Another time, another place… the eastern Roman Empire has been airbrushed from history. In ‘The Soul Trader’, the voice of this Empire is an old man, once rich beyond his wildest dreams, now old and bitter, imprisoned by his own family (who have taken control of his vast fortune). And the voice of his nemesis is a young idealistic French Christian, recounting the disaster of the Fourth Crusade…
Ian Wilkinson As a child, stories and films like ‘The Treasure of the Sierra Madre’ inspired me. A storm in the final scene blows all the gold dust away into the desert, leaving the two survivors with nothing but their deep friendship for each other. Which is the real treasure? That film gave me a rather wonderful lesson at a very early age. So, deep down I was always drawn to this. As a psychologist I helped other people to tell their own stories and used other stories to help them see themselves and their worlds in a different way.
Ian Wilkinson Something has to fire you up enough about the subject matter to work on for several years; that's how long it takes me to write and polish a full length novel. I also need inspiration to map out the bones of a convincing story and then a mixture of inspiration and perspiration to fill out the flesh. A rough outline can pop into the head quite quickly, but it must be inspiring enough for several years work. And at the end, there’s a lot of sweat and polish to get it right.
Ian Wilkinson Right through my life, I have had jaw-dropping moments listening to what the two generations before me went through to make our world what it is. They were all modest, often reluctant to tell you what they’d been through in their childhood, through the great depression, and the Second World War. They would tell their stories in a matter-of fact way, as if it was nothing, and you’d be thinking, my God… so, a whole series of jaw-dropping moments inspired “Crossing the Water”. And all of them are true stories, some from my family and other true stories taken from oral histories of those times.