US: Comets by Clive Algar
UK: Comets by Clive Algar
|Comets by Clive Algar|
Set in the rich and fascinating milieu of Cape Town in the 1830s, with its shifting patterns of social awareness and the growth of scientific knowledge, Comets tells the story of James and Isabelle Forster, whose lives, and those about them, are changed irrevocably not only by the appearance of a real comet - Halley's - but by "human comets" including the aristocratic Michael Percy, the young Charles Darwin and a recently-emancipated slave couple, Adam and Catharine Cupido. James and Isabelle's comfortable upper middle-class existence threatens to spin out of control as they confront moral crises they seem unable to resolve.
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Author Quiz interviews Clive Algar...
What is it you love most about writing?
I love the infinite scope for creating new worlds. As a writer of mainly historical fiction (19th and early 20th century) I enjoy placing fictional characters among real historical characters to create events that could have happened. I love the blank page waiting for me to fill it.
Where did the inspiration for your first novel, Journeys to the End of the World, come from?
Journeys is set in three different eras, but takes place largely during, and just after, World War 1. I have had a fascination with the "Great War" since I was a child, as my late father fought on the Western Front, was mentioned in dispatches, was gassed in the trenches and saw things he could not bear to tell me about. As I heard little about the war from him I read a great deal about it and, when the time came to write my first novel, I was drawn irresistibly to some aspect of the "Great War". The aspect I chose was "shell shock", but I also related it to its unnamed equivalent a century earlier, and to post-traumatic stress disorder a century later.