Guest Post: Tony Leslie Duxbury

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My novel is about an ordinary young man that is accidentally transported from his boring, but safe life in England to an unnamed world by a magician that later claimed that he was only practicing and didn’t pick on Jojo on purpose. The world to which he is transported is in the medieval stage of development, which frightens the hell out of young Jojo. For some reason the magician, Shadlow, ignores his pleas to be sent back immediately. Also, Jojo finds himself in the middle of a needle match between the magician and the King’s henchman, Ironfist. As Shadlow continues to ignore the issue Jojo grows more desperate and fears that he will be condemned to spend the rest of his life there. Luckily, he has freedom of movement and can understand the language. Jojo spends a lot of his time in taverns, drowning his sorrows and meets a variety of people. Finally, he realizes the only way to change his situation is to take matters into his own hands.  Despite dropping into a peaceful era he discovers that King Thomas is not well loved, the nobles decadent and the peasants full of resentment over the erosion of ancient privileges.  Although a normally happy-go-lucky type, Jojo decides to get tougher and forge a revolution, using the different characters that have befriended him in the plot.  The plan revolves around kidnapping the King’s daughter, Princess Lily and stirring up unrest among the peasants. The two great obstacles to his plan are Ironfist and Shadlow, but his plan includes the death of one and the neutralization of the other. During the planning stage Jojo has many crises of conscience and agonizes over the moral issues. In short, Jojo doesn’t like what he has become, but continues regardless. The plan lurches into action and everything goes wrong from the start, but finally Jojo and his cohorts win the day.

The Adventures of Jojo Smith: Amazon Kindle and Createspace/ Goodreads.com

The writing of this novel started out as an experiment. I wanted to see if I was actually capable of writing a coherent story. The reason I chose fantasy is because it has become my main reading material. I started reading at around fourteen years of age and  mostly read thrillers and adventures. Then, back in my twenties when I was travelling in India I swapped some books and ended up with T.H.White’s The Once and Future King and that set me on the path of fantasy reading. Later came Lord of the Rings and others.  So, as a sword and sorcery fan, I wanted to write something in a similar vein. As I don’t take myself too seriously I thought it would be better to write something  that was amusing and so put my hero into a setting he would never imagine himself to be in. From there I tried to figure out what would be my own reactions to a similar situation. I started out with just the idea of the main character and then found a situation to put him in. After that the story developed by its own accord as I came up with ideas. There wasn’t any real plan or structure prior to writing it.

I came to writing late in life. It wasn’t a lifelong passion, but over the years I’ve read some dire books and had always wondered if I could do any better. My writing came about because of encouragement from others. Since the age of eighteen my main passion in life has been travel. I would work, save up money, travel and return to England to start the whole process off again. As the years rolled by it became increasingly more difficult to find work, so I started to look around for a qualification that I could take with me and use on the road, instead of returning home once again. Settling on social work I set about getting into it by taking a short course in the local community college and some voluntary work. The short course led to another one and my tutors were very encouraging about some of the writing I did for it. To cut a long story short, I ended up studying for a degree in Social Science. Because I was a mature student who had been out of education for a very long time I attended a remedial course set up for people like me. By the end of it the tutor who ran the course, a published author herself, encouraged me to try my hand at writing. I didn’t act on her advice immediately, but waited until I graduated. Then I sat down and wrote the first six pages of my novel. Unfortunately, a severe case of writers block struck and I couldn’t continue, but I took those pages with me when I moved to Guatemala. There, for some reason, I was able to finish the book and have since written more.

I’m an ex-pat Brit living in Guatemala, C.A , which has become my adopted country. I married a Guatemalan woman and became the step-father of three kids. Now we have seven grandchildren. For 15 years I taught English, but have also sold clothes, jewellery and coffee, together with my wife and our latest venture was a cafeteria, which we recently closed. Although I’ve had my book on Amazon Kindle for quite some time I haven’t been able to promote and market it until now.  

Tony Leslie Duxbury  

My beautiful picture

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