We love to be the first in on the action when it comes to new authors at For Reading Addicts and we believe that Edward Tagg is going to be the name to look out for in the future! Edward Tagg is a college student and the teen author released his debut novel Stand to Resist: The Shield of Kelan on 30th June.
The novel is set to be the first in the Chronicles of Farthall series and it’s genred in the war category. The debut sounds absolutely fantastic and we can’t wait to read it. Tagg did much of the writing in between lessons at college.
I spoke to Edward earlier today and we conducted a little interview, here’s what he said:
How old were you when you started writing and have you always loved it?
I have always had a passion for writing, in many different forms, from short stories, poetry and even musical composition. I have short stories from when I was 4 years old, that’s how far back it goes for me. When it comes to why I love writing, it is because of the imagination. I like to think creatively and picture fantastical possibilities that are not achievable in the real world. Whether it is a fictional tale of a historical event or something completely from scratch, I am completely in love with the world of fiction and how it can portray messages subtly.
How old were you when you wrote Stand to Resist?
This is technically a two part-answer. Those who know I have published it know that I have been working on this “universe” for a few years and that there are two editions of ‘Stand to Resist’. The first rendition of the story was written about 2 years ago but has never seen the light of day. I prefer to think of this as my draft work in preparation for the newly published edition. ‘Stand to Resist: The Shield of Kelan’ began its rewrite about 6 months ago, where I spent every single day writing for at least 1 hour minimum, whether that was in my free periods in sixth form or when I was supposedly supposed to be sleeping. The process of writing was finished about a month ago from today, where I had to wait an extra two weeks to get my artwork drawn by a friend who was willing to support the novel visually (Daniel Gough, a year 11 student). And so, it was published two weeks ago on a Monday.
What inspired you to write this novel?
I split my inspiration into two or three categories: fictional inspiration, non-fictional inspiration and personal inspiration. To begin with, the non-fictional inspiration is clearly of the early 1900s era of war, both the first and second world wars to be exact. There are scenes within the story that are clearly representative of these wars, including the static and fear of waiting in trenches towards the dawn of new-era technology. This was the baseline structure of the universe, but I wanted to ensure that it was even more fictional than it already is. Being set in the world of Farthall, technology is somewhat futuristic, but all of it is powered by crude oils and fossil fuels (which is where the category of Dieselpunk comes from). In terms of fictional inspiration, I am somewhat guilty of taking inspiration from a Japanese story known as ‘Valkyria Chronicles’, which focuses on the emotions felt through conscription in a war that is being lost. It also uses a wide-range of characters to portray the different interpretations of the war, which is why I decided to use such a wide cast of main characters. Finally, there is personal inspiration. I find it that writing morbid, disturbing imagery through real world issues is my best strength in writing. War is indeed a destructive force and a lot of stories don’t focus on the conscripted, those forced into conflict, like the British of WW1 or the Argentinians of the Falklands War. It uses the political statement on post-modern monarchism mixed with the rise of radicalised political ideologies. And the background lore for the world of Farthall is both derived from fantasy novels and real European nations. For example, a civil war that is constantly referenced to in the past of the lore is what we consider to be the ‘Spanish Civil War’ of the novel.
What plans are there for the future of this story?
‘Stand to Resist’ may be my debut novel, but by no means is it going to be my last focus on this universe. I’ve intrigued myself to delve so deep into the possibilities, backstory and characters that this will likely start as a series, as I am already writing the sequel known as ‘The Initiative: Voyage of the Cerulean’. On top of this, I really want to write side-stories about characters that had interesting arcs throughout ‘Stand to Resist’ and to relive their pasts leading up to their initial introduction. It is the wide range of diverse characters that will let me do this.
Are you an avid reader?
I’d like to consider myself a mediocre reader nowadays. When I was younger I surrounded myself in books, all the time, and read to my heart’s content. Now I find it a bit more difficult to find a book to my taste but I still have plenty to choose from. I recently did an essay on the themes of love in ‘The Great Gatsby’ which is definitely up there amongst my favourites. As of now, I am currently reading ‘Catch 22’ as supplied by my step-dad last Christmas.
Which authors inspire you?
Well I can’t pinpoint who I am directly inspired from. I take many small bits of inspiration from many different authors. I like Stephen King’s style of expanding a story with mystery and confusion. On top of this, I quite like the statements on society made by F. Scott Fitzgerald and J. B. Priestly, which is where I get a lot of my themes from. Finally, I do enjoy the gritty, somewhat humorously tragic tale of ‘Journey’s End’ by R. C. Sheriff, which is where the themes of the dismal present come from, easily.
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