Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Guest Post -- Tim Andrewartha

Morning All,

Today I have Tim Andrewartha the author of Vitality doing a guest post for us. Here we go:

My Novel & Real Life
by Tim Andrewartha

People often ask me how much of my dystopian soft drink novel Vitality is based on real life. To which I usually stroke my sideburns and take a sip of my drink, before giving them any number of different answers. These depend on my mood, the weather, and even the day of the week.  They can also contain more fiction than my novel. Today though, exclusively for this guest blog post, I’m going to answer this question truthfully, and wholeheartedly. Because you, the people of internet land, deserve to know.

Firstly, in Vitality, the protagonist, Stylo Green, moves to a large and unfamiliar city. In 2006 I moved from the UK to Japan. At first I wasn’t actually living in Tokyo, but it was just a short train ride from the humungous and – at the time – unfamiliar city. So it’s fair to say that a certain amount of that is based on my own experience.

However, the city in Vitality – which is purposefully unnamed and ambiguously located – is an unfriendly and unsettling place which gives Stylo the creeps. Tokyo is nothing like that. It’s an exciting, vibrant place full of interesting people, which is why I have now moved to the city and I enjoy living here very much. I suppose some of the trendy places that Stylo goes to with Dack, and perhaps even the Earth Club, could be compared with some of the bars and clubs in Tokyo, but generally speaking the two cities are very different.

Secondly, Stylo moved to the city to start a new job. I also moved to Japan to start a new job. So again this is something that draws on my own experience. But whereas Stylo starts working  as a graphic designer for Vitality – a mysterious company that is making a purple drink they claim will change people’s lives – I started working as an English teacher.

So those are the two main things that bear some resemblance with my life, that I think influenced me a bit when I originally sat down to write Vitality. The biggest difference being that moving to a new place and starting a new job was a completely positive experience for me, but this can’t be said for poor Stylo. However, that’s what creating fiction is all about – writing about your own experiences and added conflicts to make it into a story that people will want to read.

There are also some things that have happened after I wrote Vitality that have reminded me of my novel. For a while I was working in a very modern building which reminded of Vitality HQ, but of course purple liquid didn’t flow through the walls, neither did any of my colleagues have a pet monkey. And, the other day when I was in Nagano, I tried some wasabi beer which was green like the beer in the Earth Club.

There may be other things in Vitality that have some resemblance to my life. I just can’t think of them right now. But if you want to ask me about any specific thing in Vitality, please feel free to leave a comment and I will answer as best as I can.

wishing Vitality all success
Abhishek Boniapalli


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