I came across Graham Storrs via twitter a while back, but never had the chance to fully investigate his writing and work. Then I won a copy of his novel TimeSplash and absolutely loved it — Graham was nice enough to answer five silly questions of mine.
Who is your favourite author and is your writing style similar to theirs?
GS: You know, this is an impossible question to answer. I admire so many great authors (JG Ballard, Ursula K le Guin, Ray Bradbury, Jane Austen, Aldous Huxley, Michael Frayn, and dozens more) and I don’t think I write like any of them – more’s the pity! However, I did re-read a lot of John Wyndham novels recently and was struck by how much like him I sound. It’s possible he was my biggest unconscious influence – or it might just be my delusions of adequacy.
Fill in the blank: people who loved ________ would hate TimeSplash.
GS: Wow. Again the field is so wide! I could probably say ‘Oprah’ or ‘Stephen Hawkins’ without fear of contradiction. But you’re probably after a writer, right? So how about ‘Gabriel Garcia Márquez’ or ‘John Fowles’? Magical realism or post modernism, it is not. TimeSplash is an adventure story, about a dysfunctional young woman, driven half-mad with fear, who decides the only way to save herself and the world is to kill the time travelling terrorist who threatens everybody’s existence. Writers you might think would fill the blank, like Georgette Heyer or Nora Roberts, probably won’t do because there is a rather tender love story that runs through the book that they might well have approved of.
How did you come up with your unique take on time travelling?
GS: I had a vision. No seriously. It just came to me in a single image. I was in the middle of a conversation about something else when there was this broad, flat river — like the River Humber of my home town — and someone lobs a brick far out into it. There is a big splash, but then the river swallows it up, smooths it out, and soon it is gone completely — except for a little turbulence flowing downstream that is quickly dissipating. The river was the timestream, the brick was a time traveller and the turbulence… And suddenly I saw what a great extreme sport it would make to be thrown back in time like that, and how kids would love it, especially when that turbulence hit the present and stirred up causality. Wouldn’t that be great at a party? After that, the whole story just tumbled out of me.
If you had to travel back in time in central London, how far back would you go and what would you do?
GS: I think any time between 1850 and 1900 would be great. What a place London must have been at the height of the industrial revolution and the British Empire. So many great scientists and engineers, so much happening, such a time of change and expansion and optimism! But, if I could take a much bigger leap, I might like to go back to the time of the Roman invasion – perhaps the very day that Queen Boudica led her army of Celts to destroy the city and massacre the Romans. I would love to know what she was like.
Sniper-the-sexy-but-deranged-villain: is he a boxers or briefs kind of guy?
GS: Boxers. It’s the only thing he and I have in common.
See timesplash.co.uk for more information.