I am very pleased to welcome Charlie Laidlaw, the author of The Space Between Time and The Things We Learn When We’re Dead, to The Book Decoder.
Both the books are published by Accent Press and there’s another novel in line by the end of 2019! (Which by the way, I am totally looking forward to read!)
Welcome to The Book Decoder, Charlie. Thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions on my blog about your writing and The Space Between Time. Let’s start with some introductions. Tell me and my readers about yourself, Charlie.
I was born in the west off Scotland and now live in the east of Scotland, near Edinburgh. I have worked in print journalism, defense intelligence and marketing, and I also now teach creative writing. I am married with two grown-up children.
Tell me a little bit about The Space Between Time.
The book is about memory and how, in coming to terms with who we are, it’s our memories that shape everything about us. I hope it’s a humorous book, but one that touches on emotional subjects such as love, loss and mental illness.
I am simply awestruck by your latest book – The Space Between Time. What was the inspiration behind writing such a marvelous book?
I think the inspiration for it flowed from my last book, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead. It was inspired by a quote from a Roman philosopher and emperor, Marcus Aurelius, who said that, “our life is what our thoughts make it.”
The book’s central premise is what would happen if we were to remember our past slightly differently? Would we also become changed?
The Space Between Time tales that idea forwards. It asks the question: do our memories of childhood shape who we are now and, just suppose, what if those memories are false?
Suppose you get a chance to meet Emma Maria Rossini (the main character in the book), what would you like to say to her?
Be happy, feed the cat, and build that basement swimming pool! Most of all, let the past go. It might have shaped who you are now, but only you can build your own future.
In The Space Between Time, grandpa Alberto and Emma talk about dark matter and parallel universes. Do you believe in parallel universes? If yes, what do you think Charlie Laidlaw of the other universes would be doing for a living?
It’s incredible how much we now know about the universe. But it’s also incredible how little we understand about it. We know that most of it comprises stuff we can’t see, dark matter and dark energy, but we haven’t a clue that they are. Also, the universe itself makes no sense… unless you add in a multiverse of different dimensions. It’s like Star Wars on steroids, but it’s something that physicists are not taking seriously.
As to whether I believe in string theory, I have no idea. I’m just fascinated by the scale and complexity of the universe, but don’t pretend to understand anything about it.
If a parallel Charlie Laidlaw exists, then I simply hope he’s doing something useful!
The Space Between Time, in my opinion, is a well-researched book. Our lives being interwoven with space and time is a wonderful concept. What kind of research did you do and how long did you spend researching before beginning this book?
The research did take a long time, but it was quite fun discovering new facts or theories. In different parts of the world, several extremely large telescopes are being built, so we really are at a new dawn in beginning to understand life, the universe and everything.
Can you give me and my readers some details about the book that you are currently working on?
My next book, out in November, is titled Love Potions and Other Calamities. It’s more of a fun romp of a book, although the research for it took years.
Since Charlie teaches creative writing, I asked him to give aspiring writers some tips on writing and this is what he had to say:
First, to read, and not always in the genres you most enjoy. Books are your teachers, so learn how different authors approach things like structure, plot and dialogue. Second, keep writing and try not to be disheartened if it doesn’t immediately work out. Take advice from friends and family. Never give up.
To paraphrase Somerset Maugham: there are three rules to writing a novel, but nobody knows what they are.
I must say that Charlie Laidlaw is one of the kindest and friendliest authors I have come across so far. I had a great time conversing with him over email.
Thank you, Charlie, for taking some time off to answer my questions.
The Space Between Time by Charlie Laidlaw is out on the 20th of June, 2019. This is one of the books that you must read in a lifetime. Yep, The Space Between Time is definitely making it to my best of the best list!
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