Friday, 26 November 2010
Evan's Land Online
As you’ll know if you’re a regular HPANWO-reader, my second novel Rockall is freely-available on Ben’s Bookcase here: http://hpanwo-bb.blogspot.com/2009/02/rockall-chapter-1.html . But I know that some of you are not aware that Rockall is only my second novel and that I published a first novel in 2002 called Evan’s Land. This book was written during a period of my life when I was a very different person to whom I am now. And seeing as Rockall was up on HPANWO maybe I should put Evan’s Land up there too. There are three reasons why I hesitated: Firstly I’d lost the original Word files I'd used to write it. They were on an old floppy disk that had become corrupt over time, as they do. I’d have had to scan the pages in which would have been fairly costly and time-consuming, as well as probably using up a copy of the book that could have been sold. Secondly I consider it an inferior novel to Rockall. Some of it makes me cringe a bit actually. But thirdly, and most importantly, it is something of a personality-fossil; it was the creation of somebody who, although he shares the same soul, memories and personality with me, is a total stranger. In the end though I decided to go ahead and do it, but to avoid the hassle of creating a written copy, and to be a bit original, I decided to publish its online edition as an audio book; see: http://hpanwo-tv.blogspot.com/2010/11/evans-land-audio-book.html . I was a bit concerned that without the right audio recording methods the soundtrack might not be good enough, but as you can see I’ve had some comments that have alleviated those fears.
Evan’s Land is set in a kind of future or parallel world. It follows the path of a young Welshman, Even Hughes as he has his life uprooted and revolutionized when he returns to Wales to find it a changed country to the one he left as a child, a nation torn apart by civil war. He goes through much turmoil and trouble before he eventually finds his true destiny. What I have constantly tried to deny, unsuccessfully, is that Evan is not me. It was dishonest of me to try actually and I apologize. He is very similar to how I was back then and by comparing him to my other alter-ego, Dill from Rockall, you will see how much I’ve changed in the last decade. Evan’s Land was written in 1998 and 1999 when I was still a Delivery Suite Porter and I was revising it at the time I rebelled against what I saw as unacceptable and unjust policies and practices in that department. This led to me being transferred out. It was also at the time when I first began considering the “Conspiracy Theories” that have since become such an important area of my life. This began with the suggestion that the Apollo Moon Landings were faked. In fact when first wrote the book, in the scene where Evan and Connie are at the railway station pub in Cardiff I had Connie tell Evan that “man reached the moon during the Barbarian Age”. In my revision I felt uncomfortable making that assertion in the light of my new revelations and struck that line out. Since then of course I’ve gone on to look into more and more areas of how strange this world is and how badly we who live in it have been lied to; so in reading, or rather listening, to Evan’s Land you’ll notice a distinct lack of Conspiratorial and Spiritual awareness that is present in Rockall, The Obscurati Chronicles and my other more recent pieces of fiction.
The book is essentially about Wales. I consider myself a bit of a mondialist, a “Citizen of the World” (I don’t like that cliché though) and I despise Nationalism of any kind, but if I have any patriotic feelings at all then these rest in Wales. I love Wales, its people, its landscape, its language, its thoughts. Like all cultures, Wales has its own unique wisdom and viewpoint on life and the universe, but like all cultures it also has its own unique stupidity and error. Evan’s Land is intended to be first and foremost a satire of Welsh Nationalism. I emulate Malcolm Pryce’s cultural parodies of Wales, only mine is a political parody; see: http://www.malcolmpryce.com/ . Actually Howard, an old friend of my family, first bought me a Malcolm Pryce book because he said it reminded him of mine. Oddly enough Pryce published his first Aberystwyth book at around the same time I did Evan’s Land; maybe Jane Dorner is right and we picked up on something “morphic” in the air! I hope you enjoy it. When (or if!) I (ever) finish The Obscurati Chronicles you’ll be able to compare it to both my previous works and gain even further insight into my mind and soul. (Sorry if you’re waiting for a new HPANWO article; I’m currently too busy because of my audio book project, but I am planning more articles when this task is done.)
Latest HPANWO Voice articles: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.com/2010/11/north-korea-is-very-bad-indeed.html
Latest HPANWO TV films: http://hpanwo-tv.blogspot.com/2010/11/evans-land-audio-book.html