A débutante confidant



The Paradoxicon: “A promising debut by an emerging author.”

There are many sayings in writing, and a lot which I say to myself. There are things which apply equally to life, and one such is, Where there is conflict, invent something. In a fictional work, that can be a plot device. It will usually be conflict heaped upon that which already exists: A protagonist will usually have to overcome many challenges before arriving at a solution. In my non-fiction life, I’ve found that the best solutions are those of one’s own invention: Something which may not have occurred, had I not thought about things differently.

Having now published my first anthology, and my award-winning children’s story, my mind returned to my first book before I started on anything new, or continued with something on the back burners. It’s no secret that my novel is semi-autobiographical: The Paradoxicon was written in amongst all of the stories in The Perpetuity of Memory, during my three year period of self-discovery about self-expression. As a friend said:

Steve writes in a certain way: The Paradoxicon is a page-turner but at some points, you wonder if you should turn the page. “They” are engaging and compelling, yet terrifying. There are interesting parallels between a search for greater knowledge and a battle with one person’s own demons. A great read and thoroughly recommended.” Nikki B.

And it struck me that’s how others would see it: Just a story. I’m in it, just as elements of me are to a far lesser extent in some of my short stories, but only those who really know me would know that it was semi-autobiographical. And now, others will too.

But I gave the book another read. I wanted it on my book shelf, along with the other two, but not if I wasn’t satisfied with it. After several months away from the book, something struck me: It could quite easily have been written by someone else. And it is a good little book.

So I’ve tidied it up a bit, so that it has a place alongside my other titles.

You are free to choose but you are not free from the consequence of your choice.

This is the story of a life which hasn’t happened yet. A life that could have been, given the chance. It will happen. In time.

Does anyone deserve a second chance at life? Who plays judge? Is it possible to make amends and right one’s wrongs, so that one may clear the slate with life? To live again? Can someone put everything behind them and move on? Is the remorse they feel sufficient punishment for their past deeds? Are the constant memories a punishment, to live with us until the day we die and beyond?

Travel with Victor Frank in a search for knowledge and the ultimate answer to the ultimate question: that of life. Why are we here?

The Paradoxicon is a semi-autobiographical novel: A journey through time, space and dreams. A trip through the past, present and future. A journey into the unknown but where knowledge lives.

As one reviewer noted, “A promising debut by an emerging author.”

Question and challenge life. Read and learn, then tell others. Where there is conflict, invent something.

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