Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Knowledge of Time: Second Civilization - Tim Ellis

Earth 5036: When Gracie eavesdrops on her father’s meetings with the Grammers, and learns of a library that travels through time, she must undertake a perilous journey predicted three thousand years before to save the knowledge of humanity from the Beasts. Together, with her best friend Ruan, she follows the Beasts and Grammer Raggle to Antarctica 9096 where they must escape the Mantua - a new species at the dawn of a third civilisation. Meanwhile, Haldur is leading a group from the Library to rescue Gracie because Scribe Ophelia has realised that she is the only one who can save the Library from its enemies.

I started writing about four years ago, but before I wax lyrical on the now, let me take you back to 1968. I went to one of the then new Secondary Modern schools, but left before taking my CSE examinations. These were the days when you could leave school with no qualifications and walk into a job. It was during this period that I discovered one of the main musical and literary influences in my life – Leonard Cohen, and began writing poetry. A collection of my poems was duly despatched to a publisher and subsequently rejected. I therefore had my first rejection slip as a 15 year-old boy. After leaving school, I had three or four mind-numbingly boring jobs before finally joining the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) at 18.

I spent 22 years in the Army – leaving as a Regimental Sergeant Major. During this time, I wrote reams and reams of drivel on weighty topics such as Army Medical Organisation, Leadership, Military Law, etc. I did, however, find another three literary influences in JRR Tolkien, Bernard Cornwell, and Isaac Asimov. After leaving the Army, I was employed as a Senior Financial Manager in a Secondary School, and took up writing with a vengeance – assignments and dissertations for two Masters degrees, and a PhD Thesis.

Following 10 years of counting a dwindling amount of beans, I became a teacher of Psychology and Sociology and devoted another 6 years of my life to writing – lesson plans, objectives, outcomes, etc, but I did find more literary influences in Conn Iggulden, R.J. Ellory, and Stieg Larsson. I also began – at last – to write fiction.

In January 2009 – days before my 56th birthday – I had a heart attack. By this time, I had already researched and written two Historical novels on Genghis Khan (Warrior: Path of Destiny and Warrior: Scourge of the Steppe), and a YA Science Fiction novel (The Knowledge of Time: Second Civilisation). It was also becoming increasingly difficult to go to work and teach when what I really wanted to do was write fiction.

I was lucky in that I was financially able to take the decision to retire, and by August of 2009 I was a man of leisure and a full-time writer.

In 1968, becoming a writer of fiction wasn’t a career option for a 15 year-old working-class boy without qualifications. It took over forty years of living life before he could choose that option.

Since retiring, I have written book after book – now standing at ten, branching out into crime, fantasy, and short stories. I’ve acquired a drawer full of rejection slips, but I have had some small minor successes. My YA Science Fiction novel was accepted for publication by a small press in America, I was awarded two short story 3rd prizes, and had four literary agencies request the full MS of Solomon’s Key, which ultimately came to nothing.

In March of this year I uploaded all of my books onto Amazon, and made them available for the Kindle. Pricing is an issue, but sales in the UK have been encouraging.

For the future – well, I’m a writer now – and in a way it’s what I’ve always been. I’m currently finishing the sequel to A Life for a Life called The Wages of Sin, which should be available for downloading by the end of April. I then plan to finish another YA Science Fiction novel called The Timekeeper’s Apprentice, which is already half written, and I’m playing about with a biopunk novel called Triple Helix set in an alternative Victorian London.

I have so many ideas, which I turn into the first chapters of novels, and then put them on my website. One day, I might get to finish them.

What will readers like about your book?

Its a great story. This is what one person wrote on B&N shortly after it was published as a paperback in 2008 : My 12-year-old son and I read this together and couldn't wait to see what happened next. There were moments where we both laughed so hard tears came to our eyes. We really enjoyed this and look forward for more to come. We definitely recommend this book. Great story!

Why did you self publish?

Like a lot of indie authors, I have a drawer full of rejection slips. I've written ten books and instead of them languishing on my memory stick, readers are reading and hopefully enjoying them. It would be excellent to be a millionnaire, but I'll settle for my books being out there and being read.

Who are your favorite authors in your genre?

Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Stephen Baxter, Greg Bear, Dan Simmons


Official website of Tim Ellis
Amazon UK

     Amazon US


  1. Looks like a GREAT read! I bought it!

  2. Thats great I hope you enjoy it.

    Feel free to come back and say a few words about it when you have finished if you want to.