Today's guest post is written by Ron Jayes, author of A Disturbance in Time?.
Ron suffers from Ataxia which affects his balance and co-ordination which means he can only type with one finger. He is here to talk about his disease, and how that's (not) an issue with his writing. His book is being published by Book Guild this month.
Writing with Ataxia
Ataxia is one of those weird conditions; even the effects cannot be fully explained, but it arrived with me slowly when I was around the age of 40. A very easy way of (partly) explaining it is: While walking, my feet will only rarely land on the exact spot my brain tells them to, therefore the brain will attempt to compensate – but how much? In which direction? For how much pressure? So the brain very often gets it wrong too. Walking would normally be in an automatic mode, but I have to concentrate… Also, one of the many side-effects is that much of my memory of my younger life has randomly disappeared and co-ordination is a thing of the past.
Now that’s done with, I’ll talk about my writing. Many years ago I read the classic ‘The Time Machine’ by H. G. Wells and sometime later the early James Herbert books, (‘The Rats’ and other gory stuff), I became hooked and thought, ‘I can do that.’ But I was busy and unfortunately it became ‘mañana thing,’ then the Ataxia arrived – forcing a stop to my work, (at the time I was a photographer) and suddenly my ‘tomorrow’ came! I tried other work before accepting early retirement. While typing from a seated position (!) it took a long time to write a book with a one fingered style of typing (the co-ordination required in typing was almost immediate lost), to explain: My left hand forefinger clicks all the digits – except one – my right hand forefinger hovers over the capitalization button, ready to pounce at a moment’s notice, like a coiled spring!
My book “A Disturbance in Time” spilled out of me at an exciting rate and hopefully gives a new slant on time travel, without it being the main subject of the book. The main subject is Elizabeth and how her fate twists and unravels in an entirely unexpected way.
About the book
In this disturbing, exhilarating debut novel, three apparently unconnected events and places are all mysteriously bound up across time and space…
In 1668, in an isolated community in the wilds of Exmoor, a poor peasant family is terrorized by a crazed witchfinder. More than three-hundred years later, the crew of HMS Leopard welcome on board two distraught young girls, the survivors of a shipwreck off the coast of East Africa.
And at the beginning of the new millennium three geeky lads build an experimental computer, ending up with much more than they bargained for.
Part fantasy, part thriller, this is a powerful novel that asks profound questions about the nature of destiny and responsibility, power and love.
About the author
Ron Jayes’ varied career includes engineering, engraving and photography, but his love has always been writing. A few years ago he had to accept part-time work and then early retirement, due to Ataxia, which is a progressive illness. This new found freedom helped him to produce his first book, A Disturbance in Time? Ron, who was born in Leicester, now lives in East Riding, Yorkshire.