Risingshadow has the honour of hosting a guest post by the debut author Patrick Edwards. This guest post is part of the Ruin's Wake Blog Tour.
Information about Patrick Edwards:
Patrick Edwards lives in Bristol and has never grown out of his fascination with science and the future. In 2014, he decided to give writing a go and graduated from the Bath Spa Creative Writing MA with distinction. His first novel, Ruin’s Wake, was inspired by the works of Iain M. Banks and modern-day North Korea.
Information about Ruin's Wake:
Ruin’s Wake imagines a world ruled by a totalitarian government, where history has been erased and individual identity is replaced by the machinations of the state. As the characters try to save what they hold most dear – in one case a dying son, in the other secret love – their fates converge to a shared destiny.
An old soldier in exile embarks on a desperate journey to find his dying son.
A young woman trapped in an abusive marriage with a government official finds hope in an illicit love.
A female scientist uncovers a mysterious technology that reveals that her world is more fragile than she believed.
GUEST POST: A word about Kelbee by Patrick Edwards
She’s a hard-working textile worker and wife of a military man with ambition, living in the big city. One half of Ruin’s Wake is the story of Kelbee and how her cloistered, monotonous world gets blown wide open – she is the insider looking out through a crack in the wall. But before we all go along with her on her journey to discover the truth of the world around her – and much more about herself – let’s get to know her a little better.
She’s not from around here
Kelbee grew up in the countryside, the daughter of poor farmers. As a young woman her father took a lump sum to send her to the capital with a load of other girls, to be allocated to military officers in need of a wife. She’s been in Karume long enough to know its rhythms but she still finds herself intimidated by it. Her favourite place is the park she crosses every day because trees remind her of home.
She’s a grafter
Kelbee doesn’t allow her routine to slip. She rises early to make breakfast, helps her husband dress, makes fish sauce, cleans up; all of this before her job at the garment factory. Despite working to harsh quotas she’s home in time to make dinner and pull her husband’s boots off if he’s too drunk to do it himself. This unceasing schedule is the sand that keeps the walls from collapsing inward – her abusive marriage and the constant fear of the watchful eyes in the street are always looming, threatening to drive her under.
She finds time for the little things
Every so often, she’ll allow herself to breathe. She’ll watch the sun rise over the city; she’ll feel the breeze ruffling her hair as she walks through the park; she’ll watch street traders set up their stalls. These moments are fleeting but she’s learned to savour them, eking a thin thread of satisfaction from tiny moments of calm.
She’s an optimist, despite it all
Six years before, when she met her husband – known only as The Major – she was smitten. Never a warm man, he went from gauche to abusive once enough time had passed without conceiving a child but she holds out hope for affection. She lives for the small inflections and grunts that are signs he’s enjoyed a meal or drink she’s prepared. Her life is so narrow, he’s the only human contact she has.
...well, until recently, because...
She has a secret
Kelbee’s had to make room for two new things: guilt, that she’s transgressing, and raw, roiling excitement. Nebn, a man with kind eyes at her workplace made conversation; one thing led to another and before she knew what was happening she’d embarked on an affair that terrifies and elates her all at once. Emerging from the desert, she can’t stop slaking her thirst even as the predators circle.
The trouble is, things are about to get even more complicated.