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Dramatic Intervention Was Needed

James Lloyd Author Interview

The Orphan follows a man in his forties who has avoided dealing with his past and allows it to taint his present life till his conscience takes on a life of its own. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The inspiration for the set-up of the story was my desire to show how we can easily ignore where our conscious may be trying to lead us when it comes to the choices we make, only to become victims of our own deceit. Having been exposed to characters like the protagonist in ‘The Orphan’, in particular during my time with a former employer based in a predominantly agricultural sector of the state, I simply responded to an impulse one day, and felt it was fitting to create the mythical ‘Cabbage Patch Festival Sponsorship’ as the basis from which the story would evolve. The idea of ‘the out-of-body entity’ was an attempt to show how dramatic our alienation from sound thinking can truly become. The inference was that the success or failure of the Festival would depend largely on how well Omar could finally put in perspective the things that happened to him in his past, if ever he was going to move forward. 

Omar is not a likable person, but throughout the novel, readers learn the circumstances that led him to become who he is. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Some of the driving ideals surrounding the development of Omar’s character were, the apparent absence of enough positive reinforcement for him as a kid trying to function with his respiratory deformity, and ultimately feeling like he wasn’t as good as the other boys his age. It set the stage for what would cause him to become timid and afraid, and he didn’t value himself enough to believe that he never deserved the mental or physical abuse that was doled out to him; He never realized he already possessed the strength to overcome it. He had become so comfortable with ignoring the warning signs surrounding his self-esteem, it had become routine to blame someone else for his troubles. Also, after having overcome his respiratory birth defect, he was still plagued by feelings of inadequacy as a young adult when he turned to alcohol to escape his troubles, and clung to his self-pity with repeated claims of deceit by his uncle Seth. His troubles were compounded when he was afraid he had lost himself  following his violent attack on the guy that bullied him, and the permanent injuries the man had sustained. The unexpected daydreams into his past haunted him, and dramatic intervention was needed for Omar just as ‘The Orphan’ makes its appearance to help him set things right.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Some themes that were important for me to explore were:  In the book of 2 Corinthians, chapter-5, verse 7 in the King James Bible, the Apostle Paul is speaking to the people of Corinth, which reads, ‘For we walk by Faith not by sight.’..  As a person of faith, I’m a firm believer that we all are born with a conscience that may start as a ‘clean slate’, but forces that tend to corrupt it as we develop, just makes its work harder at trying to keep us morally centered. When we’re taught, and continually embrace, the virtues of things such as the value of friendship, honesty about one’s feelings, humility, hard work, a healthy self image, and the power of forgiveness, it truly does become an exercise of faith when we can stay the course believing that our challenges won’t have the last word concerning our destiny. I also wanted to illustrate that growing in stature is like a team sport; it means trusting others in your life to help guide you along the way, to a place of contentment.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The next book I’m working on will be entitled, ‘Wages of Sacrifice’…It is the first sequel to the 3rd story (novella) in my first book, and the protagonist is the same character. I’m about three chapters from completing the manuscript but it isn’t as long as this book. The genre is similar to ‘The Orphan’, but the story should prove to be more intriguing. I cannot give a projection at this time as to when it may be available to readers.

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Omar Duncan is a product development specialist who is plagued by his past through vivid daydreams, which keeps him alienate from his peers and detached from reality. His story traces key experiences from adolescence to adulthood as he revisits, in vivid detail, three of them that were most impactful. Because he has allowed years of bitterness and disappointment to drive him, he has conveniently avoided blaming himself for his misfortunes. His reckless approach to the relationships that should matter most causes his conscience to vacate his body, and shows itself in the form of a vapor. It is desperate for Omar to try and reconcile his troubled past as being necessary for them to become reunited. The vapor shows itself several times, but its appearance changes dramatically in proportion to shifts in Omar’s own attitude, as it teaches him the value of treating his relationships with more care. One incident in particular becomes the culmination of the emotional toll from his past experiences, which has led him down a self-destructive path. It also lets him see there are always consequences for his behavior–good or bad; but in Omar’s case it is behavior that happens to create a dangerous encounter with someone he’s least likely to suspect, but an encounter that ends with surprising revelations.

The Orphan

The Orphan by James Lloyd is about a character called Omar, who is a man in his forties.  Within the first few pages of the book, Omar is introduced to the reader as a blunt character as he navigates through his professional life.  The reader soon finds out that Omar is not the most lovable character that one might expect from a protagonist.  As the plot develops, it becomes apparent that Omar’s character has more to it than meets the eye and has to learn the lesson that many people have to face: if you don’t reconcile with your past, it will show up in one shape or form.

This thought-provoking book is written in the third-person narrative, which further prevents the reader from becoming attached to Omar straight away.  I like how James Lloyd wrote the narrative, as it gives the reader the time to make up their own mind on how they want to view Omar.

The book contains a detailed plot that ties the story together intricately.  Although the novel falls into the drama genre, James Lloyd combines various elements of the mystery and detective genres which lead up to a suspenseful event.  James Lloyd explores Omar’s past through devices like flashbacks and through the curiosity of other characters.  Learning about Omar in this way pushes the reader to question who Omar really is, whether he is a product of his life experiences or using them as an excuse for his actions in the present.

The Orphan is a deeply thoughtful drama with Christian values intertwined. I would recommend this insightful book to anyone who enjoys complex storylines and reading texts by authors who do not share everything with the reader immediately, giving the reader time to think retrospectively.

Pages: 358 | ASIN : B0B7KNMSS3

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