By Josephine Greenland

Two Siblings, one crime, one long-kept secret?

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Meet the Author: Tom Ward

Hello Everyone and Happy Sunday! 

Fellow Unbound author Tom Ward, currently funding his novel The Lion and the Unicorn, is doing a series of interviews with other authors on this platform, so we can spread news of our projects to our resepctive audiences. Here is my interview with Tom. Enjoy! P.S. you should really, really check out his novel. It has a very intriguing concept! Link down below. 


The Lion and the Unicorn takes an interesting and rather unusual twist on the crime novel genre by being set in the future. Where did the idea for this genre blend come from? 

I didn’t set out to write a crime novel. The idea of a near-future Britain that was very much like ours came to me first, the idea that there could be a Britain where Bad Taste was illegal. That the government might impose these objective cultural restrictions grabbed me. The second thing that came to me was that a reality TV star might be killed as a result. Naturally from that it made sense to follow the people investigating the crime. The book really is about this near-future (2054) world, and following a detective’s investigation makes for a good way for us to uncover this world. 


The novel has a very intriguing elevator pitch. Where did you get the idea of bad taste being illegal from? Is it based on observations you yourself have made as a journalist?


It came from frustrations that in a lot of cases, books, films, music, TV shows that seem to be aiming for the lowest common denominator often become very popular while work that has perhaps been made with a bit more care and insight often falls by the wayside. The idea that ‘low culture’ might be deemed something to be shunned was interesting. But then, it immediately becomes quite a terrifying idea; we all know banning certain aspects of culture is a cornerstone of fascist states.


Is bad taste, i.e. matters of opinion and value, considered a greater crime than physical crime (murders) in the novel?


Bad Taste has been outlawed as a way to attempt to elevate the minds of the population, and make them aspire for greater things instead of distracting themselves with cheap entertainments. In many ways, this emphasis on the good of society is held by some characters to be more important than the death of one or two people, as readers will find out. 


At first glance, the title The Lion and the Unicorn Do has the sound of a Fantasy or Children’s novel. How and why did you come up with this title? Do the lion and the unicorn have symbolic value?


Yes, they’re from the British coat of arms, the Lion representing England, the Unicorn representing Scotland. This is a novel about Britain so I thought it fit well. Also, two characters within the book can be seen to represent values with attribute to these animals. Finally, George Orwell wrote an essay titled The Lion and The Unicorn about Britain, so borrowing the title was a nice way to nod to Orwell’s work, in particular 1984 which is the forerunner to many if not all modern dystopias.


Are the three pillars Pride, Stability and Civility meant to be a satirical version of the and the French national motto, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity? 


No, not at all. But hearing about the French motto now it’s not hard to imagine another country adopting Pride, Stability and Civility as their national motto is it?


The Lion and the Unicorn has been funding since the beginning of 2019 and is now at 53% . What’s motivated you to keep going and what advice would you give to any author considering to crowdfund with Unbound? 


It’s been funding since April 2019 and has been an uphill journey, for sure. I think if you’re looking to crowd fund a book you need to be certain how much support the publisher gives their projects at the outset. That said, Unbound has a great community of authors who all support each other. The hardest thing is reaching new potential readers, instead of preaching to your existing social media followers. Something I’m working on! Hopefully we’ll hit 100% sooner rather than later.


You find out more about Tom ward's novel, and pre-order, at the link below.


Thanks for reading!


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