Interview with Millport Press

Published 2019-10-20.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I consider myself a football aficionado, and I have opinions about the future of the sport. There are weaknesses in the current system for identifying talent, and particularly for those kids that don’t get a chance to participate for a variety of reasons. They may live in remote communities and don’t have the resources to support them. There is also an unconscious bias when identifying talent and selecting the best players. This drives a lack of inclusion in our sport. The story was driven by greater transparency in sport and how new technology can assist with removing unconscious bias.
What are you working on next?
I am currently in the planning stage of writing volume 2. There is much to consider from the first volume. We continue following the career of Harry Duwala and his rise to fame in professional football. Living away from home and his close family in Australia has not been easy for him. There is the drama of the 2054 FIFA World Cup and the new technologies that revolutionise the tournament. The subversive activity continues with foreign nations imitating the stolen technology, but can they make it work? It's not that simple.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Melbourne Australia and went to school here. Melbourne is a sports crazy city and considered the capital of sport in Australia with some great stadiums and sporting clubs. I also played competitive football (soccer) as I was growing up and was an active referee for over 10 years. It's a safe and great place to grow up and bring up a family.
How do you approach cover design?
First of all, I had to find someone that understood the intensity and theme of the book so it could have a great impact. I wanted the book reader to imagine from the front cover what the storyline could be like in their mind. I did find a cover designer who was able to put it all together and after several drafts, I think we got it right.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I am an independent sort of guy and wanted to control my work. I also wanted to self manage my publishing project and it has been a great learning curve. Although football (soccer) is a huge sport worldwide, my genre is not mainstream an I am one of few people that have attempted football in a science fiction category. The freedom of expression you get being an indie author is a great feeling and allows you to experiment with content.
When did you first start writing?
I starting writing in 2003 when I published my first book, How to Find a Job in 6 Weeks. It was a professional self-help book for job hunting. The book sold many copies and did very well for my career. I then wrote the second edition of that book in 2012. I have always written many business articles on the topic of job search. However, I always wanted to write a novel about something I was passionate about. World Football Domination was floating around in my head for years before I started to write it.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I am new to Smashwords and I am already impressed by the tools of the site. Everything an indie author needs is there for a reasonable cost. I am looking forward to Smashwords being a great partner with my content, sales, and distribution.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything and everything. An author is nobody without readers who have taken out time from their busy lives to read and make comment on their work. The appreciation you get from your fans and their inquisitive questions make it all worthwhile. Fans are the reason Authors exist in the first place and I truly appreciate what they bring to this market.
What is the underlying meaning behind your new book?
The underlying theme of the book is expressed in the narrative of the storyline. There is a great subversive plot and subplots with many twist and turns. I explore characters such as Harry Duwala, an indigenous boy from Alice Springs and his journey. This is attributed to the revolutionary virtual player identification technology. It's a brave new world and the renaissance of football thinking. Step into the future with a glimpse of what it can football domination takes you there.
Tell us about your main charachters in the book?
There are three main characters, Harry Duwala, the indigenous teen prodigy who is discovered by the virtual player identification system and Robby Denehy the professional talent scout who discovers him. Both reside in Australia, Robby is from Sydney and Harry is from a remote town of Alice Springs in central Australia. The third character is Gunnar Grimsson from Reykjavik in Iceland, the inventor of the technology that will revolutionise world football. Gunnar is the moral light in the book and his passion for football justice and inclusion forms the backbone of his philosophy. They all have their distinct personalities that grow with you as you get deeper into the book and get to know them. As a writer you become attached to your charachters. In a way, they become your friends and you look forward to meeting them when your writing your book. I find that connection helps me with charachterisation and developing my characters.
Why did you write this book?
I wrote this book because I wanted to tell a story about how the world of football (soccer) may look like in the future. It wanted to give the reader a glimpse into 30 years from now and get them to imagine how different it could be. There is also an underlying theme around fairness, opportunity, and inclusiveness for everyone in the sport. I believe everyone has the right to express themselves in sport and show off their talents no matter their social economic status or family background. To have a crack at being discovered and assessed fairly without unconscious bias. The book envisages a world where the sport goes back to its original grassroots, where it all began as a game for working-class miners in the United Kingdom. I wanted the book to be written in a simple and down to Earth narrative so the reader does not have to think too much and spend more time imagining things.
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