There are so many ways a book appeals to a reader, and I’m delighted to welcome Trevor D’Silva to stay in with me on Linda’s Book Bag today as he has so many elements in his writing that are my favourites. I can’t wait to find out more so let’s get going.
Staying in with Trevor D’Silva
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, Trevor. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
Thank you for having me. It is my pleasure to be here with you and take this opportunity to talk to you about my love for history and fiction.
Two of my favourite subjects! Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
I have brought my first novel, Fateful Decisions, which was published in October 2017. People love to read novels, as it allows them to forget the daily pressures of this world, helps them to relax, and slip into a different world. However, a lot of people do not like history. History was my favorite subject in school and I excelled in it. I love remembering dates and events and I can still recall them. Since I love reading novels and history, what better way to combine the two and make it an interesting read for people! They can enjoy the story and at the same time learn about the historical events that took place during the period the novel is set in.
(Brilliant! And as someone who loves both reading and history I think Fateful Decisions could be just my kind of book, Trevor.)
My novel is set in America and Europe (England, France, and a small portion in Italy) between 1915 to 1946. Therefore, it is filled with historical events from that time period, starting with the sinking of the Lusitania, the Suffragette Movement, The Great Depression, The Russian Revolution and of course World Wars I and II. It is carefully researched (took me seventeen years to write it as I was concentrating on getting my degrees) and is full of historical facts, not usually taught in school.
(Crikey! That’s a lot of time spent researching. I’m not surprised though as Fateful Decisions seems to cover a very volatile and important part of our recent history. Sounds fascinating.)
What can we expect from an evening in with Fateful Decisions?
My book, Fateful Decisions, is a historical fiction novel. The book also contains romance, military history, suspense and also many thrilling events, which all come under the umbrella of historical fiction. The beauty of historical fiction is that, a lot of other genres can come under it and that is why it can appeal to people who love various other genres.
It is about Rachel Williams meeting two men on the Lusitania in 1915. When the ship sinks, one of the men saves her. Two years later, she meets them at a fund raising event, when America goes to war. Both of them propose to her and she of course is in a dilemma and does not know whom to choose. She asks an elderly relative for advice and she is told to choose carefully. Here is an excerpt from the novel:
Rachel got up to leave and Aunt Victoria said, “My child, remember that the man you want to marry is your own decision, and that decision has consequences.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, about your life, the children you will have, and how everything will impact the world.”
Rachel smiled and went to her room. She knew that Aunt Victoria’s last piece of advice came from her wisdom, and she had to think carefully about making the correct decision. She had no idea that many years later, she would think a lot about this piece of advice.
(How intriguing. Of course, I want to know what happens to Rachel now… But I suppose that was your idea!)
She makes her decision and from then on, the story goes onto what happens to her, her family, the people that get involved with them, within a thirty year period. They too make decisions and their lives are altered due to the historical events they are involved in at that time. For example: one of the characters is stuck in Paris during the occupation by the Nazis and she has to make a decision whether to join the French Resistance or not. At the end of the novel, based on what has happened to her and to her family, Rachel has to come to a conclusion if she made the right decision to marry the man whom she chose to marry.
Now, from the synopsis or excerpt, most people would think it is a romance novel, solely for women. However, it is also for men as it contains suspense, thrilling episodes, and military history. From the reviews I have obtained, women usually tell me that they like Rachel and the men usually like the military history part and the main male character in the novel. The military history part takes place in Hawaii and in Europe. There are French and British characters featured in the novel along with the main American characters (real and imaginary). Many people told me that they could not put down the novel and it is pleasing to hear that I achieved what I set out to do with my first novel, which is, to write an interesting hard to put down novel, combining both history and fiction, set in the early part of the twentieth century.
(How lovely to have that kind of feedback Trevor. Congratulations.)
What else have you brought along and why?
I like various kinds of food. So, I brought along some bread pudding because I have a sweet tooth and since wine is featured in my novel in more than one chapter, I brought one of the California wines which I love. You will have to read to see how wine plays an important part in my novel. I like lasagna and that goes very well with wine. Fresh salad with Romaine lettuce, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and Catalina dressing.
(Oh! You can come back to stay in with me again Trevor if you’re going to bring food like this. Bread pudding is one of my absolute favourites!)
I read on your blog that you have just returned from India. I am originally from India and now live in America. If you want something spicier, I have brought basmati rice and chicken curry; simple but tasty. I know it is a lot of different foods, but like my story which has many genres, each dish has something to offer for everyone. All are welcome to join to eat while we discuss the book.
(I have indeed recently been to India and I can’t wait to return. I wouldn’t worry about the range of foods you’ve brought Trevor. I’m perfectly up to tasting them all except for the wine as it seems to make me ill these days.)
The photo that fits with an interesting part in the novel is the one of Prime Minister Winston Churchill on the balcony with the royal family on Victory Day in Europe when the war ended in 1945. The reason why I like this picture is because the character the men usually like and identify with, witnesses this event and also gets to dance with two people standing on the balcony. You will have to read to see who they are.
No, no, no Trevor. You can’t just leave us wondering like that. I suppose we’ll just have to read the book to get the answers! Thanks so much for staying in with me and telling me all about Fateful Decisions – and for bringing all that lovely food!
It’s 1915 in the heat of WWI. Two friends heading to England aboard the British ocean liner, RMS Lusitania, meet and fall in love with a charismatic woman. After battling for her affection, Rachel Williams makes her decision, beginning a journey that no one can predict or soon forget. For the next thirty years, Rachel is forced to live with the choice she made, as the dominos fall around her, sequentially.
Is there a sinister force at work? Who can Rachel trust? Will Rachel ultimately regret her decision when she learns how it impacted others?
Set in America and Europe, history and fiction intertwine, commencing with the sinking of Lusitania. Historical events like The Russian Revolution, Prohibition, The Great Depression and World Wars I and II also play important roles in the lives of the characters and the decisions they make to love, betray, forgive, and reconcile.
About Trevor D’Silva
Trevor D’Silva has a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering; M.S. degrees in Engineering Management, and Environmental Engineering; and an Associate degree in Accounting. He has lectured in mechanical engineering and environmental science subjects at various colleges. Fateful Decisions is his first novel, encompassing history and fiction from WW I to the end of WW II. He uses his free time to expand his knowledge in history and reading crime, thrillers, and mystery novels.