Cynthia Hamilton


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Cynthia Hamilton

The Story Behind the Story: Kevin Ansbro “The Fish that Climbed a Tree”

We now live in a world where anyone who yearns to write can publish a book without an agent, a publishing company, a degree in literature or any of the credentials that signify someone has what it takes to tell an engaging story. The result is a tidal wave of authors and a tsunami of books have flooded the literary marketplace. Please don’t get me wrong; I am not disparaging this new breed of author, for in fact I am one of them.

I mention this only to highlight the qualities of this week’s guest post. Kevin Ansbro is of one of those cosmically ordained writers who is gifted with natural storytelling ability. It just oozed out of him from an early age. He won awards for it while in school and has always had a mad love affair with the written word. He’s read all the greats and has studied his craft for many years. When he gets a notion to write a book, he lets it ferment while he continues to examine the premise, then he builds his novel with great care, adding all his favorite literary devices in all the appropriate places. He doesn’t tap dance his way through, hoping no one can see that he’s winging it; he maps out his story, planting epiphanies and plot twists and elements of fantasy, all to great effect. In other words, he’s the old-fashioned sort of writer: he was born with gift.

To Kevin, devices like foreshadowing, allusion, imagery, metaphors, personification, anthropomorphism, zoomorphism, and symbolism are scared and honoured tools of the trade. He’s a pro, a wordsmith, a conjurer of fantastic worlds that reside side by side with the ordinary world most of us live in.

It is my sincere pleasure to give you author Kevin Ansbro and his story behind his new release, “The Fish That Climbed a Tree”:

Thanks for asking me to appear on your blog, Cynthia. I really appreciate the kind gesture!

As an English literature student, used to reading the sumptuous prose of Thomas Hardy, Leo Tolstoy and Charles Dickens, it puzzled me why mainstream thriller writers didn’t put the same care and flamboyance into their formulaic books. Where was the literary technique, I wondered; the joie de vivre, the descriptive imagery, the wit? So, it was always my intention to write a literary thriller that didn’t just travel from A to B to Zzzz. In went plots, subplots, metaphors, symbolism, foreshadowing and rich imagery. Added to the mix was a dollop of humour and a sprinkling of otherworldliness. The result was my novel The Fish That Climbed a Tree.

The story took me three years to write: the first year scribbled on notepads, which were then pinned to a cork board in chronological and thematic order.

Here is the back page blurb:

“They sat themselves calmly and comfortably at the large dining table as if they were invited guests…”

Following his savage murder in a London vicarage, Reverend Ulysses Drummond embarks on an epic odyssey in the afterlife, wrestling with his conscience and misguidedly spurning the obvious advantages of a free ticket to Paradise. His ten-year-old son, Henry, is left to muddle through life, encountering school bullies, big-hearted benefactors and cold-blooded killers on his passage to adulthood. Will Henry find love, success and happiness in his life – or will he suffer the cruel and agonising death that was foretold?

‘Funny, frightening and touching, this audacious combination of fantasy and real-world evil is a novel like no other. Make sure you don’t miss it!’
—Karen Holmes, editor 2QT

Where to find Kevin: