A Moss Vale author's fascination of the French Revolution and love for poetry and writing has combined to produce a character like no other.
Tarquin de la Force had his first novel, Constance, published via eBook last month and already it is receiving rave reviews on Amazon.
Tarquin has always had a passion for writing poetry, penning his first piece at the age of six, which was published in his school newsletter.
He has been writing ever since.
When he was working for De Beers, he was often asked to write a poem if a staff member was leaving, having a birthday or for what called for the occasion.
A collection of these poems were published in the book All in A Day's Work in 1987 and sold through several bookshops in London, such as Hatchards.
In 1975 he wrote a short story and gave it to a friend, not giving it a thought for the next 30 or so years.
Three years ago, that friend sent the story back to Tarquin.
"I read it again and thought goodness, this is bad so I decided to do a rewrite," Tarquin said.
It was there that the genesis of the story of Constance began.
"Before I knew it I had 30,000 then 50,000 words and I was writing a book."
He said the book started writing itself and the plot developed in ways he never would have thought possible.
"The creative process just takes over - the metaphorical pen."
Constance's story intertwines with the French Revolution and what led up to it.
"She flits in and out of royal history and real events. She's fictional but it would be nice to think that someone like her existed."
Having studied history, a lot of the events in the book Tarquin already knew about, but he had to ensure he had the timelines 100 per cent correct for the events happening in the book to align with historical events.
"Thank God for Wikipedia," he laughed.
He combines his passion for writing, poetry and the French Revolution in Constance.
"One of the great loves of her life, writes to her in poetry and she decides she wants to as well. It was fun writing poetry into the book."
It took about a year to write Constance, and when Tarquin was done he set out to find a publisher, which he said was the hardest part of the process.
"It was absolutely impossible to find a single publisher remotely interested in Australia, which was deeply depressing."
He took his novel to a British publisher who loved it.
"Joffe Books were wonderful and published it as an eBook and put it on Amazon. I hope to have a paperback soon, dependent on Amazon sales."
Tarquin said those who had read the book told him it was incredibly visual and that it would make a fantastic film.
"That would be the dream - for someone at HBO to read the book and turn it into a series," he said.
He was pleasantly surprised to see the reviews on Amazon.com written by American and British readers.
"It really is by word of mouth that the book is being found - an American book club picked it up after reading the reviews."
With the eBook available on amazon for $3.99, it really isn't about the money for Tarquin.
"It's about satisfaction. To know you've achieved something and hopefully it's worthwhile.
"You've just got to have faith in yourself."
The now published author is half way through the sequel to Constance, part way through writing a children's book and writes poetry when inspired.
"Retiring really is not an option."
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