Inside Information: I Want This Novel to Change the World

by Ian D Smith

In August 2008, after the subprime mortgage crisis and before the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in September that year, I noticed that people around me were losing their livelihoods. I had an idea about a novel that posed the question What if people were free to change in the way they wanted, instead of having change imposed on them? A bit like X-Factor with no judges.

In September 2011, I published an early draft on Authonomy, and in February 2012, it reached number 23 in the editor’s desk rankings, with 100 backers. Authonomy had transformed my basic story about four white males in a backstreet pub, into a wider story about Suki, Macy, Damian and Jules, and their attempt to take an old school 1980s disco, with Two Tons o’ Fun, Viola Wills, Brothers Johnson and Locksmith, on the road.

Doyle, Welsh, Munro, Self, Kelman, Carver, Mills, are all writers I admire, but I was seeing a change in tastes, so I had to change too. After six months working on other projects, I came back to Stop the World, and rewrote it yet again. Jules Jewell took shape, a permanently-bewildered but essentially shrewd survivor.

Stop the World, I Want to Get On is a road novel in the Jack Kerouac tradition, about the new, growing, dead beat generation with no internet connection, no social networking potential, no spending power, and no freedom. It’s about the untapped creative potential in people that’s waiting to be released. I want this novel to change the world.

Here’s the invitation to read it