The Motive – Nick Clark Windo

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Nick Clark Windo, author of The Feed, described as a 'brilliant, highly-charged debut' by the Daily Mail, explains his inspiration for the novel in our regular piece, The Motive.

Posted on January 22, 2018 in Guest Author, The Motive
Tags: Dystopian thriller, Nick Clark Windo, The Feed, The Motive

The Feed has been cooking in my imagination for a long time. I remember being very young – eight or nine – and, I don’t know what had just happened, but I can remember thinking ‘Wouldn’t life just be much easier if we could send a thought bubble to people, rather than trying to explain how we’re feeling with words?’

My brain collects and hoards. It stores things away and, with the lid on, some of them cook together over time. It took a few decades until that ‘thought-bubble’ idea (‘mundles’ in The Feed) bonded with something else, and that was one morning when I’d been suffering from insomnia. I didn’t know why I wasn’t sleeping – it’d never happened to me before – but I woke up one morning aware that, actually, I had been asleep, I’d just been refreshing my dreams like a Twitter feed all night. All my dreams had been superimposed with my thumb, swiping down every few seconds. And it had been exhausting.

A lot of separate ideas I’d been having coalesced that morning and created what felt to me to be a pretty visceral and scary world. How technology is developing; how it affects us personally; how it affects us as a society; how amazing and how horrific it would be to have a feed directly to our brains . . .

Once I had populated that world with characters desperate to survive, I realised there were very strong motives for those characters to do some pretty big things. There are at least three different bands of people fighting for survival in the world of The Feed, not to mention corporations with dark, vested interests, and at that stage morals can become blurred. Who’s good and who’s bad gets increasingly difficult to specify. Without giving anything away, I very strongly sympathise with the motives of one band of people in The Feed who do some pretty atrocious things.

Often, the most intriguing motives aren’t entirely black and white, however much we scrutinise them. Our relationship with technology certainly isn’t clear-cut: technology could make us – or destroy us.

THE FEED by Nick Clark Windo is out now

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