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Father and son's novel idea for a blockbuster

By Lisa Smyth

A tale of intrigue, violence and romance could catapult an academic from the University of Ulster into the glamorous world of movies.

Oriente is the first of three fiction novels to be published by Professor David Eastwood, from the School of Environmental Sciences at Coleraine, in partnership with his son, Matthew.

Even more exciting, it is hoped that the novel will be developed into a feature film as Matthew, who studies at the New York Film Academy, is currently in the States writing the screenplay.

The book is billed as a fast-paced thriller featuring a range of colourful characters - many of whom have been inspired by people Prof Eastwood works with at the university.

These include a University of Ulster biomedical researcher, who stumbles into a shadowy world of political and environmental intrigue in the Bolivian Amazon.

And it is during his travels to Bolivia as part of his research work, that the Coleraine lecturer said he has based much of the action in the novel.

"I have spent a great deal of time there and I always think it is important to write about what you know," he said.

Prof Eastwood said that he and his son have developed a successful technique when writing.

"I write the novel and Matthew is like the editor," he said.

"Whereas I am the one who comes up with the plot, which I try to keep as close to fact as possible, Matthew is the one who brings the characters to life.

"He wouldn't know what a verb is and he can't spell but he can tell me how a teenager would speak.

"We have tried a number of different ways of writing. We even tried writing chapter about, but that just didn't work because we lost the flow. The way we do it now seems to work best for us."

Colleagues and friends of Prof Eastwood also get a preview of the novels.

"I will bring in a chapter and give it to them to read and they will tell me whether they like it and then ask for the next chapter," he said.

"They are always trying to work out who the characters are based on, but I would never say. Anyway, the characters tend to be an amalgamation of people I know."

Oriente is available to buy from .

Belfast Telegraph


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