Changing One’s Self, Playing Many Parts by Tim Kindberg – Guest Post

Changing One’s Self, Playing Many Parts by Tim Kindberg – Guest Post

Today on the blog we welcome author Tim Kindberg, with his guest post ‘Changing One’s Self, Playing Many Parts‘ and introducing us to his book ‘Vampires of Avonmouth’, which was released on 15th November 2020. This post contains affiliate links.

Tim Kindberg

Tim Kindberg is a writer, computer scientist and digital creative from Bristol, UK.


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Changing One’s Self, Playing Many Parts

How does a novel come about? It takes fuel for energy, and the flames of the imagination. But first we need a spark. Maybe two.

My new book, Vampires of Avonmouth, is set in the future between West Africa and near where I live in the West Country. Looking back, the writing of it appears like a dream (or nightmare – depending on how it was going at the time). And, like a dream, all the elements of the story are parts of my own self, manifested through a filter. But they are also part of the collective unconscious: the panoply of symbols and their common meanings which we find again and again across our cultures, spun in various ways over the territories of our planet, all stemming from our human DNA.

Spark one: adinkra symbols

Some years ago in Accra, Ghana, I visited the National Museum. And there for the first time I found the adinkras. Printed on cloth and paper, they were bold shapes whose meanings were sometimes simple (e.g., Sunsum: the soul) and sometimes extraordinary (Sepow: the knife thrust through the cheeks of a man about to be executed to prevent his invoking a curse on the king).

Here is Nkyin kyin, the basis for the title of this post, rendered by artist Nkech Nwokolo who illustrated the four parts of my book:

Nkyin Kyin

I returned to Bristol with a pamphlet of adinkra symbols and their meanings by Kwamena Buckman. One of them, Pempamsie, was to become the name of a main character, who weaved them into what she said and did throughout the story. To her they represented the authentic (“Nsaa”) nature of where she was from; to me, they represented something at the edges of my ken.

Spark two: vampire technology

Now for the dark side. I suppose that Avonmouth is neither more nor less likely than Whitby as the destination for a vampire on a ship. Someone I knew mentioned a story – as the basis for a film – about a vampire arriving in Avonmouth. It stuck in my head. I searched “vampire avonmouth” on the internet, but in vain. Now that I come to think of it, was it someone or something that spilled that idea into my ear? Or was it neither: did I simply avail myself of our collective unconscious? Reader, I can tell you that it wasn’t I who thought of it. Maybe another story starting from the same idea does exist, and I’ve simply never found it. But I’m sure it’s not like this one, because all my characters are parts of me.

Where does my vampire arrive from? West Africa, of course – given spark number one. Her voyage is the reverse of the ships that left Bristol to pick up slaves. And where are the slaves in my future setting? Here in the UK. We’re already, in 2021, slaves to our mobile phones and the platforms that feed them. By 2087, mobiles have become a distant memory, because the internet connects us telepathically. We’ve become even greater slaves: to the future equivalent of Facebook, which has gone from Big Data to Big Mind. And the vampire whose ship arrives at a numbed Avonmouth in the late century is, appropriately enough, a psychic vampire: one who consumes mental energy rather than blood. In a sense, her arrival makes things only slightly worse than they already are.


I filled exercise books in longhand in the early mornings, and the story came alive: with love, loss, addiction, oppression and redemption. Every dream, according to Freud, stems from the “residue” of the day before: a trace of something actual which becomes its raw material. I see what he means. But surely no writer knows exactly where their characters and story, in all their fullness, come from, any more than they are sure of their dreams. I know only that, if my imagination is to flame, there first has to be a spark.

Vampires of Avonmouth by Tim Kindberg

Vampires of Avonmouth

Author – Tim Kindberg
Publisher – Nsoroma Press
Pages – 332
Release Date – 15th November 2020
ISBN 13 – 978-1838114206
Format – ebook, paperback


Avonmouth, 2087. Everything changes for David when a ship arrives from West Africa, carrying a vampire who hungers not for blood but mental energy. As she hunts those around him, David struggles to protect her ultimate prey – the woman he falls in love with, despite himself. For David is carrying his own monstrous secret inside. If he fails, she will lose her mind. Literally.

This gothic science fiction story takes us on an action-packed exploration of mental enslavement – not only by systems of oppression, but by parts of our own selves.

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Share your thoughts on ‘Changing One’s Self, Playing Many Parts by Tim Kindberg’ in the comment section below!

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10 Responses

  1. Jo Linsdell says:

    Not sure gothic science fiction is a genre for me but I found this post interesting to read. Always nice to find out more behind the scenes info from authors.

  2. Tasha says:

    Great post. I love a good vampire read and the inspirations were interesting.

  3. DJ Sakata says:

    I’m looking forward to mobiles becoming a distant memory, I have a love/hate relationship with mine 😉

  4. I’m intrigued! Sci fi with vampires? I’m getting Blade vibes.

  5. vidya says:

    not sure this genre is for me but the book sounds cool!

  6. Glad you liked the post. I don’t think the genre is for everyone.

  7. Thank you. Sounds like a book perfect for you.

  8. I think they have taken over and yet people scream about their privacy but are happy to share their lives on social media or have their location turned on.

  9. I know where you are coming from.

  10. Glad you like the sound of the book, even if it isn’t for you.