Interview with…Author Tony Talbot

 Blog regular Tony Talbot’s latest book, Eight Mile Island, was released recently and to support its launch, we have a special author interview with Tony today, to help you learn a little bit more about him and his writing! 

Here’s Tony!

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1. You have invented an operational time machine, where would you go?

I’d go back into the past…maybe 17th century Vienna, and see a Mozart or Beethoven symphony performed for the first time.

2. If you could invite any five people to dinner who would you choose?

Oscar Wilde, Winston Churchill, John Lennon, Ernest Shackleton and Ada Lovelace. I realise I have four men and one woman in that list!

3. You are stranded on a desert island; what three things would you want to have with you?

The Idiots guide to surviving on a desert island

A satellite phone with 4G Internet

Kelly Brook!

4. What is one book everyone should read?

Ooo…tricky. To Kill a Mockingbird.

5. If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

Flight, every time. Imagine the time I’d save at the airport.

6. What is your favourite flavor of ice cream?

Chocolate.

7. If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?

There’s an Antarctic explorer I’m fascinated with, Apsley Cherry-Garrard. I’d love to pick his brains about Antarctica.

8. What is your favourite thing to eat for breakfast?

Leftover trifle.

9. Night owl, or early bird?

Neither! Mid morning from 11:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon.

10. Pet Peeves?

Driving while on the phone.

11. Do you have any other books in development at the moment? What are your goals for future projects? 

I started the first chapter of book five about the same time as I was finally wrapping up Eight Mile Island. I’d love to do a trilogy one day, but new ideas always pop into my head and I’m off on to something new.

12. Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

I had a reviewer for my first book – Over the Mountain –  say it made them cry…since it is a very sad and serious book, mission accomplished.

13. What’s your favourite season/weather?

I love autumn. The colours are just amazing, and there’s more of a sense that a day with good weather is something you should get outside and enjoy.

14. If you could jump inside the pages of a book, and live in that world.. which would it be?

It would have to be the Harry Potter universe. Wouldn’t a tour of Hogwarts or Diagon Alley be something else?

15. What was your favourite book when you were a child?

I loved Bedknob and Broomstick by Mary Norton. I read it and re-read it time and time again, and it’s one of the reasons I love reading and writing. It soaked into me.

16. Can you see yourself in any of your characters?

All of them have parts of me, and all of them have attributes I wish I had…more bravery, more street smarts. I have to say most of them are smarter than I am!

17. Can you write a Haiku about your book?

very creepy location

from which there is no escape

visit eight mile island

18. What is your favourite quote from a movie?

“Now….bring me that horizon.” Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean

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You can enter to win your very own copy of Eight Mile Island for Kindle / PDF in our giveaway!

**CLICK HERE**

Welcome to Eight Mile Island. 

Dylan James is used to boarding schools. He’s been thrown out of so many in the past two years, he’s lost count. So when an elite academy in Oregon offers him a place, he doesn’t think he’ll be there more than a week.
 
But Eight Mile Island isn’t like anywhere Dylan has been before. In the dense forests around the school, there are things that look human but aren’t.
 
Things that are hungry, and waiting.
 
But that’s just the start of the mysteries, mysteries that mean Dylan may never escape. Even if he wants to…

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Website: http://www.tony-talbot.co.uk

Twitter: @authortony

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tonytalbotwriter

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/tony-talbot

Guest Post…My Journey by Tony Talbot

 Blog regular Tony Talbot’s latest book was released last week! It looks fantastic and you can check out the book and teaser beneath today’s special guest post from Tony himself, talking about his writing journey, from first sentence to Eight Mile Island, his fourth novel. Speaking of the new book: you can enter to win your very own copy in our giveaway! **CLICK HERE**

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“Even a journey of a hundred miles begins with one.” – Chinese proverb

In case you missed it, I’ve just finished writing my fourth book in four years. I know, sometimes I can’t believe it either. Four books is four times as many as some people many in a lifetime; on the other hand, to some people, it’s nothing but the start of their career.

It seemed like a good time to take a look back and see if I’ve learned anything. How is Eight Mile Island (2011-2012) different from Over the Mountain (2008-2009)? What have I learned from it all?

One of the biggest differences for me is this, what I’m typing right now. My self-promotion for OtM was non-existent. I posted about it a few times on the Amazon boards (The awful ghetto of the meet-the-author forum was still a nascent nightmare back then). I didn’t have a webpage or a Facebook account. Didn’t tweet, didn’t know about Goodreads (Did it even exist?).

I’d finished OtM and sent it off to a few agents with no real results before I read an article about self-publishing. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I commissioned a woman I work with to design me a book-cover and I started to self promote. So there were all the twists and turns of uploading to get to grips with…

Initially I started SP’ing without much enthusiasm or sales, but I’m a persistent guy and I stuck with it while I started on my second book, Taken.

I’d finished that and number three – American Girl – when I stumbled across Goodreads at the start of this year.

And that’s when things started to happen. I offered some of my books up for review, and I’m getting some good feedback now – 4 and 5 star reviews, I’m delighted to say, and a growing group of people have me on TBR lists. I affiliated with this blog, and I started my own. I have a Facebook account for myself and all of my books, a website and a Twitter account.

And all that’s happened in the last seven months! It feels like I’d been feeling around in a dark room and suddenly found the light switch.

Self promotion is as least as important now as writing the book. And tied up with that is the book itself, how it looks and reads.

Something new for EMI…I decided to commission a graphic design company to do the cover for me. It was the first thing I did after I finished the first draft, and when the cover came back, it made me realise that something that looked this professional should be professional. Having a cover so good, it felt like I should step up a gear and do something more professional as well, but what?

I looked around on Goodreads, and quite a few people were talking about editors – my wife does a first edit for me, but she can’t catch everything.

OtM wasn’t read or edited by anyone but myself before it went live on Amazon, and I realise now how much of a mistake that was. A good edit would have caught some of the typos, and polished the parts I didn’t even realise are dull. A good editor can make a difference with just a few commas and a handful of comments.

So for EMI, for the first time, I hired a professional YA editor (jennifermoorman.com), and it made a world of difference. Literally, in my case, changing one word changed the whole of the book. Editing is something I have definitely improved. Buying a Kindle has helped in that regard. Funny how the loopholes and the typos jump out when it’s a different format!

And even when Jennifer and I were batting edits back and forward, there are still things we both missed. Editing never really stops…I’m a lot easier on typos in books now I know how hard it is to pin them down. EMI went through six edits compared to OtM, as a comparison.

All of this is, of course, expensive. Facebook is free, but my web hosting and blog costs money; my editor wasn’t cheap, and my cover set me back a few pennies. I’ve spent more money on EMI than any of my other books. It’s also, with all the editing and self-promotion, a book that’s taken me longer to write.

But I look at it as an investment. Make your writing look professional and people will respond to it. Have it professionally edited…do it for your readers if not for yourself.

I exist as a writer almost exclusively virtually and digitally, and all people know about me as a writer are the things they read about me on web pages like this and my cover photo. All they have to go on is my book covers and the samples they read. There are a lot of books to read out there, and I have to – and YOU have to, if you want to be a digital writer – make life easy for them. Be good to your readers, and they’ll be good to you in return.

Do I write the books any differently now? The mechanics of writing is easier now with all the writing I’ve done. I know where the commas go and what to do with paragraphs. That’s sublevel stuff now, a foundation I can rely on. I’m still learning it though – that’s another advantage of an editor – but I can concentrate on the story now without having to worry about speech marks.

I plan them out a little more now as well. I have a magnetic board in my office (a spare bedroom…I aspire to a writers shed at the end of the garden!) where I stick up a mind-map rough idea of what I want from the book. I don’t follow it to the letter though; it’s more of a spark for my imagination.

So that’s my journey from book one to book four.  It’s been a blast, and there’s no way I’m done yet! I have a plan for Book Five already…

At this rate, I’ll be back in a few years to talk about Books Six to Ten, the books I haven’t written and the characters I haven’t shared lives with…yet.

See you in five years!

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You can also enter to win your very own copy for Kindle in our giveaway! **CLICK HERE**

Welcome to Eight Mile Island. 

Dylan James is used to boarding schools. He’s been thrown out of so many in the past two years, he’s lost count. So when an elite academy in Oregon offers him a place, he doesn’t think he’ll be there more than a week.
 
But Eight Mile Island isn’t like anywhere Dylan has been before. In the dense forests around the school, there are things that look human but aren’t.
 
Things that are hungry, and waiting.
 
But that’s just the start of the mysteries, mysteries that mean Dylan may never escape. Even if he wants to…
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About the Author: Tony Talbot was born in the 1970s and started writing in 2008 after a dream he had and couldn’t shake. Eight Mile Island is his fourth book. Tony regularly contributes to the Aside from Writing blog and so look out for future features and posts from this great author.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Website: http://www.tony-talbot.co.uk    Twitter: @authortony

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tonytalbotwriter

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/tony-talbot

NEW RELEASE! Eight Mile Island by Tony Talbot

 Blog regular Tony Talbot’s latest book is released this week! It looks fantastic and we hope to get a review up very soon…in the meantime, check out the book and teaser we have for you today…

You can also enter to win your very own copy for Kindle in our giveaway! **CLICK HERE**

Welcome to Eight Mile Island. 

Dylan James is used to boarding schools. He’s been thrown out of so many in the past two years, he’s lost count. So when an elite academy in Oregon offers him a place, he doesn’t think he’ll be there more than a week.
 
But Eight Mile Island isn’t like anywhere Dylan has been before. In the dense forests around the school, there are things that look human but aren’t.
 
Things that are hungry, and waiting.
 
But that’s just the start of the mysteries, mysteries that mean Dylan may never escape. Even if he wants to…
———————————— 

About the Author: Tony Talbot was born in the 1970s and started writing in 2008 after a dream he had and couldn’t shake. Eight Mile Island is his fourth book. Tony regularly contributes to the Aside from Writing blog and so look out for future features and posts from this great author.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Website: http://www.tony-talbot.co.uk

Twitter: @authortony

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tonytalbotwriter

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/tony-talbot

Mark of the Princess by B.C. Morin

The feisty and determined faerie Princess Alannah is many things, but she never thought she would be the key to her people’s destruction.

Kidnapped for a power she does not yet possess, Alannah finds herself in the clutches of the most malevolent sorcerer of her time. Maligo. Alannah escapes her prison with help from the handsome and stalwart warrior faerie, Brennus. Now she must cross mountains and forests fraught with rogue faeries, vicious Fae-hating trolls, dangerous shape-shifters, and more to reach the only ones that can help her control her incoming powers. The Elder Faeries.

With Brennus by her side, Alannah is determined to reach the Elder Faeries and save her people. Maligo is just as determined she never makes it that far.

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 Gimme 10 – Mini-Interview

Please answer each question in 10 words or less – that’s what makes it tough but fun!

Where do you find your inspiration? Anywhere and everywhere but I get really inspired with music. 

What is your favourite aspect of Mark of the PrincessIt talks story but doesn’t give it away.

Who is your favourite character from Mark of the Princess and why? Brennus. He is very complicated.

What are you working on now? Book 2 of The Kingdom Chronicles. 

What do you love about most about writing? The smiles it puts on faces when they read it. 

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About the Author: B.C. Morin is a long time avid reader and writer. She began by writing poetry while in middle school and progressed to short stories in High School. Mark of the Princess is her debut novel.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

American Girl by Tony Talbot

Mary Tanaka is an all American Girl until the attack on Pearl Harbor makes her something terrible: Japanese. And when the US Government decides all the Japanese within a hundred miles of the west coast should be moved inland to prison camps, she has no choice but to go.

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EVENT EXTRA*** Additional Giveaway from Tony Talbot ***EVENT EXTRA

Use the following codes at Smashwords to get a free copy of one of his books!

VF44A Over the Mountain
UB79N American Girl
JG44A Taken
First come – first served 🙂 So be quick!
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 Gimme 10 – Mini-Interview

Please answer each question in 10 words or less – that’s what makes it tough but fun! 🙂

Where do you find your inspiration? My wife and my dreams

What is your favourite aspect of American Girl? The research into Japanese culture was a lot of fun

Who is your favourite character from American Girl and why? Ganaha-san; so dignified and reserved, and so tragic.

What are you working on now? I’m editing my latest book, EIGHT MILE ISLAND

What do you love about most about writing? Creating whole worlds and people from nothing. 

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About the Author: Tony Talbot was born in the 1970s and started writing in 2008 after a dream he had and couldn’t shake. American Girl was his third book, and he’s currently editing his next book and planning the book after, tentatively called, ‘Dome’.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Website: http://www.tony-talbot.co.uk

Twitter: @authortony

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tonytalbotwriter

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/tony-talbot

Guest Post…Where do you get your ideas?

Author Tony Talbot joins us today with a guest post on where writing ideas come from…

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It’s a common enough question, and one I think every writer probably has a half-different answer to. Some of them say from their own life experiences, some of them say from dreams or something they’ve seen or heard that sticks.

For me, it’s anything and everything I see, and most of the stuff that I dream. There’s a school of thought that says everything a writer sees never leaves their heads, but sits in there, waiting to bounce off something else. I like to think of it as my own solar system, the important stuff close to the star…and out beyond where the heat and the life is…ahh, that’s the good stuff.

There are comets out there, innocuous balls of ice and rock, dark against infinity. But give them a nudge, and they hurtle towards the planets, sometimes leaving a trail across the sky of my imagination. Sometimes they hit things. Wipe out whole continents, reshape whole planets and civilisations. Sometimes you think they’re going to smash into a planet only burn up in the atmosphere.

Here’s an example of one of those comets, one that left a bright streak but didn’t do much damage:

A month or two ago, I was eating in McDonalds with my wife on a Friday night, and sitting at the other end of this very noisy and busy restaurant was a woman at a table for two. Nothing very odd or spectacular about that, you would think, but she was wearing a wedding ring, and she was alone on a Friday night eating in a cheap restaurant.

Instantly, the questions about her started in my head: Who was she? Where were her husband and family (if she had one)? Why was she alone on a Friday night?

By the time I got home, the woman had stuck, and I managed to get a decent story out of her. Not bad for someone I never spoke to. And one of the pleasures of writing is this: Give this little snapshot to a dozen writers and they’ll come up with a different answer. That woman gave my little writing group a surprise party mistaken for an affair, a ghost story and a secret daughter. Just from a woman sitting alone at a table in McDonalds.

So next time you’re out walking somewhere, when you glance at something, glance again. You’ll never know when an image will stick and what you’ll do with it. Take that image and nudge some comets. Maybe blow out some continents.

You know, just for fun.

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About the Author: Tony Talbot was born in the 1970s and started writing in 2008 after a dream he had and couldn’t shake. American Girl was his third book, and he’s currently editing his next book and planning the book after, tentatively called, ‘Dome’.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Website: http://www.tony-talbot.co.uk

Twitter: @authortony

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tonytalbotwriter

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/tony-talbot