Author Interview : Tony Halker @tonyhalker

Hello Readers! Today, I’m happy to welcome Tony Halker, author of Displaced, for an interview. Also check out the book details in this post. I hope you enjoy the post.

Book Details:

Displaced by Tony Halker
Publication Date:
February 10th 2019
Genre: Literary Historical Fiction

Synopsis:

In a landscape of pre-history, a time of ancestor worship, young Druid priests Owayne and Nial, are tasked to travel and learn all they can of rite and rule in a world of competing tribes, unsettling technologies and priest power.

Displaced people wander the lands, forced there by conflict and hunger, where they are used to create chaos. Fertility is revered, children have value for work, in marriage, for worship and sacrifice. 
Superstition, religion and ancestor beliefs have power for good and or evil, inflicting pain or kindness and sometimes both. 
Amongst the chaos pass our two priests, seeking to learn from and influence events. A mysterious helper, Bron is with them. It is unclear whether he aids them or is simply to watch and report their actions. They love, make friends, struggle and fight to alter fate; meeting decent peoples whose belief and actions conflict with their own. They have to reconcile friendships and very different values.

These modern issues and events are played out in a landscape of our pre-history, one that we can see and touch today. 
A tribal lord resists the march of progress, fighting for values that no longer resonate with his family or clan. Battles of mind, values and technologies occur. Those who prevail ultimately determine the telling of history. 

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Tony Halker is an Indie author who has published two novels and collaborated in creating a book about deep space photography. His novels are literary fiction, concerned with modern themes, set in a landscape of our pre-history. He wants the emotion of landscape to form and influence the characters in his novels. Having worked as a geologist and in business management, he travelled extensively before making time to write. His second novel, “Displaced” was published in 2019. His first novel, “The Learn” was published by Clink Street in 2016.

1. What made you decide to become an author?

Writing found me. I realized about five years ago that I was periodically trying to write. I was creating chapters of novels that were formulating in my head. They were poorly thought out, but were going down on a keyboard and even being printed out. I kept them for a while to let them ferment or mature and then threw them away. It was re-reading and throwing some away that made me realize how much I enjoyed writing. I had a hope that I could do better and become a story teller who can engage readers while considering important issues for us all. Writing helps me rationalize my life and that of my family.

2. Can you tell readers little about your book? What they can expect from the book?

I hope “Displaced” is an enjoyable, intelligent, sometimes challenging novel that has us consider important issues for our world through the eyes and minds of characters we can like and identify with. It is set in all of our history, which gives me more freedom to be controversial. Though the book considers difficult issues for our time it has an uplifting and positive theme. I hope the front cover image projects that.

3. How did you come up with the idea for your book?

I needed a canvas to tell a modern story of people like all of us. I enjoy walking where our ancestors walked and lived and were shaped by the kindness or harshness of the landscape in their time. I like writing about that landscape. A beautiful view is a set of emotions that make and influence us. I have tried to place people like us with modern issues of family, tribe, love, religion and abuse of power, in that place and to weave a tale around them.

4. What sort of research did you do to write this book?

I tried to understand the names and make up of ancient deities of natural things, streams, rivers, trees and mountains. I looked at folklore and festivals passed down to us that seem to remember those beliefs. I walked to and visited ancient monuments and artefacts. Those things stimulated in me a view of what the people may have been like; those who found time to create and enjoy beauty many years ago as they fought to survive and prosper for themselves and their families. I did some research as to how ancient artefacts were made.

5. Who are some authors that inspire you?

I read many different types of books and am inspired by so many of them for different reasons. While I like a well told story, I also want a book to make me think and pull at my emotions. I am reading a book called The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng. It is the second time I have read it, it travels well. I also recently read Warlight by Michael Ondaatje. Last year I read a wonderful book called, “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Trowles; this had wonderful characterization and optimism in difficult times.

6. What type of characters do you love and hate to write? Your favorite quality in protagonist.

I want a protagonist to be thoughtful, intelligent and self-aware. I am a little afraid of making my narrative voice that of a woman. I have read some books recently where someone has tried to put themselves in a head very different from their own and it does not always work. My favorite qualities are intelligence and empathy. I hate bluster and macho action without thought.

7. What was your favorite chapter (or part) of writing this book and why?

There is a chapter that is really about the landscape and its part in the novel. It is called, “Battles Between Land and Sea”. I am an ex geologist and I think of this chapter as my indulgence. I was able to write it quickly. The land and sea are imbued with personality and power and wish to defeat each other. My novel is not a fantasy in any way, though some may say that by giving, sea, rocks and land life I have let more than nature in.

8. What was the hardest part of writing the book? Was there anything that you deleted or altered?

The hardest things is working on voice to make a character consistent and someone whom a reader can engage with and want to hear more about and from. I continually change many things. Everything!

9. What are your most favorite and least favorite thing about being an author?

My favorite thing is being free to write and allowing my mind to create worlds and characters that are from my imagination. I can give myself a licence to make the world as I want it to be, though I rarely do so. My least favorite thing is that when I am on a roll and writing I often let my coffee go cold. It does not taste as good after I microwave it warm!

10. Do you have any writing rituals?

Coffee. I also often walk in the countryside before starting to write, especially if I am finding it hard to move a novel on. I often know something does not work, but not why or what the solution may be. Walking and talking can get me moving on. I also try to read every day when I am writing.

11. What is the next project you’re working on?

I have two novels on the go that are completely different from my previous novels. I am trying to write about the present time, that means my imagination has less licence. I tried this once before and went back to the freedom of the setting of “Displaced”.

12. And the last one, Top 3 tips for aspiring authors.
  • A novel is a marathon. Keep going and drink coffee.
  • Trust yourself; believe in yourself.
  • Edit, edit and edit and then ask someone else to edit.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website: http://www.tonyhalker.com
Blog: http://www.tonyhalker.com/blog
Facebook: @tonyhalkerauthor @learnorfade
Twitter: @tonyhalker
Goodreads: Tony Halker
Instagram: tonyhalker2
Book Links: (Amazon): https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1794683453

Thank you Tony Halker for this interview, again!

What do you think about the post?
Have you read this book already or any book by Tony Halker?

Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.

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The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye #BlogTour @SarahMarieGraye @rararesources

I’m glad to be a part of blog tour for The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye. Many thanks to author and Rachel’s Random Resources for giving me a chance to read this amazing heart melting book. Check out about the book, my review, and giveaway below.

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Published: October 9th 2017

Read Date: January 20th 2018

Genre: Women Fiction, Literary Fiction

Pages: 244

Stars: 4/5

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Goodreads blurb_edited

Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide? Theirs did.

Faye’s heart still belongs to her first love, Jack. She knows he might have moved on, but when she decides to track him down, nothing prepares her for the news that he’s taken his own life.

With the fragility of life staring them in the face, Abbie finds herself questioning her marriage, and Faye her friendship with Ethan. And poor Olivia is questioning everything – including why Jack’s death has hit Beth the hardest. Is she about to take her own life too?

The Second Cup Intro Banner

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The Second Cup is character driven women and literary fiction telling about friendship, loss, suicide, depression, emotions, and life experiences and mental conditions of characters. Story was set in Manchester, narrated by four main characters – Faye, Abbie, Beth and Olivia- revolving around their friendship, their past life stories, and what was going on in their life.

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Abbie– had a good job and good money but her married life was not working that well. Her second marriage was on the edge of breaking and she had drinking problem. Her childhood was not so much shiny. Initially I felt she was selfish and has habit of running away if something happened, but as story progressed I got to know more about her and later I found myself liking her. I haven’t expected her to change initially but she did. Her development was great in the book.

“And although she craved human contact, she also despised it.”

Beth– was the connection and gravity in their friendship. She was adventurous but her sad nightmarish childhood had buried her strength to go after daredevil adventures, however it couldn’t bury the fire and so she had a habit of playing dares with herself to keep fire burning inside her. She was solid outside but inside her unfair childhood experience and biased parents were eating her. I liked her from the very beginning, but what happened to her on hearing Jack’s death was unexpected. Her character was little complex in the story but I could feel her pain and I liked her even more by the end of the book.

“If there’s one thing that’s going to push you to killing yourself, it’s your parents mocking you for it.”

Olivia– She was one sane and genuine among all four. She was kind-hearted, sweet and soft but she lacked self confidence and felt guilty for everything. She was into an insane relationship that made me angry, I felt like yelling at her for staying with such mucky person who was drowning her emotionally and mentally. I liked her ability to understand her friends and supporting them when needed. Development in her was slow but definitely amazing.

“Every day I’m alive is a day I’m judged.”

Faye– here is my least favorite character. This lady had so much potential in her but it was sad to see that she wasted it all over a boy not just one but two. And they both were well I don’t want to spoil it for you guys so let’s just say she deserved a life better than those two could ever give her.

“I had no idea if we’d make it to Maple but I understood the joy Faye got from escaping somewhere new on train. Getting a kick out of journey itself.”

All men in the story were so full of themselves. Okay, except Paul who was much better than all other. Matt was most disappointing. I felt for Olivia and I couldn’t understand initially why she was staying with him. Beth was right about him from the very start and also about her guilt stories.

What I liked_edited

Writing was really nice, it was different and new. Author drawn me slowly but steadily into the characters and it was hard to come out of their life once I was in. It took me four narration by each characters (a one round) to get into the book. On second round I got better idea what was going on. So I suggest take it slow.

I liked that part about how they met each other, they were not in same school, university or job and still they met and became buddies. I loved voices of characters especially voice of Abbie and Olivia was amazing and entertaining. They draw me into them slowly and made me curious to knowing more about them. I liked reading their back stories, the problems in their life and how they were trying to understand each other, the situations they were into, and more importantly themselves- what they wanted in life and trying to come out better than what they experienced in the past.

Oh and the city, trains, stations, streets, cafes, pub, all the description of the places were so vivid, it was like I was roaming the city I haven’t visited before. I also liked the tea chapters, telling about various types of teas and what they said about characters, connected to their nature and mood.

All four characters were fragile and weak inside no matter how much they tried to show stronger outside, they were even feeling insecure in their little circle, afraid of losing their friendship. They all put forward their pain and sadness they experienced in childhood and life in a way that it was hard not to feel them. I came out of the book like I was part of their friendship.

I think the story was not just about death of Jack, depression of Faye, mental struggle of Beth, unsuccessful marriage of Abbie, or unhealthy relationship of Olivia, it was more than all of these. It was about their fight in life, what they have gone through, and growing up and developing as a person, coming out of fragile state and becoming stronger mentally and emotionally, finding that one thing that makes life worth living.

End was really good and I’m with all the changes in their life.

why not 5 stars_edited

Well, Faye and her actions were little hard to comprehend. Her whiny nature was not the only reason I didn’t like her, her selfishness and ignorance toward Beth was the main thing. I understood she felt bad that boys left her abruptly without giving reason, why she needed to find them and all, but I couldn’t understand her not looking back to her friends who supported her when she needed. I also didn’t like her voice in the book.

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Overall, it was more than what I thought it was about. It was steady paced, emotional, thought-provoking, touching women fiction that everyone would like to read.

The Second Cup Full Banner

Author Bio:

Sarah Marie Graye was born in Manchester, United Kingdom, in 1975, to English Catholic parents. One of five daughters, to the outside world Sarah Marie’s childhood followed a relatively typical Manchester upbringing… until aged 9, when she was diagnosed with depression.

It’s a diagnosis that has stayed with Sarah Marie over three decades, and something she believes has coloured every life decision.

Now in her early 40s, and with an MA Creative Writing from London South Bank University (where she was the vice-chancellor’s scholarship holder), Sarah Marie has published her debut novel – about family, friendships and mental health.

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Universal Purchase Linkhttps://mybook.to/SecondCup

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/SarahMarieGraye

Giveaway – Win 3 x Signed copies of The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye (Open Internationally)

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*** Note: I received the review copy of the book as a part of blog tour, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to author and Rachel’s Random Resources. ***


What do you think about the book and my review? Have you read this book already? Have you read something similar to this book? Share your thoughts in comment-box below.

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Self’s Blossom by David Russell

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Published: March 15th 2010 by Devine Destinies

Read Date: July 14th 2017

Stars: 3/5

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Blurb (in my words)-

Selene is reserved, idealistic, workaholic woman. Unhappy by past relationships and irritated by her roommate, Jenice, leads her to extreme need of vacation and reckless erotic adventure.  On arriving to exotic beach destination in America, she meets Hudson- handsome mature sociologist and explorer. And him she finds her sensual destiny that she was dreaming till now. How this vacation and experience will change Selene and her ideals?

My view: Read More