Author of Eight Mile Island
I am super excited to say that I can share with you a never-before-seen interview with the fantastic Young Adult author Tony Talbot. I have his brand new novel Eight Mile Island on my list of books to read. I think it’s currently sitting at about #10 or so at the moment. Please take a meander through the questions I asked Tony and his answers below.
1. Who is your favourite character from your books and why? I think my favourite has to be Jenna from Over the Mountain. I loved her simple joy in life, and we both share the same love of watching a good rainstorm from a window. That’s how I first got to know her. I was sitting at my desk, wondering where to start with my first novel, and it was raining outside. I love rainstorms, so I thought she should as well, and we were off.
2. Your all-time favourite book? There are far too many to choose from! From my collection of horror, it would have to be IT by Stephen King, Intensity by Dean Koontz (A 80,000 word book set in a 24 hour frame, how did he do that?). Of YA books, this year I read the awesome Unwind by Neal Shusterman – a book everyone should read, and another of my favourites is Jumper by Steven Gould. I started reading YA because of John Marsden, Tomorrow when the War Began, and I could go on and on…
3. Tell us about your writing space (study, cafe, office?) I’ve got the spare front upstairs bedroom at home, which is far too small to be called a bedroom by any means! A IKEA desk that faces away from the window (absolutely essential to face away from the window if you want to write!), a computer and two printers (black and white laser and colour inkjet), about 30 little knick-knacks and gewgaws of Pixar, Lego, Dr Who and Star Wars figures. And an MP3 player for when I’m in the mood for music.
4. Are you wearing socks at the moment, if so what colour? Grey! I only have grey and black socks and white (for when I’m at home). I do have a collection of very wild ties for work though….70 of those!
5. What is your favourite scene from your books? Not really a scene, but I loved describing the fictional Greek island in Taken, imagining what it’s like on the Greek islands, trying to work out how the towns and villages look…since I’ve never been there. I did a lot of research, looking at travel guides and the internet, before I started. And it was great fun playing in the forests of Eight Mile Island as well.
6. Where is your favourite holiday place and why is it your favourite? I try and find somewhere different every year, just to be different. This year I went to Washington State in the Pacific Northwest, where my wife is from, and I loved to just sit beside the water and relax. I loved the mountains as well. I drove around Mount Rainier, and the scenery was stunning.
7. You mentioned in another interview that everyone should read “to kill a mocking bird” . What other books would you recommend? Everyone should read Unwind by Neal Shusterman, even people who don’t normally read YA. There’s a scene in there I won’t give away towards the end, and it still gives me chills to think about it. This is how good all writing should be, YA or not…something you still remember reading six months later. I think everyone should read The Diary of Anne Frank and take away that all you need is a glimpse of sky every day to be free.
8. Do you think e-book readers will eventually supersede books? It’s hard to say. I think printed books will always have a place. I own a Kindle, but I still love wandering round book stores, just browsing and picking up books that you’d never look at electronically. There’s an atmosphere in a bookstore that’s not the same as online. I’m sure people thought that about record stores as well…
9. If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. Who would it be and why? It would be something to be an astronaut, even one on the space station. Or Jim Lovell, orbiting the moon for the first time in human history on Apollo 8; imagine that, looking back on the earth and moon as no one has ever seen it with their own eyes. I’d trade that for a week.
10. Eight Mile Island, your new book has a very different cover style from your first books, how did you go about picking the designer and how much input did you have in the process? My first three book covers were done by an artist I work with, Jenny Pratt. I asked her to design a cover when I was first thinking about publishing Over the Mountain, and I was (and still am) blown away by how good of a job she did on that and my first three. For Eight Mile Island, I decided to shift up a gear and go for something more photographic and atmospheric than a painting or drawing could give me, and also to see if I could get some promotional material thrown in. I picked the design company solely on the basis that they were in the town closest to where I live, because I had no idea if we’d have to meet to discuss ideas – luckily we managed to sort everything out with email. I sent them some rough ideas of what I wanted, and the first design they sent me was pretty much spot on. I’m very happy with them.
11. What would you say is your primary source of inspiration? My wife and my dreams! She came up with the suggestion for Over the Mountain, and first told me about Japanese internment for American Girl.
12. If you were in a fight to the death, ‘The Hunger Games’ style, what would be your weapon of choice? I’d go for a crossbow. Long range and silent!
13. Tell us about a vivid childhood memory. When I was about five or six, while I was on holiday, I decided to climb to the top of a climbing frame – it was a glued together collection of hexagonal blocks with holes in each face. When I made it to the top, I distinctly remember I was too tired to climb back down again. My solution: jump off. The next thing I remember is waking up to see anxious faces around me because I’d knocked myself out! My parents had to drive me quite a distance to get me an X-ray, but there was no damage done. I think that the stem of my fear of heights came from that as well…
14. In light of the current trend for books about the Paranormal, what sort of paranormal being would you like to be and why? I think I’d pick a vampire. I like the idea of being both immortal and irresistible to women! The blood thing I’m not so sure about. Start a blood bank, maybe.
15. What genre would you love to write that you haven’t tried yet? I’ve never tried science fiction, the exploring strange new worlds stuff. Dystopian appeals to me as well, I like reading about the end of the world and watching movies about it – the cheesier the better; 2012 and The Day after Tomorrow I’ll watch whenever they come on TV. I was thinking book five is going to be something suitably apocalyptic…watch this space!
About Tony and his books:
Tony has produced 13 works that are available through Amazon, some are also available on Smashwords. I have read 3 of them so far, but the other 10 are on my list of books to read. From his latest picture over there on the right, you can see he enjoys reading on his kindle and wearing green t-shirts and dark coloured caps. He is an active member of a number of groups on Goodreads and has quite a knack for coming up with funny captions for photos, as I have seen in my group on Goodreads. His first book, Over The Mountain made me blubber like a big wuss, it was raw, sad and emotionally packed and a book I would recommend. It was written way back in 2008, and since then Tony has been producing books on a fairly regular basis. What would you do if everything you have ever known is a lie? If all that you hold dear in this life is no longer real? You’d probably be reading Taken, which is Tony’s second book and another solid 4 star effort. This one had me guessing right up until the end and there may also have been a few blubbery moments in this one too. American Girl was a great source information to me, it made me think and consider what life would have been like for Mary Tanaka. She was a young American born Japanese girl during the second world war. It delves into the internment of the Japanese after the bombing of Pearl Harbour. It was a rather riveting read. And lastly, on to Tony’s newest book that you would have seen at the top of the page, Eight Mile Island. Here’s a peek inside:
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 the start of the mysteries, mysteries that mean Dylan may never escape.
Even if he wants to…
Welcome to Eight Mile Island.
If you’d like to know more about Tony, or follow him around like a lost puppy, you can do so by using the below links: http://www.tony-talbot.com (or) .co.uk @authortony http://www.facebook.com/tonytalbotwriter http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4645418.Tony_Talbot