Today I have the honour of hosting the eleventh author showcase focusing on the awesome talent originating from Australia and New Zealand.
The idea came to me whilst seeing so many of the book community gathering at recent conventions in the US and UK. And once my FOMO had subsided, I got to thinking about who might be gathered together if we had similar conventions closer to home. Pending the master planning required to arrange a massive convention, I thought the next best thing might be to run an Australian & New Zealand author showcase. So, I sent out the call, with the only prerequisite for participating being the author had to have been born in either country or currently live there.
I’m thrilled to say that a huge number of authors have reached out to me, and I will be posting their individual showcases at regular intervals over the coming weeks. So hopefully you will enjoy these interactions with some very talented people. Please be sure to check out their work, sign up to their newsletters and follow them on their social media of choice. I make no apologies for any damage inflicted to your TBR’s!
For showcase No 11, I’m pleased to be speaking with Australian author Mark Timmony
- Do you feel that being an Aussie / Kiwi (or residing there) influences your writing?
I have always been a big reader of epic fantasy, and I recall thinking back in the late nineties, early noughties, that Aussie writers read differently – whether it was grammatically or just the types of stories they told. But for myself, I don’t think so. The epic fantasy I loved that I feel influenced my own writing was all by US or UK writers, rather than my cultural surroundings.
That being said I am likely the wrong person to ask. You’d have to ask my readers!
- What are some of the challenges being located so far away from the rest of the world, do have any tips for overcoming these?
I think the biggest challenge for me is the cost of shipping signed books overseas! I write weighty tomes and shipping is charged by weight so… Another challenge is being involved in the big conventions that go on. Living in the Southern Hemisphere and working full-time, it can be a struggle to get overseas to meet people and join in.
One of the methods I use to overcome the cost of posting signed books is that I’ve sent The Broken Binding in the UK, and Silverstone Books in the US, signed bookplates. So if I have a reader in the US or Europe who wants a signed book they can order it from either of these two indie bookshops and get my signature added to the book on the bookplate.
As for meeting/interacting with other authors – Twitter (X?) has become the place for that I guess.
- How do you go about establishing connections in the book community? (any tips / suggestions)
The best way I’ve found is by following other indie authors on TW, IG and joining FB groups, and then making an effort to support them via interaction with their posts – retweets and reposting – and giving their work a go and leaving reviews.
I’m a bit of a loner by nature and possibly not the best at making new friends, so there could be much better ways to do this, but I try!
- Do you have a favourite character to write? And conversely are there any of your characters that are the more of a struggle?
When I started I did have a clear favourite, but I’m not going to tell you who 😛
These days I actually find I enjoy writing all my characters, if I ever get bored or struggle it is usually scene based rather than character related. And if that’s the case I take it as a red flag and stop to look at what I am doing more closely and then try to correct it.
- So aliens finally reveal themselves to us and your work is presented to them as example of what humanity has to offer, what do you hope they will take away from this intergalactic exchange?
I hope they take away a fear of the wonderful and terrible powers we humans must clearly have – because obviously they read the book as historical fact rather than fiction – and they are now wary of invading us and instead treat us with great caution so we don’t turn these powers on them!
- Tell us something about yourself that not many people know?
But if I tell you something about myself that not many people know, then more people will know it. And if I wanted more people to know it then I wouldn’t be keeping it a secret…
Let’s see. I am currently living in the family home as a part-time IT consultant and part-time carer for my elderly parents. 😇
- What would you say is the best thing about being an author and the worst?
The best thing about being an author is writing and getting the worlds and characters in your head out into the heads (and hopefully hearts) of readers all over the world.
The worst thing about being an author is having to write. I hate writing the first draft (but I LOVE having written it)!
- Any other Aussie / Kiwi creatives you’d like to give a shout out for? (let’s spread the love)
Oooooh. Let’s see. In no particularly order:
Mark T. Barnes
- What’s your favourite quote or passage from one of your books?
I’m really bad at pulling quotable lines from my own work, however other people have so I’ve chosen this one:
“We let those we love do their duty despite the risk.”
- What can you say about your current project or what you are planning next?
I’m currently hard at work to get the first draft of The Pillars of the Sky done. This is Book 2 of The Eye of Eternity and sequel to The Blood of the Spear.
I can’t really say more about it without spoilers, but it picks up right where we left everybody in book 1.
Bonus Question: Lastly Vegemite* yes or no?
Yes! Can you even call yourself an Aussie if you don’t like Vegemite?
* An iconic dark salty spread that (most) Australians slap on toast for breakfast (NB explanation for the rest of the world)
Mark Timmony grew up on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. He’s wanted to write for as long as he can remember and has several notebooks filled with illegible scribblings from childhood to prove it.
The desire to write led to work as a bookseller in Sydney’s oldest genre specialist bookshop. There he began to make headway on his dreams of becoming a writer. Working with books he was lucky enough to meet many Australian fantasy authors – Karen Miller, Tony Shillitoe and Jennifer Fallon, to name a few – and was invited to be a beta-reader for a number of them. This unique experience offered him a peek ‘behind the scenes’ of novel writing with professionals, and went a long way in giving him the hands-on experience needed in how to structure a story, develop characters and build fantastic worlds, as well as offering insights into the business side – publishing and retail – of writing.
These days you can still find him on the Northern Beaches, and when he’s not writing the sequel to ‘The Blood of the Spear’, or reading, he’s likely working at Australia’s local bookstore, or playing World of Warcraft.
Links to current book/ series:
The Blood of the Spear
Trade Paperback: https://geni.us/gKhf
Ebook – sign up to my newsletter to get it for free, or find it on Amazon for 0.99c
Website / Social media links: