G’day / Kia Ora.
Today I have the honour of hosting the sixth the author showcases 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!
Today I’m pleased to be chatting to Aussie author Tim Hawken, who resides in the wild west of Australia.
- Do you feel that being an Aussie / Kiwi (or residing there) influences your writing?
For sure! You can’t help but be influenced by the culture and ideas that surround you all the time. We have a pretty good mix of American, British and local influences all melting in together here too, which often bridges cultures, I reckon.
- What are some of the challenges being located so far away from the rest of the world, do have any tips for overcoming these?
We’re so connected now that it doesn’t ultimately matter if you’re in New York, or Alaska, or Melbourne or Yallingup (Google it). If you speak the same language and like similar things, there are always places to connect online. The trick is finding those places. My biggest tip is to just stick with one or two platforms. If you try to do Discord, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Reddit, YouTube, BlueSky, X, Threads, etc etc etc, you’ll end up spreading yourself too thin. For me, Instagram is where I most hang out and enjoy interactions, so that’s where you’ll mostly find me (@tim_hawken)
- How do you go about establishing connections in the book community? (any tips / suggestions)
It’s more about mindset than tactics. I like the ‘win and help win’ philosophy. If you treat people like they’re fierce, zero-sum competitors, you’ll eventually get shut out. It’s also just a generally shitty way to exist. Champion other people’s stuff you love, be willing to share and recommend, and generally just be nice. It’ll serve you well. The world is too full of arseholes as it is. Buck the trend and be less arsehole-ish. (*That’s asshole-ish for my American friends)
- Do you have a favourite character to write? And conversely are there any of your characters that are the more of a struggle?
I love writing villains because they’re so damned interesting. My own personal fave is Jazlin Switch from my latest book Thrill Switch (and soon to be released, Killware). She’s dark and murderous, but philosophical and thoughtful. The best kind of villain. I struggle to make my hero’s ‘likeable’ sometimes, because I want them to be more villainy and fun. Cheat code: have them save a cat or a dog early in the piece.
- 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?
Oh god, those poor aliens. They’ll likely avoid the planet because too much weird stuff happens here (Or turn us into a reality TV planet because they’re so entertained).
- Tell us something about yourself that not many people know?
I once battered a lavender bud when working for a fish n chip shop, then ate it just to see what it tasted like (hot tip: it was gross). Battered party pies on the other hand, excellent.
- What would you say is the best thing about being an author and the worst?
The best thing is being able to live in your head all day. The worst thing, is having to live in your head all day.
- Any other Aussie / Kiwi creatives you’d like to give a shout out for? (let’s spread the love)
Oh man, soooooo many to name. Let me break it down into genres: Fantasy: Jay Kristoff. Everything he does is epic. Sci-Fi: TJ Napper. His latest cyberpunk book 36 Streets is a banger. Horror: Alan Baxter. At least I don’t have to live in his head all day. Short stories/anthologies: Lee Murray. She has a new novel out called Despatches which sounds amazing too.
- What’s your favourite quote or passage from one of your books?
I think it’s the Australian in me, but it feels weird to be pumping up my own tyres (even if this is an interview). Maybe the opening page of Thrill Switch:
People think it’s impossible to kill someone for real in VR. They simply lack imagination.
If you can give someone a seizure by flashing a strobe in their eyes, consider what you can do by hijacking their entire sensory system.
Light. Dark. Light. Dark. Light. Dark.
On. Off. On. Off. On. Off.
Flip the Switch. Reap the consequences.
- What can you say about your current project or what you are planning next?
Killware. It’s a prequel novella set in the Thrill Switch universe, so cyberpunk crime noir. This one was a lot of fun to put together as it’s pretty experimental. It’s made up of 100 x 100-word chapters, plus 10 illustrations by the incredible Megan Mushi. Keep an eye out. It’ll launch first on Kickstarter.
Bonus Question: Lastly Vegemite* yes or no?
Of course! With avocado on toast… *chef’s kiss
* An iconic dark salty spread that (most) Australians slap on toast for breakfast (NB explanation for the rest of the world)
Tim Hawken is a literary hooligan from Western Australia who writes dark sci-fi and fantasy. He is a 2-times winner of the AHWA’s Flash Fiction Competition, has been shortlisted for an Australian Shadows Award three times, and likes to add a twist of wicked humour to his work. Tim posts a 100-word, art-inspired story most days on Instagram (@tim_hawken).
You can find Tim’s books at:
Please follow/ reach out to Tim via the following links (NB he is most active on Instagram):