Interview With SJ Parkinson (Twinkle, Science Fiction)

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In your own words, please describe your book.

Twinkle begins with the richest man in the world promoting a new business with a huge firework display launched from orbiting satellites. Seen around the world in every time zone, the pyrotechnics thrill everyone. However, the next day everyone begins to lose their sight. A few people retain their sight and try to comprehend how and why this happened, while seeking a cure.
 
What genre/genres does your book fall under?

Twinkle is a science fiction thriller. It has dystopian apocalyptic and survival elements, but is essentially a thriller at heart.
 
Is this book part of a series?

Twinkle, like my previous novel Predation, is stand alone. I was urged by quite a few people to extend the story into two or three books, but I could only do that by introducing more characters and sub-plots. Twinkle was complex enough and I felt it would work best as one novel. It would have meant repeating myself as well which I’m loath to do. I’d rather be original for one book than bore readers with three.
 
What was the inspiration behind your book?

I once went scuba diving under a pier that had fireworks going off in the skies above. The lights underwater were soundless and looked strange and alien. That inspired the original concept for Twinkle and over a few years I developed the story to what you see today.
 
What led you into writing? Was it a lifelong ambition, or the result of some type of turning point in your life?
I have written throughout my life. I wrote a weekly newspaper column on computers, several magazine articles, plus various manuals when I worked for a computer gaming company. I credit author Bernard Cornwell with getting me started as a novelist with the inspirational quote, “In the end you have to write the book.  Do it, remember that everyone began just like you, sitting at a table and secretly doubting that they would ever finish the task.  But keep at it.  A page a day and you’ve written a book in a year!”
 

So far, what has been the greatest moment in your writing career?
I’ve experienced many proud moments over the years. Winning the People’s Choice Award for my first sci-fi novel Predation is the most significant to date. Someone nominated Predation and I only found out about it when a friend tipped me off. I was up against sixty-five other authors including J.K. Rowling. I never thought I had a chance against such competition, but in the end, Predation was voted Kindle Book of the Month. I took my wife out to dinner to celebrate.

 
Are you self-published or published through a small-press? Can you tell our readers what led up to that and your publishing experience?

I began as an independent author. I originally sent out queries to seventy-five agents and never heard back from most. A friend of mine, Keith C. Blackmore had begun writing years before and was kind enough to answer my initial questions. I decided to go independent after speaking with him and am very glad I did. I’m certainly open to having a traditional publishing deal, but being independent does have a few advantages.
 
What are you working on now?
My sixth novel is a return to the mystery-adventure genre. It’s the story of a thief in modern day New York City who is set-up for a murder he was not responsible for. The story revolves around him finding the real killer before the police arrest him. I’m also developing book four in The Legionnaire series and another pair of science fiction novels.
 
In your own words, please tell us about yourself.
I was born in the United Kingdom then moved to Canada when I was seven. I joined the military at eighteen, and subsequently saw a lot of the world. I have lived in several countries overseas and now live on the island of Bermuda. I have always enjoyed travel to new places. Seeing new cultures and experiencing other languages opens your eyes to the larger world. Travel is one of my favorite things and I still have many destinations on my wish list.
 
What are some of your likes and dislikes?

Likes: An evening out with friends, exploring the unknown, the sights and sounds of nature. I also enjoy talking with people. When I’m in an airport waiting on a connecting flight, I’ll typically strike up a conversation with a fellow passenger. Not only do you meet a wide array of interesting people, you learn about the world as seen through their eyes. Some of my best known characters are based, in part, on real-life people I’ve met.
Dislikes: Arrogance, ignorance, and hypocrisy. People who refuse to compromise and listen to opposing views because, “I’m right and you’re wrong.” Leaders who promise things, win the election and do the complete opposite, or nothing at all. It amazes me that we have such a highly advanced society and yet still have so many problems. Warfare, conflicts, religious intolerance, the list goes on and on.
 
How can readers connect with you?

The best way to stay informed about my writing projects is through my website at sjparkinson.com  I am also on Twitter (@SJ_Parkinson) and have an author profile on Facebook and Google+. I really enjoy hearing from my readers and welcome their comments and feedback.
 
Tell us one thing about yourself that we wouldn’t know?

I am a Master Scuba Diver and Divemaster with over five hundred dives to my credit. I don’t dive as much as used to, but I try to get to a new dive destination once a year on vacation.
 
If there was one thing you could tell your readers, what would it be?
I have promised my readers that I shall always put out the best quality novels that I can. I employ professional graphic design people for my book covers, hire editors, proof-readers, and formatters. If a reader finds a mistake or error in my books, they can contact me through the contact form on my website and I’ll fix it, then release the new version of the book as soon as I can. The best way to succeed as a novelist is to put out the best quality books that I can.

 
Buy Links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

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