12 May, 2016

#Interview with Tony Batton, #Author of Interface

About the Author:

Tony Batton worked in international law firms, media companies and Formula One motorsport, before turning his hand to writing novels. He is passionate about great stories, gadgets and coffee, and probably consumes too much of each.
Tony’s novels explore the possibilities and dangers of new technology, and how that can change lives. When not writing, or talking about gadgets, Tony likes to play basketball, guitar, and computer games with his two young sons. He lives in London with his family.

Interview with Author:

What inspires you to write?
Reading a great book or watching a great TV show. Often a compelling character or situation will embed in my brain, and I’ll feel compelled to write my own story triggered by it - I immediately need to start making a lot of notes or the ideas will be lost, which can be frustrating if I’m out with friends!

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
‘Interface’ started as a twist on the urban myth of a man waking up to find he’s had a kidney stolen. My protagonist wakes up after a Friday night to find it is Monday morning and he has slept through an entire weekend. He hasn’t, in fact, had a kidney stolen, but the truth is much stranger, and his mission to find that truth is what drives the rest of the book.

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
Yes I do! The first version of Interface - which had the same premise, but went an entirely different direction, and in particular ended up having the second half of a different novel to the first half. I did learn a lot from writing it.
I also have about two thirds of my very own ‘Harry Potter/Amber Spyglass’ book - basically Wizards at Cambridge University that I never managed to finish. I think I might have been a little late to that party…!

Tell us about your writing process.
I write mostly in Scrivener, although I do also use both Word and Ulysses. I start with a premise or inciting event, brainstorm some notes about possibilities or key scenes that I want to include; then I tend to just write and see what happens until I finish the first draft. Once I’ve got to the end I put it aside for at least a month. After that I take stock of what I have, use a mindmap to clarify and strengthen the structure, then I re-write.

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
I read a lot, although these days I listen to most books as audiobooks. Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park was the single most identifiable influence on my decision to become a writer - it’s a brilliant idea and perfectly written, combining fantastic science and a ‘monster in the room’ (or rather, lots of monsters on an island). Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card was also inspirational - he manages to get deep inside the head of his protagonist, while still using a third person viewpoint. I really enjoy the works of Stephen King, Lee Child, Iain Banks, and a British Thriller writer, Tom Wood (known for his Victor the Assassin series - particularly good as audiobooks).

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, to date?
Write every day. And don’t worry if the first draft of your novel is rubbish. That’s what second drafts are for.

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
A very large flare gun and a satellite phone to call for rescue! And an espresso machine for a decent coffee while I wait to be picked up. I’d also like a laptop so I could use the time to write. I appreciate that is four items, but I’m a novelist, and the laptop is pretty much part of me - so it shouldn’t count. Also, without coffee, the laptop would be almost useless!
If I can’t have the flare gun or the phone, then I’d settle for the laptop, espresso machine and a set of headphones. With those I can transport myself anywhere :)

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
ONE: I once came third in a basketball slam dunk contest.
TWO: Years ago I worked at the Headquarters of Formula One Motorsport in London – and met many of the top people in motor racing.
THREE: My father’s company built the James Bond stage at Pinewood Studios; as a young child I walked around the inside of the super tanker from The Spy Who Loved Me.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
The sequel to Interface is with my editor and should be out in late 2016. I also have a standalone thriller, Unstolen, nearly complete.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
Just a thank you for reading - it is hugely appreciated. And I would love to hear from them about anything to do with my writing. They can find me at www.tonybatton.com, and I’m on Twitter and Facebook. I will always reply!

About the Book:

When Tom Faraday joined internationally renowned CERUS Biotech, he thought he’d landed his dream job. A chance to work with their famous CEO, William Bern, perhaps to change the world.
But Tom has found himself in an organisation in crisis. The company bet the house on a radical neural interface project, only to be blocked by a government with reasons of its own. Now CERUS is running on vapour and the corporate vultures are gathering. Bern isn’t one to go down without a fight. He’s turned things around before, and he has a plan to do it again.
The problem is, twenty-five years ago CERUS made a similar mistake. And if history is repeating itself, Tom might be the only one who can stop it.

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