Welcome to my stop on David Barker’s White Gold blog tour with Love Books Tours!
Many thanks to Kelly @ Love Books Tours for arranging the following interview with David Barker…..
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
Hi, I’ve been writing for about five years now after spending nearly 25 years trying to predict the future as an economist in the city. My three books form the Gaia trilogy, set in a near-future where geopolitics, terrorism, climate change and scarce resources form a volatile backdrop. Sim Atkins and Freda Brightwell are the main characters – British agents trying to keep the peace.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
I was studying commodity markets about 10 years ago, and while everybody was focused on the oil price, it became clear that a lot of trends were pointing to an almost inevitable problem with freshwater (thanks to climate change and demographics). So, my first novel Blue Gold is set during a world war for water.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
Not directly, but I certainly use traits from different people I know to help make the characters seem more rounded.
How do you pick your characters’ names?
Sim and Freda were chosen because of the allegory underlying Blue Gold. Two famous characters from one of the best trilogies of all. That’s all I’m saying… you’ll have to figure it out for yourself.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
Each of my books so far have been published in May, which means getting the final copy to the publisher in the autumn. As soon as that’s in, I will spend the rest of the year working on the first draft of a new project (having spent the summer gathering thoughts and ideas). Then early in the new year, I’ll do a big edit on the first draft, maybe with the help of beta readers and fine tune it over the spring.
Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
Douglas Adams was a genius of vision and humour. I love Neil Gaiman’s works, he seems able to write for adults and children, in novel form and graphic novels. So impressive. Iain Banks had a fantastic imagination and I particularly love his Culture novels. Elmore Leonard’s characters are brilliant and his dialogue is top-notch. And finally, Tolkien because he broke the mould.
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Douglas Adams and I would ask him, very politely, if he could please not die so young and maybe write us a dozen more novels, pretty please.
Were you a big reader as a child?
Most definitely. Looking back on it, I remember long summer holidays (my parents were both teachers) when we would spend hours on the beach. In between the swimming, the cricket and the sandcastles, the whole family would always have our nose in a book.
When did you start to write?
In a way, I have always written. But my early career as an economist allowed little scope for imagination. So, I tried to make my reports succinct, clear and as interesting as possible. Surprisingly hard and a very good discipline!
If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
Is there a book you wish you had written?
I loved the first 90% of All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy but the ending didn’t live up to the brilliance that had gone before. To Kill A Mockingbird is probably the best novel ever written for all sorts of reasons. I wouldn’t mind having that on my CV!
If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?
Always looking up. I’m an optimist and I’m also shorter than average…
If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
Captain Ahab, and it would have to be to a branch of Starbucks (named after his chief mate in Moby Dick).
What are you working on right now?
A middle-grade children’s adventure. It’s set in a dystopian vision of Britain when the country is torn apart by civil war (I bet you can’t guess the inspiration for that!). 12-year old Pax is just trying to survive the school bully, exams, first girlfriends but soon discovers he has a greater destiny.
Tell us about your last release?
In White Gold, British agents Sim Atkins and Freda Brightwell are re-united for another adventure. In this one, they are trying to prevent the Terror Formers from committing a global atrocity. Sim is distracted by personal issues that relate to the previous mission – Rose Gold – and has to risk his family to expose the terrorists. As for Freda, she has to escape from maximum security prison and evade an unstoppable assassin before the mission even begins!
Do you have a new release due?
Nope. Still trying to find a home for my children’s story, and my next thriller for grown-ups is only at the gestation stage.
What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
Not that much really. For my first two books I had the launch party on the publication day itself which was a great way to celebrate. But this time, for various reasons, they are on different dates.
How can readers keep in touch with you?
I keep my website refreshed with new content, such as short stories, updates about forthcoming events or just what I’ve been reading recently. www.davidbarkerauthor.co.uk. I am fairly active on twitter: @BlueGold201.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Dystopian futures (mine and others) are not meant to depress the reader. They are meant to serve as a warning and as a wake-up call. We can still make a difference if we change our behaviour, support some great charities and if we demand change from our leaders.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, David 🙂
VENGEANCE ALWAYS HAS A PRICE
Sim Atkins, Overseas Division agent, returns to Earth, having saved the Moon base from a deadly terrorist plot (see Rose Gold). All Sim can think about is finding the criminals responsible.
But his fury and lust for revenge are put on hold when a nuclear warhead is stolen by Terra Former leader Matthias Larsson. Can Sim and his colleagues track down the terrorist cell and disarm the device in time?
White Gold is the gripping finale in the compellingly original Gaia Trilogy, page-turning thrillers that provoke as well as excite.
David was born in Cheshire but now lives in Berkshire. His working life has been spent in the City, first for the Bank of England and now as Chief Economist for an international fund. So his job entails trying to predict the future all the time. David attended the Faber Academy course and he still meets up with his inspirational fellow students.
happy reading 🙂