Wednesday, October 28, 2020

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Stonechild by Kevin Albin - Book Tour

 


Stonechild

Where do we go to when we die? Imagine human consciousness embedded in the molecules of a statue. So, when the statues of London come to life, it is a spectacle like non other, and they come with a specific message, and an offer we cannot refuse.

 As the world reels in this wonder of science and religion, Molly Hargreaves has other plans and she sets out to prove that things are not as they seem.

 Chased, captured and confined, Molly confronts the statues and her own fears. But who can she convince? The people are welcoming, the Government has succumbed, and the police try to act, but how do you shoot stone and metal? Be prepared to be run ragged around London on a mystery worthy of the great Sherlock Holmes.


Purchase Link -
https://amzn.to/2BfnoWs

 A word puzzle for the readers of Stonechild and with a prize to be drawn on the 10th December, which is Human Rights Day. Here’s the link with all the details https://kevin-albin.com/book-kevin-albin/puzzle-time-for-readers-of-stonechild/ 

Author Q&A
1.  What would you consider to be your Kryptonite as an author?

Being distracted, and social media can be a real time waster. So can the internet as whole. It’s a wonderful tool and makes research very easy, but I find myself being drawn from one curiosity to another. I love learning, and enjoy learning about history and how things work. So, I have to be strict with myself when working to a deadline.

2. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Difficult to say, as one piece of advice would have been to do more earlier on in my life, perhaps to get into journalism, certainly travel writing. On the other hand, I have had a very full life so far — I was a police officer for 25 years, then a mountain guide working on conservation projects. I’ve run a hotel in the French Alps, a outdoor activities centre, a gardening business, and I teach English as a second language. So, if I had gone into writing earlier, I may not have done all of those things, and which, of course, have given me a broad spectrum to write about.

3. Favorite childhood memory involving books?
When I was about ten years old, I used to be fascinated by dinosaurs and used to write and stretch them in a small booklet that I regularly created. I used to hold meetings with friends who shared this passion, and was caught one day, while at school, passing a note to my friends to say we would meet in the school library. I was given a punishment as I had misspelt the word library, and had to write out 100 times, I must spell library correctly!

4. Whats one movie you like recommending to others?
Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio is a film I have watched so many times and often mention it to others. The idea is very clever, and dreams have always fascinated me. I think you have to be careful when using dreams in a storyline as it’s a bit of a cliché. Different in Inception as it’s the main theme, and when I used a dream in Stonechild, it was to connect the past to the present and move the main character, Molly, to where I needed her to be, as well as introducing another character at the same time.

5. Have you ever met anyone famous?
As a police officer, I used to be a part of the protection team for Margaret Thatcher. Not long after the Brighton Bomb where the IRA had try to kill the Prime Minister, I was working at Chequers. She used to take to going for a walk directly from the house and into the countryside. On this occasion I was with her when we came across a newly born calf, literally minutes old. The calf was struggling to get to its feet and the Prime Minister wanted to move forward to help. It was clear the mother cow was very agitated by this action and I was concerned that the PM might be injured. I had to warn the Prime Minister to return to Chequers. I reflected afterwards that the cow could have succeed where the terrorists had failed.

6. How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
Stonechild took me two years with the research, visits to London, planning and writing. Being ex-police and having worked in major incident rooms, I used a similar approach, creating files on all my characters, statues included, a map of London on the wall to plot their positions and routes, and lots of photographs allowing me to imagine and describe actions and scenes. A friend with a Masters in history guided me on the historical accuracy, and if a character has an accent, Scottish for example, I sent the dialogue to someone with the same accent to see if it sounded right. The story has a clue in it that Molly has to solve, and I sent this to lots of friends to see if they could crack it. It needed to be hard enough that my readers didn’t work it out before the punch line.

7. How do you select the names of your characters?
Character names speak as much about them as their descriptions, and can be useful in creating good and bad personalities. In Stonechild, the main character is Molly, a name that suggests to me someone who is strong, dependable, capable. I have a son, Nathan, but had he’d been a girl, I would have called him Molly. Another character in the book has the nickname Gee-Gee, who is not dependable or nice. Gee-gee in the UK is slang for horse, and Gee-Gee likes drinking, smoking and betting on the horses. So, I’m using his name to paint an image.

8. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Reading and writing is about experiencing emotions, that’s why we do it. People speak of being lost in a good story, of escapism, of relating to or becoming those characters. As writers, we should be looking for those emotions from the words we write. Is your protagonist becoming a good friend, does the antagonist making you angry? Are you grinning, or are you sad and ready to cry? If it’s not moving you then something may be wrong.

9. What book do you wish you had written?
Andy McNab wrote a book called Bravo Two Zero about his experiences in Iraq during the first Gulf War. I was working a police tactical firearms team at the time and with ideas of writing a book, which I wanted to call X-ray Sierra Two Zero, my personal call-sign. By coincidence, I met Andy around that time, while working on an expedition training course and I told him that I had wanted to use this title. His reply — be quicker!

Author Bio – 

I served 25 years with the police in the UK, eight years of which were with a tactical firearms team. In 2002, I took a career change, and retrained as an International Mountain Leader working across the globe guiding on mountaineering trips and expeditions.

 I have led many trips to the jungles of Borneo, my favourite destination, an enchanting place that has sadly seen much deforestation. My trips were based on education and conservation.

In 2011, I won the Bronze in the Wanderlust Magazine World Guide Awards for my work..

 It was whilst working on a corporate training day in London, when I pictured a statue coming to life to give my clients the answer to the clue they were working on. The rest grew from there.

My hope is that my writing will continue to spread the word on conservation and protection of all species.

 I live in France.

 Social Media Links

Facebook https://bit.ly/32TSbnL

Twitter https://twitter.com/KevAlbin

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/sukahutan/

Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-albin-628673182/

Website https://kevin-albin.com/kevin-albin/


 


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