Friday, September 30, 2022

Exiles by Daniel Blythe - Book Tour

Book Blurb

In a distant galaxy, Bethany Kane has cheated death.
Now, she has to fight for life.

In an escape pod launched from a great starship, 15-year-old ChapterSister Bethany Aurelia Kane, believer in the Great Power, makes landfall on a windswept world known as The Edge – a planet light years from civilisation.

Battered and shaken, Beth soon finds she is not alone. The Edge is a penal colony where, under the leadership of Zachary Tal, fifty juvenile criminals and reprobates have pulled together a kind of society. They are living and working together in Town, a converted scientific base in the shadow of their crashed spaceship. They have crops, fresh water and electrical power – and are assisted by a contingent of mechanised Drones.

Storms, power failure, illness and death are just a few of the challenges the teenage exiles battle. As Beth accustoms herself to her new life on The Edge, she has to overcome her fears, learn new skills and earn the respect of leader Zach, the arrogant Colm, the resentful Mia and the others. But when a terrible, violent event shatters the colony’s existence, it seems nothing will ever be the same. Who among them is a killer? And just how isolated are they really?...

As the clock ticks towards a final revelation, Beth needs all her new skills and resourcefulness to stop The Edge from plunging into anarchy. And she has her own secret too – one which will prove decisive in the battle for survival…

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Author Interview
1. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Just keep writing, keep reading, believe in your work – and get as much experience of human nature as you can. You don’t know as much as you think you do!

2. Favorite childhood memory involving books?
I was a huge fan of the library, and I devoured the William books by Richmal Crompton, the Jennings books by Anthony Buckeridge and the Doctor Who novelisations. I’ve talked about them all on my YouTube channel!

3. What fantastical fictional world would you want to live in (if any) given the chance?
I always rather liked the utopian Culture in the Iain M Banks novels, but I would also like to explore (maybe not live in!) Middle Earth and the solar system of The Expanse (although one’s life expectancy there seems rather slim!).

4. Did you want to be an author when you grew up?
Absolutely. I was set on it from about the age of 5 or 6, and was always writing little ‘books’ on exercise-book paper. Some were in the form of comics, but I soon realised I could not draw. I looked at the names on the books I owned and the books I got from the library, and decided I wanted to be like these people – having writing as a job! As a teenager I got hold of Michael Legat’s legendary books on writing and my first ever Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook, which began to open my eyes to the professional side of writing.

5. Have you ever met anyone famous?
Several Doctor Whos, who are all splendid fellows, and assorted companions. A few singers and musicians just to chat to briefly, all nice people. Various actors and other writers at conventions, etc. Just people doing a job!

 6. If you were the last person on Earth, what would you do?
Look for a way off…

7. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Read widely, even in genres you may not like – you can learn from everything. Even if you read a bad book, it will help with your writing – realising what ‘bad’ is, and how it could be better, is enormously helpful in your writing process.

8. What book do you wish you had written?
Many, but one from the last 10 years which stands out is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

 9. What’s a typical writing day like for you?
I try to do something first thing in the morning, which usually ends up being admin – emails or similar. I always give myself a break for Ken Bruce’s Popmaster at 10.30am! I don’t have a set number of words to do every day or week, but I do admire people who can do this. A few summers ago I experimented with getting up really early to write (5am), seeing if the early light helped, but it didn’t – I am just not a morning person at all! I often get more done very late at night.

10. If you had to pick a celebrity to cast for your main character, who would it be?
When I first started writing Exiles, Kaya Scodelario would have been ideal for Beth, but she’s a woman in her late 20s now, so things have moved on! I would have to take advice from the younger people in my family. I’m sure they could recommend someone.

11. Would you ever write under a pseudonym?
I have written as Dan Roberts, and would consider doing so again.

12. What’s one thing you’d like to say to your readers?
Thank you very much for reading my books. I know it is very hard to keep up with everything that’s out there, and writers really appreciate the support!

Author Bio

Daniel Blythe was born in Maidstone and attended Maidstone Grammar School and St John's College, Oxford, then Christ Church University, Canterbury. As well as being a writer he has worked as a tour guide, a languages tutor, a translator, a Lifelong Learning development worker and a tutor of Creative Writing.

He is the author of several novels for children and adults, as well as a writer of non-fiction on subjects as diverse as popular music, politics, collecting gadgets and games, parenting and the history of robotics. He has written several of the official Doctor Who books licensed by the BBC, including Autonomy. Daniel's first book with a teenage narrator was The Cut, which was followed by further novels Losing Faith and This is the Day. In 2012 his first supernatural fantasy novel for young readers, Shadow Runners, was published. Emerald Greene and the Witch Stones (for age 9-12) was published in 2015 and a sequel Emerald Greene: Instruments of Darkness in 2017. He has written shorter 'reluctant reader' books called New Dawn, I Spy (nominated for the Leicester Reading Rampage Award 2018), Fascination, Kill Order, Hope and Truth and Kiss the Sky.

Daniel has worked as a visiting author in over 400 schools, and has taught on the MA in Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University. He now mentors, advises and edits writers of all ages through Cornerstones UK and the Faber Academy and is a regular judge on the Novel Slam for the 'Off The Shelf' festival. Daniel lives in the Peak District, with his wife and their two student children.

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