I’m pleased to welcome an author from the far North of Scotland today. Barry Litherland is chatting about his book Waves Break on Unknown Shores and sharing #TenThings he’d like his readers to know about him.
- I live in the far North of Scotland, not far from John O’Groats. From the sun-lounge, a room which doubles as my writing room, I look out over an area of moorland to the sea, about a mile away. In the distance the Island of Hoy with its red, sandstone cliffs, gathers light and cloud in ever-changing patterns. To my right, the most northerly point on the UK mainland, Dunnet Head, projects like the keel of a rocky ship.
- I love clouds, mists, mountain ridges, gale-force winds on cliff paths, the sea, hen harriers, otters, children, dogs, and an occasional bottle of beer. I like happy endings, especially when they are tinged with melancholy, and characters who change or are redeemed.
- I hate selfishness, cruelty, guns, aubergines, peanut butter, climate change deniers, litter and Brexit. I despise anyone capable of harming children or animals.
- Children often feature in my books. Years in primary education as a teacher and head teacher can take the blame. A child can provide a unique perspective, as in my current novel, The Trophy Room or, as in Waves Break, where children encounter a situation which is all the more horrifying because they can’t fully understand it. In the complex world of Turbulence, a child’s perspective is beautifully, and refreshingly simple, black and white, no shades. Heart-breaking too.
- I think a teacher’s job description should include a requirement that every day they make each child aware that they are special, valued, and understood. If a teacher doesn’t love sharing story-books with primary age children, I think they should consider a different profession.
- I love editing, and generally take four months to complete a first draft, and eight months to revise and edit it. Before their final draft, my books, like dormice, spend a few months in hibernation. When I awaken them, I see them through fresh eyes. My latest book, The Trophy Room, a dark, psychological thriller,has just snuggled down for a few months. Breakers, an edge-of-your-seat paranormal crime story, is stirring.
- My favourite book is Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. I’ve been known to boast that I’ve read Ulysses and Moby Dick three times, and In Search of Lost Time twice, but no-one seems particularly impressed. I read every day – classics, modern fiction (often Booker short-listed) and Indie. I’ve discovered some very talented Indie authors out there.
- Some of my novels are set against the back-drop of the mountains and sea cliffs of the NW Highlands (The Hand of Ronan Hawke, and Breakers, for example). The setting brings into relief the loneliness of life, and the sustaining importance of human relationships. In this vast and empty cosmos, we only have each other. By contrast, my Philip Tyler novels, Waves Break and Shifting Sands, are set in a bustling seaside town. I like to think of these settings as additional and important characters in the stories.
- Three of my books are written in the first person, Waves Break, Shifting Sands and Breakers. It gives me a chance to create a character and to see the world through their eyes. I confess, I love the character of Phil Tyler in Waves Break and Shifting Sands. His is a perfect perspective for drawing out the shades of light and darkness I want. He also adds a lot of humour.
- Four more books will be ready for publication in 2020. A paranormal thriller, Breakers, set in the NW Highlands, Shifting Sands, the second of my Phillip Tyler novels, and two novels for primary age children. The Trophy Room will be ready for 2021. Part three of the Philip Tyler series has already been planned out. I intend to start on it in the next month or so. I like to keep busy!
Thanks to Kelly at Love Books Tours for inviting me to join the blogtour. Waves Break on Unknown Shores is available now in ebook and paperback formats. You can order your copy here: Waves Break On
From the back of the book
Past events cast shadows you can’t outrun. Wayne and Phil knew that better than anyone, after Stevie died, way back when they were children. A pebble dropped in a pool. Ripples spreading outwards. Who knew where they would end?
About the author
Barry Litherland is an author living and working in the far north of Scotland, not far from John O’Groats. He writes in a variety of genres but has achieved greatest success with his recent crime and paranormal crime thrillers, Waves Break on Unknown Shores, The Hand of Ronan Hawke and Turbulence. He is an avid reader and loves classical novels, modern literary fiction and self-published books. When he’s not writing or reading, he likes photography, at an amateur level, cycling, and walking the mountains and coastlines of the Northern Highlands. Some of his photographs are shared on his website bleaknorth.net.
After a successful and rewarding career in primary education, he now considers writing his new vocation and writes a new book each year. He has two new novels awaiting proofreading prior to publication and – a new venture – two Middle-Grade children’s novels (for 8-12-year-olds.)
He is married to Susie, has three children, a grandson, Harry, and two springer spaniels, Ziggy and Daisy.