Interview with Thomas Greenbank
Author of GOLD! The Kincaid Saga, Book 1.
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How did you come up with the idea for your book?
- The original idea came from a writing exercise while I was completing a correspondence course in writing several years ago. All I had then was the ending and a vague idea of a storyline.
I started work on GOLD! while I was employed as a wide-load pilot driver escorting oversize loads—mostly mining equipment—around regional Western Australia. I did that for six years during which time I met many of the people who would influence the way I built the characters and situations in the story.
What sort of research did you do to write this book?
- Aside from what I learned while sub-contracting as a pilot driver I researched the lives of various well-known entrepreneurs and wheeler-dealers.
I also joined a gold fossickers forum where I picked up lots of information on gold-mining techniques.
The locations were easy, as I’d visited and worked in each of the regions mentioned in the book.
What are you working on next?
- I’m working on the first draft of what will become book 2 in the Kincaid Saga. It’s a prequel that follows the life of Malcolm’s father, Angus, and shows how he influenced Malcolm’s character. Hint: Angus is not a nice man, either.
Can you give a fun fact about writing your book?
- A pivotal part of the story concerns the creation of a fake gold nugget. This actually happened. Not exactly the way it does in the book, but if you research the Mickelberg Brothers and the Yellow Rose of Texas nugget, you’ll see where I gleaned some inspiration from.
Do you have any favorite authors or genres?
- I don't have any specific favorite writers. I've always enjoyed Stephen King's work, despite the fact that I reckon most of his books are about 20% too long. Dean Koontz is another long-time fave.
The best new release I've read recently was Boy Swallows Universe, by Trent Dalton.
Generally, I like books that make good use of action and punchy dialogue. I'd rather follow a story by how characters act and what they say rather than having it all explained to me in purple prose.
What started you on the path to writing?
- I’ve dabbled in writing for most of my life, though I’d never really taken it seriously. In my younger days, I was too busy trying to be a rock star. That did not work out exactly as planned.
I saw a newspaper ad one day for ‘The Writing School’ (now known as Sackville Academy) and enrolled in a correspondence course. From then on I was well and truly bitten by the writing bug.
GOLD! took four years to write, from first rough draft to finished manuscript. I only worked on it part-time for the first three years though as I was basically learning the craft as I went along. I bought and read a plethora of books and attended several online courses during that time.
Which character in ‘GOLD!' has had the greatest impact on readers?
- Definitely Malcolm. Let's face it, he's the principal protagonist as well as the villain. Rachel probably deserved more time on ‘center stage’ but she'll get her time in the limelight in a later book. This will be a spin-off about her and Graham.
The same applies to Marita Rose. She doesn't have a big role in GOLD! but I'll be covering her early life in another spin-off.
What was the biggest surprise you had after becoming a writer?
- The biggest surprise is how much I enjoy it and how I feel as if this is what I was meant to do all along. If I’d put as much effort into writing as I did into my music ‘career’ I’d possibly be a superstar now. Well, maybe not, but I’d certainly be way ahead of where I am right now, that’s for sure. To all aspiring authors out there—it’s never too late (or early) to make a start.
How have readers responded to GOLD?
- The reviews have been really great. I haven't done a lot of promotion as I'm waiting until the second book is out. That way I'll get more bang for my buck by promoting both books at once.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
- Actually, yes. (Aside from high school essays that is) It wasn't all that good, but it did win me an award at our local small-town show so that's something.
Interestingly, I'm also currently working on turning a short story I wrote about fifteen years ago into a novel or novella.
That's the thing with being a writer; all the stuff that doesn't make the grade can always be recycled one way or another.
Every family has secrets. Some secrets are more deadly than others.
GOLD! is an 80,000-word 4.5-star gritty Family Saga set in the Western Australian goldfields, 1975-2005. This is a tale of greed, betrayal, family conflict, and murder. It is also, however, a story of love, loyalty, and retribution. This is an Aussie tale, as big as the country in which it is set, populated by true Aussie characters and a villain you'll love to hate.
Malcolm Kincaid is a self-made man. He is also a ruthless businessman and opportunist. He knows what it takes to build and maintain a business empire, but how far will he be prepared to go to achieve his goals — and what will he sacrifice along the way?
Over three decades, Malcolm Kincaid uses, abuses, and dominates associates and family alike, crushing all opposition in his pursuit of wealth and power. When he allows the pollution of an Aboriginal settlement’s water supply, however, he faces justice of a kind he could never imagine.
This is a story filled with unexpected twists and intriguing sub-plots. Please Note: GOLD! contains elements of drug abuse and sex scenes and is suitable for mature readers only.