Friday, May 11, 2012

The Analyst by PT Dawkins: Interview : Nurture Tour Stop





Title: The Analyst
Author: PT Dawkins
Genre: Fiction – Wall Street Thriller
Published by: Llumina Press
Publication Date: August 2011
Recommended Age: 18+
Format(s): eBook, trade paperback
ISBN 13: 9781605947235
Number of pages: 300



After David Heart’s father’s estate is squandered by bad advice, his mother faces eviction and his grandfather needs life-saving surgery. A seemingly-helpful family friend finds David a seat at a bucket-shop off-Wall Street firm with the promise that money flows like wine.
Naive and quickly recognized as an easy mark, David is plunged into the eat-what-you-kill world of a trading desk, where the analysts, salesmen and traders sit like pigs at a two-sided trough. Bullied by the cruel, abusive head trader known only as Blackie, David is relieved when Sandy Allen, a strikingly provocative street-smart saleswoman, comes to his aid. But, what David doesn’t realize is that hidden agendas are everywhere, and no one can be trusted.

Now the target of extortion, David must make an impossible choice: facilitate an insider-trading felony in exchange for the money his family desperately needs, or face the cruelty of his mentor-turned-predator who has framed David and promises that he alone will be found guilty and suffer the consequences of the crime he refused to commit.
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How did you start your writing career?


I knew I enjoyed writing as far back as high school.  I am not sure I fit the standard definition of wanting to “be a writer” because it has never been a career.  For me, writing has always been a means to an end. I used it extensively in my career in the investment industry. Having left that over four years ago, I have a wonderful opportunity to fulfill a dream – to write and publish fiction novels.


Tell us about a favorite character from a book.


I like the Sandy Allen character because I think she’s unique. If someone were to play her in a movie, the actress would have to be a very attractive but hard-nosed, street-smart woman. Angelina Jolie perhaps?


Tell us about your current release.


After David Heart’s father’s estate is squandered by bad advice, his mother faces eviction and his grandfather needs life-saving surgery. A seemingly-helpful family friend finds David a seat at a bucket-shop off-Wall Street firm with the promise that money flows like wine.

Naive and quickly recognized as an easy mark, David is plunged into the eat-what-you-kill world of a trading desk, where the analysts, salesmen and traders sit like pigs at a two-sided trough. Bullied by the cruel, abusive head trader known only as Blackie, David is relieved when Sandy Allen, a strikingly provocative street-smart saleswoman, comes to his aid. But, what David doesn’t realize is that hidden agendas are everywhere, and no one can be trusted.

Now the target of extortion, David must make an impossible choice: facilitate an insider-trading felony in exchange for the money his family desperately needs, or face the cruelty of his mentor-turned-predator who has framed David and promises that he alone will be found guilty and suffer the consequences of the crime he refused to commit.


Tell us about your next release.


I am ¾’s of the way through the first draft of my next novel. White collar crime thriller. I plan to write three novels and create a trilogy. One of the characters in my first novel, The Analyst, lives on and is part of the second book (and third?)


Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?


I read a lot of John Grisham and Michael Connelly because it is their genre (modified somewhat) I am trying to emulate.


Has someone helped or mentored you in your writing career?


My creative writing courses at the University of Toronto (2003 – 2007).


Who is your favorite author?



My favorite book of all time is probably One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey because of the incredible imagery he creates just using words. I try to do that if I can.


What was your first sale as an author?


I self-published The Analyst about six months ago.


When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?


Morning or at least I do my best writing before noon. I try to write every day, even if just for 30 minutes.


What is the hardest part of writing your books?


I really need to be in a quiet environment for the synapses to work. Not very social! My creativity is a function of day dreaming, which you can’t do when the phone rings.


Where do you research for your books?


If you can’t find information about something on the Internet, then it doesn’t exist.


What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?


They are happy for me and maybe a bit proud.


Does your significant other read your stuff?


As an avid reader of commercial fiction, she was also an important editor.


What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?


Maybe not learned but reminded. Never give up. Keep trying different things and ways to reach your objective.


Who are your books published with?


The Analyst was published by Llumina Press.


How do you describe your writing style?


I am methodical. I learned in my writing courses at the U of Toronto that every scene and chapter needs to have seven elements (the “hook, inciting incident etc.”) Before I write the first word, I do an outline of all of my chapters, which includes specific details of each of the seven points. That is my road map and I follow it as I write (and sometimes change it as I go along.) So, in the novel I am working on now, outlined to have 70 chapters, there are 490 one or two sentence paragraphs describing each part of the scene.  Building that map is part of the creative process for me.


Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of questions do they ask?


I’m not very good at that (because I’m not sure how). But, after all, I’ve only published one book.


What do you think makes a good story?


If the author can get the reader to start to form their own opinions about the story and the characters, then they’ve done a good job.


Plotter or Pantser? Why?


Plotter for sure. See above. It’s just the way I am.


Tell us about your family.


My dedication from The Analyst is “To my family – my core.”


Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?

I use PT Dawkins (my first name is Peter) because when I went to build a website, I found there is another writer out there, named Peter Dawkins. I didn’t want to confuse things. Using initials seemed to work OK for JK Rowling!


Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?



No. The quieter the better.


What was the scariest moment of your life?


 
This interview? (Just kidding). Life is scary (sometimes).


What books have most influenced your life?

I have always loved the poetry of Robert Frost.


 
How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?


 
The plot creation, I mentioned above. I terms of the characters, I try to think of what roles are required in the story – e.g. good guy, bad guy etc. Then I think about people I know, have met or have read about. The characters in The Analyst are Frankensteinian. I just look around the internet for names although Sandy Allen, a character in The Analyst is named after my sister in-law because she kept bugging me saying she wanted to be in my book. The roll is not very complimentary, for a woman or a man. Be careful what you ask for!


What book are you reading now?


 
I am currently reading 1Q84. I like reading things that differ from my writing style to see what I can learn to emulate or avoid.


If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?


I am ¾’s of the way through the first draft of my next novel. White collar crime thriller. I plan to write three novels and create a trilogy. One of the characters in my first novel, The Analyst, lives on and is part of the second book (and third?)


As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?


I’m still trying to figure that out. I keep changing my mind.


What are your favorite TV shows?


American Idol, game shows, sports. Can’t stand anything with canned laughter. The Kardashians? Just shoot me.


What songs are most played on your Ipod?


I don’t own one! But if I did, it would be full of classic rock. My cell phone ring tone is Thunderstruck by ACDC.


What is your favorite meal?


Fresh, home cooked.


What group did you hang out with in high school?


I played a lot of sports – football, wrestling, lacrosse.


Do you currently play any sports?



I used to play lots of golf, tennis and skiing. I am doing more Pilates and Tai Chi these days.


What are you passionate about these days?


My family


What do you do to unwind and relax?


A good book, a sunny day outside on a swing and a glass of good California Cabernet Sauvignon (or an ice-cold beer if the wine not available).


Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?


Well, I’m kind of a beginner and was shut down trying to use the traditional method (one year of ignored query letters). But I kept going and self-published.  I’ll probably do the same for book two, get a good start on the trilogy and then try the agent route again. Don’t ever give up.


Do you have a milestone birthday coming up? If so, how are you approaching it?


Birthdays really aren’t that big a deal. So you’re getting older – get over it (and get back to your writing).


Have you attended a high school reunion? What did you learn?


That after the first 10 minutes, the conversations became awkwardly quiet.


At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer?


I am 58 years old, stopped working in the investment industry in Toronto and New York 4 years ago and now have the chance to fulfil a life-long dream – of writing and publishing novels. I knew I enjoyed writing as far back as high school.  I am not sure I fit the standard definition of wanting to “be a writer” because it has never been a career.  For me, writing has always been a means to an end. I used it extensively in my career in the investment industry.



What would you consider to be the best book you have ever read? 


 
Ken Kesey One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is my favorite.


How do you react to a bad review of your book?

 
I try to learn from it.


Are the names of the characters in your novels important?  How and why?


David Heart has heart and Blackie has a dark soul (or so you might think.)


Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?



Morning, for sure.

Tell us about your favorite restaurant.

How can you have just one?


 

Beatles or Monkees? Why?


Beatles. Far more talented. Monkees song sound the same.


New York or LA? Why?

Neither (too big).


Do you have a Website or Blog?








A 28-year veteran of the investment world, P.T. Dawkins writes from experience about the insatiable desire for money that leads to unethical, illegal and unscrupulous behavior. He majored in English at Dartmouth College, earned a MBA from The University of Western Ontario and completed extensive studies in Creative Writing at the University of Toronto.

Find & Follow P.T. Dawkins:
Website  |  Blog  |  Twitter
The Analyst by P.T. Dawkins – NURTURE Book Tour Schedule:
·                 May 7th – Jaidis @ Juniper Grove
·                 May 8th – Meredith Al. @ From Meredith Allard
·                 May 8th – Mindy Wa. @ Books, Books, and more Books
·                 May 9th – Morgen B. @ Morgen Bailey’s Writing Blog
·                 May 10th – Peggy Ma. @ Book Absorption
·                 May 11th – Evangeline H. @ Audacious Reader
·                 May 11th – Laurie J. @ Laurie’s Thoughts & Reviews
·                 May 14th – April R. & Wendy @ My Book Addiction and More
·                 May 15th – Wayne H. @ Blog Business World
·                 May 15th – Makayla Th. @ Makayla’s Book Reviews
·                 May 16th – Sidne K. @ Sidne, the Reading Socialite
·                 May 17th – Norma @ Wakela’s World
·                 May 17th – Laurie J. @ Laurie’s Thoughts & Reviews
·                 May 18th – Bobbie @ Nurture Virtual Book Tourz™ Blog
Read interviews and guest posts, enter giveaways, and learn more about P.T. Dawkins as we follow along on the The Analyst Nurture Book Tour!
Visit P.T. Dawkin's Author Tour Page for more details!

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