Welcome to my Q and A author interview today featuring Toni Pike, multi-genre author of both, thrillers and nonfiction books. I’ve read two of Toni’s books so far, and you can check out both my reviews for Desolation Bluff and Dead Dry Heart.
Toni has traveled all the way from Australia here today, lol, so let’s get to know more about her and her books!
Toni Pike enjoys writing exciting thrillers and non-fiction books. She also loves travelling and being with family and friends. She lives in Australia and firmly believes that coffee and long walks are an essential part of any day.
Do you like books that you can’t stop reading? Pike is the author of DESOLATION BLUFF, DEAD DRY HEART and The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series: THE MAGUS COVENANT, THE ROCK OF MAGUS, THE MAGUS EPIPHANY and HOLY SPEAR OF MAGUS.
She’s also the author of two non-fiction books. THE ONE WAY DIET is a no-nonsense guide to losing weight and coping with the journey. HAPPY TRAVELS 101 is a short book of travel tips with great advice for anyone who wants to travel overseas.
Great to have you over today Toni. Now let’s get to know a little more about you!
How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite, and if so, why?
I’ve written eight books: six thrillers and two non-fiction books. The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series is a four-book religious conspiracy series which is action-packed and fast-moving. I’ve also written two standalone suspense thrillers which are set in Australia. DEAD DRY HEART is about a brilliant young man who becomes the Prime Minister but is hiding a terrible secret from his past. DESOLATION BLUFF is about a blind romance author who suddenly regains his sight and discovers a shocking betrayal.
I also have a weight loss book, THE ONE WAY DIET, and a book of travel tips, HAPPY TRAVELS 101.
I must admit that I love all my books, but my favorite is THE MAGUS COVENANT because that was the start of my life as an author. DESOLATION BLUFF, my latest thriller, is a close second because I think it is my best work.
D.G. – I love that you are a multi-genre author. And I also thoroughly enjoy your two lone thrillers and look forward to getting into the Magus series, presently living on my Kindle, lol.
Which author friends of yours inspire you by being supportive to your writing?
Since my first book, THE MAGUS CONVENANT, was published, I feel as if I’ve become part of a tight-knit community and I’ve met so many other authors who have been supportive of my writing. That support comes in various ways, whether reading my books, writing a review, sharing my Facebook or Twitter posts, allowing me to be a guest on their blog, offering advice, or just being there as a friend. Debby Kaye is one of my favourite bloggers and one of the most generous writers around. Sally Cronin selflessly devotes a large part of her website to promoting other writers. Some of my other friends include Lucinda E. Clarke, Bette Stevens, and dozens of others. And they are all an inspiration with their own writing.
D.G. – Okay, now I’m blushing, but so honored to be on your list of favs! We do sure have a wonderful community we’re all part of.
Do you edit and proofread your own work solely or do you hire an editor?
I firmly believe in having my work edited by other people because it’s impossible see all your own mistakes. Prior to sending out my manuscript, though, I do my best to edit it myself and also use spellchecker a couple of times.
I’m very lucky because I have two experts who are wonderful friends. Paul Bland is not only a former school principal and English teacher, but he has also published his own adventure stories for children. He is the perfect person to edit my stories, provide advice and story suggestions, and do grammar and typographical editing. My friend Christine Curwen is a genius at spotting typographical errors, and always checks my drafts at least twice.
D.G. – That’s wonderful you have a great team to help out with pre-edits. I think it’s essential to have a group where we can help each other when we have a new release. After all, it takes a village!
How do you stay motivated to keep writing?
Once I get a task underway, I usually find that I’m able to stick with it to the end – and that also applies to my writing. A detailed story outline helps me to stay on track and I keep myself motivated by using a number of techniques. I focus on long-term planning and thinking about publishing my final manuscript. I set myself mini- goals to achieve each day, then write for about half an hour at a time, followed by a short break. I also prioritise my own self-care, making sure I do some exercise, get enough sleep, meditate every day and eat a healthy diet.
D.G. – It’s obvious you’ve established a great writing pattern. It’s essential that we self-discipline ourselves with goals, even if they do get changed.
If you could have any of your books made into a movie, which one would you choose and why?
I think that THE MAGUS COVENANT and the other books in that series would make great movies, as they are are fast-moving, involving a series of exotic locations, car chases, fights, an intriguing mystery and plenty of action to keep viewers on the edge of their seat. However, a big budget would be needed. My latest thriller, DESOLATION BLUFF, would make an excellent movie with a far more modest budget. It’s set in a mansion in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, with a small cast of characters but plenty of drama, romance, murder, mystery and suspense.
D.G. – Funny you say that because I really could envision Desolation Bluff as a movie when I read it! Perhaps your Magus series could be like the next Dan Brown series!
It was a treat having Toni over hear today. And below, Toni is sharing an excerpt with us from her psychological thriller – Desolation Bluff.
An Excerpt from DESOLATION BLUFF
The next day, Oliver felt a growing sense of excitement. Five o’clock in the afternoon finally arrived, and he had a plan. He knew Vanessa and Ray would soon be home and he wanted to greet them at the cottage. She would stop her car to drop Ray home, and he would be waiting for them. He would ask if they could all go inside – and then he would tell them the wonderful news.
Oliver walked confidently down the driveway, although he held his cane as usual in case Helen or someone else saw him. There was also the chance that Vanessa and Ray would arrive and he wanted to keep his secret safe until he told them. He passed the hedge at the edge of the small garden and saw the red Mercedes. But he was surprised to see another vehicle parked behind two large shrubs. He walked over to it and when he saw the badge he realised it must be Vanessa’s car. They were already home, and he wondered if they had managed to catch an earlier flight. He was surprised that Vanessa hadn’t phoned to tell him.
He approached the front door and felt overwhelmed with excitement at the thought of seeing them. They would be stunned by the news, and for the first time he would actually see his beautiful bride. Oliver left his cane on the ground and approached the front door. But when he reached it he could see that it was slightly ajar. He gently pushed it open and walked inside.
He saw the small front hall for the first time, and then he glanced in the adjoining rooms. “Are you there, Ray?” he asked softly – but there was no response.
Listening carefully, he could hear an almost imperceptible sound that seemed to be coming from upstairs. He walked slowly up the compact flight of stairs. He knew the second bedroom was Ray’s office, so he guessed they must be up there discussing some work.
As he reached the top he heard another sound, slightly louder this time but still unclear. He knew the layout of the place and the first door was the study. It was shut, but the second door was open slightly. That was themaster bedroom.
As he took a step towards it, he heard a soft moan. Then he reached the door and glanced inside.
A Recent Review for DESOLATION BLUFF
5 stars – Terri Webster Schrandt
Bluff is the operative word in the new thriller by Toni Pike. This short novel is quickly engaging and a page- flipper as Pike weaves this suspenseful tale of betrayal set in the Southern Highlands region of Australia. Romance author Oliver Cameron is blind from childhood, but an accident restores his sight unbeknownst to his housekeeper, new wife, and literary partner. The minute Oliver “sees” the treachery of his partner and his own wife, he engineers a subtle cat and mouse game of revenge that will stun you to the end and leave you well- satisfied.
Pike is fast becoming a master in the suspense fiction genre and Desolation Bluff is a great addition to her growing collection of books.
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Instagram: @authorlovestravel – Sharing my travel photos from around the world
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