Christmas is Coming - Tony Park
Described by the Canberra Times as 'One of our best and most consistent thriller writers', Tony Parks' latest release is THE PREY, his tenth fiction novel. He has also co-authored a number of non-fiction autobiographies.
Tony grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney. Nowadays, and along with his wife Nicola, he divides his time between their home in N.S.W. and Southern Africa where the couple own a tent and a series III Land Rover. I love reading Tony's books and he joins me now in the Christmas is Coming Series to answer some questions.
Remember to share, tweet, retweet, mention any of these posts on Facebook and Twitter using the tag #bushchristmas and you'll go into the draw for a $75.00 Booktopia voucher.
My Latest Release
'The Prey' is a contemporary thriller set in a gold mine and on the border of South Africa's iconic Kruger National Park. Illegal miners (known in Africa as 'zama zamas', or 'chancers') run sophisticated mining operation underground in parrallel with legal mines. South African mine manager Cameron McMurtrie is fighting a full scale war undergroun when one of his men is kidnapped by the zama zamas. His high flying corporate boss, Kylie Hamilton, is dispatched from head office in Australia to oversea the rescue operation. The company is also involved in plans to establish a new mine in a wildlife area on the edge of the Kruger National Park - Kylie and Cameron are fighting battles undergroun and aboveground, and with each other.
What was the idea/the revelation/the ‘kicking off point’/the impetus for writing this particular novel?
I read an article in the South African newspaper, The Sunday Times, a couple of years ago about 'zama zamas' and the extraordinary lengths mining companies were going to in order to tackle the problem of illegal mining. Ex special forces soldiers were being brought in to take on the illegal miners, who were armed with assault rifles and grenades and fighting underground battles to protect their criminal operations. This kind of thing could only happen in Africa and I thought it would make the basis of a ripping yarn.
What is your funniest ‘real life’ Christmas story?
When I was about 10 my brother and I woke up to find no presents under the tree. 'Santa' had been to a big Christmas Eve lunch and had forgotten to get the presents off lay-by! Christmas wasn't great, but December 27, when the toy shop re-opened, was fun.
Best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
The first person in South Africa who ever contacted me about my first novel, Far Horizon, happened to be a guy who owned a luxury safari lodge in the Kruger National Park. He liked my book and invited my wife, Nicola, and I to stay at his lodge. The only days we could get in were Christmas Day and Boxing Day. We'd been camping in the bush for months and this was the height of luxury. Robert, the reader, has since become a really good friend of ours.
Worst Christmas present you’ve ever received?
I used to hate receiving socks and undies for Christmas as a kid. Now I need new ones and no one ever gives them to me.
Best Christmas present you’ve ever bought for someone else?
A GPS car satnav for my wife, Nicola. She was a bit offended at first, as she prides herself on her map reading ability, but she and the little lady who live inside it now get on quite well. (Margareta: Nicola, I can SO relate to this ...)
This Christmas, who would be the best person to buy your novel for?
Anyone who likes Africa, adventure, and a bit of funny business on the side.
Here's Tony hard at work although I'm sure there's a beverage of some description (like beer) just outside the photo . Having grown up on a reading diet which was heavily weighted by my Dad's Wilbur Smith novels, I adore novels set in Africa. So, if you'd like a fast paced, action and adventure story with a dose of romance set in an evocative part of the world, I'd suggest giving Tony's books a whirl.
Tony, along with Pan MacMillan Australia, have kindly donated a copy of THE PREY for us to giveaway. Leave a comment below and you'll go in the draw to win the book or a signed Christmas Card from this amazing author.