Friday, July 8, 2016

Girl in the Air: A Conversation with Magical Realism/Paranormal Thriller Author Tyle Pike

Tyler Pike is an up-and-coming voice in the thriller genre, earning many accolades for his newly launched thriller series. Before turning to novels, he was a sinologist, lived in China for many years, and eventually earned a PhD in Chinese poetry and lectured at the University of Sydney in Chinese. He and his wife also spent many years studying Hindu philosophy, traveling in India and running a yoga studio in Sydney, before it all came down on their heads.
When he is not writing, you’ll either find him down at the beach with his young family or out on the open road. He is an avid ocean swimmer and long distance runner.

Tyler Pike lives with his family in Australia and the US.

Tyler is different from most popular writers in that he endeavors to respond personally to every email and loves sharing his journey with his readers.

For updates on work in progress and free book offers, join Tyler’s “reading group” on his website:
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A teenaged loner who sees more than she should, Alice Brickstone’s mission in life is to find out who or what killed her twin brother a decade earlier. All her parents will divulge is that he died on a
family trip to an ashram in India, a place impossibly far from her remote ski town in Colorado. When she begins to see faces from her childhood nightmares, Alice buries her fear and pounces on the opportunity to hunt for information…and revenge. She works alone and observes no caution. Her simple mission is complicated when a strange Himalayan hermit shows up in the woods near her house telling her that she has paranormal abilities. Skeptical but determined to use any advantage to end the threat against her, she is shocked to suddenly become the hunted. There is only one way out—Alice must master her newfound skills and fly before tragedy takes over again.

GIRL IN THE AIR is the first book in a series of page-turning, fast-paced magical realism thrillers set in the Rocky Mountains. Be transported into Alice’s low-tech world of ancient yogic supernatural abilities, modern teenaged angst and post-modern world problems. Readers interested in Asian mythology will love discovering subtle allusions to the Mahabharata, and yoga practitioners will twist and writhe in their seats. If you like your heroes big like Jack Reacher, weird like Carrie, or scarred like Harry Potter, you’ll love Tyler Pike’s character, Alice Brickstone.

Buy GIRL IN THE AIR today and join Alice on her harrowing ride.

“It’s good, and wackily funny, and mostly ridiculously believable…An unstoppable magic realism action thriller.” – Tom Flood, Award-winning Author

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Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

When I’m not writing or hanging out with my beautiful 2 year old daughter, Pippi, I like to play in nature. When I’m at home in Sydney, I’m either out surfing or ocean swimming. When I’m in Colorado, I’m usually hiking, trail running, mountain biking, or skiing. We just got returned from an epic journey through Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. We went to the Telluride bluegrass festival, explored the Grand Tetons, and back-country backpacked in Yellowstone. Such beautiful country. Oh, and I’m also a professional trumpet player, an interest that, unfortunately, gets less and less of my attention as I grow as an author.

When did you start writing?

I’ve always written poetry, but I didn’t write my first short story until I was a college student at Berkeley.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

Most of us have a secret wish—something big, private, and bold. I do too, but like most people, I considered my wish to be too childish, na├»ve, impractical, and I stuffed it in a hidden box, locked up, and ignored except in my dreams. But when many of my other dreams suddenly all came true when our daughter Pippi was born, I realized that life is too short to ignore secret wishes, and I decided to toss my other careers out the window and become a full time novelist.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

I actually have done exactly that. I’m currently in a remote and secret location in the Rocky Mountains researching and writing my third Alice Brickstone book.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

I feel that there are always more hours in the day if you shut off the internet. Unfortunately our satellite internet server has conked out so I feel like I have many many extra hours every day. I’m using it to spend more time with Pippi and to write.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

Back to your present book, Girl in the Air, how did you publish it?

I always wanted full creative and marketing control of my work, so I never bothered to approach any traditional publishers. I’m very pleased with how things are working out for me as an indie author. Most of my readers find me on Amazon, but my books are also available on all the other online book retailers.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

I’m almost always travelling and taking careful notes. The locations in Girl in the Air are fictional, but are based on trips I made to the Steamboat Springs area of Colorado.

Why was writing Girl in the Air so important to you?

The book world needed a new female hero. Hermionie Granger is loyal, smart, and talented, but always a sidekick. Candiss Everdeen is heroic but perhaps a bit too serious and removed from reality for my taste. The same goes for Lisbeth Salander, and many others. There are plenty of thriller heroines out there with “special skills” who do a lot of killing with guns and knives, but I’m not that into violence.

A few years ago, my wife Tamsin and I were in a Jacuzzi in the Rockies of Colorado, and got to talking about the lack of good book heroines. We were scantily clothed (this was two years before children!). It was my parent’s Jacuzzi, an outdoor one with a view of the sun setting over the mountains.

Just when the moon rose, we had an epiphany, and came up with the character that would became Alice Brickstone, the heroine in my new series. Alice was a very, very different kind of literary character. Yes, like the other popular literary heroines, she was conceived to right wrongs that we saw in the world. But from the moment of her Jacuzzi birth, Alice turned away from the mainstream world forever and started doing things her way. Alice doesn’t listen, she is stubborn, and she will go her own way no matter what. But her inner strength of character drives her to get the job done, and she is more insightful than any of her literary peers. Most importantly, she can literally fly. For us it became a metaphor for rising above the mundane, like in a flying dream. For Alice, however, it’s a literal means of escaping what and whom she fears, and pursuing the truth, as well as getting to remote places of deep solitude, which is what she often needs.

There was another reason my wife and I felt that we needed a new heroine to save us. Tam and I had just had gotten too close to a yoga group that we had learned was, in reality, a fairly nasty cult, with a guru at the top who many believe was sexually abusing some of his young, female followers. A pattern had emerged, and we began to see the pattern reflected in groups and communities all over the yoga world and beyond. At the same time, we felt strongly that our experience with yoga and meditation had been rewarding beyond our dreams. We hoped that Alice Brickstone could help us reconcile our experience and also do something to avenge the victims of abusive teachers and gurus out there.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

Meditation and walking in the woods, because those are the two times my head is clearest.

Any final words?

Just a thank you to my readers: if you have already picked up a copy of GitA and read it, I just want to let you know how grateful I am. It has always been my dream to reach readers with a fun novel like this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading it and making my dream come true!

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