Mastodon The Writing Desk: Blog Tour Interview with Tim Walker, Author of London Tales

17 November 2023

Blog Tour Interview with Tim Walker, Author of London Tales

Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

This collection of eleven tales offers dramatic pinpricks in the rich tapestry of London’s timeline, a city with two thousand years of history. They are glimpses of imagined lives at key moments, starting with a prologue in verse from the point of view of a native Briton tribeswoman absorbing the shock of Roman invasion. The first story is a tense historical adventure set in Roman Londinium in 60 CE from the perspective of terrified legionaries and townsfolk facing the vengeful Iceni queen, Boudica, whose army burnt the fledgling city to the ground.

I'm pleased to welcome author Tim Walker to The Writing Desk:

Tell us about your latest book 

Hi and thanks for inviting me to The Writing Desk. My new book is London Tales, a collection of eleven short stories that offer pinpricks in the rich tapestry of London’s two-thousand-year history. The stories start in Roman Londinium, then to Medieval London at the time of the Peasant’s Revolt, on to the Great Fire of London, an Ice Fair in Georgian London, Jack the Ripper copycat killings, a Blitz romance, the Swinging Sixties and the London terror attacks of 2007. The collection is capped with a futuristic tale set during the final evacuation as rising sea levels claim the city.

What is your preferred writing routine?

Now I’m retired, I prefer to write in the mornings when my mind is alert and I can recall ideas that have been filtering overnight. I often start by reviewing and editing what was written the day before, then get onto the new stuff. I type into Word documents on an aging laptop, often referring to handwritten notes.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Write in the genre you enjoy reading. With me, it’s usually historical fiction, as I enjoy researching history. It’s important to convey your enthusiasm for the subject matter to the reader, otherwise if your writing comes across as flat, the reader will lose interest. Your enthusiasm is a key factor in tying the reader into your story.

What have you found to be the best way to raise awareness of your books?

I post a lot on social media – Facebook, X, Instagram and I’ve even joined TikTok! Following Twitter’s weird rebirth as ‘X’, new rival platforms have emerged that are slowly gaining traction, namely Hive, Threads and Bluesky. If I’ve got a new book, then I’ll blog about it on Jetpack/Wordpress, Medium and Blogger. If I do a Kindle price promotion, then I might pay for a Facebook Page Boost and raid the Kindle Facebook groups. I will do a launch blog tour and have been known to run an advert or two on the Fussy Librarian!

Tell us something unexpected you discovered during your research

The slow reveal of England’s history is an ongoing affair, with new discoveries, often made by archaeologists, opening our eyes to hitherto unknown details of our past and of the lives of our ancestors. I learned much about Roman Londinium from Life in Roman London by Simon Webb. I was able to include details of the buildings and layout of pre-Boudican revolt Londinium, including that the main east to west road was named the Via Decumena, and that the early settlement grew around two army camps on the highest hills – Ludgate Hill and Cornhill. 

The city that was overrun and burnt down by Boudica in 60 CE, the subject of my story, Londinium Falling, had only a ditch and earth bank defence, perhaps with two corner towers and a simple wooden gatehouse to the north road. This was because the Romans were not expecting attack from the land side as the local tribes had been pacified. The sacking of London, Colchester and St Albans by the vengeful Icini queen led to a policy of settlements being contained within stone block walls for greater security. Webb tells us that because there were no suitable building stones in or close to Londinium, a stone quarry was established in Kent and blocks would have been transported to Londinium on barges down the River Medway and onto the Thames. Most of London’s stone comes from the hills of Kent.

What are you planning to write next?

I am currently working on an audiobook script for London Times, and hope to have it produced and available by March 2024. As for a winter novel, I might go back to a historical fiction sequel to my Roman Britain novel, Guardians at the Wall. 

Tim Walker

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About the Author

Tim Walker is an independent author living near Windsor in the UK. Although born in Hong Kong in the sixties, he grew up in Liverpool where he began his working life as a trainee reporter on a local newspaper. After attaining a degree in Communication Studies he moved to London where he worked in the newspaper publishing industry for ten years before relocating to Zambia where, following a period of voluntary work with VSO, he set up his own marketing and publishing business. He returned to the UK in 2009. His creative writing journey began in earnest in 2013, as a therapeutic activity whilst recovering from cancer treatment. He began writing an historical fiction series, A Light in the Dark Ages, in 2014, inspired by a visit to the part-excavated site of former Roman town Calleva Atrebatum at Silchester in Hampshire. The series connects the end of Roman Britain to elements of the Arthurian legend and is inspired by historical source material, presenting an imagined historical fiction of Britain in the fifth and early sixth centuries. The last book in the series, Arthur, Rex Brittonum, was published in June 2020. This is a re-imagining of the story of King Arthur and follows on from 2019’s Arthur Dux Bellorum. Tim took early retirement on medical grounds and now divides his time between writing and helping out at a Berkshire-based charity, Men’s Matters. Find out more about the author at his website and find him on Facebook, Bluesky and Twitter @timwalker1666

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for hosting Tim Walker today, with a fascinating interview.

    Take care,
    Cathie xx
    The Coffee Pot Book Club


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