Nathan Parker joins me today to take part in my Getting to Know the Character Interview with Tommy Dawson from The Granville Series. On my stop on The Rise Of The Chemist Blog Tour
Granville is in a mess once more.
The streets are infested with Charge, a deadly synthetic drug concocted by an enigma known as The Chemist.
Tommy finds himself in the midst of scandal yet again, as terrifying danger closes in on him; drugs, deaths and deception.
After hitting a rocky patch with Kirsten and things at home as tricky as ever, Tommy feels as though he is invisible.
But when Detective Brightwell calls upon his help in cracking the case, Tommy is immediately immersed into the Granville underworld, with the key surely lying with infamous crime family, the O’Clearys.
With the threat of Smiler looming, trustworthy people are hard to find. So who can he count on this time to help him muddle through this impossible situation?
The Rise of the Chemist is the second book in the Granville Series, sequel to The Disappearance of Timothy Dawson. It is a young adult fiction book, following Tommy’s difficult battle for justice, in a town where crime rules.
A series of teenage deaths triggered by a deadly synthetic drug, thrusts Tommy into the midst of an undercover operation. The targets? The Chemist, creator of the lethal, designer substance known as Charge, and the O’Clearys, a local crime family with their fingers in all kinds of illicit pies.
With one eye looking over his shoulder for the threat of Smiler (book one), Tommy must decide between what is right and what is easy.
With complications arising with Kirsten, and the relentless drive of Detective Brightwell, he finds himself questioning everybody and everything.
Once injected into the O’Cleary family, Tommy comes face to face with a harsh, brutal reality, which he scrambles to escape from.
But is it too late? Will Tommy find a way out? Will Granville ever be safe from Charge? Find out in The Rise of the Chemist.
Getting to Know the Character Interview
Can you describe your character?
Tommy is a diamond in the rough. He’s a likeable lad who has been dealt an unfair hand in life. He’s modest, caring and determined, with a charming wit and endearing self-doubt.
What is Tommy’s job role and where does he work?
Tommy is a high school student when we first meet him, however in The Rise of The Chemist he’s made the jump up to Granville Sixth Form.
Where did the original idea of him come about?
Tommy is an amalgamation of lots of different people and concepts. In many ways, I see myself in Tommy, particularly his relationship with his brother, Derek. But Tommy is also a symbol of the thousands of young people I have encountered across my home town who are living in difficult circumstances, with so much potential and kindness, yet often written off before they’ve even hit their teenage years.
What makes him original?
A combination of street wisdom and sensitivity.
What makes him tick?
Friendship. Justice. The promise of something more to life.
What is his biggest fear?
I’d say there are two:
Not being good enough.
Ending up like his mum, stuck in the depths of despair in Granville, wasting his life.
If you and your character met in real life, do you think you’d get on?
Absolutely – I could see me definitely taking Tommy under my wing. He’s a great lad.
Who would you like to see play Tommy if your books were made into a film or TV show?
I honestly don’t know off the top of my head. In my opinion, many high-profile actors seem too polished. They need to be northern, believable and have experiences which will enable them to empathise with Tommy’s situation.
How many books do you have in the series so far?
There are two books in the series, with a third to follow.
What’s in store for Tommy next?
Without giving too much away from books 1 and 2, Tommy is on path that is leading towards a head on collision. Those that have read 1 and 2 will understand that he also has a way of trouble finding him. So book 3 will take him on another whirlwind journey to the dark and slippery underbelly of Granville, whilst drawing ever closer to a final showdown with his nemesis, Smiler.
About the Author
My name is Nathan Parker, a 32-year-old father of one from Blackpool, Lancashire. I’m recently married to my beautiful wife, Nadina, so beautiful in fact, let’s just say it’s a good job I have my sense of humour to rely on. Family has always been central to my universe, but since becoming a dad I feel as though life makes far more sense than it used to. I thoroughly enjoy spending time with Sonny, my son who is 18 months old – watching him develop and learn brings me a joy I never thought was possible. With any luck, one child may become two – or more – as the years go by.
I’m proud of the fact I was born and raised, schooled and now live and work in sunny Blackpool. Despite its perception as a town with challenges – a perception which is accurate on many fronts – in my thirty-two years I have seen and experienced community, resilience, strength and good times in this town.
I am a Youth Worker by trade, graduating from Canterbury Christ Church University with a first-class BA honours degree in Youth Work and Community Learning and Development. For ten plus years I have worked alongside young people experiencing some of life’s toughest challenges and, although now working at a strategic level, I work hard to support and empower the young people of Blackpool and the Fylde Coast to create their own stories, with informed choices, broadening horizons and challenging inequality within the systems young people are bound.
My journey into writing began officially in 2017 when I was tasked with making a creative pledge to myself, to write it down and tell the workshop within which the task was set – which I’ve since learned meant I was 90% more likely to see it through… sneaky devils!
The pledge I set myself was to write a short story. Fast forward 12 months and I self-published my first novel; The Disappearance of Timothy Dawson, The First Book in the Granville Series. A fictional ‘anytown’ but certainly shaped from my knowledge of Blackpool.
The book enabled me to tell a story which was burning inside me; a tale inspired by personal and professional experiences told with realism through a world of fiction. My writing style is to take real life adversity, emotion and grit and weave it into stories filled with twists and turns, relatable characters and places which feel familiar to most.
I would say I’ve always loved to read, which wouldn’t be too far from the truth. I began my childhood as an avid reader, although it wasn’t the classics which hooked me in – ten year old Nathan was more of a Goosebumps fan. And I still read now; with a common, nightly routine of a few chapters before bed. My current read is Michael Connelly’s The Poet.
However, there was a huge void in my teens. A black hole within which books, reading and writing didn’t feature. School, Sports, Friendships, Hormones, whatever it was, I stopped reading and it wasn’t until my dad encouraged me to read again in my early twenties to help address a sleeping problem that I picked up To Kill a Mockingbird and fell in love with books all over again.
Truth is, I believe if the stories I write were available to fifteen-year-old me, I never would have stopped reading. I needed real life, I needed danger and I needed topical issues which explained life to me – adversity, relationships, risk and reward. This is what I strive for in my writing. I have been privileged in many ways in my life, but I have also seen and experienced challenges which I seek to harness and weave into my writing, so that one day a young reader may pick up my book and find connection, comfort or hope.
My debut novel The Disappearance of Timothy Dawson was shortlisted for Lancashire Book of the Year 2019, a feat which I am so very proud of.
The best part? The book prompted young people – young men in particular – to become passionate about reading. Am I the most qualified, technical writer in the world? Certainly not. But I believe my stories are raw, relatable and real and there is a gap in the young adult fiction market, which needs filling.
I’m currently working on the second book in the series and am enjoying working alongside schools, delivering talks and workshops to students looking at motivating the next generation to pick up a pen, or a book and allow their minds to wander.
Twitter: @parker_book • Instagram: @parker_book