Thomas Greenbank writes gritty Australian fiction. His writing draws deeply on his diverse background and professional experience.
From years as a professional musician, factory worker, business owner, driver, ceramic artist, even crossword compiler, and more—to 25 years as a full-time carer, there’s not much he hasn’t experienced. This diversity shows in his writing, as does his penchant for accuracy in research.
Now semi-retired, Thomas lives south of Adelaide, South Australia, with his wife — #1 fan and biggest critic — Linda. When he’s not writing you’ll probably find them fishing or walking on a nearby beach.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your hobbies and interests.
I'm supposedly retired (what a joke) but over the years I've lived and/or worked in every Australian state at one time or another. I've been a musician, a business owner, a factory worker, crossword compiler, ceramicist, copywriter; even a full-time carer (for my late disabled wife) for thirty years. It was during that time that I discovered my love for writing and completed a correspondence course. My last venture was as a wide-load pilot escorting mining equipment throughout Australia. My first novel, GOLD! was inspired by characters I met and places I visited doing this work.
When and why did you start writing books?
I've had a lifelong love affair with books and always dreamed of being a writer. Life, however, always seemed to get in the way.
When I had to leave the workforce to care for my disabled wife I used some of the time I had to study writing as a craft and wrote articles and short stories, some of which actually got published! That's when I also got into crossword compilation as a way to supplement my carer pension.
What made you decide to tackle writing as a career?
In 2018, I decided it was time to take writing seriously and I quit full-time work to devote my time to finally pen the book that eventually became GOLD!
Which one of your books or characters is your favourite?
At the time of writing this, I only have two completed novels and a short story collection. I suppose my fave character would have to be Malcolm Kincaid. He's not a nice guy by any means, but I had great fun writing about him. At times, I could have sworn he was actually there in the room with me.
Which one of your books was the hardest to write and stretched you the most as a writer?
So far, the prequel to GOLD! It was hard because I had to marry up birth dates, deaths, and other things to correspond with what was already in GOLD! Also, the chief character (Mal's father, Feargus) was already stereotyped so I had to resist the temptation to change him. I would have liked to, but I think it all worked in the end. I originally wrote GOLD! as a stand-alone but so many readers wanted a follow-up that I decided on a prequel. I couldn't think where I could take the story going forward.
Who is your favourite author and book?
Far too many to list. I'm currently working my way through the catalogue of Garry Disher. He's another Aussie author and he writes gritty crime fiction. My favourite of his so far is Wyatt. In my younger days I read a lot of Sci-Fi but these days I prefer more realistic stuff. I still find it hard to resist a Stephen King tale, though.
What book are you reading right now?
Just finished Wyatt, by Garry Disher. I'm not sure what will be next. Maybe a Stephen King or Dean Koontz.
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
Watching crime shows on TV and imagining some of the people I know in some of the situations.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Spare time? What's that? I do enjoy getting my hands dirty in the garden occasionally.
Do you have any new books in the works?
I'm outlining a novel that I hope will be the start of a new series. It's too early to tell exactly what it's going to be about. The protagonist is psychic, and he's also a closet gay. (It's set in the 60s) He's probably going to be either a detective or a vigilante hitman! Confused? So am I!
Books by Thomas Greenbank
GOLD! The Kincaid...
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