Tony Parks is working on his fifth book now. He writes his stories long-hand, and his very patient wife Patty transcribes his stories. She jokes that it makes for interesting Friday evenings, but she admits it has been a wonderful pastime over the past 40 years. Patient, indeed.
Tony began talking about writing a novel in early 1980. In 1996, Patty finally persuaded him to put an outline on paper, knowing that once he began, he would be motivated to keep going. She was right.
Two years and seventeen rewrites later, Tony’s first book, entitled Hammerstone 1147 A.D. – The Birthright, was in final manuscript form. The story is historical fiction set in Medieval England, and Hammerstone is the name of a castle where the bulk of the action takes place, and the series combines his love of reading and history.
He had no intention of publishing his work at first, but after attending a Trent University workshop for writers, he shared his work with some of the participants and was encouraged to give it a try. Around that same time his employer, General Motors, sponsored a writing contest to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 3rd shift at the truck plant. Tony’s short story about working steady midnights won, and he received his award from Rockin’ Ronnie Hawkins who was at GM doing a mini concert at same time. The encouragement pushed him to publish the first novel in the Hammerstone series in 2006.
The publisher was Canadian firm Trafford Publishing, which also published his second book in the Hammerstone series, To Have and to Hold. It took another 20 years to get the third book published with a new owner for the publisher which introduced a new set of issues to resolve. Among the issues was rising costs, which went from $18.71 to $26.43 per book, so the third installation in the series was published as an e-book- Until Death Do Us Part. Now all three are available in hard copy through Trafford Publishing or in e-book form from Amazon. He writes under the name Mark Anthony Parks.
The stories are action-filled and move along quickly with events complicated by time travel. One of the tools Tony uses to keep track of the many characters that appear is a master spread sheet.
Apparently, the ideas keep on coming. The fourth book in the series, Kings, Vows and Deceptions, is finished and will be published this spring, and Tony has begun work on book five, The Earl’s Curse.
According to an avid reader and former CEO of WH Smithbooks Canada, the stories are well told and compare favourably with other books in this genre, including those by Bernard Cornwell. For more information or to purchase one of Tony’s books, visit Amazon where books in the Hammerstone series are available in both formats. KG