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Interview with Owen Banner, author of Hindsight


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Hindsight begins with its main character, Shirley, falling out of a window with a bullet in his shoulder and another chewing through his lung. He counters the idea that your whole life flashes before you die by saying that it is only the stupid decisions that got you killed that you see. This begins a recounting of the events that have led to his death, events strung together by old sins, bad choices, and a man named Isaac with connections to Shirley’s grandfather and the IRA.

It starts with the main character’s death?! That’s different. What genre is this?
It’s an Action/Thriller with both psychological and political components to it.

What kind of readers will it appeal to?
Readers who want their blood to race and run cold, and who want to turn the pages so fast that they get blisters on their fingers. It’s also more character-oriented and introspective than most thrillers, so it’s for people who want a thriller to leave them with a few new perspectives that they can chew on.

Tell us more about Shirley.
Hindsight is told through the voice of Shirley O’Shea. He’s a New Jersey native from an Irish family. Yeah, he’s got a funny name, which meant he had a rough childhood. That led to an even rougher adulthood. When we meet him, he’s three years out of prison, trying to put his life back together with his sister, Haley, and his aunt, Winnie, who are the only surviving members of his family. He blames himself for the deaths of his parents and his grandfather’s suicide and that guilt drives him to do whatever it takes to make sure that he doesn’t fail the rest of his family. That’s why, when Isaac Harper, an old friend of his grandfather comes around with a package to deliver in exchange for some money, Shirley takes him up on the offer. That’s where his troubles start.

Why the title, Hindsight?
When we meet Shirley he’s hurtling to the pavement. It’s not the highlights and the good times that he sees flashing in front of him like faces going past in a subway train. It’s the events that led to his death. Every sight, smell, taste, and touch of them stands out in harsh contrast to the rest of the moments of his life. Guilt and regret are what he’s going to die with. The novel is about why, and whether there is anything he can do to make it right before it’s too late.

Have you written any other books that we should read next?
Not yet, but come next year (hopefully), I’ll have one for you called “Fracture”.

Come back and talk to us about it when you do. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m an American who grew up in Jamaica and the Philippines, came back to the US for university, has lived in Australia, the Czech Republic, and Thailand. That’s my geographical makeup. Travel has tattooed me with road-marks and memories, cultures and conversations. That’s where I write from. I am interested in people, the stories we tell, and the potential we have for both good and evil.

Do you have a website where we can keep up with your work?

How can we follow you on Twitter and/or Facebook?
My Twitter handle is @owenbanner

What’s next?
Writing Fracture at the moment and promoting Hindsight.

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