Interview with Tina Konstant (Obediah Keane), Author of The Lives and Deaths of Harry Blunt (Port Harker Book 1)

03 Jul 2024

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Lives and Deaths of Harry Blunt (Port Harker Book 1)?

The hereafter has always fascinated me. As someone who doesn’t subscribe to any particular religion, I’ve always been curious about what people believe happens after we die. The idea of reincarnation and being able to come back and keep trying to get it right has always attracted me most. I like the idea that we’re not here once. I like to imagine that we keep on coming back to try out different lives and live different experiences. The idea for this particular book was inspired by Dante’s Inferno. While I read it, I couldn’t help wondering what if Inferno wasn’t an “accurate” account. What if Dante had been granted a tour of the underworld, had insulted the guide, got kicked out before the end of the tour, and his Inferno was a revenge piece? What if Hell wasn’t what Dante described at all? What if it was quite different? Then I wondered what if the afterlife was an actual place. Which led to the place being a border town between Life and Death. That’s when Port Harker came to be. The story itself came about when I saw a 26-year-old woman behave like a 16-year-old girl to manipulate her father into buying her a car. Which he did. She did nothing for herself. Which led me to ask questions like, “What would happen to such a person in Port Harker? What would their next life look like if they lived this one with so little purpose?” And that’s how Harry and Rainey Blunt came about. The idea began to stew in 2014/15. It took a while to surface!

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of The Lives and Deaths of Harry Blunt (Port Harker Book 1), what would they be?

“Life Is a Highway” by Tom Cochrane / Rascal Flatts.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

This is tough. I love all things paranormal, supernatural, and fantasy. I read “Lord of the Rings” over and over as a teen. I love anything by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I will read and re-read One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and To Kill a Mockingbird. I really loved The Shining by Stephen King, and the whole Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell (but maybe that’s just Sean Bean). I love a good story with strong, weird, stubborn, slightly odd characters. My latest favorite read is “Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus. I also really enjoyed the whole Logan McRea series by Stuart Macbride, a police procedural set in Aberdeen, Scotland. I’m currently working through the Longmire audiobooks, such a great series full of excellent characters and a hint of supernatural.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

The Odd Thomas series because a friend recommended it. Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey. Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt. The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

This is very difficult to choose… But if I had to choose, then it’s “The Will.” The scene where Harry meets his kids for the first time after he died, and he’s getting ready to read the will.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

My routine is to come downstairs first thing in the morning. I’m usually up between 4 and 5 a.m. My dining room table has pretty much been taken over with books and notes. I brew a mug of coffee, light two big candles, open the door into the back garden (sun, rain, or snow – love the fresh air), and write for a couple of hours. So, nothing too weird. About halfway through the session my dog ambles downstairs. Otherwise, it’s a calm and peaceful moment in the day.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Doing a little bit of something every single day is better than doing a lot of something once in a while.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

No matter what happens in the next life, whether it’s a pure thing of miracles, or if reincarnation is real and we get to come back over and over and over again, this one precious life you’re living right here, right now, is still the most remarkable piece of magic to be lived to its fullest and most complete. Have fun. Learn. Make mistakes. Explore. You’re here to learn how to be human. It takes courage to live life in all its full, messy, glory. Get your hands dirty!


Tina Konstant (writing as Obediah Keane) is the author of the new book The Lives and Deaths of Harry Blunt (Port Harker Book 1)

Connect with Tina Konstant (writing as Obediah Keane)

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