It’s publication day for By The Next Pause by G. Barton Sinkia and I’m delighted that she has agreed to stay in with me today to tell me all about her book.
Staying in with G. Barton Sinkia
Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me. Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
I brought along my book, By The Next Pause, which comes out today.
(How exciting. Congratulations and Happy Publication Day!)
It’s my debut novel, and I can’t wait for everyone to read this epic story. It follows two Canadian families who live next door to each other from the early 1980s til the late 2000s.
(I love to travel but I haven’t been to Canada so maybe I could travel through By The Next Pause until I get chance to go there in person.)
What can we expect from an evening in with By The Next Pause?
By The Next Pause begins in 1984. We meet Simone Allen who is seven-years-old and lives in Jamaica with her grandaunt. When her grandaunt dies, Simone is sent to Toronto to live with her estranged mother, Pam Allen. Simone’s never spent any time with her mother and only has a few awkward phone calls to remember her by. Pam is young, single and terrified about raising the daughter she never wanted. With hardly any money, they move into a run-down apartment complex in North York and live next to Mike O’Shea, an Irish-Canadian single father who is caring for his eight-year-old son, Nolan.
In the beginning, both parents despise each other. Pam is opinionated and stubborn, while Mike is a hotheaded racist who hates living amongst newly minted immigrants who are taking away all of his opportunities. The only problem is that their kids become fast friends. The two young children attend the same school and are in the same grade.
The other thing that Pam and Mike have in common is parenting. They are both complete disasters. Raising children on their own has left them drowning. They both recognize how difficult it is for a single parent to work full time and manage children without any help from the outside world. As a result, they slowly let down their invisible shields and come together. Even that might not be enough, however, when a dramatic turn of events threatens to destroy everything they hold dear.
(I like the sound of By The Next Pause very much indeed and I completely understand how the cover works now too!)
So far my reviews have been promising. The novel is 874-pages long (Gasp!), but the book reads swiftly. I’m the proudest of that fact. Many of my reviewers are shocked at how quickly it moves and that my novel packs that much story into that amount of pages. Initially, I thought about breaking the story into two books, but I wanted my readers to have the experience of falling in love with these characters all at once. Kind of the same way Netflix provides their viewers with the entire season of a television series. My ultimate goal was to write for book lovers who enjoy binge-reading compelling stories. When you turn the last page of By The Next Pause, I promise you’ll feel incredibly connected to Pam, Simone, Mike and Nolan. They will stay with you long after the book ends.
(By The Next Pause sounds perfect for a holiday read or a long haul flight.)
What else have you brought along and why?
I brought along my chapter playlist for By The Next Pause. You can find it here on Spotify. The motif of the book is that of a playlist. One of my central themes is the idea that our lives resemble a musical playlist or mixed tape. The songs we pick represent our taste, our emotions and essentially who we are as individuals. At times we listen to songs that pump us up and songs that evoke strong memories that reduce us to tears. We fast-forward and rewind songs the same way we fast-forward and rewind our memories and experiences.
(I couldn’t agree more. Music is so evocative.)
Each song on the playlist either inspired a chapter or a scene in that chapter while I wrote By The Next Pause. Like me, the playlist is eclectic and covers many different genres of music. It starts off with Laura Mvula’s ‘Is There Anybody Out There’ and delves into music from the Beatles, Canadian artists like Blue Rodeo and some of my favorite old school R&B classics from Luther Vandross, Troop and Patti LaBelle. It also includes recent work from UK artist Arlissa. Every time I listen to this playlist, it transports me to key scenes and moments in my novel.
That’s a fantastic selection of music. I think we’ll play some now! Thanks so much for staying in with me to tell me all about By the Next Pause. I hope you have a wonderful publication day.
By the Next Pause
In By The Next Pause, Canadian author G. Barton-Sinkia brings us to a time when Toronto was on the cusp of turning into the diverse mosaic it is today.
At seventeen, Pam Allen escapes Jamaica, leaving her infant daughter Simone behind. Years later, after the death of her aunt, Pam is forced to take in the daughter she never wanted. They live in a run-down apartment complex in North York next to Mike O’Shea – a racist, loudmouth high school dropout who has recently separated from his wife and finds himself raising his eight-year-old son, Nolan, alone. The two parents try to coexist in a world where they are drowning as single parents until they reluctantly join forces to raise their young children together. When a life-altering mistake forces their children on diverging, tumultuous paths, the make-shift family struggles to find their way back to each other before their whole world crumbles for good.
About G. Barton-Sinkia
A first-generation Canadian of Jamaican and Barbadian descent, G. Barton-Sinkia was born to Laverne and George Barton. At four months old, tragedy struck her family when George passed in a car accident. Later adopted by her mother’s new husband Robert Sinkia, G. Barton-Sinkia decided to take on both last names.
During her younger years, G. Barton-Sinkia attended the Toronto Catholic District School Board in North York, before earning a Bachelor of Arts degree at Carleton University’s School of Journalism. After school, she married her high-school sweetheart Anthony Farrell, now a writer and producer (The Office, The Thundermans, Little Mosque on the Prairie, Secret Life of Boys).
In 2000, G. Barton-Sinkia and her husband moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where she worked for a few years before moving to California. After nearly eight years in California working as a Manager of West Region’s Operations at Northern Trust Bank, G. Barton-Sinkia still longed to be a writer, and began writing By the Next Pause while on maternity leave. The great Canadian story sucked her in, and she soon decided to leave her job and work full time on writing her novel to share with the world one day.
In 2017, G. Barton-Sinkia and her husband decided to move back to Toronto, the city they always loved. Both are working to give back to the city that created and inspired them, bringing their United States experience to Canada’s vibrant arts and entertainment scene.
Outside of writing, G. Barton-Sinkia enjoys learning to play the guitar, making wicked awesome playlists and dabbles in cooking Caribbean cuisine. She and her husband share a home in Toronto with their two rambunctious children and their dog Moose.