When and why did you begin writing?
After I had graduated, back in 1990, I sat down to seriously write something that I didn’t need to. Over the past several years I’d had a couple of people who encouraged me to try it. They were both teachers and one was also a published author. I’d had the idea in the back of my mind to do something creative for many years but didn’t know what, so I thought I’d try writing a story.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’m not sure that I consider myself a writer. To me, being a writer has always meant someone who makes a living out of writing. So far, I haven’t.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
Two reasons: one is because you can write whatever you want and the other is because I just love fantasy.
What is the most important thing that people DON’T know about your subject/genre that they need to know?
That it’s bloody hard work.
What are some day jobs you have held?
Trainee Commercial Artist. Warehouseman. Kitchen porter. Barman. Dishwasher. Painter. Short order cook. Postman. English Teacher.
What have you written so far?
All of my books have been fantasy of one kind or another except for one. Three sword and sorcery novels. A couple of fantasy/humor novels. One paranormal type and one straight novel. My latest one I’m not too sure about.
What are some ways in which you promote your work?
I use social media. I others words I beg people to read my book.
Did you make any marketing mistakes that you would avoid in the future?
Yes. I would like someone else to do it. I did try a giveaway when I first published and got neither feedback nor reviews. I won’t do that again.
Can you share with readers a little bit about your latest book?
I am trying to get my second novel together for publishing at the moment, and it is a sword and sorcery/ shape-shifter tale. No animals.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start writing this book?
I can’t remember a definite idea, just the urge to mix sword and sorcery with shape shifting in the same story. I thought it would be interesting.
Tell us more about your main character. What makes him or her unique?
My main character is Fex, but he is only one-third of the character. He is the host of the other two. I feel great empathy for him as he is a mild-mannered man whose world is turned upside down by the discovery of the other two. He has been cursed but doesn’t by who or why and doesn’t know what to do about it.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Creating three separate characters with their own thoughts and emotions.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Breaking down the barriers that separated the three from each other and making them act differently from their own normal characters.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I always fear that I’m ‘telling’ and not ‘showing’.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I would like to think that I’ve got better with each book, but as I’ve only published one so far, I don’t know.
What is your next project?
At the moment, I’m working on a novel that crosses several genres, sci-fi /fantasy/ action thriller, that takes place on Earth with a supposedly human protagonist that believes he’s going insane.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
If you want to write, then do it. If the worst comes to the worst and you hate what you have written you can always delete it before anyone sees it. At least, the actual action of writing will make you feel better.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
That’s difficult. Tolkien is dead and buried. Right at the moment the writers that have impressed me the most are, Joe Abercrombie, Mark Chadbourn and Robin Hobbs, but there are others.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Yes. Since I signed up with Goodreads and Amazon I’ve come across many very good authors. Too many to mention here. I like them for different reasons as they all have different styles of writing.
What one person from history would you like to meet and why?
I’m not much of a fan or admirer. I think that it may be possible to admire someone’s achievements, but that person maybe not be a particularly admirable person. I think it is best to keep your heroes at arm’s length, that way you won’t get disappointed.
If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?
To make governments, politians and their owners, the big companies and corporations, realize that unlimited greed is leading us down the path to catastrophe.
Tell us something unique about you.
I have changed the expected direction of my life. I doubt that makes me unique, as it happened more by accident than design, but I’ve noticed others who wish to haven’t been able to do it. Apart from that, I don’t think I am different from all the rest.
How can you discover more about Tony and his work?