Today, I'm welcoming Tony Talbot to my blog, a YA author with three books under his belt, and a fourth in progress. See more about them at the end of the interview.
Tony started writing fiction in 2008 after a dream he had and couldn't shake. Eventually, his wife told him to write it down or quit talking about it. He hasn't stopped since.
Hi Tony, it's really great to meet you. What I'm really interested to know is, what would you be doing now if you hadn't had that dream?
Ooo...that's a good question! I think I would still be writing today. I'd been toying with the idea of writing for a while before 'The Dream', but never really got down to the actual doing it. I think it was just a good kick start to get me going! I think that taught me not to put it off...just get writing and get going. I'd really have no idea what I'd be doing if I'd found out people thought I wasn't good at it though. I really can't imagine my life without writing in it anymore.
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
Creating worlds and characters from out of nothing and making them breathe and live. Seeing something that someone else might miss and spinning a story out of it. I recently was eating in a McDonalds on a Friday night when I noticed a woman at a table for two, sitting alone - and then I saw she was wearing a wedding ring. From that single observed detail, I started asking myself questions...why was she alone? Where was her husband and her family on this Friday night? I managed to get a decent story out of her...not bad for a woman I never talked to! That's the best part.
And the worst?
It's a lonely job, and one you spend a lot of time looking at a screen and with your back to an empty room. One of the things you have to do as a writer is close out the world, no matter how much it wants to drag you away. One of the worst things is thinking you're writing something so well, and you're never going to be able to get this good again. Self-doubt, I guess. Thinking this is as good as I can get.
What’s your writing routine like? Do you have one?
When I'm working on a novel, I like to put an hour or two in a night for at least three days a week, and maybe four or five hours on weekends. I like to keep the momentum of the story going, or it starts to fall apart.
What are you working on at the moment?
I've just finished my fourth book, EIGHT MILE ISLAND, and I'm waiting for that to be edited so I can start the re-writes. I've just got into blogging (tony-talbot.co.uk/wordpress), and I've got an 'affiliate' blog at asidefromwriting blog as well as my own. I'm enjoying writing for them while I wait for Eight Mile Island.
I have a writing class who meet once a month, and I'm working on the short story 'homework' that we set ourselves. I'm also reading a 100,000 word novel a member of the writing class gave me to look over, that's keeping me busy!
Why do you write?
I've been writing since 2008, and I'm far too addicted to stop! When I'm not writing, I'm at a dead end. I can't think what to do with myself at all! It's a way to get the interesting characters I imagine out of my head and on paper. I'd feel...incomplete...if I didn't write.
What inspires you?
That I can try to make people laugh and cry with what I write. That I can try to give them characters that seem real to them, make them believe in people who never existed.
What drew you to write YA?
I've been reading YA since my wife introduced me to the Australian author John Marsden (Tomorrow, When the War Began series). He was writing about teenagers, but he didn't talk down to them; he treated them like adults and didn't shy away from anything he wanted to say in his books. It was the sort of book I wanted to read, and it's the sort of books I like to write.
Thanks Tony - it's been great having you here today.
He tweets @authortony and has a Facebook page here.
Over the Mountain
Life is quiet for Jenna Adams...until Scott Thomas arrives and turns her world upside down...and not always in a good way...
Amon Russo lives on a beautiful secluded Greek island and has a perfect life. Only he isn't who he thinks he is...
Mary Tanaka was an average American girl until the attack on Pearl Harbor made her something terrible: Japanese.
Eight Mile Island (Coming soon)
Dylan James has been thrown out of a lot of boarding schools. But Eight Mile Island is like no school he's ever been to...
great interview, Annalisa. Tony sounds like a very busy fellow! And his books sound great.ReplyDelete
Thanks Pat. Yes, Tony certainly fills his time!Delete
Interesting to see how another writer works. I find the morning my most productive, whereas Tony writes later in the day. This interview shows how powerful dreams can be. Hehe. 'Cat and the Dreamer' anybody?ReplyDelete
Thanks for sliding that in Francene! I don't have a productive time of the day - I can write or procrastinate at any hour :-)Delete
Lovely interview. One of the hardest parts for me as a writer is dealing with distractions as well, Tony. Events always seem to conspire against you. This is especially through over here in Nigeria where we also have to contend with issues like frequent power outages or blackouts. But one must soldier on no matter what.ReplyDelete
Thanks for hosting this, Anna. :D
Blackouts would really throw me out of concentration.Delete
Good interview! I love Tony's response to the second question. I've come up with some great ideas that same way!ReplyDelete
Me too, Dana.Delete
Great interview! I tend to lose momentum as well. I pretty much have to write every night.ReplyDelete
Thanks Alex. I can lose momentum half-way through a paragraph!Delete
I find that if I force myself to write every day, I get into situation I'm in now: Wanting to write, but staring at the blank page with nothing to write about.ReplyDelete
I know that feeling! But the words do come back, I promise :-)Delete
WOW! Already on his 4th book! So jealous! And I agree... writing is a lonely job, but still so fun! Great interview!ReplyDelete
One day we'll both get there, Leigh :-)Delete
good interview. The book blurbs all sound interesting.ReplyDelete
They do, don't they?Delete
Great interview! I like to build people "back stories" when I people watch too! It's where the really good characters come from.ReplyDelete
There's such a wealth of inspiration in the people around us!Delete
Tony, I know what you mean about being too addicted to writing to stop.ReplyDelete
Annalisa, there's an award for you over on my blog.
Thanks Patsy - I'm heading over to have a look now :-)Delete
Thanks for all the comments, folks. Glad to see we have so many things in common...distractions, power cuts and terrible fear of the blank page!ReplyDelete
Annalisa, your comment over at AB, today, sparked my interest in 'Cat and the Dreamer.' Just read the premise on the Barnes and Noble website and find it intriguing.ReplyDelete
Oh that's great to hear Suze - I hope you like what you read! Thanks for letting me know :-DDelete
Great interview. Tony you sure have been busy... so many wonderful stories.ReplyDelete
Thanks for dropping by, Tania.Delete
Hi Tony,and Annalisa of course.ReplyDelete
Tony, I can so identify with writing being a 'lonely job' although recently, since Twitter, and blogging its improved, there are lots of us out there who welcome a friendly ear now and again. Other writers understand the problems and pitfalls of plot etc so much better than anyone else.
Also, I totally take onboard your comment regarding momentum - the trouble is, its not easy to maintain, is it? Trying to juggle everything is, or can be hard work. I admire authors for their hard work, and doggedness to get the job done.
Well done on your success, I enjoyed reading your interview.
I completely agree that all the social media has made the life of a writer more comfortable. It's a lot easier to grumble to a fellow writer because you know they'll have experienced something similiar.Delete
Thank you Maria! I've found one of the best websites out there for bringing together writers and readers: Goodreads (And they didn't pay me so say that, it's fantastic!)Delete
Isn't it funny how addictive writing can be? But I do know it doesn't have to be lonely. The blogosphere has so much to offer in the way of writerly friendship and companionship.ReplyDelete
I've been completely amazed at the new friends I've found through my 2 years of blogging!Delete