Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Interview with Author Tony Talbot

Today I am very happy to have here for an interview author Tony Talbot. I was lucky enough to receive a copy of his new book Medusa which I cannot wait to start. Tony and I have written back and forth a few times and he really loves what he does and is so full of energy it is infectious. So here is a little bit about Tony first: Tony Talbot started writing short stories in 2008, after a dream he had and couldn't shake; Finally his wife told him to write it down or stop talking about it.

He wrote his first Young Adult novel, Over the Mountain, in 2008, and has completed several others and a growing raft of short stories since.

He lives in a village in Leicestershire UK, with an American wife he met online and a teenage cockatiel. As well as writing, he enjoys reading, playing Lego City on the Wii-U and not getting enough exercise.

So now here is my interview with Tony Talbot.

1. So you say in your bio that you started writing short stories in 2008, after a dream you had and couldn't shake; And your wife told you to just go for it. Did you ever think at all of writing before that?

In the library where my wife worked, they had a copy of On Writing by Stephen King – the best book for any aspiring writer. He gave me the confidence to start thinking about writing, but I'd never done any writing before then at all. Just a question of putting fingers on the keys and seeing how it went. People I showed it to seemed to like my first story, so I kept going.

2.I looked at all of your books and noticed you tend toward short stories. I am a huge short story fan. Why did you chose short stories to write?

My short stories are usually written on a whim, with no plan or reason to them. One of them came to me when I saw a woman alone in a McDonalds on a Friday night – nothing unusual there. Then I noticed she had a wedding ring on. Instantly, I was intrigued. Where was her husband? Why was she alone? I managed to pull a good story from her, but it wasn't anything that needed to be novel length. Short stories give more room to experiment with different genres, and it's fun working in the contracted space. In a short story, you have to make every word count - which is good practice for writing novels.

3. I also notice you write in a few different genres even mixing genres. What is your favorite genre to write in?

I've written two stories in the style of Victorian gothic horror (Ooze and The Boy Upon the Bridge), and I really love those. I love the formality and the flow of the language in Victorian literature. Two I've written from a child's point of view as well (Fidget and The Trunk), which gives a lot of room for subtext. We know, as adults, what's going on, but the child doesn't. That's fun.

4. Tell me about your new book "Medusa"? How did the idea for the book form in your mind?

I'd read an article in a science magazine about sea-steads – cities entirely built at sea, self-contained and isolated, and a few days later I was dozing in the back garden one lazy afternoon when I saw a girl on a jet-ski riding towards one. I didn't know any more about her than that. Who was she and what was she doing? And that was it, I was off!

5. Was it fun to bring the characters of "Medusa" alive?

It's always fun to bring characters alive! It's even better when they take on lives of their own and start deciding what they're going to do on their own. To anyone who's hasn’t written, that might sound freaky, but it makes life a lot easier.

6. Why the name "Medusa"?

Oh, you'll have to read the book! It goes deeper than the woman with the snakes for hair, I'll tell you that...
My beta-reader suggested the title after she read the book and I ran with it because it does work so well, and on so many levels!

7. Are your characters based on you or anyone you know?

There's always a little bit of me in all of my characters, but they aren't based on anyone I know apart from myself, unless it's a mannerism or a turn of phrase that sounds good. Then I'll steal it!

8. What was your favorite story of yours to write?

The Trunk. It's a short holocaust story about a boy who hides in a trunk. Only 1200 words, but I love that story, and it's the one I get the most feedback from. I've had most reviewers comment that it made them cry. Always a good day when you can make someone cry with your writing!

9. What is a book you would want to write.

I'd love to have had the breadth of imagination JK Rowling had when she started Harry Potter. That's a whole world there, right down to the smallest detail. Brilliant.

10. You have so many books out. Do you remember your ideas on your own or do you carry around a notebook or recorder of some type for when you get an idea?

I have a little file on a memory stick with odd thoughts and turns of phrase on it, but beyond that, the ideas sit in my head and float there. I have a whiteboard at home in my office with my major project pinned to it so I see it every day.

11. Where do you like to write? For example at a favorite desk, in the park, out in your backyard on the patio, etc.

I've got the spare front upstairs bedroom at home, which is far too small to be called a bedroom by any means! An IKEA desk that faces away from the window (absolutely essential to face away from the window if you want to write!), a computer and two printers (black and white laser and colour inkjet), about 30 little knick-knacks and gewgaws of Pixar, Lego, Dr Who and Star Wars figures. And an MP3 player for when I'm in the mood for music – usually classical. In summertime, I like to take the laptop outside into the back garden and write out there. It's private and very quiet where I live, which is fantastic for writing.

*Mollydee - awesome! That is the best answer I have ever got on that question.

12. Must have food/beverage while in writing mode.

Jelly beans and diet Dr Pepper! Wholesale industrial-size jar of Jelly beans. I'm a sugar junkie, but I've managed to wean myself from Coke while I'm writing, at least.

13. What are you working on now?

I've set myself a goal of twelve short stories by the end of the year, and I have a plan for Book Six up on my drawing board – a boy trapped alone on an immense broken spaceship.

14. Is there anything you want to add.

It's always great to be interviewed, and I've had fun, thanks for having me!

That was awesome. I had questions that I wanted to ask Tony and got the answers I wanted. He has a lot of short stories that are I am sure I will like I think that is what I am going to be doing today. I remember reading the description of the book Tony talked about in the interview "The Trunk" and marked it as a tbr. He has a lot of 10-30 page stories and now I want to read them all!I hope you do too.

I will announce again that Tony was here last week where he did a great guest post. With that came a giveaway of TEN copies to ten different people of his ebook Medusa. There is only one day left (and 14 hours) to enter so please do. I know Tony was very generous in giving us so many copies and the book has received very good reviews.

I want to thank Tony for being here today. I loved all of your answers. You are welcome on my blog anytime.


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Goodreads Author Page: Click here.