Welcome to the six hundred and eleventh of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with scriptwriter & crime author Tony Glover. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Tony. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Tony: I live in Newcastle upon Tyne. I was born in Northumberland – the Debateable Lands, as they were known in the past – England’s last wilderness. I started writing as a child – I was always making up stories in the car on the way to school. When I was at secondary school I had some of them published in the school magazine.
Morgen: I love it when I hear that someone started writing early. I was in my late 30s and would have loved to have realised earlier how thrilling it is to make things up, but I remind myself that I have all those years’ experience to write about. What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
Tony: My first love was writing for film – shorts and so on. Then I had a radio play on the BBC which won a bronze Sony award. After that I had a pilot for a drama broadcast on ITV. I’ve had a couple of stage plays produced. But it was only recently I started writing crime stories. My first book was about an Elizabethan spy in the service of Sir Francis Walsingham. I had that ready to go when another writer brought out a book on the same subject – I remember reading the review in the Observer. My blood ran cold! So I put that back on the shelf and started a crime novel.
Morgen: I used to read Stephen King in my teens (under the duvet with a torch, they were so gripping) and loved Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected so it was inevitable my writing would have a dark side. I’ve written chick lit, lad lit and mystery, but my heart is with crime too. I started a crime series for NaNoWriMo 2012. What have you had published to-date?
Tony: This is my first published novel. I’ve written a book about wartime Darlington and a collection of folk tales but I’ve always pursued film writing, which is an odd sort of career. You are working blind in that you never know if your story will ever see the light of day. I’ve recently sold a script for a feature film but once a script leaves the writer, anything can happen. I’ve loved working on the current book because I’m not waiting for a decision from a producer or commissioning editor.
Morgen: I have heard many scriptwriters say how hard it is to get taken up, more so than prose, I think, and many books who have their film rights bought often never come to fruition, which is a real shame because someone saw the potential. I guess it’s all about money. Have you self-published?
Tony: I prefer to be a writer, rather than be a publisher. Self-publishing is a very respectable option but I don’t have all the skills to promote a book. I was lucky enough to be approached by two publishers for ‘Cars Just Want to be Rust’. Both were very able but I knew the folk at Crafty Publishing would give it their best shot.
Morgen: Are your books available as eBooks? How involved were you in that process? Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?
Tony: Yes. ‘Cars Just Want to be Rust’ is available as an ebook on Amazon, Smashwords and the Crafty Publishing website. I learned as much as I could about the process – software, layout, publicity. I bought some software, which wasn’t right!
I read 50% on the Kindle and 50% paper. Sometimes you just need to hold a ‘proper’ book, don’t you? I love the smell of books – the aroma of ink is intoxicating!
Morgen: You do. I’m the same, pretty much. My house is a small library so I think I’ll always be reading ‘pBooks’, then there are so many free eBooks coming my way (I promote many via my 5am Flashes) that they all go on my Kindle. Do you have a favourite of your books or characters? If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actor/s?