Today’s guest is Paul Anthony who has written a number of fictional novels, an auto biography, and a collection of poetry in Print and Kindle. He has also written television scripts, screenplays and film scripts as an individual or with the award wining scriptwriter, Nick Gordon whose full length feature film ‘Hunted’ hits the screens in 2017. (Currently in pre-production) Paul is the son of a soldier whose family settled in Carlisle before he joined Cumbria police at the age of 19. As a detective, he served in Cumbria CID, the Regional Crime Squad in Manchester, the Special Branch, (Counter Terrorist Command) and other national agencies in the UK and elsewhere.
Q. Could you tell us about yourself
A. Thank you for inviting me. I’m a retired police officer from Cumbria in the United Kingdom. Happily married, three children and six grandchildren, I live on the edge of the Lake District about a mile from the Roman Wall (Hadrian’s Wall). It’s a beautiful part of the country.
** It is indeed, close to where I come from, I spent many days doing hikes in the area when I was young.
Q. When did you first decide to write and what got you started?
A. I’d successfully studied for a bachelor’s degree in economics and social sciences when I suddenly found that after 6 years my spare time suddenly had a lot of blanks. My wife suggested I write a book to fill the void so I complied – as all husbands do – and never really looked back. I wrote the Fragile Peace in 1994. It was published in 1996 and was initially optioned for a film with a budget of about 85 million pounds but that, I believe, proved too expensive for potential backers and I don’t expect any further movement on that now. But you never know. That said, pre-kindle, they told me I wouldn’t sell more than 200 copies in hardback. It’s nice to prove people are incorrect when you reach 25,000 copies and then convert your book to Kindle. Still selling and still relevant in 2018. Learning quite a bit from the first screenplay, I’ve since written and co-written various film scripts and screenplays, as well as television scripts. Years ago, I wrote scripts, or partial scripts, for a programme called ‘The Bill’ on British television. I also branched out and sent off quite a few scripts to various production companies specialising in producing police dramas for television. Recently, I converted a screenplay I had co-written into a book entitled ‘Nebulous’. It’s available in print and kindle.
Q. Do you plot your stories, or do you write and see where it takes you?
A. I tend to plot the stories in my head, go over them, and then write notes down under chapter headings. Gradually, I fill the chapter headings out into longer paragraphs and then begin to tie it all together. It might sound complicated, but it works for me and I find it easier to write that way. Towards the end of the work, I go right back to the start and work through it line by line, act by act, word by word.
Q. What is the best part about writing, and the worst?
A. The best part of writing is getting right into the plot when you just know that you are on fire. When this happens I usually sit down and rattle away until I’m exhausted. I’m talking about writing for hours on end, morning, afternoon and night. The story and the characters grab you and become part of you. You’ve just got to get it down before you lose it. The worst part is not writing because you know the plot in your brain is the wrong one.
** I completely agree, sometimes it is hard to shift a bad idea.
Q Do you prefer writing fiction, non-fiction, or poetry?
A. I prefer to write fiction, favour non-fiction to read above all other genres, and occasionally delve into poetry. I’ve written and published ‘Sunset’ which contains 77 poems, and I’ve published a book called ‘Authorship Demystified’ which details various ways in which a writer can get published.
Q. Tell us about one of, or your most recent books.
A. My most recent novel was ‘Septimus’. The work is set in Roman times and details the Roman invasion of the Lake District and an incursion into Scotland. It features a tribal leader from the Ullswater area who tries to forge an alliance with the invaders. The storyline weaves in and out of various lives dealing with some raw emotions ranging from love to murder and everything in between.
Q What are you currently working on? How long before release?
A. I’m a third of the way through the next Boyd thriller which deals with mass murder, corruption, treachery, and betrayal at the highest level. I’m sure it will be published later this year.
Q. What are you reading?
A. A book about poisons together with a book about the history of the Sumerian civilization in Mesopotamia. When reading fiction, my favourite genres are what I write about – espionage, murder/mystery, and thrillers. I’d pick Gerald Seymour, Jack Higgins, and Terrence Strong amongst my favourites. In respect of American indie authors, I’d recommend Wayne Zurl, and RC & JP Carter. In respect of British indie authors, I’d recommend Paul Anthony for crime fiction and a selection of anthologies
Q. What kind of anthologies have you published.
A. My website has an area where charity anthologies are available in print and kindle. The books have been put together by scores of writers from across the globe and we have raised money for various charities as indicated in each book. There’s a good selection and a marvellous opportunity to read the work of authors from various locations.
Q. What are your hobbies?
A. I enjoy ballroom dancing and going to the gym where I prefer weightlifting. I also enjoy swimming and playing acoustic guitar badly. I also enjoy learning different languages and I’m currently learning Spanish. Singing is my real forte but I’m told I sing better alone than to an audience. Hence, apparently, no-one likes me singing! Oh, they don’t know what they’ve missed.
Q. Have you ever been to Australia?
A. No, but I have traced some of my ancestors to Australia and written about them in ‘Scougal’
Q. Any tips for would-be writers?
A. Never give up and don’t presume that everyone will enjoy your books. There is a massive market for books. You just need to find those who do enjoy your work and concentrate on that area. Write them and they will be read, and please…. Don’t give your work away for free….
You can learn more about Paul at his WEBSITE and find his books on
& connect with him on
Thank you, Roger. Have a great weekend.