1. When did you start putting pen to paper?
As soon as I realised there was something to laugh at – so, early!
2. What’s your literary poison – prose, poetry, etc.?
I go for most of it. But – I’m sorry if you loved it – “The Time Traveller’s Wife” really reawakened my inner, sleeping, roaring Bolshevik.
3. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
The good soldier Schweik.
4. Which famous writer can you most identify with?
Terry Pratchett/Sue Townsend/Robert Sheckley. I can’t decide!
5. What are your current projects? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
Promoting my How To Write Comedy Book. And putting a proposal together for my “Blog of Samuel Pepys” book.
6. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book or writing piece?
Work to get more plaudits before publication which I could use.
7. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t give up and stuff the naysayers.
8. What were your grades like in English class? (A, B, anything less than this is shameful ;)
9. How much research do you do for your writing?
For the Pepys book, I’m reading the diaries and am researching a lot on 17th Century language and lifestyle.
10. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
Computer – I’ve trained myself.
11. What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Don’t get it right, get it written
12. What book do you think everyone should read?
I think that’s for everyone to answer for themselves.
13. (two part question) Do you play an musical instrument? And what instrument would you like to learn to play?
I’ve forgotten the piano! I still have fantasies of taking it up again with a really cool jazz quartet and saying “Take it away, boys.”
14. What process did (or are you going) you go through to get your book published?
I read several books on getting published, took much of their advice, wrote a very well targeted proposal and the first publisher accepted it! I was surprised how quick it was. I’m sure it won’t be so easy in the future.
15. Who would you like to change places with… i.e. live someone else’s life for a week?
JK Rowling. I’d love to come away with the experience of that immense success.
16. If you weren’t a writer, what would be your ideal profession?
An archaeologist (in a country where there’s great food, wonderful weather and beautiful women)
17. (two part question) Bill Murray or Chevy Chase? And Michael Palin or John Cleese?
(a) Bill Murray. (b) In 1970, John Cleese without a doubt. But in 2014, Michael Palin.
18. What’s your most rewarding literary accomplishment to date (one that just blew your mind!)
Any time I get people to laugh I feel I’ve done my job. It doesn’t get better than that.
19. What quote do you live by?
“Do not go gentle into that good night”.
20. What would be your ideal writer profession ambition? (famous pulitzer prize winning author, successful self-published author as a day job, etc.)
Several books out, including a series of novels (all humorous)
21. Would you like to ask me a question?
I’d love to hear your take on the difference between American and British humour.
Definitely the vernacular is differenct… there are words that us Yanks and you Brits use that boggles minds if they don’t understand the meaning… adds to the appeal. This pretty much sums up my opinion: http://ideas.time.com/2011/11/09/the-difference-between-american-and-british-humour/
Thanks again, Tony for taking the time to interrogate you for our audience :)
Readers, do yourself a favor and read (and laugh) Tony’s delightful works here: http://www.tonykirwood.co.uk/