Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I grew up in Kent, live in South West London and I've travelled widely for work and pleasure. I've been married to Helen for an embarrassing number of decades. Since our children grew up, I've been working less, writing more, baking bread and learning to cook. We spent time last year volunteering in Myanmar and Nepal for VSO. What else? I sing in a choir on Tuesday evenings and Helen visits art museums and paints watercolours. This is my fourth book.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
"Secret Box: Searching for Dad in a Century of Self".
It was triggered by what I found when I opened a battered metal trunk in the attic that one belonged to my Dad. On a deeper level, it was inspired by a deafening silence and unanswered questions that first came up in childhood.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I wake up filled with ideas that demand to be written down in my journal. Sometimes I write freely then frown or marvel at what's spilled onto the page. It's like tinkling the keys on a piano and when you notice a tune amongst the noise it's deeply satisfying to capture it.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
The bookshelves around us are groaning and literally falling apart under the weight. A wide range of influences. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's writing about life in West Africa. William Boyd's books cover just about everything. Sebastian Faulks’ Human Traces let us follow the footsteps of two psychologists. We've books on travel, therapy, Buddhism and a whole shelf about the Human Potential Movement that my Dad got tangled up in during the 1960s.
What are you working on now?
I'm flying out to Vienna this afternoon to work with the executive board of an international company. It's not exotic, just hard work.
It's a bit too soon after three years work on Secret Box to start writing again. I've been invited to run a workshop for people who want to learn to write in a particular way: to reconnect with themselves. I suppose it's a form of personal growth.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Don't ask me: we're trying to figure this out. My previous books were put out by large traditional publishers, but Secret Box is being published by Telling Stories Press and no one has heard of them because this is the first book they've published.
Of course, the book is on Amazon. It's an eBook and the paperback is coming in April. I'm a Goodreads author but I've not found my way round there yet. I'm just getting to grips with using Facebook pages and Twitter.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
If you’re compelled to write something, don’t let others put you off. Give it to people to read. Write down their encouragement as well as their criticism. Keep editing and polishing it until you’re ready to publish.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Don’t just follow the noisy people. Pay attention to your quiet inner voice.
What are you reading now?
I’m not, but I'm looking forward to reading several father and son books I avoided while I was writing Secret Box.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Continuing to tinkle on the keyboard and listening out for the next tune.
What is your favorite book of all time?
There isn’t just one. This question takes me back to my teens. I once loved Brave New World, Animal Farm and 1984. A friend recommended a Mervyn Peake book called Titus Groan. I couldn't put it down and in no time I'd consumed the whole Gormenghast trilogy.
Author Websites and Profiles
Tony Page Amazon Profile