Tony Flood spent most of his working life as a journalist, initially on local and regional papers and then on nationals. He was also editor of ‘Football Monthly’, Controller of Information at Sky Television and enjoyed a spell with ‘The People’ before retiring in 2010. In his celebrity book My Life With The Stars, Tony recalls: “My work
as a showbiz and leisure writer, critic and editor saw me take on a variety of challenges — learning to dance with Strictly Come Dancing star Erin Boag, becoming a stand-up comedian, and playing football with the late George Best and Bobby Moore in charity matches.” Tony now spends much of his time writing books and theatre reviews, as well as playing veterans football. He says: “I must be one of the oldest — and slowest — players in the country!”
Hi, Tony! Thanks for having a conversation with me about reading and writing. How do you come up with book titles?
I choose ‘catchy’ or memorable titles that also give a good indication about the book’s subject matter. If other authors have chosen the same title, then I add a supplementary title as well. So my three crime thrillers are called Triple Tease; Stitch Up – killer or victim? and Fall Guy – who really killed his wife? On the same basis my celebrity book is titled My Life With The Stars – Sizzling Secrets Spilled!
As people learned about your book, what unexpected things happened along the way?
Following the publication of My Life With The Stars, I was contacted by fans of several of the iconic personalities I wrote about, including Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. Both Elvis and Marilyn are still idolised all these years after their deaths by fans who crave more information about them.
What have people most liked or found most meaningful/funny/creative/ challenging about your book?
Readers of My Life With the Stars have loved some of the greatest wise cracks I recalled, particularly those by Ken Dodd at the expense of the then Inland Revenue.
What genres do you work in?
I have written in several genres – crime fiction, true life celebrity revelations, fantasy adventure with Secret Potion and a family saga set in the 1920s aptly named Driven by Desire. In this latter book I am one of seven authors, writing one character each, as part of The Collective.
What feeds your process? Can you listen to music and write or not… can you write late at night or are you a morning person… when the spark happens, do you run for the pen or the screen or do you just hope it is still there tomorrow?
I always write down any idea that comes to me – even if it means jumping out of bed at 3am. I advise other writers to do the same because an idea can be completely forgotten by the time you wake up. I find it easier to write in the evening or at night rather than in the morning.
What’s the hardest part of writing or publishing?
Marketing books is, I believe, the hardest thing. There are so many countless thousands of books out there that it is extremely hard to make potential readers aware of yours. Using social media, giving advice and spreading the word about other authors as well as yourself, can help.
Why should people want to read your books?
I try to ensure that all my storylines and characters have credibility and are interesting. I do a lot of research, and in my crime thrillers I check with former police officers to ensure that I have used correct police procedures. I think new readers will appreciate this.
If a movie was made of your book, who would the stars be?
I think Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Aniston would be ideal to play the main female characters in my crime thrillers. Both have great personalities and charisma as well as good looks. Stephen Tompkinson or Bradley Walsh would be my choice to play my compassionate cop DCI Harvey Livermore.
Who has supported you along the way?
My wife and fellow author Heather Flood has been very supportive. We swap ideas and have written a book together – Laughs and Tears Galore, containing short stories and poems with twists in the tale. Many of these stories and poems feature rascals who get their comeuppance.
Do you belong to any writing groups or communities, either online or offline?
I am chairman of Anderida Writers and the administrator for their Facebook page as well as the Facebook page for South East Writers Network which both provide information, advice and humorous posts. The links to them are https://www.facebook.com/AnderidaWritersOfficial
The link to my own Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/tony.flood.334/