Name Tony Black

Age 43

Where are you from Ayrshire

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc  

Married to Cheryl, one child, Conner.



Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

Just released DI Bob Valentine 2, A TASTE OF ASHES.


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I always wrote, even as a kid, but I didn’t start dabbling in fiction with the idea of publishing until I was 25.


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I still don’t; it’s a continual learning process … maybe one day!


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

A lot of the Scot-lit brigade were being published very young, people like Duncan McLean and Gordon Legge. Suddenly age and lack of experience didn’t seem a hurdle.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I have specific ways of doing things, but the style is dictated by the book I’m working on at the time.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I keep a notebook full of potentials, but usually the book’s content will suggest something. LOSS for example was about losing a brother; GUTTED dog fighting.


Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

If there is it’s for them to decide. I’m with Hemingway on this: “If you have a message go to Western Union.”


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

It’s realistic, but that has to be in a literary way. You can’t put life down on the page, it’s too boring.


Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Sometimes, yes. Nothing is wasted in a writer’s life.


Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?

I re-read THE HOUSE WITH THE GREEN SHUTTERS every year, it tells me everything I need to know about small-town Scottish life. I’m a big fan of Hemingway too, I’m always re-reading his work.


Fiona: What book are you reading now?



Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Keith Nixon is a real talent, as is Timothy Jarvis, I was blown away by his debut THE WANDERER, a breathtakingly-good read.


Fiona: What are your current projects?

I’m about to start a new Bob Valentine novel.



Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. 

I’ll need to think about that …


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I do now. It can become a career after long years of graft.


Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No, quite chuffed with ASHES, a rarity.



Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I think it was always there.




Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

It opens with the discovery of a young boy’s body, cable tied at the hands and feet.



Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

All of it; if it isn’t challenging your doing it wrong.


Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Too many to chose from, I like different authors for different times. If I had to chose one though, perhaps it might be Carson McCullers.


Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

There’s been a bit, Germany, Australia. I’m going to Italy this year.


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Jim Divine, an Edinburgh designer, does them.


Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

None of it’s easy.


Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

The harder you work, the better it gets.


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t take advice from writers, find out what you need to know for yourself.


Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thanks for sticking with me.



Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?




Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

The usual stuff. My three-year-old ticks all boxes.



Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?

It has to be Hemingway, although I suspect I might not have liked him very much.




Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?

I’m not that morbid, I’ll be gone so who cares?




Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

See above about the three-year-old; that doesn’t leave time for much else.




Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?  

Next hit will be the new Star Wars, been following since 1977, though could have done without the last three.




Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music 

Indian. Bowie



Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?

I’d be a tramp.


Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?