Tony H. Leather is from Burnley in the UK and is the author of 5 books. His favorite genre is science fiction. Tony has been writing for more than 12 years and has over 2000 published written works. Tony is also a Giant Squid here on Squidoo with over 250 lenses. You can visit him on Squidoo right here.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Tony for our Squidoo Author Series and he welcomes your feedback on his work.

Squidoo Interview

by Bonnie Diczhazy, Squidoo Head of Community

How did you get started as a writer?

I got started writing back in grammar school in the early sixties, when my amazing English teacher – Mr Gough – actively encouraged me to give vent to my leanings in that direction. At twenty I was composing poems for pints in the N.A.A,F.I. at an R.A,F base. I then did no more serious writing for three decades, but basically it has always been part of who I am.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I do not believe that I have any specific writing style, I have won awards for my poetry, my descriptive prose and my short stories, as well as competitions around the world. I have had in excess of three thousand different pieces of writing published – in print magazines, on radio shows and all around the web in so many countries I could not list them. I just love writing so much that if I fail to do any, I feel somehow cheated.

Where do you get ideas for your books?

When it comes to ideas, I think back to what that English teacher, and indeed the iconic Stephen King both said, in that no writer ever gets to be great unless he spends at least 25% of his time reading the work of others! I am now, and always have been an avid reader, and believe me. if you read enough, then the ideas flow like a waterfall, and you never need fear writers block!

What’s your favorite book that you wrote and why?

My favourite book that I put together was my second publication, entitled Eternity and more, a collection of science-fiction short stories that mostly have a twist in the tail. It had always been a life-long ambition of mine to get such a book published, and I am immensely proud of it, Like my other books, it was five-star rated by professional reviewers, and the lead story in it actually won a magazine competition. In order to see the comments, you only need visit my Amazon Kindle author page.

What are you working on right now?

Right now I am in the final stages of the planning for a full-length – that is around 120,000 words – science fiction novel, though it may be some time before it appears in print, as i have yet to actually get started writing any of my ideas down. Once you start, though, the whole thing moves quite quickly, so I am expecting by 2016 to have finished it.

What book are you reading now?

Right now I am reading Inferno by Dan Brown, a spectacularly engrossing tale that all takes place in a 24 hour period and moves along at a breathless pace. Like all of this wonderful writer’s books, this story is difficult to put down exciting, inspiring and glorious entertainment, which is all I ask for in any book! I actually have seven lined up waiting to be read, including Einstein Pursuit by Chris Kuznetski and A cuckoo calling by J.K.Rowling.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to become a published writer?

If I were to be asked by someone what it takes to become a published writer, then I would have to answer that you need firstly to have a mountain of self-belief, and secondly a huge amount of dogged determination. I could, in the beginning, have wall-papered my living-room with rejection slips from editors, but I never let that put me off. If you have the ability to write, and an ocean of persistence, you will get there, but it is not easy, and you have to swallow many disappointments along the way. Just bear in mind that some of the greatest writers in history never made their mark for years, but went on to massive success in time. With enough talent, drive and self-belief, the world really is your oyster.

Bonnie Diczhazy, Squidoo's Head of Community will be interviewing up and coming authors for Squidoo's "Authors On Squidoo" Series. If you're an author who'd like to be interviewed please e-mail her at bonnie@squidoo.com. Squidoo royalties from the author series lenses go to the Room to Read charity.

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