Author of the Week: Tony Parsons

This week we are joined by bestselling Author, Tony Parsons to share his sixth book ‘Taken’ from his DC Max Wolfe series. Taken is a bold, sharp, page-turning thriller about a woman who is kidnapped by professional criminals – although the wrong woman is taken. In this chat, we look at the underbelly of London as a character in itself. Tony gives us access to all areas to the many faces of London that are rarely seen such as the historical Newgate Prison, the guarded Highgate Cemetery & a reflection on his time kicking down doors with old school detectives. If you’re a fan of mysteries, thrillers & epic bestsellers or just a lover of London, this is a chat you won’t want to miss.

In this chat we discuss:

  • Tony’s take on lockdown & it’s effect on Authors, especially debut writers. 
  • The experience of writing a series. Feeling ‘paralysed’ after writing the first book & coming onto the sixth book “six was a good number to bail out’.
  • The feeling of going out of the series on a high. 
  • Tony on his interest in father & child relationships such as his novel from over 20 years ago, ‘Man and Boy’. 
  • Tony’s reflection on his mother’s terminal cancer & his sense of ‘poise’ in the circle of life between his parent’s generation, his generation & his son’s generation.
  • The moment in which you no longer recognise your daughter, or son as they grow up.
  • A special appearance from Stan, the King Charles who only speaks to Tony “through his lawyer these days”. Tony on his close relationship with Stan.
  • Tony’s relationships in his own life which translate to characters in his books.
  • Tony on where he gets his inspiration & plots in his thrilling books. 
  • Tony on his interest in the history of London, particularly Newgate Prison where Charles Dickens used to go and watch public executions.
  • Newgate Prison: Tony’s experience visiting the remnants of the corridors of the prison, with the thinning walls to stop people from fighting & carrying on during the public hangings of criminals. “Privileged access that not many people have seen”.
  • Highgate Cemetery: A Cemetery with tombs, Victorian architecture & famous people buried like George Michael. 
  • Tony on his books being a ‘love letter to London’: “The city becomes another character”.
  • Tony’s past career as a “washed up music journalist” & his experience writing for women’s magazines from a male perspective on topics like pornography & police. 
  • Tony’s time with London detectives: “I was hanging out with them & kicking down doors saying ‘get down motherfucker’” similar to hanging out with rock and roll stars. 
  • Tony on developing his gripping, page turning plots: writers are like the architects of plots & editors like gardeners – pruning & chopping off stuff. “You can be both an architect & gardener” says Tony. 
  • Tony’s advice to debut writers.
  • Imogen on Tony’s ability to write a bestseller: it’s big, bold, beefy writing at its absolute peak. 
  • Heroin overdoses in the review room:  Tony’s experience as a music journalist “we were living a life”, taking illicit substances, getting in fights & reviewing groundbreaking artists.
  • Nick Logan as a key figure in the British music scenes of the 1970’s & 80’s with Tony’s time at New Musical Express (NME). 
  • Tony on writing every day: “it takes pressure off the week”& “working everyday liberates me”. 
  • Writers on the need to escape the tyranny of words – “it’s a marathon – you have to stay happy & sane”. 

Buy Taken from your local Bookseller:

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