About Tony Leslie Duxbury:
Born in North London in 1955. Left school at 16 without qualifications. Found work as a trainee in a commercial art studio, left after two years to travel. That became the main passion in my life. So far, I have visited 28 countries. I would travel, return, find work, save money and then travel again. That set the pattern of my life for many years. My jobs have ranged from pearl diving (dishwashing) to English teacher. By the late 70s it was becoming more and more difficult to find work and so I looked around for a qualification that I could take with me on my travels. To cut a long story short I ended up studying for a degree in Social Science as a mature student. Because I had been out of education so long I attended a remedial class and my tutor, a published author herself, encouraged me to try creative writing. It wasn’t until I graduated that I tried my hand at it and then I sat down and wrote six pages of my first novel. Then I was struck down by a severe case of writer’s block. I couldn’t touch them for two years until I returned to Guatemala, but I took those pages with me and was able to finish my novel there.
Guatemala, C.A. has become my adopted country. The first time I visited was as a traveller. The second time was as an exchange student during my gap year and it was then that I met the woman who is now my wife. I returned to England to finish my degree, but found no work opportunities because of the continuing recession. Returning to Guatemala I became an English teacher. I also married the woman I loved and became the step-father to three children. For the next 15 years I taught English, first in a Language Academy. From there I progressed to teaching independently and went on to form my own company and employ others. A prolonged economic down turn finished off my business and with my wife I returned to England. After several years we returned to Guatemala.
When I finished my first novel I was quite surprised and pleased by the result. Since then I’ve written five more. They are all fantasy novels except one.
What inspires you to write?
As an avid reader I love stories and I love the idea of being able to create something out of nothing. It’s about creating something entirely from my own imagination. In the past i did wonder how some of the books I read or attempted to read got to be published. Years later when I was being encouraged to try my hand at writing I thought about that and decided I could do no worse than some of the stuff I’d read.
Tell us about your writing process.
I always start with a character first and that character is almost always basically the same type of person. I think in four of my books the hero is just an ordinary bloke suddenly confronted with an extraordinary situation. They are working class men and that is because that is my own social background. I understand the thoughts and reactions of people from that social class. The setting comes next. Where to put them? Once I can think of a situation I can then start. The end is already decided before i even start writing. I’m a sucker for happy endings! The bit in between is usually very vague. Everything develops as I go along. There is never a set plan, I add ideas and characters as i build the story.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
They are inside my head, but i don’t go out drinking with them! Of course, you have to listen to the dialogue that you give them to see if it sounds authentic, but that is as far as it goes with me. They are fictional characters and they stay that way, they don’t become invisible friends.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write for your own pleasure. If what you’ve written turns out well, then publish. My first book was an experiment. I liked the result and the creative process, so I continued to write.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
As I stated above when i had finished my first novel I was quite pleased with myself and so dived straight into another book. This went on for quite some time. i was in a fever to write and didn’t think about publishing. Of course, it was at the back of my mind, but i didn’t give it any real thought for years. After prodding from my wife i finally got around to looking for agents and publishers. This was years before i had a computer. My manuscripts were written by hand. My mother-in-law kindly typed up my first novel. Over several years I sent batches of query letters out by mail and only got a few replies back, all rejections. Some companies took as long as nine months to reply. I was just about to throw in the towel when I got a reply from this company that wanted to publish my book. They thought that my book was great etc, etc. Neeedless to say that I was over the moon. My great talent had been recognized after all! It was an online publisher, but by this time I didn’t care and they were such friendly people to boot. As soon as i’d signed the contract they turned into a nasty bunch and i found out that not only did i have to sell and market my own book, I also had to buy it back off them to sell it. The book stayed dormant until the contract ran out. I didn’t look for publishers for my other books after that. That was until a friend mentioned Amazon. I checked it out and found that it was a good deal without the previous pitfals. My advice to other writers like myself is to self publish your work. You could wait a lifetime for the Gods of the publishing world to look down and notice you. They will only notice you if they can make any money out of you. We all want to make money at the writting game, but It’s not always only about money. Let’s face it, seeing your stuff uploaded on to a site like Amazon is a real ego booster. You may not sell any, but you’ve been published!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Although I own a kindle and think that it is wonderful devise I’m still old school and love the feel of a real book in my hands. Unfortunately, I think that physical books will gradually die out. Hopefully, not during my lifetime.
What do you use?: Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Fantasy
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
Link To Tony Leslie Duxbury Page On Amazon