I am so thrilled to post this interview today! Major thanks to Tony Moyle for giving me the opportunity to host this!
Interview with Tony Moyle
Who is Tony Moyle?
Writer, Agnostic, Frightened of Tequila, long time beard wearer and never bored of the weird and wonderful.
What is your first memory of writing for fun?
Wow. That’s tough one to start off with. The absolute truth is I hated writing as a child. Although never diagnosed, I strongly believe I have some level of dyslexia. I’ve always written in a confused haphazard style (at least if I don’t review multiple times), which was never appreciated by my English teachers. Through a series of complete flukes, and possibly administrative error, I managed to land in the top class of English for my GCSEs (equivalent of your High School). Mr. Summers, my English teacher at the time, took offense to this and did what was possible to highlight my deficiencies to me at every opportunity. When I first conceived ‘The Limpet Syndrome’ I was spurred on by an absolute desire to prove him wrong. I guess that emotion drove me more than joy. When I did start to write I found myself enjoying the process for the very first time in my life. It came as quite a shock. Inadvertently my anger at him unleashed my passion for writing. I guess my passion since a small child has always been more about creating stories than writing them down. Until now of course.
How many books have you written?
2 so far with a list of ‘to be written’ in front of me.
What are some of your other interests outside of writing?
I’m a huge music fan and have been since a very early age. I have a weakness for 1960s and 1970s rock music but can sit and listen to almost anything. Outside of music, I have a general thirst for knowledge and a desire to experience new skills and places. As an example this year I went on a wood whittling class and made an object that could be mistaken for a spoon.
Are you also a reader?
Not as much as I’d like. I certainly was as a child/teenager. I consumed anything by Tolkien or Pratchett in one sitting. These days I find, for differing reasons, I have less time to read. I prefer to write than read and am constantly concerned reading more will infect my writing in a sense that those ideas will enter my own writing like osmosis. There is a huge benefit to an author of reading, and I certainly plan to balance the two better in future.
What genres do you reach for the most?
Comedy, Fantasy, Science Fiction and, oddly, a really good biography. My aim is always to write about fragile characters and the history of those that have perhaps gone unnoticed or overlooked. Whatever genre I write in, and I plan to write in many, this is the element that I want to come through as an identity of how I write.
Do you have an all time favorite book or author?
The Hobbit is my all time favourite book and has been since I was 11.
Book Related Questions
Potential spoilers ahead! Look for the next section of red text to continue on post spoilers.
The banter between Sandy and Ian is so realistic and hysterical! Are there real-life people that you based these two characters on, or do they simply live in your head and on the pages of your books?
I don’t think any character ever created is completely fabricated. Even after molding them I find myself identifying some other real person to characteristics I have written. If I looked into a mirror I would definitely see some of Ian in me, particularly his naivety and ability to make mistakes when trying consciously not to. Sandy isn’t based on any one person I know, but certainly resembles many individuals who demonstrate a suave charm on the surface but an insatiable hunger and ambition under it.
When I found out that Level Zero was made up of plastic, I was really intrigued! Why did you choose plastic over another material such as rock or metal?
There are moments when you write when a random thought enters your mind and makes you laugh out loud. This was one of those moments. It came about as many other elements of the books do, my own inquisitiveness about the world I’ve created. If Level Zero is only there because of the reincarnates, how would Hell create all of these believable habitats if the bulk of what we have seen above Level Zero is metal and stone? Would the reader believe that a tree could be made of stone? No. I would not believe that, so why would a reader? Then the thought crossed my mind that everything on Earth can be recreated almost perfectly in plastic. Modern 3D printers allow that illusion. So I played with that idea and it expanded from there. There’s another reason why this is significant but you’ll have to wait for book 3!
One of my favorite characters from Soul Catchers was Scrumpy. What more can you tell us about him?
This is the name I wanted to use for my first born child, but my wife vetoed it. Scrumpy Moyle! I loved the idea of him having a unique name. At the time (2003), I’d just met a highly successful businessman by the name of Arno Kitts and it made me realise a man with a name like that would never end up as a binman! As for the character of Scrumpy he was very much an afterthought. I wanted a foil for Grace’s rational and distant qualities. Someone that readers would empathise with and the complete opposite from his sister. In the first research and plot prep for the book he barely featured. But the more I wrote about him the more his personality took on a life of its own. The pirate obsession didn’t come until the second draft of the book. In fact most of the second draft changes were for Scrumpy. It was a nice surprise to hear how many people thought he was their favourite new character. The only unknown for me as the author is what his future story line is. Grace has always been in my thoughts, and although we only see glimpses of her in Book 1, it has always been my intention for her to have a leading role in the series.
In the lowest level of Hell, the inhabitants are all in animal form. If you were to be stuck on level zero and could choose your form, which animal would you pick?
I think in the circumstances I’d want to be Sir Roger the cat. The only way to deal with the sheer horror and stress of a place like that would be to act as if none of it was happening and you were totally in control of the outcomes. That or a penguin!
** End of spoilers.
Just one last question; Where can readers find you?
They can search for me on Google, although I’d like to point out I’m not the Tony Moyle that runs a funeral service in Redruth, Cornwall!