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Tony Lewis

Tony Lewis

Author biography

Ah, the author bio. What can I say about myself that'll be interesting? I could make it up I suppose, but who'd believe the fact that I've won the Nobel Prize for Literature and written two Oscar winning screenplays. NO ONE! So here it is.

I was born in Cardiff, South Wales in September 1967. My earliest memories are starting at Gladstone Primary School (amazing I can remember that far back when I can't go to the kitchen and recall what I went in there for), although I wasn't there for very long as my parents moved house (I wished they'd told me. It took me ages to find them).

Birchgrove Infant and Junior's was where I spent the next six happy years. Luckily we only lived a few hundred yards from the school so my brothers and I had the luxury of being able to come home for dinner and not having to spend hours on buses with horrible kids (we were little angels of course).

I've always been an avid reader and quickly grew bored of children's books. Even as a youngster I quickly realised there's only so much goody goody, overly polite and painfully English children running around and solving mysteries that you can take, even if they do have a clever dog and an aunt with an amusing name (I'm assuming they offended my Welsh sensibilities).

Horror was always going to be my starting point. From a very early age I stayed with my Nan every Saturday night and, as all good grandparents should, she didn't mind that I stayed up to watch scary films while she slept in her favourite chair.

In the early seventies there wasn't a YA market as such, so from the age of about seven or eight I started getting into Dennis Wheately, Dean Koontz, Stephen King and James Herbert. Then, when I was a bit older, I got into fantasy. Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast and the works of David Eddings opened up fabulous worlds for me, as did the odd sci-fi novel be it Heinlein or Frank Herbert.

At school I always did fine (in fact I got skipped a year in junior school because I was too far ahead. That's what mum and dad told me anyway, and I've always chosen to believe them), but I always loved English lessons and consistently got high marks for my essays and stories (proper ones that is. Not 'What I did on my holidays' or a book report about The Bafut Beagles or some such nonsense).

Although I didn't know it at the time, there was clearly a burgeoning writer within me that would one day be released, although many might say that he should have stayed inside.

Again, at secondary school, I got on with all my lessons admirably, but still loved English Language and Literature. At one point my English teacher (Mrs. Lewis, ironically) asked me if I'd got an adult to write my story for me. Quite flattering, I thought, as I sat in detention.

At the age of sixteen the whole family had to move to Kent so that my dad could take up a new job, but at the new school I still kept up with the English and outside of that, still read voraciously.

I reckon I first tried to write seriously in my mid-twenties but it wasn't very good. I attempted horror, fantasy and even a bit of sci-fi, but I couldn't make it work. Despite reading these genres extensively, I just couldn't come up with anything worthwhile.

There came a bit of a writing hiatus after that (not that I was taking it too seriously). My son was born, I played rugby every weekend and I worked full time (I was probably too tired healing from the weekends violence. I knew getting my boy those Hulk Hands was a mistake. Rugby was a doddle compared to that).

Skipping forward about five years saw me amicably split up from my son's mum, in a new relationship with my now wife Sharon, and about to start a new career in the police. I did fine as a bobby but it was during my training (circa 2008) that the writing bug bit me again (probably because I spent half my working day trying to figure out what lies to tell in court. Oops).

After my previous efforts I knew I needed to find my niche, something that came naturally to me, a story that wasn't a struggle to write. I was reading a lot of Terry Pratchett and Robert Asprin at the time and it was then that it struck me. I love to read a story that really makes me laugh. Many is the time that I'd be immersed in a Discworld novel and laugh out loud but, apart from a select few, there aren't many authors who can actually illicit that response from me (and I'm talking proper humour now, not some allegedly funny chic-lit rubbish about a woman and her big pants or the romantic disasters that befall some lady who's decided to open a cake shop or some such drivel).

Within hours of the realisation that I should write my own funny story, I had the first pages done and the main characters formed. It was as if they'd been waiting in some dark recess at the back of my mind for all that time (and there was me thinking the voices were a bad thing).

I very quickly completed my first novel, Wherewolf, and then wrote Cup and Sorcery and Wuthering Frights soon after that. Wow, I thought, I have a series on my hands.

It was after getting half way through book four, The Quest for the Bone Idol, that I contemplated leaving the police. Writing was taking up a lot of my spare time, and what with all of the budget cuts to officer numbers, this precious commodity was an ever dwindling luxury. Constant thirteen and fourteen hour shifts aren't conducive to any sort of hobby, so that's what I did. I left and started working nights, loading lorries in a food warehouse. Set hours, no responsibility and lots of free time to write. And it's proven to be fruitful. I've now nearly finished book eight in the Skullenia series, I've started nine and ten and am with Next Chapter, thanks to Miika, who saw my stuff and liked it enough to take me on.

Another wonderful development is having my stories picked up for film and TV adaptation by Mario Domina who runs Thunderball Films. At present there's quite a few actors cast, the most notable of whom is popular comedian Harry Enfield.

And so here we are. My books are on Amazon and people are reading them. Obviously, humour is very subjective and isn't ever going to be as popular as crime or thriller stories because we don't all laugh at the same things, but I'm happy doing what I'm doing because it pleases me and I think that's the most important thing (apart from food, water and oxygen of course. They're quite important).

Bibliography

Wherewolf

Ian Parson

Ian Parson

Stuart G. Yates

Stuart G. Yates