Friday 21 November 2014

A Day in the Life of Anthony Quinn.

Today I'm delighted to be hosting a guest post from Anthony Quinn, author of The Blood-Dimmed Tide, as part of the blog tour. Check back next Friday too when I'll be posting my review.


A Day in the Life of Anthony Quinn

I'd love to say that my writer's life is one long, glorious retreat in a log-cabin in the woods, punctuated by a dizzying round of cocktail parties and book launches, but the reality is much more prosaic.

My average day is extremely hectic. As well as helping to look after our four young children, I work part of the week as a journalist. It's healthier for the mind to be busy, to juggle different responsibilities and tasks, and a packed schedule keeps the writing faculties sharp and the darker anxieties of self-doubt and fear of failure at bay. Writer's block is a luxury I can't afford. I work in short, concentrated bursts usually first thing in the morning, or last thing at night - the bookends of my day. My target is one page a day, and, fortified by gallons of tea, I usually exceed that by one or two hundred words. On the days I feel sluggish, the gallons of tea become rivers.

I write every day - even Christmas Day. Spending three hours or so in your own company on a daily basis changes you, for the better, I think. The act of writing becomes almost a form of meditation and self-reflection. I always write the first draft with a pen, and my stories takes shape organically, which means I make it up as I go along with no pre-planning. When I sit down to type it all up, it's like trying to navigate my way back through the labyrinth, only this time I'm showing the reader the way. You try to make the path as clear-cut and tight as possible, ignoring all the digressions and blind alleys you took in the first draft.

Throughout my working day, I keep in touch with my agent and publishers (I'm in the fortunate position of having three, two in London and the other in New York). When I'm on the computer, I try to impose severe restrictions with regards to using social media. Shakespeare and Dickens managed to accomplish so much because they didn't have hundreds of friends and followers vying for attention from their inkwells.

Other than that, I'm always turning over plot ideas and characters in my mind, even while I'm sleeping. Writing stories is more an obsession than a profession, one that needs to be hand-cuffed and kept under control, which is why I'm glad my family life is so busy.

My worst fear is that I will wake some day and be told that I have to stop making up stories.

Anthony Quinn is an Irish writer and journalist whose first novel Disappeared was acclaimed by the Daily Mail as 'unquestionably one of the crime novels of the year, written in peerless prose.’ It was shortlisted for a Strand Literary Award by the book critics of the Guardian, LA Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle and other US newspapers. It was also listed by Kirkus Reviews as one of the top ten thrillers of 2012.

His short stories have twice been shortlisted for a Hennessy/New Irish Writing award.

The Blood-Dimmed Tide is the first in a series of three historical novels set in Ireland during WWI and the War of Independence. He lives in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.


London at the dawn of 1918 and Ireland's most famous literary figure, WB Yeats, is immersed in supernatural investigations at his Bloomsbury rooms.

Haunted by the restless spirit of an Irish girl whose body is mysteriously washed ashore in a coffin, Yeats undertakes a perilous journey back to Ireland with his apprentice ghost-catcher Charles Adams to piece together the killer's identity.

Surrounded by spies, occultists and Irish rebels, the two are led on a gripping journey along Ireland's wild Atlantic coast, through the ruins of its abandoned estates, and into its darkest, most haunted corners. Falling under the spell of dark forces, Yeats and his novice ghost-catcher come dangerously close to crossing the invisible line that divides the living from the dead.

Amazon UK | No Exit Press

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...