Interview with Tony Nash

When did you first start writing?
Forty odd years ago I rather foolishly decided I would go for an external degree in Modern Languages, not realizing just what I was letting myself in for during the next five years. In those days there was no such thing as the Open University, or correspondence courses. The only aids I had were old exam papers and the reading lists. Not knowing any better I studied all the 250 books on the list. When I went to sit the exams I found that the internal students had been told which six books to study, and which pages! However, the study seemed to make my brainpower explode - I began to play the piano and write music, and I somehow made time to write three full-length novels during the five study years. I got a good degree, left the RAF and started teaching, and the writing continued. A couple of times a year I would write to a publisher, and even sent in sample chapters, without success, and the years went by with the manuscripts in the cupboards.
I then started writing television plays and tried to break into that world, but found, eventually, that it is almost a closed shop. I went back to books and tried sporadically to get published, but eventually gave up trying.
When ebooks came on the scene I was delighted, and began to write again. Ten of the books were written last year, and I'm now on the fourth for this year. I just hope readers will love them. I try to 'do a Graham Greene': he insisted that a good novel should include 'a little bit of love, a little bit of sex and a little bit of mystery'.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My home town is Norwich, in the United Kingdom county of Norfolk. There are many lovely counties in the UK, but I think my own takes some beating. Most of my thrillers are set here, with a local man as a central character - Detective Chief Inspector Tony Dyce.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I've changed from thrillers with this one. Researching my family history I came across the story of one my ancestors, who, at the end of the 17th century, was left to pick up the pieces when his younger brother absconded with all the family funds and emigrated to America. With this as a starting point I let my imagination run riot and decided to write a high adventure fictional family saga, stretching from 1786 to the present day. 'A HANDFUL OF DUST' is the result, and the first sequel, 'A HANDFUL OF SALT' is also finished. Both books will be published on Smashwords this year.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
At last, with Smashwords help, I am able to place my work where the great army of readers can access it. I have never wanted to go in for vanity publishing, although, of course, some of the biggest names started that way. I am delighted that so many readers are enjoying my books.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
In a word: creation. To take my favored genre, thriller writing, it is so satisfying to find that a basic idea has developed into a cohesive whole, with involved plots,sub-plots and believable characters that did not exist when I sat down to begin writing..
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything! I'd just love to have an army of fans who enjoyed my books and wanted more, more, more! Although there are thousands of authors in my position, hoping to be read, I know lightning can strike, (A radio shack I was once in was struck and damn near blown to pieces, so I know it can happen!). At least many new readers are downloading my books each month, which delights me. More fans - wonderful!
What are you working on next?
The fourth in the series of John Hunter crime thrillers - 'THE IAGO FACTOR'. He and Jane are just too good together, and someone is determined to tear them apart.
Who are your favorite authors?
Dick Francis is the author I would most like to emulate. His stories gallop along at the same speed as his horses, with just enough, but not too much description, which spoils so many good books. His plots are great. His are books I just cannot put down. Others I enjoy reading are Clive Cussler, Patricial Cornwell, Kathy Reichs and Mark Billingham, but I'll read anything going. One can even learn something from a badly-written book!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The thought of a new day. I try to get forty-eight hours' worth out of every twenty-four, and mostly manage to do so. I sleep like the proverbial log and wake refreshed and ready for the fray. Around three mornings a week it will be fly-fishing for trout, and most evenings I go deer stalking. In between, there's writing, gardening, fly tying, the keyboard, d-i-y and dozens of other things. If nothing else, there's the day to enjoy. I get up singing, go to bed singing, and sing all day long, driving my wife up the wall I guess, though she never complains (except when 'The Archers' is on!).
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Fly fishing, deer stalking, tying flies, cooking exotic food, gardening, playing the keyboard, making things. I love creating things out of wood and still have all the machines I had when I was producing hand-made furniture. There's no sale for it now, with Ikea everyone's choice, but I still use the machines now and then when the mood strikes me. I would like to find time to make wooden figures, like a couple I have which were made by my sister-in-law's grandfather. Now and again, I go back to an earlier hobby - photography, and often stalk with a camera instead of a rifle. It is incredible what you see if you stand absolutely still for two hours in full camouflage. Animals will almost walk or play over your shoes. I just love being out with nature all around me - and its healthy too - and burns calories!.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was the black magic novel I'm just about to publish as an ebook, 'The Devil Deals Death'. I found the manuscript languishing in the garage recently, and read it. After so many years I'd forgotten the plot and the ending, and I enjoyed it, so thought, 'Why not?' It took me a few days to type up on the computer, and it's having a final check now.
What is your writing process?
When I have a basic idea for a plot I sit down and write, having only the vaguest of ideas what is going to happen at that point.
The plot and sub-plots just arrive naturally, and the characters come alive as I go along. It's a wonderful process. I did once write a complete plan for a novel, with the characters, plot, sub-plots and everything else written down in advance. When I'd finished the book I looked again at the layout and found hardly anything I'd planned was left. It taught me that I am not one of those writers!
How do you approach cover design?
I decide on a simple design which incorporates the basic theme of the book, without being too fussy, and then use Photoshop to produce it.
What do you read for pleasure?
Murder mysteries by anyone and adventure stories by people like Clive Cussler (it used to be Dennis Wheatley).
Describe your desk
A computer, a keyboard, a printer, and a mass of single sheets of paper on top of the printer with notes on things I've researched for the novel I'm currently writing.
Published 2014-04-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Diet Simple
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 1,500. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Dieting, Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Diet cooking
The simplest diet you will ever use, and the most effective. No hassle, no hunger, no calorie counting and no recipes. Just guaranteed success.
The Key to the Castle
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 52,580. Language: English. Published: December 21, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Sea adventures, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
The plan to hi-jack an ocean liner, which is carrying a huge amount of gold, using an obsolescent, mothballed submarine, is set in motion by some of the old crew, headed by Bill Hallorane, seeking revenge, though he is the one at fault. Despite hiccups, the intention becomes reality, and the two vessels are heading for a confrontation, but Fate, as always, waits in the wings.
'Y' Oh 'Y'
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 76,060. Language: English. Published: May 14, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Military biography, Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
An entertaining, crackerjack insight into the SIGINT and ELINT secrets of the 'Y' Service, with revealing glimpses of both the lighter and darker sides of 'The Game'. An eclectic mix of raw humour, riveting action, personal betrayal, high success, and pathos.
Bled and Breakfast
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 81,460. Language: English. Published: April 22, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Traditional British
Norfolk hoteliers are being murdered, apparently at random, though a shady business conglomerate has the most obvious motive. DI Harry Mann weaves his way through the mass of evidence, looking for that elusive connection. The perpetrator could be any one of a dozen or more, all with good reason for revenge. Sure of the facts at last, Harry has the most difficult decision of his life to make.
The Sinister Side of the Moon
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 52,130. Language: English. Published: December 30, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
When Mike Blake ambles out of his own front door he has no idea that he has stepped into another mind-blowing time dimension. Not only does he discover that Anita, his sex-averse wife, has become a raging nymphomaniac, but he soon finds himself targeted by unusual law enforcement and terrorist agencies, both urgently in need of using his new powers. He has to play
The Thursday Syndrome
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 65,200. Language: English. Published: November 21, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
A corpse wearing another woman’s face and using her name has DI John Hunter and his wife Jane chasing dozens of confusing leads. A phone call out of the blue suggests that the same killer also murdered John’s foster mother, a Secret Services spook, more than twenty years before. The answer lies in MI5, and when John identifies the killer he has the deadliest decision of his life to make.
Beyond Another Curtain
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 76,820. Language: English. Published: August 25, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » International crime, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
SEQUEL TO 'BLOCKBUSTER' DI John Hunter’s wife, Jane, is dead. That is certain, but after investigations into the assassination of the Russian President on a visit to Britain and others into a series of murders where pedophiles are emasculated before death, John is faced with the explosive reality that both the assassin and the pedophile murderer he has been seeking is the same person: Jane!
Blood Lines
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 52,620. Language: English. Published: June 14, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
DI John Hunter thinks he has a straightforward domestic murder on his hands, easily solved. He is as wrong as he could be. It is the first in a series of murders copycatted from mystery novels by famous authors who are members of the Mile High Club, a dubious organisation. Trying to solve the mounting crimes he finds more red herrings than there are at the fish market, even right at the end.
Hardrada's Hoard
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 54,130. Language: English. Published: March 4, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom
Harald Hardrada, King of Norway, came within a day of becoming King of England. Had he done so, he could well have beaten William the Conqueror three weeks later and the history of England would have been very different. Before joining battle with Harold Godwinson for the Throne, he buried his massive treasure. A thousand years later it is discovered & everyone wants it; governments and criminals.
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 56,080. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Horror » Crime
The discovery of a 12-year old skeleton appears at first sight to be a case that John Hunter will file under the 'Open, unsolved' label and quietly forget about, but strangely it leads implacably to more deaths.The trail of tiny clues leads him to two high-flying Russian crooks,with a diabolical scheme to ruin the UK. Severely wounded, .only he stands any chance of preventing the final disaster.
Hell and High Water
Price: Free! Words: 56,760. Language: English. Published: October 30, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Inspirational, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Psychological
Death. Tom knows he is going somewhere; Jean just wants to go. Kylie is fearful. Each of these characters faces that final moment in a different way, some with belief and some without.
A Handful of Salt
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 79,460. Language: English. Published: October 8, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Sea adventures, Fiction » Historical » Australia & New Zealand
Joshua Nash, son of Thomas, the protagonist in 'A Handful of Dust', by an aborigine woman, opts for a life at sea, knowing that if he stays on land he will always be a second class citizen. His ambition is to become a master mariner and Commodore of the Fleet. Enduring gales, mutiny, disasters, piracy, hunger and being set adrift in a tiny boat to die, he perseveres and at last achieves his goal.
The Iago Factor
Series: John Hunter mysteries, Book 4. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 62,170. Language: English. Published: July 12, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Traditional British, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Faced with one of his 'Thursday' murders John Hunter is on to a hiding to nothing, but that one goes on the back burner while he investigates the murder of a senior police official, Commander Freddie Sloane, who headed up Vice. Someone out there is determined to destroy John, and as a first step his wife Jane is arrested for the murder. Her pistol fired the shots.
Single to Infinity
Series: John Hunter mysteries, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 66,210. Language: English. Published: March 29, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
DI John Hunter is not confronted every day with the corpse of a senior Government minister, nor that of an alien. Here he has two in one. What seems at first to be a 'nutcase' murder is anything but. With the investigation hampered by need-to-know, the personal intervention of the PM and interference by Special Branch it becomes one of John's most difficult cases, with the strangest outcome
The Most Unkindest Cut
Series: John Hunter mysteries, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 62,910. Language: English. Published: March 29, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
DI John Hunter likes a case with good scene of crime evidence and a clear motive. Here there is neither the one nor the other, and there are literally hundreds of suspects when nurses are murdered in a large hospital and their clitorises are surgically removed. Is it sexual, racial, vengeful, or none of those. By heading in the wrong direction he puts Jane in mortal danger.
Price: Free! Words: 102,510. Language: English. Published: March 29, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Crime
It is midsummer, and with the worst heatwave ever to hit the City the Big Apple is overripe, with many destructive maggots eating away at its innards. All it needs now is Panic!
The Last Laugh
Price: Free! Words: 31,040. Language: English. Published: March 29, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » European, Fiction » Inspirational
Rabies is absent from the United Kingdom, but it is an ever-present danger. The police and Defra have complete plans for such an exigency, and here they have to employ them, when a small dog escapes from a German coaster and joins up with a small boy and the 'ghost' of the marshes. Disaster is only a bite away...
Unseemly Exposure
Series: Harry Page thrillers, Book 2. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 49,060. Language: English. Published: March 24, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
A seventeen year old unsolved murder leads Harry Page and his wife Karen to the Island of Thassos, where he is knocked unconscious and she is abducted, with her life forfeit if he does not stop the investigation. With his life under close scrutiny his options are limited, but he is determined to see the affair through to the end.
The World's Worst Joke Book
Price: Free! Words: 6,290. Language: English. Published: February 19, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
If you'd been on the stage in 1939 with these jokes you would have been a smash hit. Health Warning: Do not try it today! You have been warned.
Murder on the Chessboard
Series: DCI Tony Dyce murder mysteries. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 42,970. Language: English. Published: September 30, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
DCI Tony Dyce and his ex-SAS friends are out of their comfort zone and their lives precariously on the line when a gang of vicious criminals come after half of an antique Chinese chess set that was given to the men as a reward for rescuing a German minister's son. The full set gives the location of a cache of Nazi gold.
The Makepeace Manifesto
Price: Free! Words: 90,190. Language: English. Published: September 29, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage, Fiction » Adventure » Action
With the Cold War at its height and atomic annihilation the constant worry of the man in the street, senior government officials are aware of a much more insidious and possibly even more dangerous threat to global stability. John Hunter takes on the might of the Makepeace machine, and if he fails, the world will never be the same again.
The Devil Deals Death
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 69,900. Language: English. Published: September 11, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult
His past was peaceful and secure, his hoped-for future the same. Fate has other ideas for Douglas Steele, who finds himself fighting not only for his mortal life but also for his very soul, after he kills a naked sixteen year old girl, fleeing from the horrors of Hell.
Murder on the High 'C'
Series: DCI Tony Dyce murder mysteries. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 57,740. Language: English. Published: July 20, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Traditional British, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Motiveless musician murders, unknown pathogens and appalling outcome.
Tripled Exposure
Series: Harry Page thrillers, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 46,490. Language: English. Published: December 5, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
a fast-moving yarn, without unnecessary, boring padding. harry page, junior, the ejected black sheep of the family, and now a successful photographer, hears that his father has disappeared. harry suddenly finds himself head of the family firm - the very last thing on earth he wanted. murder, arson and skulduggery follow, with vicious antagonists and severe pain for the hero and his family