Please welcome another author to the hot seat
Kia ora. Please welcome our latest
victim guest, Antony Millen. On the metal plate suspended above that puddle by wires is a chocolate fish. Behave and the delicious pink marshmallow fish covered in chocolate won’t end up a goopy mess on the floor.In the event of an earthquake/zombie plague/or random occupation – you’ll find emergency procedures taped to the bottom of your seat. Yes, just like a flotation device. You’ll also find a Glock 17 with a full magazine.Remember you cannot reason with zombies and it’s a head shot every time.
Not really. There’s an orange-flavoured light reflecting off that metal plate and the Glock is positioned at an awkward angle.
1. What’s your favorite type of takeaway? (Yes, that means take-out in NZ speak)
In my speak, it’s Acropole Pizza from Pictou County, Nova Scotia.
2. Describe your current mental status.
Is “flawed” a status?
3. I know how I do what I do … but how do you do what you do?
Either sporadically and tangentially or routinely and methodically. There is no in-between.
4. Could you tell us a little bit about your latest work?
I released my third novel, ‘The Chain’, at the end of 2015. It’s set in the year 2043, in a time when surveillance dominates the globe. Control is held by a world-wide governing entity called The Global Domain via an anti-encryption programme called ICALL. In an attempt to disrupt this system, a resistance group known as Arachne enlists the two teenage sons of one of their own to follow a chain of clues leading to a flash drive containing the plans for ICALL which could be used to dismantle the programme.
5. Do you have a favorite coffee or tea?
Back to Nova Scotia again – a large double-double from Tim Horton’s. Cheaper, faster and better than any cappuccino in New Zealand.
6. Walk us through a typical day. (Do you make sure you’re wearing your lucky underpants before you sit down to write, perhaps you prefer commando? While we’re discussing your underpants, boxers, briefs, or budgie smugglers. Inquiring minds want to know. Yes, that includes my Admins… we don’t piss off the Admins.)
During productive writing periods (meaning the period of drafting over several months), my day starts at 5am. I follow a routine of tea and breakfast, followed by meditation/prayer, a very light work-out, and reading a page from Stephen Pressfield’s ‘The War of Art’. I write until 7am when I start my routine for going to work. In the evenings, after everything to do with work and home is taken care of, I spend time on marketing, editing, brainstorming, corresponding, accounting, submitting to journals, and generally anything to do with being an independent writer trying to create and manage a portfolio and reach readers. Finish the day at 10pm by plotting the next day’s work. In terms of underpants, my answer is in this response, but you will need to read between the lines.
7. Tell us about your main character. (How did you first meet? Would you like to hang out with him/her? What delights you the most about writing him/her? You get the idea …)
Hmmm . . . which main character? I’ll pick Conrad Murrihy from my first book, ‘Redeeming Brother Murrihy’, because I was surprised at the response to him by readers. I see Conrad as cynical, devoted and a bit stunted in his relationships, but only because of his loyalty to his mother and to his homeland. Apparently his comments about New Zealand, as he reluctantly travelled around here, led some readers to see him as whinging and even xenophobic. Insular, I can accept, but I don’t see him in quite the negative light some have.
8. Who are your favorite writers?
John Steinbeck, William Shakespeare, Harper Lee, Maurice Shadbolt, Anna Smaill, Stan Lee, Chris Claremont, James K Baxter, Louis L’Amour, Bruce Springsteen, J.R.R. Tolkien, George Lucas, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan
9. Who inspires you to do better? (Be as corny as you’d like… just go for it! Mmmm chocolate fish.)
My kids. Other writers and creative people in multiple fields My wife. My parents. My mate, DTH.
10. Do you ever put pants on your dog, cat, or budgie?
No, that’s stupid.
11. Describe your perfect day.
A day at home alone.
12. Who is your favourite fictitious villain? Or are you all about the hero? Who do you love to hate?
Darth Vader. I don’t love to hate villains, I often admire them for their intelligence, even if they are morally skewed. I tend to hate weak characters who are arrogant.
13. Do you have any quirks?
Many. Most are hidden – I think.
14. All-time favorite movie and why?
Star Wars: A New Hope. The hero’s journey, Han Solo’s gun, lightsabres, the Millenium Falcon, Vader, victory without too much moral ambiguity to sift through. A fun ride that captured my imagination at age 7 and still does.
15. Do you enjoy the editing process?
I do! I work through it diligently and in an ever-refined, disciplined and efficient process. Maybe not efficient, but I am getting better at it and see it as a time to develop lyricism if I can call it that in what I do.
16. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Still home.
17. Favourite Pizza topping?
Cheese. Is that a topping or the topping over the toppings?
18. What were you before you became a writer?
A dreamer, a wanna-be believer, a reader, and a man with a fever that only went away when I finished the draft of my first novel.
19. What is the most random thing you have ever done?
I leave little to chance – my life is rarely random. Or it’s all really random, it depends on my propensity for procrastination at the time. I tripped a girl on the school bus once. Still don’t know why I did that.
20. If you’re not working, what are you most likely doing?
Watching a Montreal Canadiens ice hockey game online.
21. Who is your ultimate character?
Either Allie Fox from Paul Theroux’s ‘The Mosquito Coast’ or Indiana Jones or Han Solo. Probably any character portrayed by Harrison Ford.
22. Whiskey or Bourbon? Red or white wine? Tequila? Beer?
Beer, though not as much as I used to.
23. What’s in your pockets? (Or handbag, whatever you carry your stuff in. Are you apocalypse prepared?)
24. Laptop, PC, Mac, tablet?
25. Ebook or tree book?
Tree book, but I read on my phone too. #minimalism
26. Favourite apocalyptic scenario?
Emptiness and void, scrounging around, discovering relics with a close family member without worrying about zombies or Mad Max.
27. Where do you do most of your writing?
In my den/office/son’s former bedroom.
28. What’s the hardest thing for you when it comes to being an author? (For me it’s marketing but for others it’s the actual writing …)
Making time – but then making use of that time once I’ve made it. Not making excuses.
You made it!! Damn, you rock. Now would you like to try for the chocolate fish? Mind the puddles … but hurry. Power surges are common in the dungeon; you don’t want to have one hand on the metal plate containing that delicious chocolate fish and a foot in a puddle…That laughter you hear is coming from The Knight, he probably won’t flip that switch he has his hand on. Probably …
You can find out more about Antony Millen in the following places …