Your name: Tony Schumacher
Tell us about yourself: I came to your planet three thousand… oh hang on, no that’s not right. I’m a writer based in Liverpool, first novel, The Darkest Hour, out in 2014, second one due 2015. I’ve had what seems like a thousand jobs, including copper, taxi driver, stand up, salesman, bouncer, bar man, bin-man, broadcaster… honestly, the list goes on and on, it’s embarrassing. I live alone, talk to myself a lot, and stare out the window even more.
Tell us about your latest book: The Darkest Hour is about a man who has taken part in the most evil crime ever imagined by mankind. He is stained with the blood of thousands, what the novel asks is, can he wash it off? Britain lost the war, a washed up ex copper has found himself working for the Nazis rounding up London’s Jewish population. One day he finds something that makes him question himself, and the things he has done…
When did you start writing? I’ll tell you when I first stopped, when I was 16 and I got a “U” in my English o’level. My dreams were shattered, years passed, and then in my early forties I scratched my itch again, and got lucky with my first lengthy bit of writing. Thanks to Harper Collins, that 16 year old snotty scouse kids dreams finally came true.
Where do you write? I’ve an office at home; there is none of that dodgy coffee shop stuff for me. How anyone can write in a crowded busy cafe is beyond me, if I’m in Pret I can barely manage to send a text.
Which other authors do you admire? I admire every author, honestly, I know it is trite, but I really do. Anyone who can manage to get a book written and published in the modern age deserves a tip of the hat and a fat cheque. If really pushed, I love a bit of Michael Connelly, Cormac McCarthy and a smidgeon on Elmore Leonard.
Book you wished you’d written? I wish I’d written my third novel, seeing as I’m only a third in and it is killing me. As well as that, I’d have loved to have written The Lord Of The Flies, so that it would have been less boring to the thirteen year old me who had to read it at school. Also The Catcher in The Rye, so that I could have put it in a draw, and Mark Chapman would never have gotten to read it.
Greatest fictional criminal: The Devil.
Greatest crime or criminal from the real world: It’s got to be either Hitler or Stalin hasn’t it? Choosing which one is worse becomes a terrible tale of mathematics, and it’s a number too large for me to count.
Greatest fictional detective: Miss Marple, although every book buff will hate me for saying it but I love the old Margaret Rutherford films more than the books… sorry!
What scares you? My agent.
Are you ever disturbed by your own imagination? Disturbed? No. Terrified yes.
3 crime books you would recommend to EVERYONE:
Do you listen to music when you write? I listen a lot when I’m thinking about writing, but when I actually start banging away off it goes. The only rhythm I want o hear is the tap tap of a keyboard (or bang bang in my case).
Are you on social media? I AM social media. @tonyshoey