Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Writers on Wednesday: Tony Berry

Time once again for Writers on Wednesday. This week I am chatting with Australian journalist, author and editor Tony Berry. 



Tell us a bit about yourself …

Known variously as an old curmudgeon, the marathon man and dedicated pedant. Started in journalism way back when as an apprentice reporter whose Wednesday night duty was to read and check galleys under the beady eyes of the paper’s proofreaders. Since then I’ve travelled the world as reporter and feature writer and spent more than 40 years in Australia as feature writer and editor with a broad mix of daily newspapers, trade journals and magazines, much of the time as a freelance. a dozen years or so ago I eventually got around to indulging in a lifelong wish to write a book rather than report on events. These days more time seems to be spent on editing other writers’ books than on writing my own. But I love it.

Tell us about your most recently published book?

This is The Devil Deals in Diamonds, the third in a series of crime novels built around my main character, sleuth Bromo Perkins.

Tell us about the first time you were published?

A real buzz to hold my book. My baby! My first born! Even if I did publish it myself rather than be blessed by a mainstream publisher.

As writer, what has been your proudest achievement so far?

Acknowledgement by the Australian Society of Authors with a mentorship (under Sophie Masson) for my second crime novel, Washed Up.

What books or writing projects are you currently working on, if anything?

Some 35,000 words of the third Bromo Perkins book have been fed into the computer and it’s flowing along nicely. I’m itching also to get back to do a complete update and revision of my memoir From Paupers to iPads, which blends fact and fiction to tell my family history based on extensive worldwide research.

Which do you prefer? eBooks or Paper Books? Why?

No argument. A book is a book; an e-book is a gadget. I detest gadgets and have an unloving relationship with technology.

Indie Publishing, or Traditional Publishing?

Again, no argument. Traditional publishing means acceptance even if we might argue vociferously about the quality of much that is published; indie publishing has no judgement – anyone can do it and Amazon is awash with books with little merit. People are churning out books with no assessment as to their quality. Sadly people are reading them and lavishing excessive praise where so often none is due and all critical judgement seems to have been thrown overboard. Everything seems to be “awesome”, “stunning”, “amazing”, “superb” and the like when it is nothing of the sort. It is the excessive phrases of the X Factor being applied to books. Stop it!

Aside from your own books, of course, what is one book that you feel everybody should read?

There’s no answer to that. Everybody should read the books that works for them, be it fact or fiction, for laughs or thrills, for help or inspiration, for escapism or instruction.

Finally … is there anything you would like to say to your readers in Adelaide, Australia?

Do as I did: move to Melbourne as soon as you can.

~ No. I refuse to live in a city without frog cakes. Kathryn. 


Links

Books by Tony Berry on Amazon:
From Paupers to iPads (memoir): http://tinyurl.com/d44zq2n
Washed Up (crime fiction):  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007V3CYEE
Done Deal (crime fiction): http://tinyurl.com/cznho52

The Devil Deals in Diamonds: http://tinyurl.com/q8qgz6k