Who is Anthony M. Strong?
Anthony M. Strong is a British born writer living and working in the United States. He is the author of the popular John Decker series of supernatural adventure thrillers.
Anthony has worked as a graphic designer, newspaper writer, artist, and actor. When he was a young boy, he dreamed of becoming an Egyptologist and spent hours reading about pyramids and tombs. Until he discovered dinosaurs and decided to be a paleontologist instead. Neither career panned out, but he was left with a fascination for monsters and archaeology that serve him well in the John Decker series of books.
Anthony has traveled extensively across Europe and the United States, and weaves his love of travel into his novels, setting them both close to home and in far off places.
Anthony currently resides most of the year on Florida’s Space Coast where he can watch rockets launch from his balcony, and part of the year in beautiful New England, with his wife Sonya, and two furry bosses, Izzie and Hayden.
What would you consider to be your biggest influences on your writing style or approach to storytelling?
Growing up, I read a lot of Stephen King, Guy N. Smith, and James Herbert (The Rats was terrifying to a twelve-year-old boy, but I couldn’t put it down). More recent influences include James Rollins, Preston & Child, and even some of the crime fiction writers like David Baldacci.
What was the first thing you wrote that made you think ‘I’m a writer’ ?
I was given an assignment in English class at school when I was about twelve or thirteen. It was to write a descriptive essay about a walk in the woods. I ended up with a F on the homework, not because it was bad, but because the teacher said I must have copied it out of a book and accused me of cheating. She even spoke to my parents about it and still wouldn’t believe I wrote it. The lesson I took from that was that I could write (and that life can be unfair).
You’re a really prolific writer. I know you were hitting around a book a month for a while there recently. What does your writing routine look like?
I write every day. It might not always be at the same time, but I try to hit at least 2000 words. We work from home so the schedule changes depending on how much work there is to do in our other business, but some days I can crank out four, or even five thousand words. The key is making time to always write seven days a week, even if it’s only a few pages.
I know your wife Sonya is a big part of the Strong publishing team. Can you tell us a bit about how you guys approach the publishing/business side of things?
Sonya does all the back-end stuff. She handles advertising, scheduling promotions, and keeping up on the mailing list. She is also my first proofreader. Some things we handle together, like interior formatting, book covers, etc. There is always so much to do. Right now, we’re working with an audiobook narrator and publishing hardbacks of all the books.
What attracts you to horror/speculative fiction?
It’s what I grew up reading, and I want to write genres that interest me. Right now, though, I am working on a straight thriller which will become the first in a new series.
What’s your all-time favourite horror movie and why?
There are a few. Alien. The Fog (original 1980 John Carpenter version). I like the claustrophobic atmosphere of Alien, and The Fog scared the hell out of me as a kid. I watched it every Halloween. For comedic horror (if that’s even a thing) it has to be The Lost Boys.
Who’s an indie author everyone should be reading?
Apart from Dan Soule??? Alternatively, if you like my type of books, give Michael McBride a try.
Dan: That’s a given 😉
What’s the first horror novel you remember reading? What impression did it make on you?
I honestly have no idea. It was so long ago, and I read so many books (way more than I do now because I had more time). I do vaguely remember reading a children’s book when I was five or six years old that had a witch in it, and that scared me at the time even though I seem to remember that all she did was stand under a tree and look up at the protagonist’s window.
What’s the best book you read in the last 12 months and why?
That’s a tough one. I’ve read many good books. I liked The Hunger, by Alma Katsu. The Nameless series by Dean Koontz for their brevity and fast pace. End of the Road, by Brian Keene – good old school horror. Finally, Dan’s latest, Savage, is a satisfyingly horrific tale.
Which character from someone else’s fiction would you most like to be?
Good question. I’ve honestly never though about it. I read a lot of thriller and horror type stuff, so many of the characters aren’t very nice and those that are spend their time being chased, haunted, murdered, and generally having a bad time of it.
Which one of your books would be best adapted into a movie? And who would you cast in the lead roles?
What Vengeance Comes, I think Gerard Butler John Decker (I said Bruce Willis, but my wife said he was too old), and Kate Mara for Nancy. My wife says Decker should be Ewan McGregor, but I don’t know…
Dan: I agree with Sonya. Bruce is a bit old for the role now. Gerard ‘Sparta’ Butler would do a great job. For a bit more pathos, I’d go for Tom Hardy.
Do you believe in the supernatural?
Easy… YES. Pretty sure I’ve stayed in a few haunted places, but my wife won’t let me do EVP sessions when we do, which is a shame.
What scared you as a child?
Brussel sprouts. Oh, and I was convinced for a while that our house was haunted and there was a ghost on the stairs. I also hated spiders, and still do.
Where did the idea for your first book come from?
I wrote my first book when I was nineteen. I have no idea where I got the idea (probably TV), but it was about zombies invading a small English village and killing the villagers. YES, it was as bad is it sounds, and I never did anything with it. I don’t have a copy, because I wrote it on a green screen word processor (no color, just green characters on a black background for anyone younger than forty) and saved it to 5.25” floppy disk. There might be a dot matrix printout of it back at my parent’s house in England, and if there is, I hope it stays there.
What does the next year of writing and publishing look like for you?
I’m aiming for nine books. Three more John Decker books, the first two in a new psychological thriller series, and a couple of projects in development. I also hope to collaborate on another brand-new series.
What book of yours should people start with?
What Vengeance Comes, then read through the entire series.
Have you got a newsletter/reader magnet?
Yes. New readers can sign up for my awesomely informative newsletter and get a FREE book at https://anthonymstrong.com/list/
Where can people stalk you online like a serial killer?
Readers can go to my website, www.AnthonyMStrong.com, or find me on amazon under Anthony M. Strong.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Only to thank Dan Soule for the opportunity to be interviewed. Oh, and read more books!!!
Dan: Thank Anthony, I couldn’t agree more – books make the world a better place.