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My First Time...with Anthony Good

January 10, 2019

 

 

Anthony Good was born in Brussels in 1986 and grew up in Lisbon and London.

 

He studied English at Oxford University and Creative Writing at UEA, where he was awarded the 2010 Man Booker Scholarship. He lives and works in London.

 

His debut novel, Kill [redacted], is being published by Atlantic.

 

He is joining us at The Riff Raff on Thursday 7th February - please come and join us!

 

 

Buy your tickets here >>

 

Describe the exact moment you decided to write your book?

I think the first lines were written in 2012 so it’s a bit hazy now. I think I was at work, some months after finishing my first novel and its widespread rejection, writing sketches to come up with something for a second novel.

 

I picked up the idea again in late 2015, after the second novel I wrote was also roundly rejected. I’d agreed with my agent to write a period novel, something a touch epic. So obviously a contemporary novel set in the mind of a lonely former headmaster was just the thing.

 

What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before starting to write it?

Don’t try to make him crazy at the end.

 

What did you enjoy most about writing it?

Picking through old school memories and personalities for material.

 

>> Read more My First Time Interviews here >>

And the worst part?

Editing, mainly any changes to structure. The novel is written as hundreds of fragments, all loosely or strongly dependent on other fragments. Remembering which pieces had to move together, and how to keep everything aligned, was painful. This kind of restructuring happened twice.

 

What’s your go-to procrastination method?

Checking emails or phone notifications.

 

Go-to writing snacks?

I’m not a big snacker, I prefer frequent cups of tea.

 

The book that changed you?

Crime and Punishment, by that Russian fellow.

 

Your pump up song?

There are many but Crazy on You by Heart will do.

 

>> Buy the book >>

 

 

If you could share a bottle of wine with one writer, who would it be?

Joseph Conrad. I’ve visited his grave. Having a drink with him would be a step up.

 

One piece of advice you’d give first time writers hoping to get published?

The first book you publish may not be the first you write. So keep some ideas ready for the next one.

 

Why do you write?

I’m not sure. I don’t think there’s one reason. Primarily to emulate those great authors who moved me, maybe. It can be quite fun in lots of ways, as well — inventing a story, and inventing a sentence, and trying to surprise someone by both. Also a minor chance of everlasting fame.

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