Thursday, 12 June 2014

Ten facts about … Oliver Tidy

When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
The seed was planted about ten years ago. It took a while to germinate. Living in the UK, with all my responsibilities there, I could rarely find the time to sit down and have a go. On the few occasions I did, I remember feeling guilty about wasting my time on a fancy when there was work to do. Moving to Turkey five years ago and finding myself suddenly responsibility free gave me the freedom to have a bash.

How long does it take you to write a book?
Typically, three months to finish the first draft and have it printed off for the red pen. But I wrote one book in two months and one of those was February. Go me.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I work full-time and have a three year old son who makes Forest Gump look like a couch potato. (Did I say I’m now responsibility free?) So, I do most of my writing between nine and midnight.

How many crime novels have you written?
All of my books have crime in them. I currently have seven novels self-published and one first draft finished. I’m no mathematician but I make that eight.

Which is your favourite and why?
A Dog’s Life (R&M#4). I had so much fun writing it. I laughed a lot. I still do.

Where do you get your ideas?
I got the idea for Rope Enough (R&M#1) from a Hitchcock film. Nuff said. As for the other books, I once commented to a friend, rather pompously, that ‘I think through my finger tips’. You mean you make it up as you go along, he said. He was right. [See my review of Rope Enough here.]

Who is your favourite character from your own work and why?
DI Romney. He is not the character I like the most but he is my favourite for the opportunities he gives me as a writer. None of my other characters gives me the chance to make them look so bad, so cynical, so misanthropic, so shallow, so funny (without meaning to be). But he’s basically a good copper. And he collects first editions, just like me.

Which character from the work of others do you wish you’d invented and why?
Jack Aubrey/Stephen Maturin from the Patrick O’Brian novels. (I know that’s two but, a bit like Morecombe & Wise, The Two Ronnies, and that other famous comic double act Clegg & Cameron you can’t have one without the other.) If I could invent characters like them I’d know I was a brilliant writer.

If you could have been someone from history involved in crime (good or bad) who would that be and why?
Simon Cowell. Some of the things that have come out of his stable have been truly criminal and he seems to have done all right out of it. And they say crime doesn’t pay.

What are you working on now?
I’m editing the third in my Acer Sansom series, which looks like being called Smoke & Mirrors, and writing the second in my Booker & Cash series, which I might call, He Made Me. Then again, I might not. Things change.

I left teaching in the UK for Istanbul, Turkey in 2009 looking for change. And then I started writing. I can’t seem to stop.

I currently teach English as a foreign language to young Turkish learners. It’s not a hard life and it’s not a bad one. The weather is generally better, too.

The Romney and Marsh Files
#1 Rope Enough
#2 Making a Killing
#3 Joint Enterprise
#4 A Dog’s Life

Acer Sansom Novels
#1 Dirty Business
#2 Loose Ends
#3 Smoke and Mirrors (nearly there)

Booker & Cash Stories
#1 Bad Sons

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