Five different people. Five separate lives. Sixty minutes to bind them for ever.
Hassan, Jim, Shuna, Dan and Nadia come from very different worlds. If life were straightforward, their paths would never cross. But our lives are rarely that simple and, as the clock ticks away the minutes of a single hour on a July morning, fate draws all five together in a headlong rush towards disaster.
Who are the heroes and who are the villains?
Tony Salter’s latest novel leaves us guessing right up to the last page.
– When and where do you prefer to write?
Luckliy, I find I can write almost anywhere. I know that, for a lot of writers, it is essential to have peace and quiet, but once I get into it, I’m not really aware of my surroundings and, even if I’m distracted, can normally get straight back into it. That being said, I do try to discipline myself to four or five hours in my small office at home at my standing desk. I don’t believe in the luxury of waiting for mood or inspiration to hit me. I start to put words down and soon enough, the characters and story will drag me back in.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
Not really. One of the lessons I’ve leant from reading a lot of books about writing and observing people, is that it is very easy to avoid the issue by striving for a perfect first line or unique metaphor. If it doesn’t come to me, I’ll just put in a bunch of question marks and plough on. Writing 80-100,000 words is a marathon task and you need to keep at it. However well you craft a particular sentence, there is a good chance that it will need to be axed during editing anyway.
– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
Again, nothing special. (sorry to be so boring). I might have a cuo of tea or coffee during a writing session, but otherwise, it’s just water.
– What is your favourite book?
What an impossible question to answer! I read across a huge range of genres and always have done. Books that leap to mind when I think of it are All the Light I Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and Wake by Anna Hope, but if you were to ask me tomorrow …?
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
The four books I have published so far are all slightly different, but would all happily fit into the category of thrillers. I will continue to write thrillers, but am also working on a book which fits more into historical fiction. It is based on my grandmother’s diary which describes her journey from Brighton to Harbin in Manchuria in 1915 (via Newcastle, Norway, Sweden, Petrograd and the Transsiberian Express). The book will also cover the six years she spent in Harbin, where she married my grandfather and gave birth to (and lost) her first son. Beyond the detail of her journey, I have no information about her thoughts and feelings, why she went, how she met my grandfather – nothing. That leaves me free to allow her character to develop as I wish which is very exciting.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Not consciously, but there must be elements of people I know in my characters. The people I know best have taught me the most about how people behave.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
No. Unfortunately I can’t read my own handwriting, so it would be a waste of time. My memory is quite good though and I will occasionally make a note of something on my phone.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
I’m not a big reader of romantic fiction …
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
I can’t really imaging co-writing a book, but if I had to … It would be fun to have written with Salman Rushdie forty years ago.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
I’ve travelled a lot and lived and worked abroad. I often use those experiences in my books. With regard to specific research, I would go whereever my character(s) required me to go.
Thank you, Tony Salter and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Tony’s latest thriller, Sixty Minutes, was released on 29th August 2019. Tony is the author of bestselling psychological thriller, Best Eaten Cold. He writes pacy contemporary thrillers which explore different themes, but all share Tony’s thought-provoking plots and richly-painted characters. Sixty Minutes is his fourth novel. His second novel, The Old Orchard – a gripping family thriller – was published on the 7th of November 2017 and the sequel to Best Eaten Cold, – Cold Intent – was published in November 2018. Highlights of his early career include (in no particular order) three years as an oilfield engineer in the Egyptian desert, twelve years managing record companies for EMI Music in Greece, India and across Eastern Europe, running a caravan site in the South of France and being chauffeur to the French Consul in Sydney. Having survived the Dotcom boom, he went on to be a founder of the world’s largest website for expatriates, a major music publisher and a successful hotel technology business. In amongst this, Tony found the time to backpack around the world twice (once in his twenties and once in his fifties), learn six languages (including Norwegian and Greek) and to find a beautiful Norwegian wife. He now lives in Oxfordshire and writes full-time. He has recently turned sixty and is married with three children and five grandchildren.