Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Meet A Writer Wednesday Presents...

... Tony Thorne

1.      Tell me about your book, POINTS OF VIEW,  and where you got your inspiration for it. 

The hero is a blind teenager, named Horace Mayberry, who often experiences vivid dreams about being a secret agent. He becomes fitted with prototype bio-nanotronic eyes, which contain billions of intelligent nanophytes which can develop various functions to assist in whatever tricky situations the user experiences. Horace is soon recruited into a secret government department, as an assistant to an experienced agent, Captain Aubrey Jackson.  After some basic training, he experiences a series of adventures, including being abducted twice by an international gang of crooks lead by Rudolph Beckman, a billionaire financier who is after the secrets of the laboratory that developed the nanotronic eyes.  Horace discovers that each situation he encounters causes his eyes to develop something new.  His introvert personality begins to evolve too, and his dreams soon begin to reflect his apprehensive thoughts about coping with his exciting new life.
The action of the novel takes place in and around London, on the Channel Island of Guernsey and finally, for the exciting showdown, an attack on the crooks hideout in the Canary Island of Tenerife, with the help of Horace's eyes and the local police SWAT team.
As to what inspired me to write the book, that is a long story, but briefly, I'm a prolific short story writer, with well over 100 tales on file, mostly written in the last ten years and published now in various magazines, and anthologies, plus many of my own collections.    However, few readers will have heard of me, yet, because agents and big publishers hate taking a chance with short stories. So, after many frustrating years of trying, I met up with the legendary American SF writer, |Harry Harrison, at a convention in Denmark, back in 2007. He visited me later in Tenerife and after reading some of the tales in the first volume of my award winning TENERIFE TALL TALES trilogy, he immediately wrote a glowing introduction to them, and then suggested that I should write a novel if I really wanted to get anywhere ... like he did.
So I started on the first chapter. My imagination took over and thereafter the thing seemed to grow all by itself, chapter following chapter, without me knowing how and where it was going to end. The story evolved rapidly.  I added to it, filled in a few plot-holes and then had it professionally edited. Jumping now to the best part of this account, I am pleased to announce that it has been accepted by Eternal Press for publication later this year.

2.      Where do you gain your inspiration/ideas from in general?

 Sub-consciously, perhaps, from my years of experience as a design engineer, developing and marketing  products and services, from medical equipment, through very high and very low temperature processing apparatus, to software programming, among other things.  Mostly though, I follow the science news and speculate what might happen next.

3.       What was the first thing you wrote? 

 Back in 1953 I wrote a short story about a terrorist, who hijacked a prototype machine. It enabled him to escape forward in time, but with some awesome and unfortunate results.  I sold it to a British SF magazine for ten pounds..!  That story, TIMELY ENCOUNTER is now back in print as an inexpensive eBook from Amazon.

4.      Was there ever a time when you nearly gave up on becoming an author? 

 I really did give it up, after having my first 3 tales published back in the 50's, because I became promoted at work in my day job, and spent the next 40 years travelling the world, first as MD of an English Research and Development company, SPEMBLY LTD, and then later as CEO of the European Division of the DYNATECH CORPORATION.  Finally, I set up a computer training school and began developing and marketing intelligent interacting software programs, until around 2000 when I retired and took up writing again.

5.      How do your family feel about you being a writer/author?

 They don't seem very surprised.

6.      What advice would you give to someone still trying to become an author?

 Never give up... whatever..!  Watch out for every opportunity... and grab it.

7.      Is there anything that annoys you connected to writing or being a writer?

 I really cannot think of anything serious ... but too much eMail can be a problem nowadays.

8.      Have you ever based a character on a friend or family member?

 No... but parts of some people I've met over the years are sometimes in there, haunting me..!

9.      Who is your favourite character/s you’ve created?

 It has to be Horace Mayberry, my young hero in POINTS OF VIEW.

10.  Have you ever had a dream that to you would make a great book or short story? 

Yes, often.  My speculative tale SURGICAL INCIDENT in Volume 3 of my TENERIFE TALL TALES was exactly that.  It recently appeared in a WHORTLEBERRY PRESS anthology too, but retitled as FRACTURED.

11.  What do you enjoy doing outside of writing? 

Reading, watching films, visiting the theatre, meeting people and enjoying good weather.

12.  What was your favourite book as a child?

 The "Just William" book, by Richmal Crompton.

13.  What’s your next project? What do you look forward to in the future?

 I seem to be under some slight pressure to write a sequel to my first novel... we shall see.

14.  What was the last book you read?

 The collected works of Jules Verne. All of them, a real bargain from Amazon Kindle Books... and what a great writer, traveller, sailor, geographer, entomologist etc. etc. he was..!

15.  Where would you like to go if you had a time machine?

 Seeing that I've proved to my satisfaction, in many of my speculative tales, that going back in time is impossible ... I would like to go into the future, say for about for a week, every 10 years for as long as I lasted. Just to see how things work out... but only as an observer.

16.  If I came to your home and looked inside your refrigerator what would I find?

 My favorite Lime and Ginger Jam, some small bottles of Deutscher Sekt, a pack of frozen spare-ribs, a couple of frozen packs of lasagne, plus anything else I happened to fancy last time I visited our local supermarkets.

17.  What was the last movie you went to see?

 PROMETHEUS... and I loved every brilliant, awesome, minute of it.

18.  If you were stranded on a desert island, what five things would you have with you?

 1. My new ACER 5755G laptop, 2. A well-equipped printer to go with it. 3. One of the replicating machines (from the story about them in my TALL SF TALES FOR TEENAGERS), 4. A nice self-erecting apartment (like the one in the short story, GODLIKE, in my collection, ROBOTS INCLUDED)... and of course, 5. A solar powered generator to run everything.

Finally, as a retired design engineer, I'm sure I could work out a way to refill my printer cartridges with some local squid or octopus ink


Blind, young Londoner, Horace Mayberry can only dream about being a secret agent, until he acquires intelligent artificial eyes with superhuman abilities and is recruited into a secret government department.

What if you were blind, and suddenly the government offered you a way to see again by supplying you with high-tech eyes, known as intelligent Nanotronic BioVision, allowing you to see the world, literally, in a whole new way?

In return, you are to use your new points of view to serve your country, however you are asked. In the meantime, other people want to take advantage of your unique abilities as well. How do you keep yourself safe while you decide who you can trust?

About Tony

Tony Thorne MBE, a Chartered Design Engineer, built up a research and development company in Kent, England, specialising in 30000C graphite furnaces for carbon fibre production etc., liquefied helium gas pipelines, nuclear protection equipment and low temperature surgery instrumentation. The latter and its worldwide commercial success led to him being awarded the MBE by the Queen. Later, he joined the so-called brain drain and emigrated to Switzerland, where he set up and became European CEO of the American DYNATECH CORPORATION, specialising in microbiological assay systems.

Now retired, he writes science and fantasy fiction and has published over ten collections of short stories, including the award winning TENERIFE TALL TALES trilogy, ROBOTS INCLUDED, MACABRE TALES and TALL SF TALES FOR TEENAGERS, all now available, as eBooks and paperbacks from AMAZON, Barnes & Noble etc.  His first novel, POINTS OF VIEW was published this year by ETERNAL PRESS.


  1. Really enjoyed the interview. Kudos to you, Tony, for not giving up! The premise of the story sounds fresh and unique.

  2. What a great interview! I am thrilled to read all about how you bacame and author. You seem to have had several great careers but your book really sounds facinating. I can't wait to read it and I wish you good luck.
    Linda Hays-Gibbs
    My Angel, My Light As Darkness Falls
    Angel in My Heart, Devil in My Soul
    coming in Nov.