#TimeForCrime: getting to the darkest heart of writers and bloggers! With Tony Forder @TonyJForder

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Welcome to #TimeForCrime a new series here at Chapterinmylife.

I am inviting bloggers and authors talk about their favourite subject crime, with a set of quick-fire Q&As taking you to the dark heart of the person behind the book or the blog!

Today I am joined by Tony Forder, author of the critically acclaimed crime thriller Bad to the Bone, the first in a series featuring DI Jimmy Bliss and DC Penny Chandler. The sequel, The Scent of Guilt, is available from 17 February 2018. A third book in the series, If Fear Wins, has recently been signed for as part of a three book deal.

Name: Tony J Forder

About you: Currently a virtually full-time author, though with still one eye on my IT consultancy business. On 17 Feb my fourth novel inside a year will be published. The Scent of Guilt is my sequel to Bad to the Bone, which was published in April 2017. I’m not as prolific as that sounds – two of the books, including Bad to the Bone, were already written, and another a third of the way into its first draft. That became Scream Blue Murder. The other book that I had previously written was Degrees of Darkness. I have recently signed a new three book deal with Bloodhound, the first of which will be book 3 in my Bliss and Chandler detective series, If Fear Wins.


Let’s delve into the depths of Tony’s dark mind!

Why crime fiction?

I’d grown tired of horror, which I thought had become a little stale. I’d always been fascinated by crime – it was all around me growing up in London’s east-end – and criminals, and I became intrigued by the driving forces that compelled people to live that way, plus of course the investigations that led to capture… or not. I read true crime books, including the Krays, obviously. I think the first crime novels I read were by John D MacDonald and Lawrence Block, plus Elmore Leonard.

Favourite book you have written(reviewed)

That’s a tough one. Because so far they have all been pretty different, I like them for different reasons. But if I had to go for one then it would have to be The Scent of Guilt, because I think it contains elements of all three previous books. I also think it includes some of my best writing and characterisation.

You are stranded on a desert island, you can take one book, what will it be

I’ve been asked this before and I think I’ve come up with a different book on each occasion. I think it depends on my mood at the time. I’m going to go for something different again and say Spike Milligan’s Puckoon, just because if I was stranded I guess I’d like something to laugh about, and this book never fails – it’s so ridiculously stupid.

Do you have a kill list and who is on it?

I think I could easily be an assassin if only people would pay me to top everyone on my list. I don’t want to be red flagged by either the CIA or MI6, so I’ll settle for hints: a variety of people responsible for lying and cheating us into the Iraq war; the cowboy builders who cheat the elderly out of their life savings; anyone who harms kids and animals; father Christmas for not bringing me a Barbie Doll when I was 10 so’s I could look up her skirt; some of my neighbours who park like Ray Charles; any bloke with a man bun; people who tell me what I should think and how I should think and when I should think it; the idiots who decided to call Opal Fruits Starburst… I could go on.

Top criminal (real or fiction)

That would have to be The Tome Raider – William Jaques, who was twice convicted of stealing rare books from UK libraries, apparently worth in excess of £1 million. I guess because he hurt no one and it involves the theft of books, I can sort of see where he’s coming from. I still have a school library book dating back to the early 70s… sorry.

Top fictional detective

Easy – Harry Bosch. Been a fan ever since The Black Echo, and Titus Welliver has done a great job bringing Bosch to life on TV. Michael Connelly is a crime-writing genius as far as I am concerned, and I hope that he finds room for dear old Harry in future cases for other characters, because he can’t go on much longer as a volunteer in the valley. I will miss him when he eventually hangs up his badge.

Planner or pantser/organised or beautifully chaotic

Panster. I am far too impatient to plan too deeply. I feel as if I need to be getting on with the writing itself. Of course I have a general direction to follow, and I do make timeline notes as I go along, but I like the spontaneity of being a panster and allowing characters to do what comes naturally rather than conform to any plan I might have had for them. I know that one of these days I’m going to come unstuck by this, but I’ll blow that bridge up when I get to it.

Favourite method of murder

I like close up and personal. So a strangling, a beating or a stabbing. It does depend on who is committing the murder and why, but I think the hands on approach has a greater impact on the senses. The old, barbaric days of using either shock and awe or slow torture were grand designs, but unrealistic in modern times. Unless you’re a psycho in a novel, perhaps. I’ve just written one that features the way I would least like to be murdered – by fire.

Best place to dispose a body

The old acid in a drum method is still pretty good. I guess mincing and feeding to animals is another way to go. Just make sure it’s not anywhere near a place where people walk dogs, because they’re always stumbling upon them. In someone else’s grave might be OK – it’s rare that they get dug up, but watch out for mole-walkers.

Where can we find you? (Oh your blog details, dafty, any personal haunts send them to me privately!)


Thank you so much for allowing me to take part in this – it’s been enormous fun and I’ve really enjoyed answering these terrific questions.


Thank YOU Tony, what a pleasure it has been to delve into your mind! I might not be getting up too close and personal with you should I meet you at an event this year after that! Check out Tony’s books, you will not be disappointed!

shot man


6 thoughts on “#TimeForCrime: getting to the darkest heart of writers and bloggers! With Tony Forder @TonyJForder

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