Interview With An Author: T.Anthony Bland

About T.Anthony Bland: 
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T. Anthony Bland was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. His first book “In The Apartments Next to Mine”, is a collection of short stories about everyday people.
Although he grew up in the Public Houses(the Projects)in the Bronx, T. Anthony Bland didn’t just stay there. In fact, he spent most of his life traveling to work in Manhattan and Queens, NY. He even worked in Long Island as a school bus driver. He was a Head male Counselor at a camp for children and adults with disabilities up in Putnam County, NY surrounded by mountains and trees.
In his spare time he loves listening to Jazz and reading Autobiographies, vegetating in front of the TV watching movies, screaming at the television during football season and in his spare, spare time, he fights hordes of zombies with his incredibly, awesomely beautiful wife, Sharol.

What got you into writing?

First, thank you Melissa for having me. I got into writing because I watch a lot of TV, I always have , as a kid I watched old Black & white films and dreamed of being a like Fred Astaire. I loved how shows like Star trek created worlds with little budgets it screamed creativity. My problem was reading and writing…I didn’t do either well. So, I didn’t write until I got to college late in life…I took a class and was challenged to write a paper, 10-20 pages long. I was scared, I dreamed of story but never wrote them. Like those low-budget films and TV shows the page limit forced my creative “juices” to come out. After the Professor  praised my work, others said the same thing so I decided to do “it”.

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What’s your favourite book and why?

I don’t really have a favorite book…I have a favorite character, Sherlock Holmes. I love how his mind works and he does it while struggling with drug addiction. I guess its Conan Doyle’s mind I love.  Wait, Green eggs and Ham! I love that book, it’s about trying new things…

What’s your writing routine?

I stare into space! No, really. Okay not the whole time…I’m not working at the moment, so I try to write in the morning, about 2 ½ hours then break. If I feel the flow I’ll write another hour or so in the afternoon. I take Fridays off and about 2 hours Saturday mornings( my half day). No writing on Sunday I read.

Tea, or Coffee?

“Tea, Earl Grey, hot”- Capt. Picard and because of Picard, Earl Grey has become my favorite cup. I grew up Lipton’s Tea

What got you into your particular genre of writing?

I don’t have a particular genre that I know of…I guess you would say its drama or Short Stories. I like short stories because I can jump in and out of any subject.

Why do you love writing it?

I don’t know. I started with writing bible study/Sunday school lessons. I wanted to make the complex, simple. I guess that’s still my goal in storytelling.

As a first time author, how are you finding the publishing process?

Grueling!! And costly. It’s great if you have a giant company helping you…but when you’re on your own, it’s an uphill trek, way uphill! If like me, you have a family, then you have look in the faces when the payoff  is slow and nonexistent. But you keep moving forward.

Is there anything controversial or different about your writing?

Hmm…Is there? There could be, I’m not white…I know, shocking right? This means I have the ability to write from a black American perspective as well as a Christian one. I don’t typically write that way though. I tell the story the way my character sees the world. Dealing with the issues the way they would. Now you might notice the absence of profanity…ah! There’s your controversy! Lol.

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How do you manage your time? Is it hard balancing your writing life with your working life?

As I mentioned earlier I’m not currently working. A few months ago I worked for my local Board of Elections…for about 5 months. It killed my writing! The hours were crazy at times and when I got home, I had just enough time to eat and sleep. I started the new book but it was dead for those months that I was there. Hard.

Are you self-published or with an agent? Was this an active choice?

Self-published. Oh how I wish I had an agent! I spend a lot more time promoting than I like, I’d rather be writing. Yes, it was an active choice. I tried traditional but I came in when the world of writing, reading and reporting got flipped on its head. I tried Christian publishers first because I saw a void in “Urban” storytelling. I was told I needed a following first! Others weren’t taking manuscripts. The rest of the world said pretty much the same thing. I’m a little seasoned, so I don’t want to waste 15 years trying to get a deal…it does horrible things to one’s dreams.

Do you have a writing space? Tell us what it’s like!

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The public library! Lol. If I’m not trapped in the corner of my bedroom, when the apartment is full with 6-10 other people, then I sitting in a chair working off a glorified TV dinner table. When the weather breaks I’m in the library 2 to 3 days a week and not all of them quiet. Either place I wear my BOSE headphones for quiet. I easily distracted.

How do you keep motivated?

TV! Sometimes I see something that makes me say “wow, I wish I wrote that” As far as motivated writing, I am at a point in life where I’m tired of working for someone else. So I have to create a job for me, sometime I enjoy, something I want to do for the next 20, 30 years…

How did you decide on cover art? Did you consult with a designer or is it all you?

Money! If I don’t have it then I have to work with what I have. My cover is from Create Space, the picture of the women throwing her papers in the air represented my “College Collection” theme. I was going to use my college colors, Blue, but I wanted something brighter. The current cover I picked because after a year I decided to add my picture to the back. The first one kept spreading the words out. Most likely I’ll use a designer for the next book.

Any links or websites you would like my readers to visit?

Website: www.tanthonybland.com

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/T.-Anthony-Bland/e/B00LH7B5OA

Twitter: @TAnthonyBland

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2 thoughts on “Interview With An Author: T.Anthony Bland

  1. I don’t think Sherlock ‘struggled with drug addiction’, since he frequently made reference to drug use out of boredom. It was also a sign of the times – the Victorians hid a lot within their homes, but drug use in general was becoming quite ‘popular’ within certain circles. Doyle didn’t seem to give much indication of the alternative, that I’m aware of though.

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