Exclusive Interview with

Anthony Rocha Newton

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When did you start writing?

I've always written stories - ever since primary (elementary) school - I've always wanted to tell stories & entertain people.

Anthony Rocha Newton
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What makes writing your passion?

I am not really sure - something about the written word - whether as text only or accompanied by illustrations - just seems magical to me. That, coupled with my cartooning ability means I can tell & show people the stories I want to tell.

Anthony Rocha Newton
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How long have you been writing?

Pretty much all my life.

Anthony Rocha Newton
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What was the feeling when you published your first book?

My 1st real book was a collaborative comic back in 2003 & that was exciting. However when I got back to it after a sabbatical, the 1st outing with my entirely new characters was just amazing - I sold out! It invigorated me to write even more!

Anthony Rocha Newton
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What’s the story behind your choice of characters?

My characters are meant to illicit the feel & look of the books we read & oloved as kids but in a completely adult way - they are pure joy to write & I am told to read. I wanted something new... something fresh & Barry fit the bill admirably. The alcoholic exploits of the characters always ends badly (because alcohol) - but the stories are always fun to read.

Anthony Rocha Newton
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What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?

For me in Australia, a real lack of direction for my kind of book as it is not a novel, or a comic, but falls somewhere in between & sadly I am sliding through the cracks of a publishing world.

Anthony Rocha Newton
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How do you get over the “writer’s block”?

I focus on something else entirely. Eventually - ideas start coming back - they pretty much never stop.

Anthony Rocha Newton
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We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?

I love writing & if myt stories amuse even a single person - then I am happy. Advice? Never give up. If you want to tell a story do so - & do it for the love of it. The moment you do it JUST for $$, then you will never really enjoy the process again. If you do it to make YOU happy, then you will never 'work' a day in your life.

Anthony Rocha Newton
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If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?

1st I would give him the exact times & dates & places to meet my friends, wife & when to conceive my beautiful son. Then give him all the info to create the characters I love to write & draw. Then tell him to be confident & take the art path I missed the 1st time around. After that - invest in a little thing called Microsoft or Apple :)

Anthony Rocha Newton
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Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?

TBH I have never had one before, so I cant really answer

Anthony Rocha Newton
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What is the feeling when you get a good review?

See above - althought I assume it would feel great!

Anthony Rocha Newton
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Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

Some of my earlier comics incorporated dreams I had - but the Barry books are just ridiculous fun with no basis in real life.

Anthony Rocha Newton
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Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?

In my comics - Lightning Force the superhero. And he was never MEANT to be me, but the writing & gentle 'ribbing' he got was basically me.

Anthony Rocha Newton
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What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?

It can be yes. If the cover is not engaging, it will not grab someone's attention.

Anthony Rocha Newton
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Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?

I do - I love chatting with the mums & dads who buy Barry books. It's always a blast

Anthony Rocha Newton
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How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?

I always feel villified when the work is appreciated. Its a great feeling. Thus far I have NOT been recognised as a random public writer person.

Anthony Rocha Newton
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Who is your favorite author? Why?

Tolkein. I grew up on the Hobbit - made me want to read so much more.

Anthony Rocha Newton
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What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?

Not too big... just enough to get by. If I could get Barry into proper publication & maybe even 1 season of an animated series & some merch... i would be deleriously happy.

Anthony Rocha Newton
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Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?

Yes. Just the superhero & pop culture books. In case I get bigger they may step on toes - so I would need to re-do them with my own characters - but the stories would stay the same.

Anthony Rocha Newton
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If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?

That's tough. None come to mind.

Anthony Rocha Newton
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What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.

Nothing. Zero. Trolls are made to be baited so if you say nothing, you beat them.