Tom Anderson kommt aus South Wales, ist leidenschaftlicher Wellenreiter und Autor mehrerer Surfbücher. In seinen Büchern erzählt er von Abenteuern rund um den Globus (“Riding the Magic Carpet”) oder von der Jagd auf Hurricane Swell entlang der Ostküste der USA (“Chasing Dean”). Aber auch die heimatlichen Wellen in UK sind in “Grey Skies Green Waves” ein komplettes Buch Wert und mindestens genauso spannend wie seine Reisen um die Welt… Grund genug ihn in unserer Reihe Autoreninterviews vorzustellen…
Diesmal im Autoreinterview: Tom Anderson, Autor von “Chasing Dean”, “Riding the Magic Carpet” und “Grey Skies – Green Waves”:
Hi Tom. It’s already a while ago since I read your books. Whenever I hear about tropical storms in the USA now I remember your book and your story about chasing hurricane swells on the east coast of the USA and wish I could be over there and catch a few waves by myself… well, let’s start from the beginning: please shortly introduce yourself to our readers, where are you from, how old are you, when did you start to surf, what are you doing to earn a living…
I’m Tom, from Porthcawl in South Wales, 33. I started surfing when I was 11 and was going every day by 13 – winter’s hard in Northern Europe as I’m sure you Germans can understand. I still try to surf everyday as now I combine jobs as a writer with teaching English Literature in Cardiff.
- How did you become an surf author, was it coincidence or did you plan to become a writer some day?
I always enjoyed writing and had planned to try and be a scriptwriter. I got on to a course in Bournemouth Uni for scriptwriting for film and tv but then a year out following my surf dreams turned in to another year out. Travelling as a young surfer, pre wifi and without a mobile phone or any other distraction, I spent a lot of the time between sessions reading and writing. Travel was really inspiring for my passion to write, so I did still go to Uni, but instead it was to study English with Journalism and Creative Writing at a local university in Treforrest. My main third-year project was a collection of surf travel stories starting in the Orkneys, and a lecturer called Rob Middlehurst spotted the work. He just about forced me to send it to agents once I graduated. An agent signed it, then along came a horrid two-year spell of getting rejected by publishers until, just as I thought it wasn’t going to happen, Summersdale commissioned Riding the Magic Carpet! That was that.
- How does your “everyday life” looks like?
If it’s a teaching day I blaze home to surf as soon as I can, but if it’s a writing day I usually avoid surfing unless it’s really good – don’t want to get distracted! When I’m starting a book I write better in the morning, when I’m coming to finish one I write better in the evening. All four books I’ve written so far have seen their first drafts finished late Saturday night/early Sunday morning. I usually read late afternoon before eating.
- How can one become a travel writer and make a living out of it?
To make a living from travel writing alone – especially if you want to focus on books – you probably need to either take up photography too or be an excellent public speaker. My mate Stuart Butler (called ‘Ed’ in Riding the Magic Carpet) does the photography element brilliantly, so he sells both his pics and words from any trip. I do a lot of spoken work on the side – school and university visits, book clubs, readings, creative writing workshops, radio, after-dinner talks, guided literary tours on horseback! It all adds up though.
- Are you still traveling a lot to surf “the magic carpet” around the world? What was your last surf destination? What will be your next destination?
I travel a few times a year, usually focusing on a big trip in summer while I’m not teaching. Sometimes I travel to events too as a writer to do readings or publicity, but I’m yet to successfully mix that with surfing, ironically given that my books so far are aimed at surfers. Last year I went around the world in the summer as I’d never been to Oz or NZ. This summer I’m going to Japan. I snowboarded in Italy during the winter and went to Barcelona two weeks ago without my boards. I try to keep up the lifestyle I preach!
- Besides the Grey Skies and the Green Waves of the UK there are other european surf destinations which are similar. Have you been surfing in other european countries such as Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, … ?
The sad answer is no – I’ve yet to get to any of those places! I think I’ll need to change that soon eh?
- How often do you get into the water?
Several times a week at least – if there’s a swell it’s every day. Got to do it while I can!
- What is your favorite country you have been to during your surf traveling? Which is your favorite surf-spot?
I’d say my favourite country is… well that’s hard. Okay it’s going to be France but I’ve loved many other places. Mexico is amazing, so is Australia if it wasn’t full of Aussies. Had an amazing experience in Taiwan a few summers ago too. Oh, and I love Wales too! Cymru am byth! Best wave I’ve ever surfed is either Lower Trestles in California or a mysto right-hand point in Oaxaca where I had one of the barrels of my life.
- What was your scariest / worst experience while traveling? Did you ever had any serious trouble?
My worst experience is breaking down. Many times, in buses and in cars. It’s a nightmare every time.
- What was your best / funniest / most amazing experience while traveling?
I reckon all of the US East Coast trip that I did for Chasing Dean. Being genuinely at the will of the journey is an amazing experience and America lends itself to that so well. One night you’re surprising yourself with a night out with the US Marines, the next you’re in a motel waiting for perfect surf at dawn.
- Are you already working on another book? If yes, what will your next book be about, and can you give us an interesting story as a preview?
Well it’ll be hard to give you a preview as it’s fiction! But yes, I’ve just finished an am currently editing a novel. It’s a thriller with a crime and a hint of the supernatural. I’m not sure if you knew, but I worked for a private investigations agency while waiting to get published, so I have a good idea of how detectives work. Narrator is a surfer and debt collector who wants out of working for lawyers and banks and takes on a nasty job in the hope it’ll pay well. From there it’s up to the reader whether the occult is involved or whether it’s something else. The sea and waves are there all the time though. You have to write what you know!
- What are your favorite surf-books and favorite surf authors? Which surf-books can you recommend to our readers?
My favourite surf fiction is, without question, Kem Nunn. Tapping the Source is one of the best books I know regardless of whether or not we’re talking surf lit. The way he brings the sea and its moods in to his characters’ heads is something I’d love to do, and he brilliantly captures the fine line between surfing’s hedonism and the potential for it all to go to the dark side. As for non-fiction, I can’t recommend Any Martin enough. Stealing the Wave – his account of the death of Mark Foo at Mavericks is an amazing biographical novel. I’ve called it the In Cold Blood of surf lit before. Read it and you’ll see why!
Thanks a lot for your time Tom, I wish you good luck and hope to read a lot more of your surf stories in the future!
Any time, THANK YOU!
Bücher von Tom Anderson: