INTERVIEW WITH Tony Levy (an author and observer)

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Questions and ©2014 by

10th February 2014                                        Jane Peskara/Audrey Valentine,

answered by Tony Levy

 

Q: How old are you? Where are you from?

A: I am 62 and from London England originally

Q: You are a writer. When did u realize, writing is what you want to do?

A: I have always been interested in writing and won a writing competition back in 1967 but never really thought about it until I got the urge to write my book back in 2007

Q: What are you writing about?

A: I am currently writing about where I work as I did in my first book my autobiography only this time I plan to write the book in three parts. I work at an International airport as a security officer, the first part of the book will be about the passengers and how they behave when coming through the security process at the airport and their attitude to security staff, the second part will be about how the staff behave towards the passengers and the third part will be about management and how they view security, staff and passengers

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your book/s?

A: Sure It’s an autobiography of my twenty -five year career serving in Her Majesty’s Prison Service.

It’s A warts and all revelation of what really goes on behind the closed door of the UK’s penal establishments.

The book charts my early career from 4 July 1993 until my subsequent disillusionment of the service and my eventual early retirement.

A chance meeting on holiday in Majorca changed my life forever and launched me into a 25 year career in a job that I never would have considered previously: working in Her Majesty’s Prison Service.

This book catalogues my personal experiences of working as a prison officer, from my early days at high security HMP Pentonville to my final years in therapy-based HMP Grendon. Filled with interesting observations and incidences, hilarious wind-ups and memorable characters, this autobiography is the story of a journey, from the happiest days in what will always be a potentially volatile environment to a complete state of disillusionment as an old dinosaur that no longer fitted into the modern prison service world.

The book is filled with amusing incidents and anecdotes in my early days through my promotions, running the London Marathon, meeting my wife until my complete disillusionment of how our prison service is being run.

You meet the characters that made our jobs more bearable, until their demise through political correctness gone mad.

How decisions at the top were made and changed at a moment’s notice to fulfil the ambitions of our politicians.

I give an honest account of my feelings, as someone who would never be a yes man and toe the party line, in the face of a constantly changing environment that had become increasingly controlled by political correctness gone mad and by budgetary needs rather than human needs.

I am a man who cared, and even though my heart was sucked out of my job, I never lost my dignity or respect. Most importantly, I would never allow myself to be reduced to just a turnkey.

Q: What do you want to achieve with your writing?

A: All I really want to achieve is that my books are read and appreciated

Q: Do you have any idols?

A: As a football fan (soccer over in the USA) many of my idols are from that arena or from mainly sporting backgrounds like Athletics, Tennis Grand Prix drivers but as a history buff my role models would be Sir Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher and people like that Martin Luther, Lincoln etc these would be my idols and people who I admire most

Q: Do you like to read? If so, have you any favorite authors or Genres? Or something you absolutely don’t want to read?

A: I love reading especially when on holidays and I will read most genre’s I prefer thrillers but also like historical books and autobiographies, I don’t have one favorite author, but enjoy Lee Childs books Leon Uris and Sir Winston Churchill, but really do not have one favorite author.

I find that if I cannot get into the book in the first few pages then I cannot read it, but I think that is the same for all readers to a greater or lesser degree

Q: Is there something important you want the readers to know about you?

A: Wow good question There isn’t really anything I want the reader to know but all I really want is that they enjoy what I write and see that what I write is true.

Q: What are your plans for the future (as writer and private)?

A: I plan to retire from work this year and go and live in a sunnier country like Spain and write my next book and then who knows. My books are observationsn life so maybe another book about living abroad as an expat might be on the cards

Thank you Tony, it was a pleasure to interview you, wish you all the best for the future.

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