Thursday, October 4, 2012

Showcase: Anthony Levy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  This is my first every book to be published. 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. 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. 

I am a 60 year-old Tottenham born family man and former prison officer. After spending 25 years in the UK's prison service, and having become increasingly disillusioned with stifling modern prison service politics and practices, in 2008 I took my pension pot and ran, moving to Spain to spend my early retirement in the sun. My wife and I, however, have now moved back to the UK temporarily due to the current economic climate. This autobiography about my prison service life is my first book.

Q.  What inspires your writing?
A. People, I have always worked in industries that involve people be it prisoners, their visitors or professional visitors and now with the general public at an airport.
Q.  What is your favorite thing
about being an author?
A. People coming up to me and saying ‘how’s your book doing’ It’s so surreal yet I feel pride when asked if a little embarrassed.
Q.  What is the toughest part of being an author?
A. For me who has only written and probably will only write one book, I have not found any of it tough. But I suppose trying to put on paper the actual events as they really happened, also making sure I did not deliberately upset anybody by revealing incidents they may not have wanted revealed to the world.
Q.  If you could not be author, what would you do/be?
A. My ambition when young was to be a professional footballer, but deep down I knew I never had the necessary skills. My Dad always wanted me to be an athlete something I was good at as an under 16 I broke the four minute mile barrier back in the days of cinder tracks (around 1965).
Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. Really hard questions here but ‘Me an author! Your joking’.
Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
A. I have several books from different genres but the most inspirational book that conjures up pride in me would A History of the English-Speaking Peoples 4 Volumes by Sir Winston Churchill. Leon Uris Exodus is another really great read.
A Turnkey or Not? 
Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. I’d love to say something like Sean Connery as James Bond or Jack Richer from Lee Childs books but I’d be lying so I suppose it would have to be My wife says Jack Nicholson’s character Jack Torrance in the Shining, but I’m not sure if this is a compliment or not.
Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?
A. Easy me my book’s an autobiography although when I read it back I sometimes don’t recognize myself, have I changed that much?
Q.  What is your favorite season?
A. Spring in England.
Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A. My publishers Apex Publishers suggested the design and I loved it immediately.
Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. I was at a book signing at Waterston’s in Aylesbury England, sitting at the table with all my books displayed when my granddaughter walked in and asked if the books were all mine after replying yes, she then said ‘are you famous then’ to which I answered ‘well you know me so I must be famous’.
Q.  Are you working on something new?
A. Yes I have several ideas at present a follow up to my autobiography, and a series of one chapter true stories of working at one of the busiest airport in the world. Again this will be anecdotal about the passengers and how they react good or bad to being at an airport with all the modern security measures they have to go through.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.  Please have a look at my book and read it. That is all any author can ask for.



  1. Just sent myself a sample to my Kindle♫♪ Here's my blog, promoting my two books and new poetry:

  2. Many many thanks for the opportunity to be interviewed.

    I recommend you site to all my Facebook and Twitter friends


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Emily, AKA Mrs. Mommy Booknerd

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