No Shortcuts to Success

Anthony Anthamatten

Journalist, Jennifer Webb sits down with Anthony Anthamatten to learn more about the author of Double Crossed.

JW:

“Thank you Anthony for taking the time to speak with me today. I enjoyed reading your book, Double Crossed, and was curious about the author who wrote such a wild tale?”

AA:

I am glad you enjoyed the book.  As a first-time author I was happy it wasn’t a disaster.”

JW:

“That is quite an accomplishment to be your first book. How did the idea come about?”

AA:

“Some friends were film students asked me to look at a script they had written. It was about two teenage gangs who go around shooting each other. I told them they had no story.”

JW:

 “How did they take your critique?”

AA:

“They cried.” (Laughing)

“Actually they took it well and knew it wasn’t meant to hurt  their feelings.”

JW:

“So Double Crossed came from that?”

AA:

“It did. I suggested gangs who outsmart each other, rather than kill. Over that weekend the basic idea and main characters for Double Crossed were born. Even some of the gags like the bullet ant scene.”

JW:

“Wow, then you wrote the book?”

AA:

“I didn’t know I would be writing a book in the beginning but the idea for the story wouldn’t go away. A friend who is an avid reader suggested it sounded like a book after hearing some of the story ideas.”

“And just like that I fell down a rabbit hole.”

JW:

“Weren’t you intimidated about writing your first novel?

AA:

“I was too naive to know what I was in for. I thought how hard can it be? I know the story, just sit down and write it.”   

“But I realized very soon what monumental task it is. There is so much more that goes into writing a novel than I ever dreamed.”

“I don’t know about the process other authors go through, but I agonized over a single sentence so many times until it finally felt right. To throw away so many words and ask yourself if you are up to the task or wasting everybody’s time. And some scenes in Double Crossed had tears flowing down my face as I wrote them. I have a challenging day job, but this was as difficult as anything as I have ever done. Had I known then what I do now, I would have been intimidated.”

JW:

“You mentioned a couple of things I would like to ask about such as the other work you do. But may I admit, I cried when I read certain parts of your book? They are powerful scenes. I am surprised to hear the author say it made him cry.”

AA:

“Maybe I should have been macho and not admitted that but please understand. I am every voice in the book, every emotion they feel, I feel for them. As the author, I am creating each bump in the night, every laughter and silly joke they say.”

JW:

“There are so many uniquely different characters in Double Crossed with such different personalities. Where did your  inspiration come from to make them seem so real?”

AA:

“Even before I wrote the first words, I knew the main characters, what they looked like, their personalities, and flaws.”

“Each has traits from someone I’ve met before, but all are fictitious exaggerations.”

“However, three of my friends look exactly like Stenson, J.C. and Big Tony as I describe them in the book.”

JW:

“You have a friend who looks like Kid Rock?”

AA:

(Laughs)

“Not now, he cut his hair.”

JW:

“Speaking of characters, may I share something about your book that personally touched me?”

AA:

“Of course.”

JW:

“As a black woman, to meet you as the author and a white man, I want to thank you for how you portrayed the characters of color in your book. They are not stereotypical.”

“J.C. is vulnerable, his mother really cared, your Asian character Zabrina, the pastor.  I could go on. Even how you showed the racism of Stenson’s father. It was honest and real.”

AA:

“Thank you for sharing your feelings on such a touchy subject.”

“I thought quite a bit when I wrote those characters and created those scenes. Racism and stereotypes are something people won’t admit still exists today when it’s right in front of your face.”

“When I wrote the character who is Stenson’s father and unapologetic racist, I had to use a racial slur that made me uncomfortable to write. I reached out to a few friends, people of color, and asked what I should do?”

JW:

“What did they say?”

AA:

“They told me to use the word  and they would not be offended.”

JW:

“You have nice friends.”

AA:

“I do.”

JW:

“If you have a few more minutes, may I ask about the other things you do?”

AA:

“I guess the easiest way to describe what I do is help companies work better through technology.”

JW:

“It says you write software and are a graphic designer? How long have you done that?”

AA:

“Since before the Internet.”

JW:

“”You can’t be that old!”

“I am getting the signal time is up and I haven’t even asked you about so many other things.”

“Will you tell me something people may not know about you?”

AA:

“I DJ’d for Prince one night.”

JW:

“No way! I hope you will let me come back sometime and pick up this conversation?”

AA:

“Anytime.”