Books By Anthony Bunko ...... ......... Press Release
AmeriCymru: Hi Anthony and many thanks for agreeing to be interviewed by AmeriCymru. Care to tell us a little about your recent book:- Lord Forgive Me...But I Was a (Business) Bullshit Consultant?
Anthony: I’ve been told by the people who have read it, that it’s a laugh-out loud ''consultant had enough'' memoir about a writer trapped inside a business consultant’s body.
It’s quite funny because when I first landed my dream job as a management consultant I thought it would mean a life of travelling to exotic places, meeting interesting people and making lots of money. Yet, what many people considered to be a glamorous profession, nearly got me murdered in New York, kidnapped in Amsterdam, mugged by the police in Moscow; got me in a fist fight in Germany, threatened by the business mafia in Italy and scared half to death in a ‘Psycho’ hotel in Sweden. And that was just for starters!
I used the experience of writing the mad events as therapy. Instead of lying on a couch talking to some bloke charging me £50 an hour, I used the novel to offload 12 years of walking through the fires of consultant Hell without a safety net.
AmeriCymru: Was there any one incident in particular that made you decide to ''go straight''?
Anthony: There were lots of incidents in many years of talking bullshit for a living that made me ‘go straight’. But below is a little snippet from the book, which was probably the post-it note that finally broke the flip-chart’s legs.
Picture the scene; after 8 hours delay in Cleveland, I finally find myself alone in Newark airport in New York at midnight. My connection to London had gone, I’d lost my luggage and I was in a taxi going to a motel until I could get a flight home in the morning. The insane taxi driver was not only trying to rip me off, but he didn’t have a bloody clue where he was going. I had enough and told him to stop the cab. We both jumped out….here’s what happened next :-
He leant into the glove compartment and pulled out a gun. I sprinted over the bridge without looking back. The car horns blared as I zigzagged in and out of the oncoming traffic. Their headlights lit up my face. I darted up an alleyway, into a side street.
When I thought I was safe; I stopped running. My heart pounding in my chest, my legs felt like jelly. I punched the air. I had taken on the mad taxi driver of Newark on his home patch, and beaten the money-grabbin’ bastard.
Smirking to myself, I slowly walked towards the broken neon sign of the motel. It was only when I looked around did it dawn on me I was in more trouble than ever. I was in the wrong part of town, at the wrong time, and in the wrong whatever else I wanted to add to the wrong situation.
They appeared out of the shadows, staggering towards me like zombie creatures from the Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. In my mind I was sure I could hear the low murmur of the gutter people chanting. ‘Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the fear of a business man!’
I stood frozen to the spot. A gun shot rang out behind me. I screamed and put my hands over my head. Ok, it was probably a car exhaust backfiring, but I didn’t stick around to find out. I ran again, only this time much faster.
I sprinted around the corner; I could see the sign for the motel in the distance. In my imagination, I could feel their breath on my neck and their hands touching my skin.
I barged into the reception area, nearly knocking the door off its hinges. Everyone in there stopped to look at me.
Three prostitutes sitting on a worn-out sofa in the corner smiled. One uncrossed her legs. I swear it looked like a cave at Cheddar gorge. To be honest, if I was smaller, I would have crawled up there and hidden in the safety of her nether regions. It may have looked dirty and smelt of cheese but it looked like the safest place to be at that moment.
Link to amazon:- Buy ''Lord Forgive Me...'' here
AmeriCymru: Why writing? Of all the trades in all the world, what made you take up the pen?
Anthony: I began writing more by accident than design. However, I now think there was always some creative demon inside of me trying to get out. One day in 2002 I sat in a three hour traffic jam on the M4 after returning from a business workshop in London. Bored, I picked up a pen and scribbled down the now infamous title, ‘The Tale of The Shagging Monkeys’. Two months later, the comedy novel based on my mates from Dowlais Rugby Club was born.
The spelling was terrible and the grammer was worser (ha ha), but the mad-cap tale not only made people laugh, it earned me a 4 star rating in the Western Mail, the National paper of Wales.
After that I got bitten by the bug. Writing became my passion. Every spare minute (even though I was working full time as a consultant) I spent writing fiction stories. To me there is still nothing better than sitting in a pub with a bottle of wine and my imagination for company. (But don’t tell anyone about that, they think I’m weird already!)
AmeriCymru: What was it like working with Stuart Cable on the ''Demons and Cocktails: My Life with Stereophonics'' project?
Anthony: Stuart was a larger than life character with a large smile and larger hair style. What I loved about Stuart was he was a down-to-earth rock star, a real people’s person, who always made the time and effort to talk to anyone about everything. I met him while interviewing him for a spoof magazine I was writing called the rag. After several beers we both ended up in his mansion in Aberdare where he told me stories about supporting U2 and the famous tale about how he ate Keith Richards’ Shepard pie after a gig in Paris. Slightly worse for wear, I asked him if I could I write his life story. He shook my hand there and then, and the rest is history. For a year he took me everywhere and I met some wonderful and weird people. Partying with the Oasis brothers, Liam and Noel, who were both great guys, was a night I will never forget. Also becoming a life-long friend with the infamous and lovely Howard Marks, (Mister Nice, the drug baron) was all down to Stuart.
When Stuart died, it was like losing a brother, such a terrible shock and such a sad waste of someone’s life!
Me and Stuart at one of our many book signings
AmeriCymru: You have written a number of other biographies. Can you tell us more?
Anthony: The book Demons and Cocktails changed my life and to a degree my writing. The success of the book led to a London publisher asking me to write books on Hugh Laurie and Hugh Jackman. Then in 2010 I wrote the harrowing true lifestory, Ma’am Anna, about Human Trafficking Advocate Anna Rodriguez which was released in America.
Next stop on my rollercoaster ride found me in Bangkok in 2013, with the outrageously funny and slightly insane Mike Spikey Watkins – former-Welsh rugby captain. 2 hard to handle earned us the title of bestselling authors after it stayed number 1 for 8 weeks on Amazon best sellers book list, beating off the likes of Johnny Wilkinson and Richie McCaw. To date it’s had 35 reviews on amazon, all five stars out of five.
AmeriCymru: We have all been greatly amused by the recent revelations concerning the NATO summit itinerary. What is your involvement with the Walesoncraic site? How did it come to be founded?
Anthony: I’m not a political person at all, but I just find all the nonsense around things like the NATO visit just completely bonkers. I’ve never seen so many armed police in my life and I’ve been to football matches between Cardiff and Swansea !!! These politicians don’t live in the real world. Luckily, I started walesoncraic with a real talented writer, Patric Morgan from Cardiff a week or so before. Both of us had been doing similar types of stuff separately, so we met up in Wetherspoons in Merthyr for a cooked brekkie and within ten minutes, walesoncraic appeared out of the mist like Frankenstein’s monster. Hopefully it’s going to take over the world. Our first week saw us reporting on the Nato summit and all the madness surrounding it.
Link to the site:-
AmeriCymru: What''s next for Anthony Bunko? Any new works in the pipeline?
Anthony: As well as the spoof website, I’m also doing a few different type of creative stuff at the moment. Writing-wise, I’m just finishing off a few mad-cap children’s books which I hope to get released in 2015.
I’ve always wanted to write a stage play and I’ve written a comedy play based on the Wizard of Oz, but set in Merthyr today. It’s called the Wizard of Gurnwah and rehearsals starts pretty soon.
I’m also involved in a new creative group in my hometown, called HWYL – Made in Merthyr – its aim is to change the perception of the town to the outside world and also change the perception of the arts in the town itself. Even though the group has just started, I can’t believe how many talented people we have in the town…from writers, film directors, musicians, artists, poets, software designers, fancy cooks (who actually cooked for Obama and Nato in Cardiff Castle)…the list is endless…..I will keep you updated on progress…
AmeriCymru: What do you do when you finish a book?
Anthony: When I get that first copy in my grubby hands, I always lock myself away in my conservatory and read it from cover to cover while drinking a good bottle of wine. Then I put it away and move onto the next thing. I never read that book again…sad but true.’
AmeriCymru: What is your favourite book?’
Anthony: My all-time favourite book is Catch 22 by Joseph Keller. I revisit it every two years or so. It’s the funniest thing I have ever read. Even now it still makes me laugh out loud. The film based on the book didn’t capture the humour at all…but the book is brilliant.
AmeriCymru: Any final message for the members and readers of AmeriCymu?
Anthony: ‘Yep, a simple message for all the creative people out there looking for some kind of inspiration……
’You can walk tirelessly around the world in search of comfortable shoes… only to find a pair already under the bed.''
Make out of that what you will….it worked for me!!!
Here’s the link to most of my books on amazon:-
Books by Anthony Bunko on Amazon