I was born in the same town as King Henry VII. I still live close to Pembroke and this June, I was part of a group which raised  funding to place a life-sized bronze statue of Henry in front of Pembroke Castle. It’s already become a tourist attraction and looks likely to become one of the most photographed statues in Wales.

I enjoy the challenge of writing from a different point of view. One of my books is about my wife’s ancestor Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester, who was imprisoned for life for witchcraft. I wrote it in the first person and was amazed to hear her voice, talking to me from over five hundred years ago, when I first listened to the audiobook..

Tony Riches

Tony Riches

I wake up with entire conversations between my characters in my head. I used to keep a notebook and pen by my bed to write them down while they were fresh in my mind but now my laptop is always to hand. Sometimes I wake at five and keep on writing for the next three hours, as it’s definitely my most productive time.

I’m always thinking about my next books. Partly this is because the research can take years, but I also like to plan the outline and know the structure well before I actually start writing. Readers often ask what’s coming next, so it’s good to have an answer ready. As I publish through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Amazon’s independent publishing programme, I can immediately have my next book ready for my readers so they are not left waiting for too long.  

I love to visit the actual locations in my books. This has led to some interesting adventures, such as following the footsteps of Henry Tudor through the ‘secret’ tunnels, deep under the streets of Tenby in Pembrokeshire, and climbing a dangerously crumbling staircase in a remote chateau in Brittany.

My wife is always the first to read my work. They say you shouldn’t ask family and friends for an opinion on your writing but it’s great to have feedback on a chapter as soon as it’s written. I always listen to what she thinks.. It’s also good to be able to discuss plot ideas and character development, as writing could become a lonely occupation.

I lived in Kenya as a child and never watched any television.  We listened to the radio but it meant my books were probably more important than for most children - and I would read each one many times.

My wife and I rode from our home in Wales through Spain and along the Pyrenees to the south of France on my 2.3 litre Triumph motorcycle. We didn’t book any hotels and carried a small tent, so could stop wherever we wanted for as long as we liked. On the way, we visited the amazing medieval city fortress of Carcassonne and stayed at Lourdes.

My books sell in countries around the globe. My biggest readership by far is in the United States but thanks to the Internet and social media I can live and write wherever I like and still reach an international audience. I like to hear from readers around the world and have been contacted by people from remote towns in Alaska to Auckland, New Zealand.  

In my spare time I enjoy sea kayaking and sailing on the River Cleddau, one of Pembrokeshire’s best kept secrets. The only sounds are the calls of curlews and oystercatchers and you can sail for twelve miles through ancient oak forests before you reach the sea.

Tony Riches’ book Henry – Book Three of the Tudor Trilogy is available in paperback for £8.99 and e-book for £2.99 from Amazon and is shortlisted for the UK Kindle Storyteller Award, a prize recognising newly published work across any genre. 

The winner will be announced at the end of July and will receive a £20,000 cash prize, a marketing campaign and the opportunity to have their book translated.