WLM Spotlight Sunday – Tony James Slater


Tony James Slater SS



Victoria Twead:

It’s only 1am here in Spain, but 11am in Aus, where our WLM Sunday Spotlight author, Tony James Slater is. Welcome, Tony! If you’ve forgotten and are busy wrangling wombats, never mind… We’ll save up our questions and stare at you in the spidey suit instead. — with Tony James Slater.

Susan Jackson:  Hey Tony Tony James Slater are you there?

Woofie Wotsit:  It’s only 823 am here where Tony is… he is still probably asleep

Susan Jackson:  OK

Woofie Wotsit:  We have 3 timezones here

Susan Jackson:  So we are starting in 2 1/3 hrs

Woofie Wotsit:  I mean in Australia and we are 3 ours behind the eastern states wot have daylight saving and two hours behind the sensible eastern states wot don’t.

Woofie Wotsit:  Hours..dammit.

Susan Jackson:  I knew what you meant or at least read it that way–funny

Linda Kovic-Skow:  Looking forward to the interview Tony James Slater. I’ll catch up tomorrow, hopefully you’ll still be around.

Woofie Wotsit:  OK Tony James Slater! Wake up and shove yer scruffy bum into yer spiderman suit! Folks are here waiting to ask you questions!!

Susan Jackson:  Hahahaha–thanks Woofie Wotsit.

Terry Bryan:  Woofie, you are truly wonderful.

Susan Jackson:  No sense asking questions till he wakes up as there will be too much fluff to go thru to find them–have you guys read his book?

Susan Jackson:  Oops–is VT awake?

Terry Bryan:  I have…funny…as I did teach in a high school…reminded me of some of those guys…I laughed a lot.

Susan Jackson:  Terry Bryan–you have what?

Terry Bryan:  Read his book…bourbon…forgive.

Susan Jackson:  Sorry-since the thread had moves so far forward I forgot about the question.

Terry Bryan:  That’s okay…my friends say I talk that way all the time…assuming everyone knows what the *^%#* I’m talking about….daydreamer here…and this time of night, a sip of bourbon…

Susan Jackson:  I do that also–I guess because I am having a conversation with them in my mind instead of in person!!

Terry Bryan:  YES! As we say, Soul Sista!

Susan Jackson:  Well, changing over to the IPad and moving to the living room–OK TONY–WAKE UP. VT will have to start a new thread–funny how we take these things over.

Julie Freed:  Maybe Tony James Slater is just having breakfast with a bear . . .

Terry Bryan:  TONY!

Dodie Shea:  So Tony, is Spider Man your alter ego??

Susan Jackson:  Tony isn’t awake yet.

Rowena Cardwell:  Think Tony could have had a very late night. It’s 12.57pm now.

Woofie Wotsit:  No it ain’t! It is only 10 am here in Wozland where Tony and me is!!!

Rowena Cardwell:  I’m in Melbourne Woofie Wotsit. It would be much easier if we all operated in the same time zone in the same country as not all states do daylight savings.

Woofie Wotsit:  Yup, it would, Rowena! And you folks would need to get rid of that bloody awful daylight saving and use our time, wot is the correct time.

Rowena Cardwell:  Woofie, I’m not a fan of daylight saving. Apart from losing an hour’s sleep when it changes, I generally feel tired through it all. The time should be left alone. LOL.

Susan Jackson:  I agree from USA, the time should be left alone! Anyone listening?

Terry Bryan:  Yea! Leave time alone!

Mary Griffith Chalupsky:  Yes…leave it be. If something can be done about all this snow…work on that problem….please…….

Mary Griffith Chalupsky:  Perhaps the bear ate more than his pants…

Terry Bryan:  Ut oh…never thought of that! KANGAROOS! No, crocodiles! Biiigggg teeth…

Tony James Slater:  I’m HERE!!! And alive! It was a big night out last night for my sister-in-law’s 26th birthday, so I had a few shandies. And it’s now 11:30am, and I’ve been awake for almost an hour! I just didn’t feel able to get out of bed… Morning all!!

–Ha ha! So, typically, everyone has buggered off to bed in the rest of the civilised world, and here I am, talking to myself… which would be fine, except I’m a crap conversationalist. “So, Tony, what did you do yesterday?” “Well Tony, nice of you to ask. Not much.” “Right, well, um… is there anything you’d like to ask?” “Nah, not really.” “Okay then. Ladies and gentlemen, Tony Slater…”

Terry Bryan:  Hoho…you just thought all had gone…what are ya doin’ now to earn a little money? Are you writing? One can hope…you are funny.

— Oh, and why Perth?

–And are there kangaroos in your part of Oz?

Tony James Slater:  Hi Terry! Well, I’ve done all sorts of stuff to make ends meet – Oz is notoriously expensive (bloody ridiculously expensive, some might say!). Right now though, I’m managing to live off my book royalties – because I’m house-sitting, looking after people’s pets and houses while they’re away! So, free rent – and FREE DOGS!! Win/win

–Perth is an amazing place, distilling a lot of the best bits of Oz into a bite-sized package. Not a BIG city, but just big enough – and of course, now I have family here… though that story is yet to be released!

–And Kangaroos? HELL YEAH there are! Including plenty of them that are bigger than me. My new book, in fact, is called ‘Kamikaze Kangaroos!’

Terry Bryan I’ll read that, for sure. What happened to the dog you rescued as a pup in Equidor? Did you have to leave it there or could you take it with you?

Joy Hughes:  And if I might be permitted to say so Tony, it is well worth waiting for. I have been fortunate to beta read it . . . Lucky me! Tony, when did you first realise you had a talent for writing (and poking fun at yourself)? Has your drama training helped you in the writing process in any way?

Terry Bryan:  Okay…just contributed to your royalties…never stopped to see if a second book had been published…my bad, as you said you might. Going to read some now…night night.

Joy Hughes:  Oh Tony, it could be a long day as the rest of the world takes its time to wake up!

Tony James Slater:  Hi Joy! Thanks again for the Beta reading. I’m hoping to bring that book out any day now… I never realised I had a talent for writing – I’m still not sure I do. I’m just lucky (kind of?) that so much weirdness happens to me. And around me. And sometimes all over me. That’s the talent I seem to have been born with – trouble magnet… I only wrote ‘That Bear’ because I thought no-one would believe what went on in Ecuador! As for my Acting ‘training’… it’s been good for two things so far: sod and all.

Joy Hughes:  Bloody computers that can’t spell . . . I wondered if the training might have helped you analyse actions/thoughts in retrospect, to then enable writing . . . or is that thought a little too deep?

Tony James Slater:  Terry… Machita, the tiny, GORGEOUS, but incredibly stupid dog… well. Around the time I was launching ‘That Bear’, I started contacting people who were volunteering at Santa Martha. Toby went off to build his own refuge in the jungle at one point, and in the photos on his website I noticed a familiar face… I got in touch straight away and asked the current manager there about Machita. he said Machita had come with Toby to the new centre… and that the picture was of her daughter!! So Machita not only survived there, she thrived. The pup had been named ‘Dog’, and was still living there as their mascot! And somehow not being eaten…

–Bit deep indeed! I am a shallow, impulsive (and stupid) creature – as most men tend to be. My analysis of motivations goes as far as ‘Hm. Hungry now.’

Terry Bryan:  Back again…I think some people are born lucky…I’m one…it used to bother me that others weren’t, then I decided to just be thankful for it…you should be too.

–Yea for Machita…couldn’t remember her name…she’s lucky too.

–NOW after my deep thoughts…off to bed.

Tony James Slater:  Kind of torn really, in that some would say I’m born unlucky – everything goes wrong around me continuously! But I’m a glass-is-half-full kinda bloke, so I like to think I’m born lucky just because I get through it all relatively unscathed!

Graham Weldon:  And what about Lady? Any word from your Ecuadorian beauty?

Tony James Slater:  Lady! She’s still in touch occasionally. She dated a string of foreigners after me, and managed to do a fair bit of travelling herself – to Israel, Jordan, hell she’s been places I haven’t! Part of me hopes this is because I ignited a passion to travel in her, and she used her new-found English skills to follow her dream. But the cynical part of me thinks she just started looking for potential ‘wealthy foreigner’ type boyfriend material.

Karen Knight:  Hi Tony, where is the favourite place in the world that you have visited.

Tony James Slater:  Hi Karen! Wow, tough question… every place has pros and cons, of course. But I think… New Zealand! It has the perfect (for me) climate, lush greenery everywhere, vast, epic landscapes… and it’s still relatively undiscovered, in that the entire population is less than that of London…

–Close second though, is Koh Phangan, the Thai full moon party island. I could have lived there… hell, I did live there! Not for long enough, although my liver would probably disagree…

Dee Allwood-Soden:  If you could do one thing again in your life, what would it be?

Tony James Slater:  WOW! Now that IS a loaded question! There’s millions of things I wish I could have another stab at. If my wife is reading this, then of course I’d want to get married again – I was kind of busy the first time around, and didn’t really pay much attention! But overall… I think I’d love to rescue a big cat. They’re so majestic, incredible animals, and sitting there with one on my knee (a leopard) – was heart-stopping for a whole bunch of reasons. Not everyone gets to do that even once, but I’d give almost anything to do it again. And you know what? I think I just might…

–Oh yeah, just had another one – Beng Mileau temple in Cambodia! I’d DEFINITELY do that again! By chance I met a climbing buddy in Siam Reap, and took him to Beng Mileau – a ruined temple after the fashion of Angkor Wat, only collapsed and covered with vegetation. We climbed all over it – the roof, the towers, sometimes really high off the ground… ahhh! We managed an entire afternoon, and only got told off right at the very end. There’s nothing like climbing on crazy ancient unstable ruins!

Janet Hughes:  Hi Tony, it’s still early here in Spain, Just got up to let the dogs out, woof, woof! Catch up with you later

Joy Hughes:  Delighted to hear Tony, that you choose NZ as a great place to live, not that I am biased of course. Population of NZ 4.5million, population of London 8.4 million. We do have about 40 million sheep though . . . as every Australian will always remind us with their never-ending sheep jokes!

Cherry Gregory:  Hi Tony. I loved your “Bear” book and will treasure my signed copy. Great news that you’ve written a “Kangaroo” one…when will it be out?

Tony James Slater:  Hi Cherry! The Kangaroo book – which will be the third in the series – should be out… oh, I dunno. Why don’t we say next week? That sounds about right. Maybe Wednesday…

Woofie Wotsit:  Cool!!! Looking forward to it Tony.. and I am so thankful you have finally put in an appearance! — thot you might have tried to shove two legs in the same leg hole of your spidey suit and been totally immoibilised.

Tony James Slater:  Right! I guess people are starting to wake up now… and I’m done with my chores for the day! Just sitting here, editing

–So, feel free to ask me anything, folks! Don’t be shy – I’m not!

— I was immobilised in the land of nod! Slept till about 10am, what with having a big party last night… during which my sister in law had her new ($700!) phone stolen.

Woofie Wotsit:  Sheesh!! That sux, Tony James Slater! Do you have any idea who the wanker is who took it?

Cherry Gregory:  Thanks, Tony. I’ll look out for the “Kangaroo” book. And about the stolen phone…was it from the same sister in law whose party it was?

Tony James Slater:  The very same! Poor woman! She was not happy. And nope – it was a crowded club. A few people, including her housemate had their phones taken that night! Clearly some pros at work. Ah well. No-one would take my phone, even if I carried the thing around with me – but then, I don’t get any phone calls, so I don’t bother.

Lorraine Santos:  Hi Tony,…what do you do if the house-sittings don’t follow on from each other??

Alan Parks:  Ah ha you turned up

Tony James Slater:  Lorraine, I sleep on the street! No, just kidding – I stay with my father in law in the Perth hills if the house sits don’t line up. Or else I go camping in the south of WA, to Margaret River, which is gorgeous. Can’t grumble, really!

Alan Parks:  OK, what is on your to-do list? Where would you most like to go, and what would do you want to do?

Tony James Slater:  On my wish list right now is a grand tour of Central and South America – six months, ideally, to perfect my Spanish, volunteer in as many different animal refuges as possible, hike the Inca Trail to Machu Pichu in Peru – and go hunting for some long lost Mayan ruins in the jungles of Belieze! Maybe next year…

Alan Parks:  Say hello to the Alpacas at Machu Pichu for me Maybe you should write a fiction adventure book. Have you read any of Matthew Rielly? (Aussie bloke)

Tony James Slater:  No, sadly not! I very rarely get chance to read these days. I’m reading your second book at the mo, actually!

Alan Parks:  Awesome I think you would like them, they are like India Jones on speed!! Animal wrestling and lots of guns!

Tony James Slater:  I’d love to try my hand at fiction, but I’ve got to get the next couple of books about my adventures out first. And man, they take forever to write! Eventually though, I’d like to do a sci-fi. Might actually make some money, then!

Lorraine Santos:  How much discipline does it take to write??

Tony James Slater:  Well, ideally it would be a very disciplined process. Sadly though, I have no discipline at all! I’m rubbish – I spend time on Facebook, emailing advice to writer friends, cleaning the house, going to the gym… ANYTHING but writing! The only thing that really helps me is a deadline – then I can force myself to sit down and do some work. Being self-published, deadlines are hard to come by – so I set myself one to release book 3 at Christmas – and missed it, of course! But it did make me buckle down, and I worked for up to 18 hours a day for a month! Then, when I wasn’t ready in time for Xmas, it all went to hell, and I’ve hardly done anything since! Now I’m trying to force myself to finish the editing and get the damn thing out before Valentines Day… Ack! If discipline was available to buy on eBay, I’d be snapping it up!

Cherry Gregory:  When you have time to read, what sort of books do you like best?

Woofie Wotsit:  I have an electronic cattle prod here, Tony… if I was to apply it to yer nether regions, would that help with deadlines ?

Alan Parks:  Tony post some pics here!! From your trips…

Karen Knight: What is the strangest food you have eaten and where?

Tony James Slater:  Hi folks! Sorry, just had to nip out with the dogs there! Three big buggers! So, to your questions!

–Cherry, I love to read sci-fi and fantasy, which is what I’d like to write eventually – once I’ve run out of adventures to write about! So, not any time soon, unfortunately…

–Woofie, please don’t shock my testicles. They’ve been through so much already… mind you, they’ve become quite toughened over the years. Like leather…

–Alan, will do mate! Coming up, watch this space!

–And Karen, I recently ate deep fried frog – in Vietnam – and most of the nearby diners ended up wearing at least some of it… but best of all had to be tarantula, which I ate in Cambodia. I must admit, I don’t know why the monkeys used to go so crazy for ’em – all I could taste was the hair on their legs…

Victoria Twead:  Oh yeuuuch!

Bambi Flanner:  So you’ve done bears, and now kangaroo’s. Which animal is next? Polar bear, Sperm whale, Great white?

Karen Knight:  Sounds horrendous

Alan Parks:  Would love to read about a Great White Shark adventure

Tony James Slater:  Big cats, baby! I’d LOVE to work with leopards, and tigers are my favourite animals on the planet. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of them left – and volunteering in the few places that work with them is astronomically expensive!

Bambi Flanner:  I’m sure your poor, long suffering wife is thrilled with your aspirations. lol. She must be a great sport.

Tony James Slater:  Oh, she loves it! Her pet project at the moment is trying to convince me to import these electric bubble bikes we saw in China, and see if we can cross Australia on them… she’s very nearly as crazy as I am!

Bambi Flanner:  That’s a match made in heaven then. I think it sounds like a great adventure and you should go for it!

Tony James Slater:  Here’s a pic of Roo poking around that ruined Cambodian temple I was on about earlier – Beng Mealea it’s called (I had to look it up!).



Bambi Flanner:  Ooooh, that’s amazing! I would’ve wanted to stay there for days.

Tony James Slater:  We spent all day there – and it was our second visit! The first was in the dark, and torrential rain… I still climbed the rubble of course, but it was a bit dangerous so we decided to come back on a nicer day!

Tony James Slater:  Oh, and here’s the border between Thailand and Cambodia… I got told off by some Cambodian soldiers with machines guns for taking this photo!



Alan Parks:  Pah! The traffic police in Spain have machine guns!

Tony James Slater:  OOh, and you know what? Why don’t I share a photo of the van that carried us all the way around Australia in the book I’m about to release… we called him ‘Rusty’



–Okay, maybe I should rephrase – they were manning an anti-aircraft gun the size of… well, an aircraft. And most of them were about 12. Apparently you’re not supposed to take pictures inside their military installations…

Bambi Flanner:  There is an e-mag I belong to called Caretaker Gazette. Monthly they post care-taking positions all over the world. There are gigs in Australia, Belize, Alaska, you name it. For the price of 30 bucks US annually you could cause trouble on continents world wide. My goal is to pick one someday, chuck everything and go for it.

Tony James Slater:  Woah! Any chance you could forward me a back issue of that, so I can check it out? That could be interesting…

–Hey, if anyone has a specific photo they’d like me to share – or a specific kind of photo – let me know! I’ve got all sorts

Victoria Twead:  I’d like to see a pic of Machita. Oooh, and Lady!

Tony James Slater:  Ha! I’ll have a dig around… didn’t take many while I was in Ecuador! I was operating on film back then.

–Meanwhile, here’s a nice one of China.. and yes, we did walk the whole bit you can see!



Bambi Flanner:  I will Tony. fer sher.

Tony James Slater:  Okay, here we go – this is Machita, in a rare moment of cooperation with that psychotic cat…


–And here is Lady – bearing in mind this was the morning after a heavy night… and shortly before she tried to feed me ceviche… BLEURGH!

Victoria Twead:  Both gorgeous, thanks, Tony.

Tony James Slater:  Oh, I just noticed that Machita looked positively demonic in that shot! Here’s one a little cuter:



–What time is it where you folks all are? I’m not keeping anyone up, am I?

Alan Parks:  I think everyone is probably keeping you up Tony.

Tony James Slater:  S’allright! I’m watching the Winter Olympics!

Bambi Flanner:  It’s 0844 AM here in sunny Florida, Tony. I emailed you a copy of the caretaker thing. Some great positions this month. Several in Thailand. I want to go! And Lady is beautiful, but you’re wife is more beautiful. Good choice!

Susan Jackson:  Tony James Slater, so glad you posted a picture of the van–it is much cuter than I imagined!! Did you ever buy a pair of underwear? Everyone–when you read the new book you will understand why I ask.

Lorraine Santos:  It’s 1:50 pm here in chilly uk.

Susan Jackson:  What do you do with your dogs when you house sit?

Tony James Slater:  Cheers Bambi! Thailand here I come…

It’s 10pm here, and I’m wearing my Thai trousers (because I don’t have any underwear, or I’d be wearing that!)

–And I’m house-sitting for the dogs – dog sitting, if you like! I don’t own any pets – well, my family has a gorgeous border collie back in the UK, but she’s mostly my dad’s dog. Right now I’m looking after an aging German Shepherd, an enthusiastic GIANT border collie, and some kind of mastiff-dalmation type thingumy… in a house barely big enough for them all to lie down in!

–Oh, and here’s a pic of Roo, when we met – this was taken in one of Western Australia’s gorgeous gorges…



Bambi Flanner:  You and Roo couldn’t be more perfect for each other. If you read the e-mail I sent, I just sent for more info on the alpaca farm on the big island of Hawaii. If I can talk my husband into it, Nancy Lynch won’t be all alone out there in the Pacific. A 15 acre Alpaca farm in Hawaii. Bliss. And if you go to Thailand Tony, I want a mention in the great book that will result!

–My potential new job! Hawi, Hawaii.



Susan Joyce:  Hola Tony James Slater! I’m enjoying following all these interesting threads. Terry, Soul Sista! Good one! I found your comment on being lucky and Terry’s reply right on. I think being curious automatically makes one lucky. You certainly have the curious gene. I also loved NZ. We thought of retiring there but discovered as a USA citizen, one needs to invest 1Mil in order to be considered. As an AUS, is it easy for you to get permission to live there?

Tony James Slater:  Yes it does Susan! My sister just emigrated to NZ, and she had to invest a million dollars! Luckily, she could borrow it from her mother-in-law! Ahhh.. t’would e nice, eh! But as an Aussie (which I now am, after lengthy paperwork), I can go to and from NZ to work and or live with no restriction. So if you really want to retire to NZ, you could always try emigrating here first!

Bambi Flanner:  What if you find a new place you want to be a resident of? Belize? Thailand? Was it hard to make the decision to become an Aussie officially?

Tony James Slater:  Oh yes! Just for them wot doesn’t know, I have two books out currently – the ‘Bear’ one is my first, and the second is called ‘Don’t Need The Whole Dog’, and is based on my house renovation exploits and my year volunteering in Thailand. The third, which I’ve decided will be released before Valentines Day, is about my Australian adventures – and that is the one in which Roo features most heavily :0)

–I’m only a resident here (in Oz), so I haven’t lost my UK Citizenship – and if I decide to live somewhere else, like Thailand, I’ll either have to do a whole load of visa runs, like a lot of people I know there, or become a resident of yet ANOTHER country… sigh! Much harder without marrying a local though, and I doubt Roo would be keen on me doing that.

Susan Joyce:  Bambi, If you get this new position in Hawaii, let me know. It’s the only state in the USA I haven’t visited. Tony, we’re quite content living in Uruguay. When you make it to South America, look us up. We enjoy guests.

Tony James Slater:  Will do Susan!

Bambi Flanner:  If I get to go, I’ll definitely send out invites. lol

–Tony, in Bear, I know you initially had some trouble finding your location. You had the bus ride from hell, incorrect directions, you name it. How worried were you that it was all a huge mistake? I think I would’ve been terrified.

Tony James Slater: I was absolutely shitting myself! Ever since I’ve had a fear of not finding places – it’s like a curse, that whenever I travel I always end up trying to find somewhere utterly impossible. It’s actually got harder now too, as I travel with Roo, and I’m extra worried that if I can’t find where we’re supposed to go, she’ll be stranded too! At least when I was single, the worst that could happen was a night on the street – and I’ve had plenty of those! When we were in China recently, even the taxi drivers didn’t understand the word taxi – and I had the name and address of where we were going written down in Chinese, but of course, most taxi drivers are illiterate… Fun!

Valerie Robson:  Hello Tony… xxx

Yvonne At Whitegold-Images:  Aha, the man responsible for several bleary eyed mornings after reading long into the night and giggling a lot. Just thanks really Tony, looking forward to more of the same from the Aussie adventure.

Terry Bryan:  Now there we are different…I love getting lost…that’s a great part of travel to me. I do think you’re right about having someone with you…but trust Roo…she must have known life would never be dull with you and took you anyway…

Tony James Slater:  Oh, I get lost intentionally! Just different when I’m moving on so to speak – I feel quite vulnerable with all my stuff in my backpack, sort of like a walking target! If you’d ever travelled with me, you’d probably feel the same way too..

–Right folks, it’s been great fun, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to get ready for bed! I’ve got a book to edit in the morning… :0)

–But please ask any more questions you think of here, and I’ll check back in the morning to answer anything left unanswered! Meanwhile… I’ve got, what, 4 days until I release ‘Kamikaze Kangaroos’… so I’d better get on with it.

–Thanks for having me!

Cherry Gregory:  Thanks for answering all our questions, Tony, and good luck with your release of “Kamikaze Kangaroos”.

Susan Jackson:  What book did you write other than the bear book and the new book coming out soon–someone said something about a dog?

Susan Joyce:  Thanks Tony for being with us today! Enjoyed it!

Yvonne At Whitegold-Images:  We Dont Need the Whole Dog Susan, though wont reveal why its called that.

Linda Kovic-Skow:  Wow! O

–Oops! Hit enter by mistake! What a great interview Tony James Slater. I have Bear on my Kindle and I can’t wait to read it. So, you grew up in the UK? Tell us about your family life. Would you like a family of your own some day?

Fay Kearney:  Hello Tony, sorry I’m late but have just enjoyed reading all the above . I’m now looking forward to reading all three of your books!

Karen Knight: Thank you for a fab interview Tony I loved the Bear. Can’t wait for your next book

Susan Jackson:  Crazy that I didn’t know about the Dog book–I just bought it and will read it in a couple days!

Victoria Twead:  ¡sʞuɐɥʇ ¿ǝsɐǝןd ooʇ ,ɹɐǝq ʇɐɥʇ, ɟo sǝıdoɔ ǝʌıƃ oʇ ǝןdoǝd ɟo ǝןdnoɔ ɐ ǝsooɥɔ noʎ pןnoɔ ‘ǝʇnuıɯ ǝɹɐds ɐ ǝʌɐɥ noʎ uǝɥʍ ¡ʇı pǝʎoɾuǝ ʎןןɐǝɹ ןןɐ ǝʍ ¡ʍǝıʌɹǝʇuı ʇɐǝɹƃ ǝɥʇ ɹoɟ ‘ʎuoʇ ‘noʎ ʞuɐɥʇ

Terry Bryan:  I enjoyed spending last night with you…you are a delightful young man!

Tony James Slater:  Thanks folks! Hi Linda! Yeah, growing up in the UK was a fairly mundane experience for me! I suffered quite a bit with bullying at school, and never managed to attain that mystical ‘cool’ status! My family are everything to me though – especially being… as how I didn’t have any friends! My sister Gill and I always fought like cat and dog, but were still (and are still) the best of friends. We spent years together travelling Oz and NZ, al of which I’ve just finished writing about. My Dad is the most mild-mannered individual in the world, and a computer programmer – he’s lucky enough (?!) to get featured in this book, as well as in the last one… and of course my Mum, bless her, who is about three feet tall and built like a garden gnome. She is where I inherited the ability to put my foot in my mouth right up to the knee – her ability to say odd things at exactly the wrong time is legendary! I’ll share one for you all here in another comment after this, actually… We’re still very close, and we talk every week on Skype. She comes to Oz to visit whenever she can, and I’m going back to the UK for a visit this year
Eventually, when all our adventures are done, Roo and I will settle down and have a family. Probably! We aim for twin girls (as she comes from a long line of twins on both sides) – and we’re hoping to call them Freya and Reine. (Some events in the latest book will go a ways to explaining that.)
And ideally my folks will eventually emigrate to Oz too, so we can all live together in a great big mansion built from book royalties…
(Sorry. That was just TOO ludicrous a premise!)

–Okay, so here’s a treat for anyone who’s bothered to read this far. Well done, people! My Mum is famous for her chance utterances, which often cause much hilarity. One of her best, which I think has so far avoiding being featured in a book, was this:
I was about 15, which would make my sister 12. We had a cat, which we’d had from a kitten, which we were all very much in love with. So, it was the ‘back to school’ sales, and we were shopping for stationary. My sister Gill was being picky, browsing the 2-ring binders on the back wall of the shop – she’d looked at nearly every one, and still hadn’t found one she wanted. Then Mum piped up. She’d come up with what she thought was a brilliant solution, and she shouted it across the shop to my sister:
“Hey Gill! This one is plain. You could cover it in pictures of your pussy!”

–Oh, and Victoria – honestly, I think everyone has it (That Bear Ate My Pants) already! Anyone that doesn’t, please make yourself known!!

Mary Griffith Chalupsky:  I don’t yet…

Tony James Slater:  Mary Griffith Chalupsky – WINNER NUMBER ONE!!!