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Antony Johnston

As a child

I was born in Birmingham and was encouraged to read from an early age. One of my earliest memories is sitting on my father's knee as he read a copy of the Beano to me! My parents – to their credit – never censored my reading, and let me read whatever I wanted – comics, children's books, sci-fi, pulp novels, even horror. As long as I was reading, they were happy. All that reading made me want to write my own stories, and I started making things up when I was very young. I had a very normal time at school, but I was always getting into trouble for being a chatterbox! As a teenager, my love of stories led me to role-playing games but I was always most interested in being a storyteller than a player. I spent all of my spare time writing games and scenarios, and never had time to actually play them!

As an adult

I lived in Bath and London for a while, but now I live in the Pennines with my partner Marcia and dog Connor, a rescued lurcher. I like to read a good book, watch a good movie or get dragged around the park by the dog! I love walking in the British countryside and find it very inspirational and relaxing, especially the rivers and woods. I love wandering around in the middle of nowhere. I spent ten years as a graphic designer before writing full-time; I design a lot of my own books as a result.

As an artist

I have written more than a dozen graphic novels including Rosemary’s Backpack (a teen adventure). Most of my other books are for adults – Julius (a modern reworking of Julius Caesar), Frightening Curves (a horror novel, winner of an IPPY award for Best Horror at BEA 2002) and Three Days in Europe (a romantic comedy, recently translated into French and Spanish). I have also written several comic miniseries including collaborations with Alan Moore.

Things you didn't know about Antony Johnston

  1. My favourite sports are American football and snooker.
  2. I am a vegetarian.
  3. All my clothes are black; I don't own anything coloured.
  4. My first childhood ambition was to be a rock star! I used to sing and play guitar in heavy metal bands.
  5. My favourite books as a child were the Stainless Steel Rat adventures by Harry Harrison.
  6. I practise Tai Chi.
  7. I have two tattoos, one on each arm. One is an ankh (symbol of life) and the other is an eight-pointed star (symbol of chaos).
  8. I once slept in the pram compartment of a Danish train whilst backpacking. I wouldn't recommend it!
  9. I spent six weeks in hospital as a child after a burns accident. I now have a permanently lopsided mouth as a result!
  10. I'm rubbish at video games but I love playing them, especially snowboarding games. But my friends always beat me.

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