Short, Sharp Interview: Tony Knighton

HappyHourcoversmPDB: What’s going on now? 

I’m still working, still fighting fire. This past January I got transferred to the firehouse in Chinatown here in Philadelphia. Still reading and writing fiction.

PDB: How did you research Happy Hour: And Other Philadelphia Cruelties?

Mostly by asking questions.  It’s really interesting that most people seem to have been waiting all their lives for someone to ask them about  what they do or what they know.  A lot of the detail about Philadelphia’s neighborhoods I’ve picked up over the years by living and working here.

PDB: Which of your publications are you most proud of?

My story “Sunrise,” published by Grey Matter Press in their anthology Equilibrium Overturned.

PDB: What’s your favourite film/ book/ song/ television programme?

Ronin/The Friends of Eddie Coyle/You’re Still A Young Man/Breaking Bad

PDB: Is location important to your writing?

Very important.  For me, Philadelphia is more than a location; it’s almost a character.  Even the stories in Happy Hour that aren’t set in  Philadelphia are informed by the city.  In “The Scavengers,” the protagonist’s hometown is never mentioned, but I always imagined that he’s a Philadelphia native.

PDB: How often do you check your Amazon rankings?

I haven’t done that yet.  I’m not too savvy.  How is it done?

PDB: What’s next?

tk-bwI’m working on a story that’s sort of a flip side of “Happy Hour.”  Instead of being hunted, the protagonist is the hunter.

Biography: Tony Knighton is both an author and a lieutenant in the Philadelphia Fire Department, a thirty year veteran.  Born in western Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh, his family moved to Philadelphia when he was seven.  With the exceptions of a short stay in Toronto, Ontario, and the military, he’s been in Philadelphia ever since.

Tony published the novella and story collection Happy Hour and Other Philadelphia  Cruelties with Crime Wave Press.  His story “The Scavengers” is included in the anthology Shocklines: Fresh Voices in Terror, published by Cemetery Dance, and his story “Sunrise” is included in the anthology Equilibrium Overturned, published by Grey Matter Press.  He has also published short fiction in Static Movement Online and Dark Reveries.

In addition to his job as a fireman, he has also worked on the side as a roofer and played music semi-professionally for many years.  Knighton served in the United States Marine Corps, and attends classes sporadically at Community College of Philadelphia, where he met his wife Julie, an associate professor of English.