Anton Hodge


I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember although in my late teens and early twenties I was convinced that I would be an unfathomably brilliant poet. When writers are asked for their influences, I’m convinced they name those whose brilliance, they hope, will somehow rub off on them. In that case I’d better say George Orwell, Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie, David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Franzen, Daniel Kehlman, Irvine Welsh, Zadie Smith, Martin Amis, David Mitchell and Sarah Hall. There are a few more, but that should do it.

The two people who have influenced the way I aspire to live life (although I’m sure they don’t realise it) are my parents. The most selfless and generous people you will ever meet. Their house was for a long time full of children who were being fostered or just looked after. My two brothers and I were the lucky ones who got to stay.

I grew up at a time when Scotland seemed to be a much better team than England at football and when Aberdeen and Dundee United were breaking up the dominance of Celtic and Rangers. Neither of those two scenarios lasted long and my interest waned. It was only when I moved to the border area that I really got the bug again.

When I was involved with Gretna, I was constantly being encouraged by the media to speak out against Brooks Mileson, even on the day he passed away. Despite the unhappy ending to his involvement with the club, I can’t help being filled with admiration for his sense of fun, philanthropy and kindness. In any case I detest the blame culture we come across so often these days where anything that doesn’t go right has to be someone’s fault. I don’t do blame.

But I have been working on a novel for ten years. It is called Blame!

Find Anton on Twitter: @antonhodge