Tony’s Story

Croc Got Me!

What? You want to know more about me? But… but… I just told you!

You want EVEN MORE? Really?

Well, okay then. Here goes:

I’m huge. Enormous! Especially when compared to people smaller than me. I trained as an actor before realizing that acting, like cooking, is something I’m destined to be really, really bad at. In fact my acting is worse than my cooking – and I can’t cook beans on toast without burning something.

So with my dreams of international super-stardom going up in flames (or was that just my dinner? SHIT!)  I had to pick myself up, dust myself off and find something that I was good at.

Now, if I’d been good at working incredibly hard for years at a time, sacrificing everyone and everything I love to complete the biggest, most thankless task known to mankind – then I’d have become an author. But I wasn’t, so I didn’t.

What I had been doing, was a whole lot of nothing. Small, dead-end jobs which had been slowly sucking the life out of me while I strove in vain to make my Big Break. It occurred to me, quite out of the blue, that if I carried on doing those little jobs – but abroad – then they would transform into something so much more exciting! Imagine working in Starbucks. Not a bad job, right? Now imagine working in Starbucks on Bondi Beach. Nip out for a quick surf on your lunch-break… NOW we’re talking!

So I packed my bags and left.

I wish I could say that it was everything I’d hoped for. But that would be a lie. Because I soon discovered that, if something is going to go wrong, then it’s going to go wrong to me. At me. All over me. While I’m inside it – or trying desperately not to be… Yes, I am a magnet for trouble. So if you see me when you’re on holiday, run. Seriously. Unless you like being shot at, attacked by the local wildlife or falling off cliffs.

On the upside, only so much weirdness can happen to one person before he just has to write a book about it. This I have now done. And yet there seems to be no sign of it abating. So I’ve decided to resign myself to living a life of bizarre, accidental, uncomfortable and often embarrassing events. And I guess you had better get used to reading about them…

Tony James Slater, 2017

24 thoughts on “Tony’s Story

  1. Hi Barbara,
    Strangely enough, it hasn’t made a lot of difference at all – until now! I’ve been in my writing cave, and Roo is now working full-time on her own crafting business, so we’re both at home all day every day anyway! We did have some trips planned later this year, and wanted to spend early next year in Europe again, but that’s not going to happen as the Aussie government won’t let us leave until June 2021! So, we’ll probably be going a little stir-crazy by then, but apart from that we’ve been incredibly lucky. People are still buying books, so we can still afford to eat, and no-one we know has been ill. Fingers crossed it stays that way! Has it affected you a lot?
    Best wishes,

  2. I loved all your memoir/travel books & am looking forward to reading your science fiction. You’re marvelously talented!

  3. Awww! Thanks Cheryl 😉 The sci fi stuff is very different of course, but I managed to squeeze in a few comedy moments! And of course, you’ll recognise Roo’s contribution immediately… 😉

  4. Hi Tony & Roo
    Thanks for cheering up a mid aged back packer, really enjoyed ‘Bear ate Pants’ & your quest for fame book. Good to know I’m not the only cockeyed, overly optimistic adventurous type on this planet. Was crying with laughter over your exploits in bear pants. Love your refreshingly human, down to Earth writing style. Well done. Brilliant. Best of wishes to you & Roo, keep writing & creating !!

  5. Hi Catt! Thank-you so much for those lovely words! We try to stay optimistic, even when the world tries to make it harder! We’re very much looking forward to our next adventure, though it’s looking that that won’t be for a while – we’re in Australia at the moment, and they won’t let us leave! Still, there are worse places to be stuck 😉
    I hope you enjoy the other books – plenty more craziness in there… and yes, it was mostly my fault!
    Best wishes,

  6. Hi Tony and Roo! I’m glad you decided to write for a living, because I love reading it. Please carry on. Stay well and may God bless!

  7. Hi Deb! And I’m glad you enjoyed the books! I’m hoping to start working on another one soon… meanwhile, I’ve been trying my hand at writing science fiction, and Roo has started a business making handbags. But do not fear, our adventures are far from over 😉

  8. Hi Tony,
    I just left you a top star rating on Goodreads and the following review:

    “ Entertaining and witty style and a great read for eco animal lovers. I picked this book up strictly for the promised humour during our Covid lockdown and it is entertaining, I’m guessing especially for rough nature lovers.

    Although I’d highly recommend this tome for young men, if you’re an old Victorian biddy, such as me, you might want to pass as it can be rather tedious after a bit. Still a great read though for eco warriors and gals such as a young woman I encountered in New Zealand who was happy as a clam to eat out of a pot in a communal kitchen. ”

    I think you’re enormously talented and the acting community’s loss is the reading community’s joy! Keep safe dear fellow, I think you may have just inspired me to write a bit myself ( fairly eclectic background & experiences) albeit at a rather somewhat advanced stage of life! I’m looking forward to reading your sci-fi!!


    Nancy in Canada

  9. Hi Nancy,
    Thank-you so much! It’s so great to get thoughtful reviews like this, they really help people to decide if the book is for them 😉
    I don’t think the acting community is missing much, but I’m very much enjoying the writing side of things. Especially now I’ve made the leap to sci-fi, because I get to make stuff up! SO much easier 😉
    Thanks for getting in touch. I hope you had a lovely Christmas!
    Best wishes,

  10. Hi a belated Happy New Year to you and Roo. It’s your fault it’s belated as I’ve been binge reading all your books . I’ve now finished them all. Loved them, reviewed them (Just need to post !) recommended them so what now?? Please don’t suggest catching up on the stuff I should have done, whilst catching up on the stuff you did.

  11. Hi Yvonne!
    Happy New year! I barely know what month it is at the moment, what with everything that’s going on. I’m so glad you enjoyed the books, and thank-you so much for reviewing them! If I had to recommend something else, it would be George Mahood’s books, starting with ‘Free Country’. Amazing books, my personal faves, but I won’t waffle on in case you’ve already read ’em. If you have, Adam Fletcher also does some travel memoirs that are really funny (‘Don’t Go There’, and the sequel ‘Don’t Come Back’). And then, if you don’t mind a bit of bad language (okay, A LOT of bad language, hands down the funniest book I’ve ever read in my life is ‘Don’t Tell Mum I Work on The Rigs’ by Paul Carter. I actually peed myself whilst reading it, which was unfortunate as I was at work at the time…
    But don’t go and do chores. Life’s too short for that crap 😉
    Hope you’re well!

  12. Hi Tony! I’ve been a fan of yours since book #1 and a fan of Roo’s since book #2. Every now and then I pop in to see what y’all are up to. That means I’m nosing about for an update, please. Wishing you and Roo fair winds and fine adventures.

  13. Hi Sherrill!
    Thank-you!!! The latest news is, We Are Not Alone… as in, Roo and I now have a tony little daughter! Freya Grace, born just over a month ago, weighing just 2.2kg (4lbs 8oz ish).
    So! Our next adventure is just beginning… and so far, it’s shaping up to be the toughest one yet. Who ever thought I should have responsibility like this!?!! Not me, that’s for sure… anyhoo, it’s keeping me busy, so the writing is taking a bit of a break. But I’ll be back… no doubt with a book full of poo and vomit inspired stories 😉
    Hope you’re well!
    Best wishes,

  14. CONGRATULATIONS you three!!! And welcome, Freya Grace! What strange and wonderful parents you’ve lucked up on. May your life be filled with extraordinary adventures and much much love!

  15. Thank-you! We’re struggling through the newborn stage right now, but I hear it gets easier eventually… like eighteen years or so 😉
    You’re welcome to sed me a friend request on Facebook, if you’re on there, and then you’ll be able to see all the pics I’m putting up of little Freya. She really is tiny!

  16. Hi Tony and Roo,
    3rd time read of ” Shave my Spider ” – and so appreciating your style of writing – and actual use of the English language. You use it to the full – and correctly – which doesn’t always happen in this day and age!
    So do I sound like an English teacher or just old school (albeit very old school) – seriously you do write spectacularly well – and clearly provide huge enjoyment along the way!
    My all time favourite statement – and most memorable – referring to Annabel at Kinabatangan – “be afraid” – WOW1
    Say no more!
    Huge thanks – and congratulations on your little daughter – enjoy!
    Liz Burchill

  17. Hi Liz!
    Wow, THREE re-reads?! You must be keen! Thank-you so much, it means the world to me that you’re enjoying my stories enough to read them more than once. It’s funny, because I tend to think my use of language is pretty awful, especially compared to the big name travel writers like Bryson and Paul Theroux. I just sort of write it the same way I’d tell the story to a bunch of mates… I guess I’m learning a few tricks as I go along though 😉
    Freya is finally becoming more manageable, and we’re starting to enjoy the whole process of being parents… well, a BIT. 90% of the time it’s still just a LOT of hard work and struggle… but there’s finally a few good bits in the mix. She just started crawling a few days ago!
    Hope you’re well!
    Best wishes,

  18. Hello Tony and family,

    Congratulations to you and Roo on welcoming Freya into the world! I actually found your first book on Amazon and started reading the series as I was about to deliver our little boy, and have absolutely loved your wit, sarcasm, and style of writing – had me laughing out loud at times, which is a pretty rare occurrence for me! Now that our little Anthony is here, I have had a lot more time to read as I sit and feed him, and am just starting Shave My Spider. Thank you, your books have made waking up 4 times a night to a crying newborn almost enjoyable! ? Can’t wait to find out why you were being chased by machine-gun-armed officers in China….

    I hope you, Roo, and Freya are doing well, and hopefully you’ll treat us to more accounts of the adventures you set out on, this time with a child along for the journey!

    All the best,

  19. Hi Liz! That’s fantastic, congratulations on your little fella! I think Anthony is a very good, character building name… not that I’m biased at all 😉
    Those sleepless nights of endless feeding still haunt my dreams… or would, if I got enough sleep to dream these days! Who said having kids would be fun? Well, no-one, and they were right! Still, I’m sure there are rewards in the future… when Freya and Anthony have kids of their own, and we can be conveniently off on a world cruise when they accidentally burn their school down…
    China was another ‘high point’ in our lives – probably the most difficult thing we’ve done, until Freya. Ha! We’d eat China for breakfast these days! Not that they’d ever let us back there.
    I hope you enjoy the rest of the books! I’m hard (ish) at work on the next one, so hopefully that’ll be ready before our kids hit puberty… though at the rate I’m going, best we don’t hold our breathe 😉
    Thanks for getting in touch! And congratulations again!
    Best wishes,
    Tony (plus Roo and Freya too)

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