Monday, 07 January 2013
Tony Mitton was born in 1951 in North Africa, the son of a soldier. Until he was 9 he lived mostly in Africa, Germany and Hong Kong. He went to state boarding school in Suffolk and went on to do an English Literature degree at Cambridge University. He then trained to be an English teacher before making the switch to primary school teaching.
Tony worked as a primary school teacher between the ages of 25 to 49, but for the last 13 years of that period he taught part-time. During that period he began to spend 2 or 3 days a week working at his writing, and wrote poems and stories for school reading books and also for trade market books. He now writes full-time and visits lots of schools, libraries and events to talk about his work.
He lives in a small house in the middle of Cambridge with his wife and two children, and a cat called Tiggy, who is definitely one of the family. Tony likes Cambridge but he and his wife often wish they’d settled somewhere where there are better places for walking, like cliffs and hills with good views of the landscape.
“What I probably most like doing is writing poems and verse. I love tinkering with the words until I’ve got them just right. I’ve always loved reading poems and stories, and I usually have several books on the go. I have a great interest in folk and fairy tales and legends. Also, when I was in my teens I used to spend a lot of time singing folk and blues songs which I accompanied on the guitar. I’m still very fond of many kinds of music, but don’t manage to find much time to listen or play at present. I also like film and TV fiction, which are, of course, story in another form.
Aside from his writing Tony enjoys cooking and baking, social meals, family life arid going off to visit places when it is possible. He loves talking to his children about what they are doing, and to his wife, who knows a lot about books, art and history.
Scholastic published Tony Mitton’s first poetry anthology Plum, The Seal Hunter part of the Everystory series of stories for £1.00 and most recently The Red & White Spotted Handkerchief which has won a silver award at the 2000 Nestle Smarties Book Prize.