A perfect Sunday with... Antony Johnston
Hobbits, Moomins and world's greatest detective together at last!
Every week, one of my pals reveals how they’d fill their perfect Sunday, sharing their favourite comfort reads, movies, food… anything that would make their weekend great. Today, it’s the turn of the author of The Dog Sitter Detective, Antony Johnston.
Antony’s perfect Sunday… brunch
I don’t really do brunch! I simply have breakfast as soon as I get up. However, there are few things better in my mind than a late breakfast – which you can call brunch if you squint hard enough – in an old-school New York diner, which I’ve done many times while attending comic-cons and festivals.
It’s not even just about the food (although you couldn’t beat a simple omelette & home fries from the old Market Diner in Hell’s Kitchen, RIP); all life is there, as the saying goes, and I love to watch the day-to-day bustle play out across formica tables.
Antony’s perfect Sunday… read
I’m a monogamous reader, so most Sundays I simply continue reading whatever I’m already on, and I wouldn’t change that. I read mostly crime and science fiction, and as vice chair of the Crime Writers’ Association I often find myself buried in ‘obligation reads’, but all I really care about is whether it’s good. So long as it is, that’s a perfect Sunday read for me.
At the time of writing I’m making my way through The Devil’s Due, an excellent Sherlock Holmes novel by Bonnie MacBird.
Antony’s perfect Sunday… comic
I only read collections and graphic novels these days, so comics all go into the same to-read pile as books. If I find myself finishing a book on a Saturday, though, I’m definitely inclined to spend Sunday reading a big oversized edition of something, like my big hardback Moomins collection; perfect comfort reading.
Antony’s perfect Sunday… movie
I’m a full-time writer, and I keep fairly traditional office hours, but many weekday evenings are spent dealing with emails and meetings with clients in the US. So Sunday is normally when I get chance to watch (or re-watch) something for which I wouldn’t otherwise have the time. If I’m in the mood for a comfort rewatch, I might put on the extended edition of The Fellowship of the Ring.
Antony’s perfect Sunday… TV binge
I’m pretty sure that by now this imaginary Sunday would be over! 😉 But supposing it’s eternal, I’d either want to watch something that has me on the edge of my seat from episode to episode like Severance or a show where I can relax and recline, like old Columbo reruns.
Antony’s perfect Sunday… podcast
I’m biased, but my go-to lazy-day podcast is Game Show on the Incomparable network, where the panelists play everything from Trivial Pursuit to a home-brewed version of Family Feud. I’m a frequent guest myself, and even host a series of Triv games on the show, so like I say: biased. But even when I’m not on it, few things can make laugh more.
Antony’s perfect Sunday… album
For a lazy Sunday, it would have to be an album that deserves listening in a single sitting, without interruption; a classic like Genesis’s The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, or a more modern opus like Year of No Light’s unofficial Vampyr soundtrack.
Antony’s perfect Sunday… treat
Personally, I think everything I’ve already listed is a treat! But if you mean things I don’t get to do as often as I’d like, something like a relaxing day wandering around Wycoller, or an energetic Cud gig in Leeds. In fact, why not both? That sounds pretty perfect to me.
The Dog Sitter Detective by Antony Johnston is out now from Allison and Busby.
Meet Gwinny, an unlikely bloodhound, and her four-legged friends determined to dig up the truth.
Penniless Gwinny Tuffel is delighted to attend her good friend Tina’s upmarket wedding. But when the big day ends with a dead body and not a happily-ever-after, Gwinny is left with a situation as crooked as a dog’s hind leg.
When her friend is accused of murder, Gwinny takes it upon herself to sniff out the true culprit. With a collection of larger-than-life suspects and two pedigree salukis in tow, she is set to have a ruff time of it.
(PS Nothing bad happens to the dogs!)
Antony Johnston is a New York Times bestselling writer. The Charlize Theron movie Atomic Blonde is based on his graphic novel; his critically acclaimed Brigitte Sharp thrillers are in development for TV; and Dead Space, his first videogame, redefined its genre. He recently returned to survival horror to write Resident Evil Village, the Game of the Year-winning eighth instalment in the blockbuster franchise.
His productivity guide The Organised Writer has helped authors all over the world take control of their workload, and he interviews fellow writers on his podcast Writing and Breathing.
Antony's work includes The Exphoria Code, The Dog Sitter Detective, The Patrios Network, Daredevil, Shang-Chi, Shadow of Mordor, the Alex Rider graphic novels, and more. He wrote and directed the film Crossover Point, made entirely in quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic.
Antony is joint vice chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, a member of the International Thriller Writers group, a Shore Scripts screenwriting judge, and sits on the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain’s videogames committee. He lives and works in England.
Come back next week for a perfect Sunday with Wesley Chu. In fact, make my Sunday by subscribing to the Cavletter today!
A note from Cav: Usually, I would have considered putting a picture of my guest’s comic choice, but I’ve suffered from a Moomin phobia ever since I was a kid. Seriously, the merest glimpse of the little fuzzy things brings me out in a cold sweat, and so I apologise to Anthony, while also shaking my fist at him for reminding me of the cursed things! 😉 😱
Moomin phobia?!?! 😭😭😭 I'm so sorry, I had no idea
I love these.