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All the best: Author Tony MacAuley on his favourite things

Tony MacAuley

By Kerry McKittrick

Published 16/05/2016

Tony MacAuley
Tony MacAuley

The 52-year-old is the best-selling author of Paperboy in which he recounts his days delivering this newspaper. He is married to Lesley and they have two children, Beth (22) and Hope (20).

My best moment

That has to be the birth of my two children. I think it's interesting that the older I get the more special it becomes. Obviously, at the time it was amazing, but as time has gone on, I think the days they were born were the two most important of my life. When you're a young parent you don't really know what you're going to do. Once you've brought your children up and they become independent, that's when you realise just how important the beginning of their lives were.

My best song

At the moment, I'm loving 7 years by Lukas Graham, I think it's a superb song. The most perfect pop song that has ever been written is The Winner Takes It All by Abba.

My best way to relax

I like to meditate and have meditation podcasts and apps on my phone. I also practise centering prayer (contemplative prayer which places a strong emphasis on inner silence) which is an ancient form of prayer. I used to read a lot of self-help books which nurtured my interest in the concepts of meditation and mindfulness, and the idea of having good mental health.

My best job

I could say that my best job ever was working for the Belfast Telegraph as it was my first job and I think you learn so much in that job. I wrote the book about it and have now travelled the world doing book readings where lots of people tell me that being a paperboy or girl was their first job, too. It taught me responsibility and how to deal with or earn money. It was also the catalyst for me to write.

My best advice

My father used to say "no one is better than you and you're better than no one" and I have kind of lived by that. I mix with very different people from all walks of life. One day I will be coaching senior level executives in London and the next I'll be back in Belfast dealing with homeless young people. I don't treat anyone differently and I think it's because of my father's advice. It sunk in somewhere.

My best movie

Witness - it's a movie from the early Eighties starring Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis about a cop who spends time in an Amish community. I'm very interested in the Amish people and have visited Amish country. I think they have something to teach the rest of us about peace, forgiveness and simplicity in life. The film shows the contrast between the Amish way of life and the rest of us.

My best gift

For my 50th birthday, my wife took me to Stockholm to spend a day in the Abba museum. That was a brilliant present.

My best achievement

I remember being in New York and going to the big Barnes and Noble bookshop on Fifth Avenue. Paperboy was on the shelf by the front door in the new releases section and I just couldn't believe it. I had been so excited to see it on the shelf in Eason's on Royal Avenue, so that was amazing. It took off in just a few years and I remember wondering how this had happened.

My best buy

It has to be my iPhone and I am lost without it, literally, as I use Google Maps to get around when I'm in London. My wife complains that I'm too attached to it now, as I'm always on it. It's weird but I can't imagine life without it.

My best book

My favourite book is called The Bridge On The Drina by a Bosnian writer called Ivo Andric. I did a lot of work in the Balkans after the war in the former Yugoslavia training youth workers, so I really got to know Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and I fell in love with that part of the world. It's a story of hundreds of years told from the point of view of the bridge.

  • For more information on Tony and his works visit tony macaulayauthor.com

Belfast Telegraph

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