Tag Archives: Author Interview

Release Blitz and Author Interview: ‘Fever’ by Ellen Mint

Title: Fever

Inquisition Series Book 2

Author: Ellen Mint

Genre: Romance Suspense

Release Date: 23rd October 2018

 

About the Book:

Hot soldier + brilliant doctor = a thrilling romance in the desert heat.

Stand-alone second book in the series begun by Undercover Siren

Doctor Mae Jones had no idea when she agreed to assist the army in vaccinating children half-way around the world what she’d face. She didn’t sign up for a sexy British officer trailing her every move, his giddy smile and sunshine good-looks distracting her. Nor did she expect the sudden rebel attacks and bullets flying while she attempts to try to cure an unexplainable virus about to threaten the whole world. It’s up to her to try and stop a war before it even begins while she keeps falling for this man who’s her total opposite in every way but the heart.

In the second entry of the Inquisition series, this stand-alone novel presents Alistair Young. For those tired of the alpha who want someone sweet as cotton candy, Alistair is your man. Easy on the eyes, and light on the heart — he’s prone to cracking jokes and playing card games with the sick kids. For all his easy-going ways he knows how dangerous growing close to the new genius doctor can be, but he can’t look away either.

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

My name is Ellen Mint and my background is in microbiology, specifically genetics. I married a food scientist so we’re the kind of people who compare molds you find on bread. We are also big into Halloween and often craft our own props. Just this year I made my own mermaid corpse for the yard.

I got into writing professionally in perhaps the nerdiest way possible. There was a short story contest for a video game where the winner was rewarded with a sword. Taking a shot, I wound up winning in my category. The sword’s still on my wall and I realized that I could create something people enjoy.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

Kitchen table, late afternoon and after seven. I’ve found that I’ve gotten my writing time and place so ingrained that if I don’t have a new project to tackle I feel lost. It’s become an addiction.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Joe, the idea gremlin that lives in my basement. He can be useful, but you have to sort through a lot of crap and never feed him after midnight. He keeps bringing up this Son of the Krampus idea that I might have to write to get him to stop.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

I like to work through scenes before I put them to keyboard. This is where my dog helps, her daily walks are a great time to play them out in my head. This helps me to slot scenes into the overall arc of the book itself. However, those scenes almost never play out exactly how I planned. Characters have a nasty habit of doing what they want.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

Romantic Suspense. The romance because goofy guys, quiet warriors, and general dorks are my jam and I want to put more heroes like that out into the world. I’m not an alpha-hero person. All of my heroes would never be called cocky.

The suspense part because I get bored easily and like to have lives on the line. When in doubt, add in a stabbing to spice things up.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

For Alistair, the goofy soldier, Robert Buckley from iZombie. For Mae, the genius doctor, Denée Benton from The Great Comet of 1812.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

See question 9

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

See question 9

9: What is your favourite book and why?

The Count of Monte Cristo. I know, I know, a doorstopper classic. But what I adore about it is how the Count himself is an agent not of chaos but karma. While his plans are elaborate to the point of farce, every one of the downfalls comes about because of those who wronged him. Their own sins are what he uses to damn them, thereby getting revenge not only for himself but the other people they hurt.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

It’s incredibly lonely at times, so get yourself a support group. Have not only a beta reader, but someone who will cheer you on through it. Network, network, network. Also, invest in a really comfy cushion for your bum. When you’re struggling to get into a scene, having to sit in a hard chair will not help.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

You can find my books on my Amazon Site, or my own website. I’m also on Bookbub, Twitter, and Tumblr.

Website: www.blablover5.wixsite.com/ellenmint

Blog: www.intbride.blogspot.com

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Ellen-Mint/e/B07B44TK45

Twitter: @introvertedwife

Tumblr: authorellenmint.tumblr.com

Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/profile/ellen-mint

 

Excerpt:

Mae stretched her arms over her back and tried to crack her neck. After digging into her eyes a moment she glanced back at her barely silent partner, “Tell me we’re finished.”

The captain’s smile resumed, not that it ever dimmed much. “Yeah, once the sun’s heading down, it’s over. How are you holding up?”

Her legs ached and her butt was going numb. Not that she was going to tell him that. Not as if he could assist in any way. Stop staring. “Good,” Mae settled for being the not-complaining doctor. With no work ahead of her, her stomach chose that moment to rise from its destitute state. “Hungry though.”

“I’ve got an idea. Uh, give me a few to clear things,” he moved to step out of his imposed corner. In the tight space of a room crammed with a medical table, her examination desk chair, and the fridge, there wasn’t much room left. Alistair’s warm shoulder accidentally grazed against Mae’s. She gulped at the contact, absently rubbing it when he slid out the door.

“Should I do anything to prepare?” Mae called to him.

Alistair turned to look over his shoulder, “Maybe get into something more comfortable?” Her eyes shot open wide and he gasped, “I didn’t mean. Uh, not like that that! Just, you won’t need your lab coat. If you want a t-shirt or…” he rubbed a hand over his head, mussing up the tall hair, “never mind. Do whatever you want. Meet you by the tents in five.”

With that, he dashed away, his cheeks a fiery red. She hated to even think it, but his bumbling was sort of adorable. Really adorable.

Oh, come on, Mae. He’s a random grunt in the army. A random grunt with a delectable British accent, a body carved by the gods of old, and a smile brighter than the sun.

 

About the Author:

Ellen Mint adores the adorkable heroes who charm with their shy smiles and heroines that pack a punch. She recently won the Top Ten Handmaid’s Challenge on Wattpad where hers was chosen by Margaret Atwood herself. Along with her husband and black lab, she spends a lot of time with her skeletons — don’t worry, they’re just Halloween props.

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Author Interview: ‘A Place Called Schugara’ by Joe English

About the Book:

A story of life, death, love lost and meaning found in Schugara and beyond.

Who among us has not dreamed of going to the corner store and simply disappearing? Travers Landeman, a businessman from Ohio, fakes his death on the Caribbean island Mabouhey. The question is: does he get away with it? Travers flees: from a loveless marriage, from a failing business, from blackmail. He had had a close relationship with his nephew Matthew, but, as the years passed, he let his nephew slip away, he let himself slip away. Matthew, a teenager, is sexually abused by his parish priest, Father Art. Matt reaches out to his uncle for help, but Travers turns away. Matthew commits suicide by shooting himself, but Travers knows it is his selfish fear that pulled the trigger. On Mabouhey Travers is injured when he rescues a child, Schugara, from the great shark, Kintura. Travers and Schugara’s mother, Marguerite, fall in love and build their home on the side of a volcano at a place they name after Marguerite’s daughter, a place called Schugara. The years pass. It appears that Travers has gotten away with it. . . .until a private investigator, Albert Sidney McNab, shows up. He has been hired by the Atlantis Fidelity Insurance Company to bring Travers back to Ohio.

A Chicago bookseller, Joe Rogers, leads a group of amateur archeologists to Mabouhey. At the dig site he unearths an ancient treasure, a jeweled mask dating to the Arawak era. His ankle is broken. Joe is carried on a stretcher to Schugara, where Marguerite tells him Travers’ story.

What then transpires at a place called Schugara, is, if not a state of wonder, certainly matters worthy of thought. This much happens: the mask is taken to the United States, where it is auctioned at Sotheby’s by Esmerelda McNab, United Nations Ambassador of the world’s newest nation, the Commonwealth of the Island of Mabouhey, despite protestors from Columbia University, who denounce the sale as “cultural genocide.” This much happens as well: Father Art is beaten to death in his jail cell while awaiting trial. Are the other aspects of SCHUGARA’s denouement, its dotting of “i”s and crossing of “t”‘s, satisfying and satisfactory? The reader must decide.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you into writing?

In his poem, “Lovliest of trees,” A. E. Housman wrote,

Now, of my three score years and ten,

Twenty will not come again,

And, since for watching things in bloom,

Fifty years is little room,

About the woodlands I will go

To see the cherry hung with snow.

Well, I’m now entering my seventy-fifty year. I understand that this is OLD. Doesn’t register much, however. I have led an interesting life, raised as a child in Mexico City, Mexico, though I am a North American of mongrel European descent. I have lived my entire adult life in Black America. Like my age, my skin color is something I know to be what it is, but, again, doesn’t register much. I believe the most important rule of writing is having something to say. I am disappointed that so many of the dreams of my young adulthood–the inspiring sixties, in particular, have gotten detoured.  How is it that we take residential racial segregation as the norm? That we have adjusted our entire society to its continuation? Why are white folks, for the most part, so clueless when it comes to the Black experience? So… I write about what I know, what I have lived for close to half a century.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

Early mornings. Anywhere quiet. Good sunlight.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

My themes come from all around me, from everywhere, if my eyes are open and mind aware, of my immediate surroundings as well as the world at large. Is ours a nation that intentionally separates families and brags about it? That’ll show them. That’ll each them. A nation that incarcerates millions of our fellow citizens for the slightest of offenses while letting perpetrators of major crimes off either scot-free or with a slap on the wrist?

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

Both. The plot is a clothesline on which to pin ideas, thoughts, themes. People tend to wander in. Characters, an unruly bunch, try to monopolize.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

Literary fiction. There is no reason to destroy forests so that banal ideas, titillation, tripe, and stupidy go on and on. Have something to say and say it well. Razzle-dazzle ’em with an unusual pairing of words, a deft pirouette of phrase, some word blendings to dance like a firefly.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

I would intentionally want unknown and struggling actors to play the major roles. I could see John Candy as Albert Sidney McNab except for the lamentable reality that John Candy is no longer with us. Morgan Freeman for Zero Washington Roosevelt Lincoln. Daniel Katuuya for Schugay.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I read all the time. Mucho. Frank Norris.Chinua Achebe. John Steinbeck. Fitzgerald. Barbara Kingsolver.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

Birds Without Wings. The Undoing Project. I just finished a biography of Woodrow Wilson, hypocrite extraordinaire, by Patricia O’Toole, The Moralist.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Can’t pick one. The Poisonwood Bible. Things Fall Apart. Giovanni’s Room. All have something to say. All say it well.

Recent disappointments: Beautiful Ruins (stupid; dishonest; cheap:  the author, in the third person talking to me, as reader, lies)

A Gentleman in Moscow [yeah, a revolution was taking place; starvation widespread, state terrorism taking over: really?)

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Do not have children. Live simply. Pay attention. Do not get stuck in the rat race.  Seek the unknown. Branch out. Ask. Listen. Shop at second hand stores. Move to the ghetto.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?

Luddite that I am, I have never sent a text message. I hate Facebook. I do not understand Twitter. My caring friends have created a website, which I rather like: https://sites.google.com/view/schugaraor, simply, schugara.com. A radical answer: read A PLACE CALLED SCHUGARA.

 

 

About the Author:

Along with William Carlos Williams, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, and Victor Cruz, Joe English is a proud son of Paterson, New Jersey (with one “t.”) He came of age in Mexico City, Mexico. He worked as a ranch hand at the Wild Horn Ranch in Florissant, Colorado. He has a B. A. cum laude from Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and an M. A. from Rice University in Houston, Texas. English is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.

He has lived for 47 years in the Austin neighborhood on Chicago’s west side. When Austin resegregated from 100% Caucasian to 95+% African-American in 1970-71, English was one of a handful of residents who cast down their buckets with their new neighbors. As a minority in a majority minority community, he has a unique perspective on the state of urban America. English was featured in a 60 Minutes broadcast as a first hand witness to neighborhood resegregation in Chicago.

He was a professor at Triton College in River Grove, Illinois, for sixteen years. He founded Oak Park Real Estate in 1984, which provided decent, safe, and affordable housing, primarily in the Austin neighborhood. At its peak, Oak Park Real Estate managed 900 residential apartments. He still maintains a residence in Austin but now spends much of his time in Sosua, Dominican Republic, founded by Jewish refugees in the late 1930’s. “I live in two soulful places,” English says. “I am doubly blessed.” English’s writings have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Reader and Co-Existence, the literary journal which featured the works of Henry Miller. His most recent publication, the short story Mrs. Padgett’s Pearls, was selected by Zimbell House Publishing for the anthology After Effects.

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Author Interview: ‘The Divine Sedition’ by Martin Lundqvist

About the Book:

In the year 2872, a rebel-fugitive of The Martian Humanist Alliance, Keila Eisenstein crashes down on Eden, while running away from the Rear Admiral of Terran Council, Bjorn Muller; killing the God-dictator Abraham Goldstein and gaining the mind-control technology to dominate Eden’s population. Teaming up with Metatron, the Archangel guardian of Eden, Keila fakes her own death to fool Bjorn Muller to give up on his fugitive hunt.

Keila faces overwhelming odds trying to take down the overpowered Terran Council that has been dominating the solar system and oppressing most of humanity on Earth and Mars for over 500 years. She is governed by her primal instincts and premonitions, which made her the Chosen One: Her extra-terrestrial Divine connection. Her telepathic visions are leading her the way, and with access to The Divine Control Centre, Keila can unveil secrets of ancient Zetan civilisations that will help her free her people from the oppression of the Terran Council, Houses of evil plutocrats governing Earth and Mars. But with her Divine connection comes a price, so are the Zetans, using Keila as a puppet to gain control of Earth, or is it Rangda, the Xeno demon who lead her to the path of destruction instead, in fact better than the oppressors she seeks to dominate?

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you into writing?

I have always been writing something, from blogs to school essays etc. Back in 2013, I was sick of blogging as it became repetitive and a friend suggested to me that I wrote novels instead as that gives more creative freedom.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I prefer to write things at home with as few distractions as possible. I like to go for a walk in the park or along the ocean pondering on plot lines, but the actual writing I prefer to do at home.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I think my ideas come from my brain but that they are deeply connected with the things I read and play. Most of my works have a lot of uniqueness to them for better or worse, but creativity doesn’t occur in a vacuum and it’s impossible to be truly unique in a world 7 billion people.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

I always start my major writing projects by writing a plot outline where I outline what is going to happen in the plot. I only follow this outline loosely, however, and the result is often quite a bit different from the original outline

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

So, I have written one crime story, two science fiction books, one kid’s book and one parody, so I would say I am genre fluid in that sense. I mostly gravitate towards science fiction and fantasy in my writing though as that gives me more creative freedom than other genres. I tend to be more interested in concepts than in visuals, and I feel like science fiction is a good genre for me to write for that reason.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

I am not a fanboy and I usually don’t obsess about actors. I would love to see the Divine Sedition being made into a movie, and I have some thoughts on how I would like the movie to play out and what the actors should look like. Ideally, I would like less established actors so that the movie is the about the plot and not about the individual actor’s stardom.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I read a moderate amount, a lot of my reading is on forums such as Quora. I am not really into favourite actors, authors etc. and I more interested in the plot and what it is telling me.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I am reading the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and the Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama (Howard Cutler)

9: What is your favourite book and why?

I like the Lord of the Rings trilogy by Tolkien, so I’ll vote for that one.

10: What advice would you give to someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Just start writing. If you have an idea you should be able to get a full-length novel manuscript out in

200 hours or so. It might sound like a lot but subtract that time from when you are doing unproductive and stupid things like watching TV and it all adds up. As writing will be your hobby for now. Only write when you feel like it, but try to set aside time for it like you would any other hobby, (training, sports, holidays, religion etc)

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work? 

Website: www.martinlundqvist.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/martinlundqvistauthor

 

About the Author:

My background:
I am a Swedish male born in 1985. I have been to Australia since 2012, and I have been with my partner Elaine since 2013.

My writing roots:
When I was younger I used to write blogs for the joy of writing and for attention. Unfortunately my blogs were pretty controversial and caused me more problems in life than I bargained for, so eventually I gave up on blogging.
In 2013 an acquaintance suggested that I wrote fiction instead of blogs. With a fair bit of enthusiasm I wrote my first book a psychological crime thriller James Locker: The Duality of Fate in a couple of months back in 2013.

Late in 2016 I decided to take up book writing again as it is a hobby with more potential upside than playing video games on my spare time. I finished my Science Fiction novel The Divine Dissimulation a year later

In July 2018 I released the Divine Sedition which is the sequel to the Divine Dissimulation. It is faster and slightly more mainstream than its prequel.

I have also written a children’s book as an experiment called “Matt’s Amazing Week” I am currently working on two projects The Divine Finalisation which is the third and final entry in the Divine Zetan Trilogy and Divine Space Gods: Abraham’s follies which is a light-hearted parody on the Divine Dissimulation.

My style:
My personal approach to writing is that I write what I feel like writing with limited regards to what others want to read. As my works are work of fiction I tend to include controversial topics, as I am not bound to political correct self-censorship.

My independence in book writing is not because I inherently want to rebel against what people want to read, but simply because I have no idea what people do want to read, hence I might as well write what I want to write and hope for the best.

The writing style is quiet different in my two novels. While James Locker is mostly character and dialogue driven The Divine Dissimulation is mostly driven by concept and world building. The Divine Sedition is a mix of the two styles.

 

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Blog Tour and Author Interview: ‘Dear Mr Pop Star’ by Derek & Dave Philpott

Title: Dear Mr Pop Star

Authors: Derek & Dave Philpott

Genre: Popular Music / Humour

 

 

About the Book:

A collection of hilarious letters to iconic pop and rock stars with fantastic in-on-the-joke replies from the artists themselves: Eurythmics, Heaven 17, Deep Purple, Devo, Dr. Hook and many, many more…

For more than a decade, Derek Philpott and his son, Dave, have been writing deliberately deranged letters to pop stars from the 1960s to the 90s to take issue with the lyrics of some of their best-known songs. They miss the point as often as they hit it.

But then, to their great surprise, the pop stars started writing back…

Dear Mr Pop Star contains 100 of Derek and Dave’s greatest hits, including correspondence with Katrina and the Waves, Tears for Fears, Squeeze, The Housemartins, Suzi Quatro, Devo, Deep Purple, Nik Kershaw, T’Pau, Human League, Eurythmics, Wang Chung, EMF, Mott the Hoople, Heaven 17, Jesus Jones, Johnny Hates Jazz, Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, Chesney Hawkes and many, many more.

 

Review:

“If you don’t like this book, then you’re no friend of mine.” Ivan Doroschuk, Men Without Hats

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Extract:

Dear Hazell Dean,

I found your song on the internet whilst looking for how to get to friends in Hazeldene, Chieveley.

In these celebrity and appearance-obsessed times it is admirable that you are searchin’ (looking for love) for a man who needn’t be handsome or have fortune or fame.

I fear however that you may be setting your sights a bit low, Ms Dean. You appear, rather than ”looking for someone to share your life” with’ on nights out with friends or on tentative dates, to be ”seekin’ ” a long-term partner either on the train, or, more worryingly, as reinforced by your disclosure that you ”want no disguises”, a Police I.D. Parade, as you ”move on down the line”.

It is suspected that your judgement may have been impaired by ”never sleepin”’ and that there is no guarantee that a stranger on the Underground, or for that matter, from the Underworld is likely to be ”sweet and kind’.’

”Whatever You Do, Wherever You Go”, Ms. Dean, I implore you to be cautious in your quest and not to explore ”every place you can”.

Yours

Derek Philpott

 

Dear Mr Philpott

Think not of “Searchin’” as a light-hearted missive, extolling the virtues of promiscuity.

No! This work should be considered a seminal piece – a late 20th Century celebration of the seeking of love above all else.

“Searchin’

Looking for love

All the time I can.

Searchin’

Looking for love

I’ve got to find a man.”

This is not a transient pop song, but should be compared as contemporary to the popularist lyrics of Byron, Browning, Rossetti and Wilde.

Were these great romantics ever concerned by the trivialities of sleep sir? I think not.

As the great Oscar Wilde himself wrote:

“You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.”

Additionally, aspersions cast on my predilection for members of the criminal fraternity are most unwelcome and unfounded,and I would therefore be grateful if you could leave me to my insomnia and romantic musings in peace.

Further to this, over the past 35 years I have received 100’s of photographs of dull establishments bearing any vague semblance of my name, in its many variants. The highlights of which include a B&B in Blackpool, and cattery in Crewe and a hovel somewhere slightly South of Brighton.

Why people presume these will interest or even slightly amuse me, I do not know.

Would you enjoy receiving a steady and annually persistent selection of “Philpotts Avenue’s”, “Philpotts Crescents” and “The Philpott Home for the Perpetually Ridiculous”? The novelty wears off very quickly I can assure you.

Quite frankly Mr Philpott the locating of your friends at Hazeldene, Chievely, is of absolutely no interest to me whatsoever.

Yours aggrievedly

Hazell Dean

 

Author Interview:

 

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

My pen-name is Dave Philpott and, alongside my dad, I write deliberately demented letters to iconic rock and pop stars regarding their lyrics, and we publish their replies – they are all in on the joke – with full consent. My dad says hilarious things about records he hears on the radio:

”Yesterday those Weather Girls said that around half past ten there was going to be a shower of geezers.. I put on a hard hat, specially.. I took it off about quarter to eleven. They were talking absolute poppycock”

… and I take notes and formulate his ramblings into fully formed letters. I came into writing as a stenographer I suppose.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

That doesn’t really come into it. We contact the pop stars and tell them about our mad little world and hope they’ll agree to join in and be a part of it. We can sometimes go a few weeks without any material to work with. Then a whole stack might come back and tell us they really love the idea and so we have to crack on and write a slew of silly letters. Any time or place is good for us, we love writing and sending the letters off and waiting for the replies is something pretty exciting because we don’t know what each pop star will come back with.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

We’ll listen to famous song by our latest victim – sorry, ‘volunteer’, and dissect the lyrics. We’ll either find a genuine line that makes no sense and home in on that or if we can’t find anything we’ll just pretend to get the wrong end of the stick for comedic purposes, knowing full well that we’ll be put in our place.

An example of the former would be, say, Aloe Blacc, who tells us that a dollar is what he needs. He then proposes to share his story if we share a dollar with him. Well, firstly, what if the story’s a bit rubbish and we don’t want to pay for it? If Amazon Kindle refunds these days are anything to by, this is a common issue. Secondly, to literally share a dollar would be only to part with half of it. Therefore, Blacc in reality either only needs 50 cents (not the rapper in duplicate) or hasn’t thought his request through and will still be half a dollar short by the end of the transaction. It really isn’t good enough, Mr. Blacc.

An example of the latter would be Lady Gaga. She tell us, ”I was born this way”, but we’d be very surprised if the young lady had entered the world in a frock made of bacon with a telephone stuck to her head.

Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

No we just put on our ‘deranged member of the public’ heads and listen to the songs ‘in character’. Because we cannot anticipate the artists who’ll agree to be part of the project everything has to be done spontaniously and quickly.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

It’s a genre of its own because the project is unique. People compare us to The Timewaster Letters and the Bob Servant ‘Delete at your Peril’ stuff, which we adore. We also love Viz and are flattered to say that they love us too. We also get compared with Henry Root but that is a lazy analogy. Firstly, the writing is poor and secondly he’s vicious. There’s nothing funny about ranting. Calm lunacy is far funnier. Let’s call it ‘Interactive Polite Pop Lunacy’.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Well, all the pop stars are real, so I suppose they’re playing themselves anyway! And we are playing overblown, exaggerated versions of ourselves, so it’s already cast.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I used to! Hemingway, Camus, Mailer..it will change next week. I’m a big fan of Ronson and I love Mark Kermode too

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

Zen Rabbit’s Holistic Guide to Crop Circles by Rob Buckle and Rough Notes by Bruce Thomas

9: What is your favourite book and why?

The Outsider by Albert Camus. A deceptively simplistic written masterpiece about the ludicrous beings that we are.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Don’t be karaoke – make your own music.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?

Website: www.unbound.com/books/dear-mr-pop-star

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ThePhilpotts

Twitter: @derekphilpott

 

 

About the Authors:

Derek and Dave Philpott are the nom de plumes of two ordinary members of the public, working with help from a small family and, crucially, a worldwide social networking community. Neither they, or anybody assisting with the creative aspects of this project had any connections with the music, entertainment, media or publishing industries whatsoever at the time of its commencement. Despite these humble origins, however, they now find themselves in the bizarre but enviable position whereby many pop stars and people within these circles are their friends “in real life’” (whatever that means!). Many artists consider “getting a Dereking” as a badge of honour, and, as one has participant succinctly put it-

‘’This is an ingenious and extremely inventive concept. You have given us a platform to answer questions that have been asked of us for years by our fans, and respond on a public platform of immense fun. You’ve created a weird and wonderful world loved and admired by 1,000s of people worldwide, and you have your own army of loyal fans. That pretty much makes you part of ‘us lot’ now!’’

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Author Interview: ‘Far Away and Further Back’ by Patrick Burns

About the Book:

After his first overseas assignment to the USA in 1975 – just twenty-three with a suitcase and a guitar – corporate nomad, Patrick Burns, kept on moving from country to country rarely declining a fresh challenge in a new location. In these stories from four decades of living and working around the world, he relives some of his most memorable experiences: from dangerous pyrotechnic liaisons in the Algerian desert to a quest to find the Archbishop of Rangoon after a chance meeting in an English village church. The locations and circumstances run the gamut of the quotidian to the exotic; context and time are less relevant than who is met, what transpires and how the experience says something about the human condition.

This exploration of the personal landscape of expatriate life is interwoven with a navigation of some of the ties that have bound his unusual Anglo-German family during the past century; a mixture of hardcore Yorkshire eccentricity (including a grandfather whose obsession with installing indoor toilets inadvertently led to a twenty-five year family rift) and a liberal academic, Hanoverian heritage disoriented by Hitler, the events of 1939-45 and Cold War detente.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

 

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I’m a retired senior human resources executive currently living to the north east of San Francisco. My specialization in international human resources meant that I spent nearly four decades living and working all over the world. Eight countries in total, involving thirteen international moves and twenty-one house moves.

Writing my most recent book “Far Away and Further Back” arose directly from that experience. I had already co-written one of the earliest “how to” books on expatriation (“The Expatriate Handbook – A Guide To Living and Working Overseas” Kogan Page 1993) so the broad subject area was my comfort zone.

This latest book is, hopefully, a lot less dry since it’s a recollection of some of the more memorable things that happened and people that I met in the course of my travels.

In all honesty I retired too soon and too quickly. I’d taken for granted the sense of self-worth that comes with having responsibilities and the need to make things happen in a business. I was desperately looking for something to replace that and writing about what I’d experienced seemed the best option. It gave me a voice I’d been searching for and a formula for writing that was fulfilling – something that allowed me to shake off the dissatisfaction, I still felt from dropping out of corporate life so suddenly

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

Not really. Some of the stories in my current book were started while I was still working and I always enjoyed writing at airports or on planes. It sort of fitted in with the subject matter. These days it’s a little more prosaic. A study overlooking the redwood trees in my garden is my normal perch. Very pleasant but fairly predictable…

I do tend to write best in the early evening before dinner. Probably the prospect of food spurs me on…

3: Where do your ideas come from?

In my case, real life. The stories I recount are 100% what happened. What I try to do is approach the point of the story obliquely and work into the main event – and the point of the narrative – in a way that may surprise the reader. The quest to find a Burmese Archbishop on a visit to Yangon starts with a chance meeting in the church where I was baptized in Yorkshire in England, and with a conversation about stained glass windows. In another story, I describe traveling through (and over) the equatorial rain forests of Borneo but the main event is the oddness of an encounter with a pocket-watch expert while waiting for the arrival of a helicopter in a jungle clearing.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

Yes I do usually have a plan. Again, since I’m giving an account of things that actually happened, I’m less concerned with plot development – given that the events are known. The planning is more in the way I approach the anecdote and what I want to leave in the reader’s mind about the person I met or the experience I had.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I suppose they are a loose form of memoir focusing on travel related experiences and an unusual family history. I felt comfortable with this genre since I believed I’d had some funny and unusual experiences that I thought other people may enjoy hearing about. I use the term “loose” in connection with a memoir because, unlike many books in this genre, the stories aren’t really about me but about what happened when I was in a particular place.  Each story is datelined with a location – often well on the margins of where people usually go – and I consciously avoid a chronological approach to dispel the sense that this was some sort of sequence lifted from a diary.

The format I chose also gave me the opportunity to explore the view that history always informs experience and that family history shapes the person we become. Like many people, I’m fascinated by the way our lives, (in my case a life predominantly of expatriation,) and the way we see the world, are shaped from the intersecting of various lines of family history and events.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Interesting question! Most of the book relates to me in my twenties to forties so I would be looking for an English actor who can play both observer and protagonist depending on the circumstances. Tom Wilkinson (Full Monty) in his younger days would have been a contender. There are too many other people populating the twenty plus stories to work up a full cast – it would be a mixture of mainly British and American players with an equally long list of largely Asian  parts.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I read less than I used to. Fiction doesn’t grab my attention the way it used to. I read a lot of rock biography and books on the history of rock music.

Favorite authors: Paul Theroux, David Mitchell, George Orwell, Anita Shreve, Kate Wilkinson. (Rock non-fiction: Richie Unterberger and  Barney Hoskyns.)

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

“The Sympathizer” – Viet Thanh Nguyen

“The Last Stand – Custer, Sitting Bull and the Battle of the Little Bighorn” – Nathaniel Philbrick

“Our Towns – a 100,000 Mile Journey into the Heart of America” – James and Deborah Fallows

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Probably Paul Theroux’s “Mosquito Coast” (but there are so many and it will undoubtedly be a different choice if I’m asked again next week.) Such an original story beautifully told.

I’d also have to put Theroux’s “Saint Jack” up there as well for the same reason – with its evocation of a long-gone Singapore, a place I spent more than ten years of my life and know well.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

I’m not qualified to give advice but the obvious thing to me is a) find a voice that suits you and b) just do it – don’t talk about it – but stop and start again with a different voice if it’s just not working. Flogging a dead horse doesn’t usually produce a worthwhile end result.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

I have an author’s page on Facebook at Patrick H Burns where I am slowly loading photographs and commentaries that provide a backdrop to “Far Away and Further Back”.

Direct link: www.facebook.com/patrickharaldburns

 

About the Author:

In 2009, after more than thirty-five years of climbing, clinging onto, and occasionally sliding down the corporate ladder, Patrick Burns retired from an international business career in Human Resources. An opportunity to work on regional and global projects led to an early specialization in international HR and the chance to live and work all over the world. This included four assignments to Asia, where he spent a total of eighteen years, as well as other regional roles covering Europe-Africa, the Middle East and North and South America. Patrick was born in Yorkshire in the UK and now lives just outside San Francisco. He is married with four children.

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