When I do work at a desk, which is infrequent, it usually appears a little bit quantum. Odds and ends poking into all kinds of dimensions. I cannot observe and measure anything on said desk with any degree of certitude. When I place a thesaurus in one place, carefully balanced, say, upon the tops of numerous coffee cups and a single mug bearing a residue of fruit infusion, it takes a mere moment before I find myself obliged to reach out to locate it in order to confirm whether 'discombobulations' posses a family of related words or principles (it doesn't, apart from 'discompose') merely to discover the thesaurus has translocated to the spider web-riddled space behind the iMac and, further, has turned into Lady Chatterly's Lover, which also fails to elucidate upon discombobulations whatsoever.
When will the books be available?
The first of the Git Lit books 'The World According to Guy' is just being formatted and will be done and available by mid-April, 2014, all thing being equal. The second, 'Guy Faults', a week or so after that, with the third 'The Demise of Guy', by early May.
Guy Shambles... bit of an obvious analogy for men everywhere, come to think about it...
There could be more. There's certainly the disastrous family road trip through America and on to New Zealand, to cover ('Guy Down Under'), his awful cooking book ('Dangerous Stuff to Eat for Men') and a couple of other ideas. But these will appear, if at all, after other writing projects I'm currently working on or outlining.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in short trousers and a green tank top two sizes too small, amidst the carnage surrounding the hinterlands of Whitstable and Herne Bay, the youth of the former gravitating toward the austerity of the latter as the years march past like tin soldiers heading for the Somme. Things were dull and serious. About the only exciting thing to happen was the strange disappearance of a seagull in 1971, though in 1974 Jim'll Fix It visited and mother was never the same.
When did you first start writing?
When I was young, the British hadn't yet invented the Internet. Sure we had Morris Dancing, Glam Rock, fish & chips and world imperialism, but lacking the darker corners of the Internet meant we were obliged to invent our own entertainment. After many months locked in my room (a misunderstanding between myself, the collection box and the Church Organist) at age eight I discovered that with sufficient practice crayons could be manhandled like a truculent Great White Shark into shapes and meanings beyond the height of early Seventies school boy composition content *('Sir is a Poo') into other words. So from about eight is the less prosaic answer.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
When the world was younger and everything was two dimensional and in black & white, I did enjoy the Kindle. But now I'm older my preference is for something shiny. Bright and shiny. And so I tend to do most of my reading on an iPad. I still own a Kindle (it's an archaic thing, and if people ask, there is a moment of hesitation before I guiltily tell them) but most of my work is completed on an iPad so it is to hand. Or at least, smudge.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The glamour and the work schedule.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It hasn't, not yet. But if by success one means the achievement of a goal, then regardless of any sales or income or indifference, it has been quite something to say, "look, there, at number 412,897 in the best seller list, I wrote that!" to complete strangers on the bus, or during the walking research for my next book "While There Is Still Time".
I have considered making my own books essential reading for the classes I teach, but I suspect my University would have a little something to say about that (quite a lot to say about it, possibly) given I don't lecture in any topic remotely related to the books. Beside which, I'm quite caustic about Higher Education, and I think the books will be as popular at University as a fart would be in a spacesuit.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Space. Time. Finishing.
What do your fans mean to you?
About a drop of 5 degrees Celsius on a hot afternoon.
Well, the fact some readers have even bothered to part with a little of their hard earned cash is humbling, and the fact I've had compliments about the humour and the themes is a nice bonus. And on one occasion, someone did buy me a Pepsi as I was 'a hard working poor writer' (even though I preferred Coke. It's the thought that counts, though, one supposes.)
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Teaching, reading, watching.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The three Guy books (it's tempting to consider others, of course) were nothing more than an elaborate method to avoid nappy changes. Whilst sculling down the river away from parental responsibility, I discovered there to be a genuine lack of Jerome K Jerome, Pooter, E.F.Benson, and W.E.Bowman-like tales of modern fatherhood. Indeed, the perspectives of ordinary men were as rare as Hen's Teeth, as rare as sense in Western foreign policy, as rare as relevance on Top Gear or a good pair of jeans on presenters of said Top Gear, and so felt a calling to make amends by pondering the purpose of modern man, a term that is itself something of an oxymoron. Like Top Gear.
'The World According to Guy' introduces Guy Shambles and his family and (alleged) friends, while the second book, 'Guy Faults', begins to cover his slow decent into hopelessness, having searched for the geo-political meaning of the clitoris, and that particular book is quickly followed by 'The Demise of Guy' which is about Guy's demise (the clue, being, of course, in the title).
Who are your favorite authors?
Saramago, Bellows, John Irving, Rushdie, Hrabal, Neruda, to note a few.
What are you working on next?
'While There Is Still Time' is a more serious novel, and concerns a Polish Postman working the streets of Ramsgate in pursuit of true love. It takes place over one weekend, following the trail of the two main characters as one endeavours to woo the other. Featuring ghosts, talking statues, angels and kleptomania, 'lost letters' and talking cod.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The insistence of the alarm clock, the elbow of my wife and the derision of children.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.