Now Chris is a guy - the lesser spotted visitor to this blog - but I'm not going to show him any favouritism. So tell me, Chris, who is your ideal woman? And I want an honest answer here.
Are we women THAT scary?
LOL. Okay, but can you tell me who it was pre-Claire? Say, when you were about 11?
She was American, which seemed exotic at the time, solved mysteries, had cool friends and a funky van. Not to mention, you know, a talking dog. Now of course, as an adult, I realise this was a ridiculous infatuation, it was never going to work. She and Freddie were probably an item on the quiet and besides, Thelma was much more my type - bookish, intellectual, a bit short sighted.
You can have both, and don't say I never give you anything! Love it. ;-) Okay, so we have the goal (woman-wise, anyway) what about a career? What was your ambition back then?
Oh, you're killing me! LOL
Turns out I got that bit wrong. So I became a newspaper journalist instead and worked at various local papers - which proved to be good author experience when it came to getting to know people and hear their stories. More recently I’ve been a PR person for children’s health charity WellChild. I didn’t give up on the author thing though and have had two novels published so far.
Fab. I'll get to those in a sec. Last question: What books stick most in your mind from childhood?
??? I must have missed that. ;-)
There were stories about the two Zax who met going opposite ways on a road and refused to budge an inch to let the other pass and the Yooks and the Zooks who built up piles of weapons either side of a high wall. I wasn’t old enough to understand the Cold War but I did get that it was satirising the adult world.I used to spend a lot of time in the library as a kid and I found books I would never have come across otherwise.
Aged about 12 I found Kurt Vonnegut who blew my mind. Breakfast of Champions was the first I read, I think and, though it’s not his best, it was a remarkable ride for me at that age. I was used to the grey Edwardian fare we were fed in school English lessons so when I read Vonnegut it was like fireworks going off. He had badly drawn pictures scattered about, characters moving from book to book, the author popping up as a character in the pages of his own novel. These kinds of post-modern tricks are more common now, even old hat, but they seemed amazing to me then.
A year or so later Catch 22 had the same effect on me. The wonderful games Heller played with words, the jokes, the black humour. I couldn’t believe you could write in this playful, unfettered way and be considered a serious literary author. It all struck a chord with me and made me realise I too wanted to be a writer. It also left me with a serious reading habit which has never left me, and never will.
My first novel Song of the Sea God, was published by Skylight Press. It is a literary novel set on a small island of the coast of England where a strange figure washes up and tries to convince the local people he is a god. It was short listed for the Daily Telegraph Novel in a Year prize and won the efestival of Words award for Best Literary Fiction novel.
My new novel The Pick-Up Artist is published by Magic Oxygen Publishing. It is the story of a young man’s attempts to find a girlfriend using techniques developed by an online community who claim to use psychological techniques to appeal to women. Amazon:
Sounds a lot of fun. :-) Thanks, Chris for taking the time to drop by. Good luck with your writing and keep in touch. :-)