The Dirty Dozen – Geoff Le Pard!

Welcome to the final interview in this week’s blog-straganza of Dirty Dozen interviews for #ComedyBookWeek!

On the principle of saving the best (purple beard) till last, today is the turn of Geoff Le Pard!

1 – Hi Geoff, do you remember how you came across my blog?

I think it would be the 99 word flash if you do Charli Mills prompts, or maybe it was poetry? In truth I have no real clue. Maybe it’s some sort of punishment. Or do you owe me some money? I follow my debtors. After dark mostly.

(AL – I remember bonding over a sonnet I wrote… I don’t believe I owe you any money, so you can have your evenings back, you’ll be pleased to know! I read a lot of blogs, and a lot of stories, but this one from Geoff a few weeks ago couldn’t be more up my street if it had been called Alistair Lane… it’s dark and hilarious – bookmark this for a read if you haven’t already had the pleasure: https://geofflepard.com/2016/06/28/when-theres-no-stairway-to-heaven-writephoto-shortstory-flashfiction/)

2 – You, in three words?

The second person

3 – The last book/ film/ or album that made you cry

Joni Mitchell – Both Sides Now

4 – Where are you now on your writer’s journey ?

Well, three books published – two novels and one anthology. Maybe a third novel by the time this is hitting the press – it’s due in July. I have four other books that I need to edit into shape and two three-quarter books I need to finish.

I’m found on www.geofflepard.com and @geofflepard, not that I get twitter.
My books are on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Geoff-Le-Pard/e/B00OSI7XA0/

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5 – One quote about writing that you are sick of hearing, or that really doesn’t do it for you?

“I am an aspiring writer” – if you write you are writer. Same way as there is a fixation with being published traditionally as if that means you are a better writer than someone who isn’t. Snobbery, people, is as unwelcome as a fart in a crowded lift.

Snobbery, people, is as unwelcome as a fart in a crowded lift.

6 – Two true facts about you, and one lie….

I am five foot ten tall; I am five foot eleven tall; I am six foot tall. If this seems absurd then (a) it is and (b) officially two have been recorded as true

(AL – Are you slightly telescopic??)

7 – The zombies rise and take over the world. You have five minutes to pack a bag and hit the road… You’ve got the essentials – water, tent, sleeping bag, vitamins, toothpaste, copy of Al’s zombie haiku book (coming soon to all good Amazon websites)… What else do you grab?

Nail clippers. I can’t stand a hangnail or a flaky piece of skin round my fingers. Just saying

8 – Who would play you in the movie of your life? 

Robin Williams, maybe in Mrs Doubtfire mode. I think Kubrick might direct or Gilliam. The screenplay would be Alan Bennett. The music a mash up between The Bonzo Dog Doodah Band with Karen Carpenter on vocals and Mark Knopfler on guitar. The romantic lead needs clearance from senior a management; such things are above my pay grade. It would aim to be a comedy in the style of the Carry On Monty Python

(AL – I’d always wondered what Kubrick’s take on a Carry On film would have been like… glad I wasn’t alone in this)

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9 – Doc Emmett Brown pulls up outside your house in the DeLorean from Back to the Future… He’s got a few hours to spare, and fuel for one return trip… Where and when in time are you heading?

Sometime in 2000 so I can tell my dad to get his sodding prostate checked; had he done so he would probably still be alive

10 – Your beloved partner is out for the evening, and your celebrity “pass” is popping round for tea. (You know, the one celebrity who your partner would allow you to spend a night with, without it being considered cheating… that’s a thing, right?) Who knocks on your door?

Again I need management’s sanction for this. But assuming the Board is feeling generous, Kathleen Turner, around the time of the War of the Roses film. I make a rather cracking lemon drizzle cake with peanut butter and choc chip ice cream. We would listen to Je Ne Regrette Rien on a loop and it would all rather fall apart when, as is customary I doze off in front of whatever is on the TV

(AL – I contacted management about this one, and they were extremely keen. They then muttered something about “fair’s fair”, and started reeling off a long list of their own… I’ll leave that one with you!)

11 – The producers of the Marvel Avengers films are worried they don’t have quite enough superheroes already crammed into the series… They call you up to play an original character. What would your character’s name be? What’s your superpower?

The Geoffle, as I seem to have been christened by a blogger or ten. My power would be to turn off all mobile devices, especially on public transport and make people talk to each other.

(AL – a hero who would be greeted with wild jubilation on every journey!)

12 – You are hosting a small dinner party for the deceased… You can invite three dead people to your shindig, but you only have enough spectral energy for one mega-star “A-lister”, and any two others. Who do you summon, and why?

As a youngster I remember laughing pretty much constantly at David Niven’s anecdotes. Is he A list enough? My Uncle Ted was always good value to have to dinner and Nat King Cole just to hear his voice – him or Richard Burton for the same reason…

13 – Any regrets?

Apart from doing this? I don’t suppose that is original. Nope nothing that matters. I regret not opening the batting for England but given my age I’d have probably faced Malcolm Marshall and been decapitated so maybe that was a bullet dodged.

A huge thank you to Geoff for being such a great sport (even if not in the cricketing sense). I’m going to go and buy his books now, and hope you will too!

 

Thank you also to everyone for reading and following these interviews. I enjoy them hugely, and hope you do too! I’m taking a little break with these until September, but if you are interested in taking on the Dirty Dozen then please drop me an email, or let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear what you’d say!

 

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The Dirty Dozen – Jenny Green!

Welcome!

As part of #ComedyBookWeek, I’ve lined up some of the freshest, funniest writers around, and subjected them each to the Dirty Dozen treatment.

Today, it’s the turn of Jenny Green to take the Dirty Dozen hotseat!

1 – Hi Jenny, welcome! Tell me, how did you come across my blog?

I heard about your blog through the #ComedyBookWeek thread on Kboards.

(AL – I follow Ana Spoke’s blog – https://anaspoke.com/ – she’s the organiser of #ComedyBookWeek. I emailed her offering to help, and here we are!)

2 – You, in three words?

Strange, nerdy, friendly.

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3 – The last book/ film/ or album that made you cry

Everest. I knew the story, knew exactly what happened, still watched it, still cried. Crying a little bit again remembering it. Thanks for that!

(AL – Sorry… nobody mention E.T. at me… that one gets me every single time!)

4 – Where are you now on your writer’s journey ?

Since publishing the third book in my Carrie Hatchett, Space Adventurer series, and my sixth book in total, I feel like I’m finally getting a handle on this self-publishing malarky. I brought out two short story collections, There Comes a Time and Dawn Falcon, and a novella, Death Switch, last year. The collections and novella are three or four years’ worth of published and unpublished work I wrote while I was taking the traditional route to publishing. Then the news that the world of publishing was changing finally got through to me. The idea of self-publishing really appealed, and now I’m having great fun writing about my ditzy heroine, Carrie Hatchett, who manages to save the galaxy despite her many flaws.

https://amzn.com/B019F0SJ1M
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I love connecting with readers, so I created an author page on Facebook and a Twitter account. I also started up a mailing list for readers who want to hear about new releases (I always discount new releases for the first week), book promotions by author friends and other news. My website is mostly for directing readers to venues where they can buy my books. I’m not a much of a blogger, unfortunately. I prefer chatting with readers on Facebook, Twitter and via email. Apart from writing, this is my favourite part of being a writer. It’s great to hear that Carrie Hatchett gave someone a laugh when they were going through a rough patch.

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(AL – You can sign up to her mailing list here: eepurl.com/bj4v4z and follow her on Facebook facebook.com/JJGreenAuthor/ and Twitter twitter.com/Infinitebook1 🙂 )

5 – One piece of life advice that you are sick of hearing, or that really doesn’t do it for you?

I really hate the phrase ‘it’ll happen when the time is right’ because it can make people wait too long before reaching for their goal. There’s a Chinese saying: the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago; the second best time is now. I’m big on planning ahead, but I have to be careful not to let planning take over from actually doing something.

6 – Two true facts about you, and one lie….

Lena Headey, who plays Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones, is my second cousin.

I’ve lived in the UK, Australia, Laos and Taiwan.

I can move both my ears independently.

(AL – I think you and Ritu Bhathal need to have an ear “wiggle-off” to settle this one!)

7 – The zombies rise and take over the world. You have five minutes to pack a bag and hit the road… You’ve got the essentials – water, tent, sleeping bag, vitamins, toothpaste, copy of Al’s zombie haiku book (coming soon to all good Amazon websites)… What else do you grab?

My Moleskine notebook. I’ve got to get the details down!

8 – Who would play you in the movie of your life?

Catherine Tate or Tina Fey, depending on whether it was a British production or the Hollywood version. It would be a hilarious comedy.

9 – Doc Emmett Brown pulls up outside your house in the DeLorean from Back to the Future… He’s got a few hours to spare, and fuel for one return trip… Where and when in time are you heading?

Wow, what an opportunity! I’m going 250 years into the future, please Doc. I want to be around when we colonize new planets, so book me a ticket on a starship, too.

10 – Your beloved partner is out for the evening, and your celebrity “pass” is popping round for tea. Who knocks on your door?

I’m going to skip this one – much too romantic for me. I’d rather be home with a bottle of wine, some dark chocolates and a good book.

11 – The producers of the Marvel Avengers films are worried they don’t have quite enough superheroes already crammed into the series… They call you up to play an original character. What would your character’s name be? What’s your superpower?

I’d be called 20/20, and I’d have the superpower of going back in time to fix things with the benefit of perfect hindsight.

(AL – The world sorely needs this superhero!)

12 – You are hosting a (very small) dinner party for the deceased… You can invite three dead people to your shindig, but you only have enough spectral energy for one mega-star “A-lister”, and any two others. Who do you summon, and why?

I would summon Richard Feynmann, Douglas Adams and Joyce Grenfell.

13 – Any regrets?

No. Why waste time regretting things you can’t change? Onward and upward.

Wise words, indeed, to end on. A huge thank you to Jenny Green for her time. Now, go and check out those Carrie Hatchett books! https://amzn.com/B019F0SJ1M

 

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The Dirty Dozen – Abby Vegas!

Welcome!

As part of #ComedyBookWeek, I’ve lined up some of the freshest, funniest writers around, and subjected them each to the Dirty Dozen treatment.

Today, it’s the turn of the wonderfully-named Abby Vegas to take the hotseat!

1 – Hi Abby, so tell me, how did you come across my blog?

I found it via #ComedyBookWeek – my Anglophile instincts picked up the scent right away. The name “Alistair” plus British-isms like “fortnight” and “spiffing” are all dead giveaways. I was instantly hooked!

(AL – How splendid!)

 

2 – You, in three words?

 Novelist. Cartoonist. Grump.

 

3 – The last film that made you cry?

Seeing Hodor’s backstory revealed on Game of Thrones brought the waterworks. Spoiler alert: That show will rip your heart out of your chest and stomp upon the pulpy remnants.

(AL – I’ve only just stopped crying about this. Hodor!)

 

4 – Where are you now on your writer’s journey?

I recently published my first novel, a romantic suspense called Clean Break. One Goodreads reviewer called it “witty, gritty, sexy and at times heart-pounding with intrigue.” (I solemnly swear it was not my mom.) The first ten chapters are free on AbbyVegasAuthor.com, where you can also find everything else I’ve written.

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5 – One piece of writing advice that you are sick of hearing.

“Don’t talk about your work-in-progress until it’s finished.” That’s like telling Kanye not to tweet about himself. What the hell else am I supposed to talk about?

 

6 – Two true facts about you, and one lie….

I grew up in Greenwich Village, in New York.

I got kicked out of a Vegas strip club at my own bachelorette party.

I saw Hamilton four times. FOUR TIMES. 

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7 – Who would play you in the movie of your life? Who would play the romantic lead opposite you?

I get stopped on the street all the time by visually-impaired people asking if I’m Tina Fey, so she’d definitely play me. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister on Game of Thrones) would be my husband because he actually IS my husband in my imagination. (In real life, Nikolaj and my husband are virtually indistinguishable if you squint really hard.)

(AL – Mrs Lane has suddenly started paying attention at this point…)

 

8 – Doc Emmett Brown pulls up outside your house in the DeLorean from Back to the Future… He’s got a few hours to spare, and fuel for one return trip… Where and when in time are you heading?

World War II-era England. I’ve been obsessed with it ever since reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

 

9 – Your beloved partner is out for the evening, and your celebrity “pass” is popping round for tea. (You know, the one celebrity who your partner would allow you to spend a night with, without it being considered cheating… that’s a thing, right?) Who knocks on your door? What signature dish do you make him or her? What music’s playing over dinner? What line signals the end of dinner?

I could happily write a 90,000-word novel in response to this question, so I think I should probably steer clear of it. My autobiographical adventures in the Richard Armitage fandom might begin to explain why.

(AL – Mrs Lane now scowling at the laptop…)

 

10 – The producers of the Marvel Avengers films are worried they don’t have quite enough superheroes already crammed into the series… They call you up to play an original character. What would your character’s name be? What’s your superpower (yes, you can only have one)?

That’s way too easy because I already have a superpower! I am Carb-O, the world’s greatest gobbler of snacky treats. Also: I’m actually a super-villain because my allegiance is with Loki – in the Avengers universe and all others.

 

11 – You are hosting a (very small) dinner party for the deceased… You can invite three dead people to your shindig, but you only have enough spectral energy for one mega-star “A-lister”, and any two others. Who do you summon, and why?

What a strange question. I don’t have B-listers over for dinner. My A-lister would definitely be Abraham Lincoln because he was awesome.

(AL – Is this why you’ve never invited me over? Mrs Lane’s dying to meet you. Well, she’s dying to meet your husband and fangirl contacts, but it’s all good, right?)

 

12 – Any regrets?

Inviting the re-animated corpse of Abraham Lincoln to dinner. Is it too late to take that back?

 

A huge thank you to Abby Vegas for a fabulous interview! You can start reading Clean Break for free here. Alternately, read the truth about what really happened at her Las Vegas bachelorette party. 🙂

 

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The Dirty Dozen – Freya!

Welcome!

As part of #ComedyBookWeek, I’ve lined up some of the freshest, funniest writers around, and subjected them each to the Dirty Dozen treatment.

Today, it’s the turn of Freya of freyawrites.com to take the hotseat!

1 – Welcome, Freya. In all the gin joints in all the world, how did you happen across this blog?

I came across your blog courtesy of the wonderful WordPress Reader function – someone I follow had liked and commented on something you had written, so I investigated and here I am!

2 – You, in three words?

Curious
Creative
Curly-haired
(Sort of three words, I hope you’ll let me get away with that one!).

3 – The last book/ film/ or album that made you cry?

Hmmm. Much as I am an emotional creature, I don’t tend to cry at films, books or music. It’s more that they get me ‘just there’, right in the heart, take my breath away and give me gooseflesh. So, there have been two films that have done that to me recently – I watched them one weekend after the other: ‘Room’ and ‘Gran Torino’.

4 – Where are you now on your writer’s / blogger’s journey ?

I’ve had my current blog (www.freyawrites.com) for about 3 and a half years now, although I did write under a different persona prior to that, where my blog was dedicated to my Jewish journey. I was pretty naïve at the outset and had no idea of the breadth of writing communities out there, didn’t really know anything about the plethora of prompts you could take part in, it was just my way of getting my writing onto the interwebs!

I’ve really developed my love of writing poetry as a result and made some lovely online friends through my blog. I’ve contributed to a collaborative novel (Jessica) thanks to Helena Hann-Basquiat and am hopefully going to be part of another one soon.

It’s no secret that my writing has been a huge catharsis for me, helping me through my dad’s death in 2013, and other life events that have come my way since. It might not always be obvious that I’m exorcising demons (although I do love to write on the dark and sinister side!), because the act of creating fiction or poetry is catharsis enough, a lot of the time. It takes me away from the world and into the other-world space that I love.

5 – One piece of writing advice that you are sick of hearing, or that really doesn’t do it for you

Write what you know’. Really? I’ve never been a soldier fighting at the Somme, but I wrote a poem about it. I’ve never lived in a dieselpunk or steampunk world, but I’ve written about both. I’ve never lived in a dystopian future, but I’m writing about it. If I wrote about what I knew, and only that, I’d be writing about an office job, sitting at the dining table writing poetry and prose and also creating art (my other creative passion), cooking and shopping. And falling asleep in the middle of a really gripping film. Which I do frequently.

6 – Two true facts about you, and one lie….

I can eat a whole tube of Pringles on my own.
I am 19 years older than my brother.
I’ve never been able to do a cartwheel.

7 – The zombies rise and take over the world. You have five minutes to pack a bag and hit the road… You’ve got the essentials – water, tent, sleeping bag, vitamins, toothpaste, copy of Al’s zombie haiku book (coming soon to all good Amazon websites)… What else do you grab?

Pens (biros and my beloved fountain pens), ink, water soluble coloured drawing pencils, watercolour paper, writing paper, a photo of my loved ones (if they couldn’t be with me) and Nicholas, my sock monkey. I’m assuming all electronic items would be worse than useless, so no point in grabbing them.

8 – Who would play you in the movie of your life? Would it be a tragedy or comedy?

Helena Bonham-Carter – she’s more upper class than I am, but she could certainly play down the ranks a bit – I think she’s a brilliant actor. I’d want Martin McDonagh to write and direct it (he of ‘In Bruges’ fame) and Radiohead would provide the soundtrack. It would be gritty, neither tragic nor comic per se, but with flashes of both, hopefully. As for romance – goodness me, there’s too much choice out there!

9 – Doc Emmett Brown pulls up outside your house in the DeLorean from Back to the Future… He’s got a few hours to spare, and fuel for one return trip… Where and when in time are you heading?

Berlin, just before the Nazis took control of Germany. I want to see it in its heyday, just before ‘Cabaret’ was set.

10 – Your beloved partner is out for the evening, and your celebrity “pass” is popping round for tea. (You know, the one celebrity who your partner would allow you to spend a night with, without it being considered cheating… that’s a thing, right?) Who knocks on your door?

Gillian Anderson. Oh yes. I think she’d appreciate a hearty, spicy, aromatic home-made beef curry with Sukah Aloo, raita, rice, chapatis and samosas with a real kick (hence the raita!). I’d pop some mango chutney on the side too, to sweeten it all up. We’d have some cool jazz in the background, just loud enough to relax to, but not drown out our conversation. Hmmm… the end of dinner? You mean she has to go? Nooooo! Oh, OK then, how about ‘Do I have to go?’ 

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Gillian Anderson… (sighs)

11 – The producers of the Marvel Avengers films are worried they don’t have quite enough superheroes already crammed into the series… They call you up to play an original character. What would your character’s name be? What’s your superpower (yes, you can only have one) ?

You know how we often misunderstand what people are saying to us, because we hear their words through our own lens, our own perspective? I would love to be able to act as a translator, so that what someone is trying to say, and what the recipient hears and understand doesn’t get lost in the noise. I don’t need a fancy name – The Transliterator would work for me.

12 – You are hosting a small dinner party for the deceased… You can invite three dead people to your shindig, but you only have enough spectral energy for one mega-star “A-lister”, and any two others. Who do you summon, and why?

Another ‘hmmm’ type answer. I don’t ‘do’ mega-star A-lister types. So, I’ll just be true to myself. You’ll notice the writerly theme…
Wilfred Owen – I fell in love with his poetry thanks to a wonderful English teacher I had when I was thirteen.
Elie Wiesel – I have read and re-read his books so many times and they had a huge effect on me. I admire what I know of him through his work so much.
Mary Shelley – because I adored (and still adore) ‘Frankenstein’, and she was so young when she wrote it. I said above, I don’t tend to cry over books, films, music. Frankenstein almost got me to that place.

13 – Any regrets?
Of course. More than a few. But they make me who I am, and that’s not such a bad thing.

A huge thank you to Freya for joining us – another great interview! I’m not sure how my answer for the celebrity pass slipped in there on question 10… and I really need one of those Transliterator people!

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The Dirty Dozen – Steve Vernon!

Welcome!

As part of #ComedyBookWeek, I’ve lined up some of the freshest, funniest writers around, and subjected them each to the Dirty Dozen treatment.

Today, it’s the turn of Steve Vernon to take the hotseat.

1. Welcome, Steve! How did you happen to come across my blog?

Are you kidding me? My grandparents used to tell stories about Al Lane, back in the old country. “Watch out for men like that,” my old grandfather warned me. “Such men are dangerous.”

Actually, I came to your blog in a very typical male-fashion. Somebody pointed me in that direction and I just followed my nose until I got there. Ana Spoke from Comedy Book Week (July 16-23) caught me by my digital ear and said “Go and talk to Al!”

Someday I am going to have to pay her back for doing this to me.

In spades.

(AL – Steve has offered to reciprocate and host me on his blog later in the year, so that “pay back” offer may come sooner rather than later!)

2 – You, in three words?

Windbag at large.

Cowboy Steve
Made-up fact – Woody from Toy Story was modelled on this shot of Steve

3 – The last book/ film/ or album that made you cry?

Jeff Bridges in CRAZY HEART. John Wayne in THE SHOOTIST. Mickey Rourke in THE WRESTLER. Bruce Willis making the ultimate sacrifice in ARMAGEDDON. John Travolta in PHENOMENON. John Wayne in THE COWBOYS. Oh, and THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY – both book AND movie.

I know, I know, there is no accounting for taste.

4 – Where are you now on your writer’s journey?

Wow – talk about lowering the drawbridge and inviting the barbarians to charge on inside. Well, I’m not going stand here on ceremony. With seven traditionally published books and FIFTY independently published books I can tell you about a lot of different books – but let’s just keep things simple and just talk about the two books that I am actively promoting as a part of Comedy Book Week.

I’d like to talk about KELPIE DREAMS – my paranormal shoot-em-up romance. Yes, I’ve created my own genre. Yes, the folks at Kindle Press who released my e-book are still shaking their heads.

Meet Lady Macbeth—a high school librarian, ex-assassin, and part-time kelpie, whose mother wanted to name her Hemorrhoid at birth. Now she has to take on a Sea Hag—eight legs of Godzilla-ugly poured into a bucket full of meanness—with the help of a one-woman army named Rhonda, a 200-year-old Sea Captain, and a hunky lighthouse keeper who won’t admit that he’s dead as well. KELPIE DREAMS is a funny, action-packed, paranormal shoot-em-up romance novel for folks who HATE to read romance novels.

KELPIE DREAMS = https://amzn.com/B01CYNM152

The second book that I am actively promoting as a part of Comedy Book Week would be the modestly titled UNCLE BOB’S RED FLANNEL BIBLE CAMP: FROM EDEN TO THE ARK.

Let me tell you about this book. If you really want to know what happened on the day Noah built that big old floating zoo you REALLY ought to talk to Uncle Bob. While you are at it get him to fill you in on all of the inside information on what REALLY went on in the Garden of Eden – because he knows that too. This is the story of the Old Testament as retold by the red flannel storyteller his-own-self – namely, Uncle Bob.

Here’s what a few folks had to say.
“I laughed until I cried.” – Veronica Dorval
“One of the most refreshing interpretations of the Book of Genesis that I have read in a long while.” – S.D. Hintz
“Jeff Foxworthy REALLY should have written the introduction.” – Christine S. Tryon

UNCLE BOB’S RED FLANNEL BIBLE CAMP: FROM EDEN TO THE ARK
https://www.amazon.com/Uncle-Bobs-Flannel-Bible-Camp-ebook/dp/B00IQYT45Y

(AL – The Uncle Bob book will be FREE from the 16th to the 18th – so what have you got to lose?)

Uncle Bob's Red Flannel Bible Camp - From Eden to the Ark

Twitter – https://twitter.com/StephenVernon
Blog – https://stevevernonstoryteller.wordpress.com/
Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.com/Steve-Vernon/e/B002BMD282/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

5 – One piece of writing advice, or quote about writing, that you are sick of hearing, or that really doesn’t do it for you

Write every day. Shoot, I don’t do ANYTHING every day. Brushing my teeth, putting on pants, waking up – NONE of these naturally happen in my life every freaking day! Heck, I’ve gone for entire weeks without even bothering to take a breath.

6 – Two true facts about you, and one lie….

I have hitchhiked across Canada – in both directions.
I have pitched a circus big top and have ridden on an elephant, a camel AND a horse.
I have read palms professionally for television celebrities.

You decide which one of those three statements is the lie.

7 – The zombies rise and take over the world. You have five minutes to pack a bag and hit the road… You’ve got the essentials – water, tent, sleeping bag, vitamins, toothpaste, copy of Al’s zombie haiku book (coming soon to all good Amazon websites)… What else do you grab?

Can a fellow actually fit a full-sized fall-out shelter into his hip pocket? That, and a nuclear arsenal?

8 – Who would play you in the movie of your life? Would it be a tragedy or comedy?

Jeff Bridges – in his Big Lebowski days. Or maybe in his Rooster Cogburn days. His Crazy Heart days? DEFINITELY not in his R.I.P.D. days!

As for soundtrack – that’d be a toss-up between Waylon Jennings and George Thorogood.

Screenplay written by a sober Charles Bukowski or a drunken Ernest Hemingway, directed by Michael Bay in nonsense-surround 3D Matrix-style slow bullet ballet.

9 – Doc Emmett Brown pulls up outside your house in the DeLorean from Back to the Future… He’s got a few hours to spare, and fuel for one return trip… Where and when in time are you heading?

Anywhere pre-cell-phone. Maybe mountain man days. Me, crawling across the wilderness being gnawed on by maggots and dirt cooties. Great Scott!

10 – Your beloved partner is out for the evening, and your celebrity “pass” is popping round for tea. (You know, the one celebrity who your partner would allow you to spend a night with, without it being considered cheating… that’s a thing, right?) Who knocks on your door?

All right, so let me get this straight. Jamie Lee Curtis has just dropped by on a double-date with Mariska Hargitay and I’m making tea? Okay, first off the tea goes away and the beer comes out. Maybe some Tequila. I’m making Garlic Fettucini and Howling Wolf is wailing out a loin-stirring rendition of “Wang Dang Doodle” followed up by Muddy Water’s “I Just Want To Make Love To You” – and sooner or later Michael Myers is going to come knocking at the door wearing nothing but a hockey mask and a three-foot machete and make some sort of a cutting remark.

11 – The producers of the Marvel Avengers films are worried they don’t have quite enough superheroes already crammed into the series… They call you up to play an original character. What would your character’s name be? What’s your superpower (yes, you can only have one) ?

Look, a shiny!

Let me run down this tangent for a half a moment.

I loved the first Avengers movie. I thought they hit that proper balance between comic books and reality. Only then they decided to make that second Avengers movie – the age of Ultron, which rather sounded like a gas station to me. There was way too much quipping and cheap gags. They never really did capture Ultron’s personality. The dude who was doing his voice sounded way too much like Spock with laryngitis.

I haven’t seen Civil War yet. I’m operating under a severe financial constraint this year. Only movie I saw in 2016 was that Tarzan movie – and that was only because I was given a free pair of tickets.

But you asked me what superhero I would be.

I guess that I’d have to be Captain Nothing – which is another blatant no-apologies plug for one of my books, NOTHING TO LOSE, a collection of nasty badass superhero stories starring Captain Nothing, the dude who made The Batman pee in his bat jockies.

https://amzn.com/B00VRYHVFU

Yup, I’m worse than a Public Television fund-raising marathon.

12 – You are hosting a small dinner party for the deceased… You can invite three dead people to your shindig, but you only have enough spectral energy for one mega-star “A-lister”, and any two others. Who do you summon, and why?

Let’s see – I think I’d have to have Robert Johnson over to play some blues, and maybe Milton Acorn to recite some poetry along with Charles Bukowski – and my Dad, because I never got the chance to talk to him as often as I wanted to.

13 – Any regrets?
You just flip back to that last question and simmer it on down to a slow roiling boil.

Old bold bumblebee
A man who will dress like this has few regrets…

So, there you have it ladies and gentlemen – a big thank you to Steve Vernon, a prolific writer (even if he doesn’t write every day!) with nearly 60 books under his belt, one of which is free this weekend… check him out!

 

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Coming Soon – Comedy Book Week!

Need a laugh? Stick around…

#ComedyBookWeek is an annual, online celebration of humor in writing. It is a free event, and all writers, readers, and book bloggers interested in funny books are welcome. There are a bunch of events lined up, including a whole week of Dirty Dozen interviews right here!

#ComedyBookWeek runs from 16th to 23rd July. The full events calendar is here: https://comedybookweek.com/calendar-of-events/

On my site, you can look forward to the following Dirty Dozens:

Sat 16th July – Steve Vernon

Mon 18th July – Freya of Freyawrites

Weds 20th July – Abby Vegas

Fri 22nd July – Jenny Green

Sat 23rd July – Geoff Le Pard

Hope you check back in and join us. Laughs guaranteed!*

(*Disclaimer – laughs not guaranteed :-P)

 

cropped-humor_book

The Dirty Dozen… with Ritu Bhathal!

Welcome to the final edition in this first “series” of The Dirty Dozen!

This is my spin on the author/blogger interview… Not all of these questions are easy, but hopefully they will give you an insight into the person on the other side of the screen. Ultimately, blogging is all about making connections. So show your humanity, show your love, and support each other. Because really, what else is there?

This week, I’m delighted to be hosting Ritu Bhathal in the Dirty Dozen “hotseat”.

Ritu is a prolific (and bubbly!) blogger, writer, and poet, who is so committed to her blogily that she wouldn’t even let a little thing like a surprise family holiday to Finland get between her and her blog this week!

You can find more here – https://butismileanyway.wordpress.com/

1 – How did you come across my blog?

RB – I do believe that I started following you as it became apparent that we were doing the Haiku Challenge with Ron regularly, and I could see that you were another slightly bonkers blogger/writer who got involved in silly conversations on the comments… Just like me!

Oh, and I like to read your posts, obviously!!!!

AL – another “win” for https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/ and that wonderful haiku challenge!

2 – You, in three words?

RB – Positive, Smiley and Loopy!

3 – The last book/ film/ or album that made you cry

RB – Honestly, I cannot remember!!!!!!! It also depends on my emotional state at the time of watching. Sometimes Eastenders can set me off, other times when I am feeling rather tough, nothing will make me cry!

AL – I know that feeling. I cried because I couldn’t get the lid off a jar once…

4 – Where are you now on your writer’s / blogger’s journey ?

RB – Well, right this minute, I am in the final processes of getting my first poetry book out! I am waiting for the final cover, then I can do a cover reveal, along with the name too! I am rather excited, I have to say!

I’m working on some fiction pieces too, either a book of short stories or a longer novel… we’ll see what comes of it!

AL – An exclusive reveal – you heard it here first! Can’t wait to hear more news on the cover soon!

5 – One piece of life / writing advice, or quote about life / writing, that you are sick of hearing, or that really doesn’t do it for you

RB – Can I be really cheesy here and say I love all these kinds of quotes. And advice. It’s all priceless, and if you don’t want to take heed, then just ignore them!

6 – Two true facts about you, and one lie….
RB – I can wiggle one eyebrow and make it dance around!
– There is a trophy named after me at my old school
– I can do napkin origami, and create a very lifelike erm, male appendage!

AL – Anyone attending the Bloggers Bash next week has to report back which of these is not true… have those napkins at the ready! There’s still time to vote for your favourite blogs for the Bloggers Bash… jus’ sayin’… 🙂

7 – The zombies rise and take over the world. You have five minutes to pack a bag and hit the road… You’ve got the essentials – water, tent, sleeping bag, vitamins, toothpaste, copy of Al’s zombie haiku book (coming soon to all good Amazon websites)… What else do you grab?

RB – My family and Cat, Chocolate, Phone and Charger (hoping we still have access to electricity!), Pens and Paper!

AL – The classic family-loving writer’s response!

8 – Who would play you in the movie of your life?

RB – Bollywood actress Juhi Chawla, at a younger age…

She does remind me of me, as in her personality. She is bubbly, full of mischief and the joys of life!

The other aspects, I am afraid I am not so much of a film buff to know of directors and script writers, but it would have to be a Rom Com with an Indian twist!

AL – This sounds amazing!

9 – Doc Emmett Brown pulls up outside your house in the DeLorean from Back to the Future… He’s got a few hours to spare, and fuel for one return trip… Where and when in time are you heading?

RB – To Ancient Egypt and the time of Cleopatra. I reckon I would rock the eyeliner, and I can ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’ no problem!

AL – Another one to test at the Bloggers Bash next week! Have the DJ on standby…

10 – The producers of the Marvel Avengers films are worried they don’t have quite enough superheroes already crammed into the series… They call you up to play an original character. What would your character’s name be? What’s your superpower (yes, you can only have one) ?

RB – It would have to be The Phantom Giggler, like my Twitter name! My superpower, to make anyone laugh!

AL – love it!

11 – You are hosting a (very small) dinner party for the deceased… You can invite three dead people to your shindig, but you only have enough spectral energy for one mega-star “A-lister”, and any two others. Who do you summon, and why?

RB – My Nanaji, maternal Grandfather, as I feel there was so much to learn from him, and I never got the chance, as I was only 6 when he died…

My Baba, paternal Grandfather, as he died before even my Pops really knew him. I would love to know who he was properly.

Michael Jackson, not for the talking, but so he could sing in between courses!

AL – I love how close you are to your family… and even want to provide entertainment between courses for them!

12 – Any regrets?

RB – I try my hardest to live a No Regrets lifestyle, but I wish we had travelled more before starting our family. I wish I had embarked on my teaching career earlier, and not left a 17 year gap between qualifying, and actually finishing. And not continuing with my book, when I initially started it!

AL – I would definitely echo that first one… hindsight changes our perspective, but lives are there to be lived in the moment 🙂

So, a huge thank you to the loveably loopy Ritu for sharing herself with us. I am really sad I won’t be able to meet her in person at the Bloggers Bash next week – if only to check out those dance moves and wiggling eyebrows! (I wonder if both work at the same time…)

You can connect with her at:
Blog Website: https://butismileanyway.wordpress.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/butismileanyway/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
Twitter: @Phantomgiggler

I wish her the best of luck with her (first!) book, and can’t wait for the cover reveal! Now, go and check out those links and share the love 🙂

 

The Dirty Dozen is taking a rest for a few weeks now, but will be coming back for one week only in July for Comedy Book Week, with some special guests!

Do you fancy a turn in the hotseat when this returns properly later in the year? (This is aimed at bloggers as well as writers, so don’t be shy!) Leave your email in the comments and I’ll be in touch 🙂

 

The Dirty Dozen

The Dirty Dozen… with Nick Rowe!

Welcome to another edition of The Dirty Dozen!

This is my spin on the author/blogger interview… Not all of these questions are easy, but hopefully they will give you an insight into the person on the other side of the screen, and more of a connection. Ultimately, blogging is all about making connections. Show your humanity, show your love, and support each other. Because really, what else is there?

This week, I’m delighted to be hosting Babbitman, aka Nick Rowe, in the Dirty Dozen “hotseat”.

Now this is an unusual, and particularly enjoyable, one for me as I have the pleasure to know Nick “offline”. I’ll let Nick explain it in his own words below.

Nick is a talented blogger, writer, actor and now voice artist…. as shown here: https://babbitman.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/als-pretty-words-my-villainous-voice/

You can find out more here – https://babbitman.wordpress.com/about/

1 – How in all the gin joints in all the world did you come across my blog?

NR – Because I’ve known you since about 2005 and then one day a few years ago you said “hey, I’m writing stuff and I’ve got a blog”. And I said “wow, that reminds me, I’ve got a kids’ story I wrote a while back” and we bonded over writing (rather than Excel, Star Wars and the hilarity of public sector employment, which were the usual topics). And then you wrote an early blog entry on entering the brief and bewildering world of twitter. And I tried to comment on it. Which meant I had to set up a WordPress identity of my own in order to do so. And so I now had a bloody blog that I hadn’t actually intended to create. You did it, Al, it’s your fault that I now have 100 totally innocent people following my blog. You sowed the seed, Al. Yes, you can actually look at my blog and say “I am your father”. 😀

AL – I am the butterfly that flapped its wings and changed history… I may add “Blogfather” to my bio too. 🙂

2 – You, in three words?

NR – Analytical, arty, alternative

AL – and alliterative!

3 – The last book/ film/ or album that you wish you’d made?

NR – Apart from the one that’s been in my head for about a decade? Probably “Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens”, just to knock off the annoying edges (although mine aren’t the same as yours, or other people’s).

AL – I have ranted about Star Wars a little before… https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2015/12/30/the-force-awakens/

NR – Maybe just avoid the Starkiller Base idea which, as well as being stupid, was just one step too close to “A New Hope”. That’s not to say I could make anything as great as that myself; I tend to be in awe of works of art that work well but find those that fall just short to be so annoying! If only they’d fixed x y z!! I would have! (Yeah, right, and cocked up something else instead).

The book I wish had my name on is Sunwielder by Diana Wallace Peach. For me, it’s the perfect story and I love it and her loads. Funnily enough, I doubt I would have come across that book if I hadn’t found her blog. And I only found her blog by having one of my own. And how come I ended up with a blog in the first place…? (Thanks again, Al!)

AL – I know Diana will read this (possibly in her flannel pyjamas), and be flattered by that, but she deserves it. <3

4 – Where are you now on your writer’s / blogger’s journey ?

NR – Well, after pootling about with my blog for a year or two, throwing all kinds of random gubbins up on to it (short stories, poetry, art, theatre props), I decided to join a local writer’s group to force me to get stuck in and actually practice writing, which also has the benefit of creating more content for the blog. My ever-distant novel still needs a pile of specific research and structuring and I need to hack down my original Babbit story somehow to a more commercial length (which you pointed out to me bloody ages ago!).

One of the hardest things is cracking on with the big projects rather than focusing purely on the little blog items which are fun but not ultimately what I feel I want to do. They should be the five minute shorts to the big feature, but at the moment I’m stuck in a perpetual cycle of Looney Tunes, Danger Mouse and Tom & Jerry.

AL – You and me both on that count!

5 – A lot of writers and bloggers enjoy taking part in quote challenges, and sharing inspiring nuggets to help their fellow bloggers along. Can you tell us though one piece of life / writing advice, or quote about life / writing, that you are absolutely sick of hearing, that really doesn’t do it for you?

NR – “It was meant to be”. I’m not a believer in fate. I believe in cause and effect. A lot of success is about being in the right place at the right time with the right people. But unless you’ve got the right material, it ain’t gonna happen. And if you get knocked back, well, it’s just that you’ve not aligned the right place, time and people with what you have to offer. So keep plugging away! This, of course, is much easier to say than actually do. Particularly when you’re a compulsive lazy-arse like myself…

AL – Lazy arse, or distractible creative type? That’s always the excuse I use…

6 – Two true facts about you, and one lie…. Don’t tell us which is which.

NR – I am a wearer of winklepickers;
I haven’t built a full size piano out of cardboard;
I once spent 20 minutes chatting to four-time Oscar winner Nick Park at a wedding

AL – I think I can see what he’s done here… although I don’t remember seeing the winklepickers in the office… they may just have been hidden under the desk!

7 – The zombies rise and take over the world. You have five minutes to pack a bag and hit the road… You’ve got the essentials – water, tent, sleeping bag, vitamins, toothpaste, Al’s zombie haiku guide… What else do you grab?

NR – My MP3 player and some way of recharging it using solar power (ensuring that “Second Coming” by The Stone Roses is prominent because “I like it” [spot the quote]). Ideally, also a terrific hand-and-a-half sword for zombie decapitation. Failing that, a hefty frying pan as wielded by Tiffany Aching, which is one of the few weapons capable of caving in skulls AND frying bacon.

AL – I just shuddered at the thought of surviving the zombie apocalypse, but having no way to fry bacon because of over-use of frying pans for caving in skulls… the horror

8 – I’m often mistaken for John Cusack (not by Nick, admittedly!). But who would play you in the movie of your life?

NR – Me. I do a bit of Am-Dram, so why not?

(AL – Nick recently appeared in a production of “One Man, Two Guv’nors” as the fantastically-named Alan Dangle, to rave reviews: https://babbitman.wordpress.com/2016/05/24/a-hoot/ )

NR – But if it’s a star you want, perhaps James McAvoy, although I think he might be a bit short. How about Michael Fassbender? I really have no idea. The soundtrack would be full of The Jam (& other Weller incarnations), Ska, 60s soul, The Charlatans and The Stone Roses. And my mate’s old band, Adorable.

AL – I could see Fassbender doing a creditable job of playing you. I’d definitely buy that soundtrack, too.

9 – Doc Brown pulls up outside your house in the DeLorean… He’s got a few hours to spare, and fuel for one return trip… Where/when are you heading?

NR – I am a history buff and it forms part of the desire to write my novel, so I’m really, really tempted to go back to… but no. Deep down, I’m still a small boy who wants to see dinosaurs. So sometime in the Jurassic, about 150 million years ago, around Colorado / Wyoming to see Stegosaurs and Allosaurs roaming the land.

AL – You might have to check the back seat before you go – my boys would want to tag along!

10 – Your beloved partner (real or imagined) is out for the evening, and your celebrity “pass” is popping round. (You know, the one celebrity who your partner would allow you to spend a night with, without it being considered cheating… that’s a thing, right?) Who knocks on your door?

NR – Is this a thing? I don’t know. Is it weird that I’ve never fantasized about a celebrity? I can’t name a single woman who I would be that bothered about ‘dating’. I think it’s because they’re not ‘real’ people. They might turn out to be utterly dreadful.

AL – In the eternal battle of fantasy vs reality, Nick has chosen… reality.

11 – You manage, fortuitously but entirely accidentally in a bizarre toaster incident to rid the world of its most dangerous inhabitant… Who do you call to help destroy the evidence, and burn that hairpiece?

NR – That would be you, Al. You’re relatively local and between us we should know enough to be able to get away with it (provided that we’re not discovered by some pesky kids).

AL – I know an abandoned fairground locally, and have an array of white sheets….

12 – Another apocalyptic scenario, only now the pet food is running out… You have a dog, a cat, and a rabbit, but only food supplies for two of them… Which one misses out?

NR – The bunny bites the bullet, helping to feed the other two. Might have to train them to find more rascally rabbits!

AL – As Elmer Fudd would say, “Kill the wa-bit!”

13 – In a line, any regrets??

NR – I used to really regret damaging my knee playing football, which means I can’t really run much these days and footie is now a distant memory. It also contributed to me being made redundant. But that was the catalyst to move sideways into a different department where I picked up additional skills enabling me to join another company paying more money and who flew me across to their offices in Florida, which allowed me to finally visit Kennedy Space Center on a day off, which was proper awesome.
So no, I don’t think I regret things any more. Carpe diem and all that.

So, a huge thank you to Nick (who is apparently my “blog son”) for coming to play and share himself. I hope his long-planned novel gains traction. I can’t wait to read it! Nick has been trying to get me to join him in testing out some performance poetry, so any folks in the Nottingham area may well be seeing us together on a stage sometime soon. We’re still undecided on a name… Feel free to make any suggestions in the comments!

Now, go and check out https://babbitman.wordpress.com/ . Share the love 🙂

Join us same time next week for another Dirty Dozen, where the lovely Ritu of https://butismileanyway.wordpress.com/ will be joining us for the last edition before a break for summer. She’s got some news she’s dying to share…

 

Do you fancy a turn in the hotseat when we return in September? (This is aimed at bloggers as well as writers, so don’t be shy!) Leave your email in the comments and I’ll be in touch 🙂

The Dirty Dozen

The Dirty Dozen… with Liesbet Collaert

Welcome to another edition of The Dirty Dozen!

This is my spin on the author/blogger interview. This will hopefully create something entertaining and informative for you, the reader, while sharing what platform I have with some amazing and talented people. Not all of these questions are easy, but hopefully they will give you an insight into the person on the other side of the screen. Ultimately, blogging is all about making connections. Show your humanity, show your love, and support each other. Because really, what else is there?

This week, I’m delighted to be hosting Liesbet Collaert in the Dirty Dozen “hotseat”.

Liesbet is a blogger and world citizen, currently (quite literally) flying back to the USA after a short visit to Belgium in between global adventures! You can find more about her travels here – http://www.roamingabout.com/about-us/

Liesbet Tahiti
Liesbet looking radiant in Tahiti

1 – How in all the gin joints in all the world did you come across my blog?

LC – I found you, because you found me! You liked my blog and left a comment to one of my posts about my (lack of) book writing progress in March. So, I returned the favor, enjoyed what I read, loved the creativity and humor of your new site and became a fan.

AL – Thank you… the cheque’s in the international post 🙂

2 – You, in three words?

LC – Impulsive, straightforward, adventurous

3 – The last book/ film/ or album that you wish you’d made

LC – A well-written book in my genre: “The Motion of the Ocean” by Janna Cawrse Esarey. I wish I could tell my story in as fluent and entertaining voice. There are a few great books and movies I really like but I am not looking for the status and fame of the artists who created them.

4 – Where are you now on your writer’s / blogger’s journey?

LC – I finally started writing a book about the eight year cruising journey my husband and I took on our 35’ sailing catamaran Irie. It will focus more on relationships and battles in life than on the actual sailing. The story is set on our floating home and the tropical isles of the Caribbean and the South Pacific. My American husband and I have had many adventures together prior to this one, but, because we never “rested” (stopped traveling), writing a book about them was impossible. This year, we are taking a break from being on the road/the water to focus on our “careers” and trying to make more money than the pittance when we travel.

AL – (There is even a section on Liesbet’s website on “living frugally” – worth checking out if you think that travel needs to be expensive!)

LC – During our cruising years, I maintained the blog It’s Irie (www.itsirie.com), but being off the boat now and enjoying a lifestyle of house and pet sitting throughout the US, I started a new blog called Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary (www.roamingabout.com). It is a collection of experiences, thoughts and photos about our unique life and my writing “progress”.

Over the years, I have also written heaps of articles for well-known sailing magazines in the US, Europe and the Caribbean: http://www.roamingabout.com/published-articles/ Right now, my priority is my non-fiction book, having got through the A-Z Blogging Challenge!

5 – A lot of writers and bloggers enjoy taking part in quote challenges, and sharing inspiring nuggets to help their fellow bloggers along. Can you tell us through one piece of life / writing advice, or quote about life / writing, that you are absolutely sick of hearing, that really doesn’t do it for you?

LC – “Sailing means freedom” and the thought that long term travel is only for the rich. We’ve proven both adages wrong! Plus, the conception that traveling as a lifestyle is always glorious (“just like a vacation”) is totally untrue.

AL – Well, if anyone would know about the truth, rather than the romantic ideal, of sailing, then it’s you!

6 – Two true facts about you, and one lie…. Don’t tell us which is which.

1. US Homeland Security kicked me out of the country once
2. US Homeland Security made me return my Greencard
3. US Homeland Security made me get married

AL – I’m reading a subtext of issues with Homeland Security…

7 – The zombies rise and take over the world. You have five minutes to pack a bag and hit the road… You’ve got the essentials – water, tent, sleeping bag, vitamins, toothpaste, copy of Al’s zombie haiku survival guide (coming soon to all good e-retailers)… What else do you grab?

LC – My husband, my computer, my camera, my diary (and in the olden days pen and paper)

AL – Note to anyone else who replies – if you are going to include your life partner in the list, make sure they’re first, as here!

8 – I’m often mistaken for a young, tall Tom Cruise (that’s a total lie, by the way!) … But who would play you in the movie of your life?

LC – I’d like to play the role myself, in my desire to have as many experiences as possible in life, acting is something I haven’t done yet. But, since I have no acting talent (well, it wouldn’t be acting in the first place, if I played myself, right?) and since you probably don’t like that answer, Julia Roberts can be the actress, the Coen brothers are allowed to direct the movie and Eddie Vedder will come up with the perfect soundtrack.

AL – I could see Julia Roberts working… Great pairing there in the Coens and Vedder!

9 – Doc Brown pulls up outside your house in the DeLorean… He’s got a few hours to spare, and fuel for one return trip… Where/when are you heading?

LC – Who is Doc Brown? What is a DeLorean? I’m not good with popular culture, never having lived a settled life long enough to become engorged and I have a really bad memory, but apparently, we are talking about “Back in the Future”. Not someone to dwell on the past and being one who loves adventure, I have to admit that I do like the unknown quality of the future, and don’t want to know yet what’s next. So, I would take a trip back to 2001 to Sulawesi in Indonesia to join a British man I had fallen in love with – instead of giving that plan up after trying and failing to get a plane ticket from Sumatra – and see how that decision of being more persistent would have changed my whole future and life…

AL – That’s a big roll of the dice there… by the way, next time you travel the world, let me know and I’ll lend you my copy of Back to the Future for those quiet nights on the sea!

10 – Your beloved partner (real or imagined) is out for the evening, and your celebrity “pass” is popping round. (You know, the one celebrity who your partner would allow you to spend a night with, without it being considered cheating… that’s a thing, right?) Who knocks on your door?

LC – I feel like an idiot not having a quick answer for this question. I don’t really live in a fantasy world, my real life is exciting enough. Let me think… How about the Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts, since I recently saw a movie with him and had no idea about his popularity, living on a boat in the middle of nowhere for many years? It would be awesome, to meet on American soil, talk Dutch to each other and exchange life stories. I would like to prepare Pad Thai and serve plum wine with it. That is after a mojito and shrimp cocktail and before signature wines to continue the evening. I’d offer him Baileys and Belgian chocolate for dessert. Or American chocolate chip cookies with Belgian morsels in it. The album “Into the Wild” is playing, followed by a mix of other favorites of mine. Until, I ask “Are you hungry… for something else?”

AL – If Matthias isn’t available, that would totally work on me… For those who don’t recognise the name, this is a picture of the not-entirely-unattractive Matthias Schoenaerts. I know I’m in danger of losing half the audience at this point!

matthias schonaerts
Matthias Schoenaerts looking radiant in my basement

11 – You manage, fortuitously but entirely accidentally in a bizarre toaster incident to rid the world of its most dangerous inhabitant… Who do you call to help destroy the evidence, and burn that hairpiece?

LC – My husband or my dad (I know, that is the most cliché answer).

12 – Another apocalyptic scenario, only now the pet food is running out… You have a dog, a cat, and a rabbit, but only food supplies for two of them… Which one misses out?

LC – The rabbit, because it makes good stew. Just kidding. Nobody misses out, since I will share my own food with the rabbit, or any animal that needs it.

AL – Top marks for finding a way around the problem, without sacrificing Thumper.

13 – In a line, any regrets??

LC – The idea is not to have any. Many quotes exist to confirm that sentiment. I’m doing my best with that one. So far, at 40, I don’t have any, except, maybe not making it to Sulawesi in 2001. But, that is more a curiosity matter than a regret. I did visit the island months later, with another man, an American this time… I only want to regret things that I did do, not things that I didn’t do.

AL – A perfect quote to end on!

So, a huge thank you to the Liesbet for sharing her fascinating story with us… and thanks no doubt for introducing some of us to Matthias Schoenaerts!

I look forward to following more of Liesbet’s adventures on her blog, and hope to see the book version in the near future 🙂 . Now, go and check out http://www.roamingabout.com/ and share the love!

 

Join us same time next week for another Dirty Dozen!

Do you fancy a turn in the hotseat? (This is aimed at bloggers as well as writers, so don’t be shy!) Leave your email in the comments and I’ll be in touch 🙂

 

The Dirty Dozen

The Dirty Dozen… with Richard Archer!

Welcome to another edition of The Dirty Dozen!

This is my spin on the author/blogger interview. This will hopefully create something entertaining and informative for you, the reader, while sharing what platform I have with some amazing and talented people. Not all of these questions are easy, but hopefully they will give you an insight into the person on the other side of the screen. Ultimately, blogging is all about making connections. Show your humanity, show your love, and support each other. Because really, what else is there?

This week, I’m delighted to be hosting Richard Archer (aka “Skaggy The Poet”) in the Dirty Dozen “hotseat”.

Richard is a poet who blogs and performs on a regular basis as part of the Walsall Poetry Society. He has a poetry book out – https://skaggythepoet.wordpress.com/buy-my-book/ – and you can follow more on his blog at – https://skaggythepoet.wordpress.com/

I asked Richard for a cheery picture. He sent me this one…

Pic for Al

1 – How in all the gin joints in all the world did you come across my blog?
Most days I do a random search on WordPress using the tag poem or poetry and see what turns up. One day your site appeared and I liked what I read so I decided to stick around, when I read your poems about the Walking Dead I knew I had made the right choice.

Yay! I’m planning more on The Walking Dead… maybe a romantic sonnet or two for Lucille 🙂

2 – You, in three words?
O.C.P. – Obsessive Compulsive Poet

(My inner nerd notes that these letters were used for the name of the all-powerful corporation in the original Robocop film, and smiles at the irony)

3 – The last book/ film/ or album that you wish you’d made
Every time I listen to the Professor Elemental album “Ape Quest,” I think I wish I’d thought of that. If you like steampunk chap-hop then this is the concept album for you as the Professor travels time and space to find his missing butler who is also an ape named Geoffrey.

I’d never heard of this before, but you can check it out on youtube. Bet you’ve never heard anything like it! This made me laugh out loud repeatedly. “Come take a look at my time travel trousers!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSXI6l5rubQ

4 – Where are you now on your writer’s / blogger’s journey?
I’m in the middle of working on three books of poetry. The first is a collection of poems from around my local area (the West Midlands in the UK), the second is a collection of poems with another poet from my home town of Walsall and last but not least I’m writing another book of poems to follow up my book “Beer Froth” which was published last year.

5 – A lot of writers and bloggers enjoy taking part in quote challenges, and sharing inspiring nuggets to help their fellow bloggers along. Can you tell us though one piece of life / writing advice, or quote about life / writing, that you are absolutely sick of hearing, that really doesn’t do it for you?
A lot of people when they know you write poetry try to be helpful with advice that often goes as follows…
“Listen to this you’ll get a real kick out of it and I bet it would make a great poem.”
To me poetry is my personal views and interpretations of events, stuff has to mean something to me to enable me to write about it. However I often say to the advice profferer “that’s great why don’t you write a poem about it?” Hoping to help another writer.

I’ve had the same. Working in an office and the toner runs out halfway through a big print run… “ooh you could write a poem about that”. Yes, because these are the moments I want to capture!

6 – Two true facts about you, and one lie…. Don’t tell us which is which.
I failed my English Literature studies at school and hated poetry cursing it almost daily during my time in the education system.
I have appeared on TV talking about poetry.
I was once booed off at an open mic when I read a version of the Lord’s Prayer that I had rewritten to be about doughnuts.

Well, doughnuts are heavenly…

7 – The zombies rise and take over the world. You have five minutes to pack a bag and hit the road… You’ve got the essentials – water, tent, sleeping bag, vitamins, toothpaste, copy of Al’s zombie haiku survival guide (coming soon to all good e-retailers)… What else do you grab?
As I have foot problems and I figure I’m going to be doing a lot of walking I wouldn’t go anywhere without a pair of comfy insoles. Plus pen and paper the apocalypse needs poetry and I will probably literally get to test whether the pen is indeed mightier than the sword.

I applaud the practical approach to footwear – it’s easily overlooked. But you might want to keep a sword as back-up to your trusty pen. I know D. Wallace Peach will be carrying a sword, for one thing!

8 – Who would play you in the movie of your life?
I think David Tennant would make a good me in a film entitled “From pork scratchings to poetry and back again.” As for the director I don’t want subtle so let’s have Quentin Tarantino working from a Paul Cornell screenplay with a Professor Elemental score.

Get Jason Statham on board too and I think this is a runner.

9 – Doc Brown pulls up outside your house in the DeLorean… He’s got a few hours to spare, and fuel for one return trip… Where/when are you heading?
Back to the eighties to visit myself at school. It’s time for a long overdue chat where I explain to myself that to get qualifications you actually have to attend school not spend all your time in second-hand record shops or the pub.

Isn’t this what youth is about though? And why wouldn’t you share the winning lottery numbers too (or at least Leicester winning the Football Premiership at odds of 5000-1)??

10 – Your beloved partner (real or imagined) is out for the evening, and your celebrity “pass” is popping round. (You know, the one celebrity who your partner would allow you to spend a night with, without it being considered cheating… that’s a thing, right?) Who knocks on your door?
I’ve always had a thing for Drew Barrymore so if she popped round I would have to attempt my signature dish of spag bol washed down with copious amounts of decent craft beer. We would dance to the dulcet tones of Cecilia Bartoli and when I pass out and she says “shall I call an ambulance? “ It’s probably the end of dinner.

It’s the stuff of romantic legends…

11 – You manage, fortuitously but entirely accidentally in a bizarre toaster incident to rid the world of its most dangerous inhabitant… Who do you call to help destroy the evidence, and burn that hairpiece?
Jean Reno the “cleaner” from La Femme Nikita, one of Luc Besson’s earliest and greatest films.

Richard’s taking no chances here!

12 – Another apocalyptic scenario, only now the pet food is running out… You have a dog, a cat, and a rabbit, but only food supplies for two of them… Which one misses out?
I figure dogs and cats can sort of fend for themselves so I’ll take the rabbit. I think never having owned one (we have an urban fox problem where I live) makes me curious as to what sort of pets they make.

Hurray! A win for the rabbit at last! Although having previously owned some, I would caution that they make rather disappointing pets…

13 – In a line, any regrets??
I’ve had a few I wouldn’t be lying but one wasn’t affecting my life as badly as I thought until I answered these questions!

So, a huge thank you to Richard for sharing, including those details about Drew Barrymore’s dream date, his envy of Professor Elemental’s chap-hop stylings, and acting as the humble rabbit’s last hope in the end times!

I hugely look forward to his future poems and books. Now, go and check out https://skaggythepoet.wordpress.com/ and share the love 🙂

Join us same time next week for another Dirty Dozen!

Do you fancy a turn in the hotseat? (This is aimed at bloggers as well as writers, so don’t be shy!) Leave your email in the comments and I’ll be in touch 🙂

 

The Dirty Dozen