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)

 

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A to Z Challenge – Halfway!

So, we’ve reached the halfway mark of the A to Z Challenge, and already there have been a lot of tips and advice on my chosen theme of surviving the zombie apocalypse… Here’s a quick recap! (I’ve been posting these on my blog directly, rather than on here – follow the link in the top-right of your screen if you’re at a laptop 🙂 )

Apocalypse comes: a zombie flavour.
Achieve survival – life’s to savour!

Pack a bag, be ready to go,
Life is beautiful, don’t you know.

No more commuting, that’s all out,
No chance of a cure, I have no doubt.

Build up defences, walls and bricks,
Death isn’t life, but still plays tricks.

Beware the evil that men do;
Don’t slip on entrails ‘neath your shoe.

Fish for food and find some friends.
Don’t know first aid? Make amends.

Growing food; guns and more.
Playing golf… guts and gore.

Knowing when to hide, or seek.
The humour skills you need to tweak.

Imitation, insects, immortality.
Imagine no Internet! Insanity!

Joggers’ justice in the park
Jam and jelly after dark.

Killing zombies, armoured knights,
Kayak, knife and knitting fights.

Living, loving on the land,
Laugh at lawyers getting canned.

Making music, marry right,
Military lost the fight.

So much advice, so many more…
Who knows what other tips in store?

What’s been your favourite tip so far? Any topics that you’re dying to hear covered? Let me know in the comments!

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/a-is-for-apocalypse/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/b-is-for/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/04/c-is-for/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/d-is-for/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/e-is-for/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/f-is-for/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/g-is-for/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/09/h-is-for/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/11/i-is-for-part-1-of-2/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/11/i-is-for-imagine-pt-2-of-2/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/j-is-for/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/13/k-is-for/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/l-is-for-1-of-2/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/l-is-for-2-of-2/

https://altheauthor.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/m-is-for/

A (1)

Limerick – Dreams

Beware of living your dreams
It isn’t quite what it seems…
When you’re struggling to run
From a currant bun
And flying custard creams!

 

For an insight into my dreams – a couple of days ago, my wife woke me, and the first thing I said was, “why don’t more sausages have cheese in them?”…

 

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Picture credit: flickr.com/photos/demandaj/4790926756

Written for: https://mindandlifematters.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/limerick-challenge-week-12-dream/

Batman v Superman: Partners in Rhyme

I wrote this a while back, but it seemed to make sense to dust it off now…

I’m a super-fan of Superman
But I need some answers please.
Flying around is all very well,
But where does he keep his keys?

– I’m also batty about the Batman,
– And he’s sussed the answer to that:
– Keeping his keys upon his belt,
– In a pouch (predictably) shaped like a bat

Saving the world is fine and dandy,
But what’s with Supey’s underpants?
Bright and red and on display,
Does he think it’s the fashion, by chance?

– By contrast, Bats takes a classic approach,
– And always dresses in black.
– It’s far more practical for working nights;
– He’s hidden ‘til POW!-THWACK!!

How does Superman prioritise?
He’s too many problems for one.
He can’t save everyone all of the time.
Can he ever have any fun?

– At least the Batster knows his limits,
– Focusing on Gotham town.
– Setting his sights on their crime lords,
– Determined to bring them all down.

And does Supe think that we’re too stupid,
To see through his Clark Kent disguise?
All he does is add some specs,
It’s clear to everyone’s eyes!

– Bruce Wayne makes more of an effort,
– Covering all except that chin.
– Cloaking his body in armour,
– Hiding the human within.

So I’m becoming less enamoured
With this fussy and flawed “super” man.
His costume’s frankly impractical,
Though he’s come far from where he began.

– Batty, though, has the gadgets and tricks,
– That are so much cooler than powers.
– And he prefers to party hardy
– Than moralise for hours.

So, in the end, I’m a “Bat” man
He’ll never let me down.
He’ll always be my favourite…
‘til Wonder Woman swings into town!

 

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The Two-Minute Manager – 4

Another dose of management and leadership advice from the somewhat cynical mind of guest blogger, See Yi-Oh… You only have yourselves to blame if you follow this advice!

Attending Operational Meetings

Show your importance
To the lessers in the room:
Head down and email

Gift them your presence
But deny them eye contact.
Who knows where that leads?

Strategy

Are you strategic?
There’s always scope to up-think.
Be more strategic.

Any report that’s
Longer than a page in length,
Isn’t for your eyes.

The true strategic
Does not think in words, numbers:
Start to think in shapes.

 

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