Yesterday, UK author Geoff Nelder challenged me with some fun questions and a proviso: “I don’t know” is not an option. Today on Blog Funkhauser, I return the favor. GN is more than up to the task. Welcome!
What is your writer’s name?
What book you want to publicize? Genre? Target audience?
ARIA: LEFT LUGGAGE is the only book like it! Infectious amnesia doesn’t exist, thank goodness but that’s the unique premise of this, the first book of a trilogy in a science fiction and medical mystery aimed at adults. Even though Martin Amis says in scifi the plot is the main character, in ARIA everything orbits around people. Imagine the ramifications when the virus spreads with no one immune and everyone losing memory backwards at the rate of a year’s worth per week. People forget their jobs, their address, how to read, write and talk. You wake up next to a stranger each morning! Did you… last night?
What book inspired you most, as an adult, to take up fiction writing?
I was born writing jokes culminating in the honour of being an editor for the rag mag at Sheffield University. Teaching meant I had little time to write novels but writing student reports gave me ample opportunities to be creative. In 1995 I won the staffroom prize for writing this report (which I’d probably plagiarised) ‘The dawn of legibility in Stuart’s handwriting revealed his utter incapacity to spell.’ That prize was Tibor Fischer’s THE THOUGHT GANG. It’s premise is thus: consider two C20th century truths: 1) bank thieves were successful; 2) most bank thieves were unintelligent. Now picture an out-of-work philosopher gathering others like him and going on a bank-robbing spree through France. Brilliant, and best of all, Fischer loves playing with words. Maybe so much that the reader is too often whipped out of their fictive dream but it inspired me to write in a humorous mode and so wrote ESCAPING REALITY, a humorous thriller.
What funny moment have you experienced at a book signing – other author or yourself?
I was signing ESCAPING REALITY in Carlisle when two gorgeous young women advanced on my table. Pen poised, I asked what they’d like me to write. “Just move out of the way, dear, you’re blocking our way to the Spot the Dog books.”
Give us a picture of your usual writing desk / place and one of your favourite place to write? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
Most of my writing is done in the library and the picture shows me in the spy-mirror they have there.
My favourite place to write is out in the open though under shade, where I can hear and see the sea on the Greek island of Methana.
What makes your book a must-read to aficionadas of the genre?
It’s the only one with infectious amnesia; astronaut Leroy Chiao helped with techie details while he WAS IN ORBIT; the idea for writing it came to me while riding up a hill in Wales; endorsed by SF greats such as Mike Resnick, Jonathan Grimwood and Brad Lineweaver; all the locations are real.
What makes you mad?
Publishers who take a year to respond with only a ‘don’t love it enough’ and no helpful critiques. I was an acquisition editor and have accepted and rejected thousands of stories and wrote a brief review of each one and within a month.
What makes you laugh?
Life makes me laugh – it’s too short not to. At a party I mentioned that sex was the funniest thing people can do. Someone mentioned that to my wife and she retorted: “It IS, with him.”
What gets in the way of your writing and how do you overcome such blocks and obstacles?
I’m so easily distracted, especially by grandchildren and their nana. To finish a project I often take myself off to a writers’ retreat or similar for a week. Also I’m addicted to cycling. My legs itch to rotate after being still for two hours. I don’t get writers’ block as such because I’m always working on several projects and just switch one to another.
Kindle ARIA smarturl.it/1fexhs
Paperback ARIA http://hyperurl.co/52cmtv
Geoff’s Author page UK
And for US readers http://www.amazon.com/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY
Facebook for ARIA