“Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!”

Today it is my absolute pleasure to welcome Tom Williams to my blog to tell us about the link between tango and vampires and their connection to his new book Something Wicked. So, without further ado, here’s Tom

“Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!”

Bram Stoker fans will recognise the quote but tango aficionados might reasonably think that it applies to them more than to Dracula’s wolves.

Tango by the Seine

You can dance tango by the Seine on a weekend afternoon but it is more often associated with midnight tango joints. The Golden Age of tango ran from around the mid-Thirties to the early Fifties and many of the best places to dance date from then or even earlier. Inevitably, a lot of the buildings have seen better days. So, for me, tango is associated with darkness and fading grandeur.

Tango in Buenos Aires

Despite the flaking plaster and the worn fabric on the chairs, an old tango salon comes to glamourous life as the dancers arrive, the women in their elegant dresses, the men at least (more or less) eschewing chinos and jeans and a surprising number in suits.

I have danced a lot in Buenos Aires, famous not only for its tango halls but for its cemeteries – vast necropolises where the dead can enjoy many of the comforts of the living. Streets full of miniature houses (and some not so miniature) provide a comfortable place to spend eternity .

But what if the dead are only resting, ready to leave their mausoleums as evening falls and join the whirling throng dancing through the night?

Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires

That idea lay behind Something Wicked, my second urban fantasy novel featuring tango dancers and vampires.

The story is set in London around a splendidly decaying ballroom (now sadly no longer with us) and Brompton cemetery, which may not be as splendid as some of the famous Buenos Aires cemeteries but which has its fair share of mausoleums and (importantly for the story) a substantial crypt.

Brompton Cemetery

My vampires have the traditional dislike of sunlight but are otherwise more like you and me than most of the legends that have grown up around them. “What are they all up to anyway?” asks one of the human characters in Something Wicked. “Why do you and your kind travel to and fro?” replies the vampire. “Business to do, friends to see, ceremonies to attend. We aren’t so very different to you.”

There is the little business of drinking blood, though. Generally the vampires try to keep their hematophagy discreet, taking a little now and then where it will hardly be noticed. As one of the vampires explains:

“There are people who will sell their blood quite cheerfully. Some are happy to let us have it freely. They seem to get some sort of sexual thrill from it.” His lips curled in distaste. “Then, at a pinch, there is animal blood.”

Every now and then, though, something goes wrong. People die very publicly and then the vampires have their own ways of tidying away the mess.

When the mess includes a peer of the realm, though, the police can’t be kept out of things entirely. The public must be reassured. But how reassuring will it be to discover that we are living alongside a substantial vampire sub-culture? Is this a crime that is better left unsolved?

Welcome to the most unusual police procedural novel of 2021.

Something Wicked: not your usual stake out.


Buy Something Wicked on Amazon https://mybook.to/Something_Wicked

Tom Williams used to write books for business. Now he writes novels set in the 19th century and books about vampires that are generally described as fiction but which are often more realistic than the business books. The stories have given him the excuse to travel to Argentina, Egypt and Borneo and call it research.

Tom lives in London. His main interest is avoiding doing any honest work and this leaves him with time to ski, skate and dance tango, all of which he does quite well. In between he reads old books and spends far too much time looking at ancient weaponry.

Want to know more?

Tom’s blogs appear regularly on his website, https://tomwilliamsauthor.co.uk where you can also find details of all his books. You can follow him on Twitter as @TomCW99 or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTomWilliams).

Reflection

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As I look back on the year just gone – and thank God we’ve seen the back of it – this thing that always reminds me of a badly made pompom will be my abiding memory. The words ‘2020’ and ‘Coronovirus’ will forever be linked and not in a good way.

However, when I reflect on the year just passed, it has taught me a valuable lesson. You’d think that with my past (I won’t bore you with the details again) I would know the importance of ‘living in the moment’ or ‘being present.’ I usually want to strangle anyone who uses those phrases but they are right. Surely 2020 has taught us that we can’t take anything for granted. Who in their right minds would have ever said that there would be a time when we couldn’t hug those that we love for fear of killing them? Not me. I just took it for granted.

The lesson of 2020 for me is that you can’t take anything for granted.

With that in mind in 2021 I am going to try to be more present and live in the moment and more importantly not put off doing the things that are important to me because life is precious, it is short and if you delay, there might not be time to do the things that you always meant to do.

Watch this space for the cookery book that I have always wanted to write. I feel a ‘to do’ list coming on.

We can’t change the past, we can only manage the future so here’s hoping for a happy and prosperous 2021 to us all.

The Real James Burke

I’m delighted to be here on Colette McCormick’s blog to introduce James Burke, whose latest adventure, ‘Burke in the Peninsula’ has just been published. She suggested I allow him to introduce himself but that would be a seriously bad idea. One of the reasons Burke is such a good spy is that he is a chameleon: a Catholic when with those of the Romish persuasion, a Protestant when that is more politic. He fought for the French king until his regiment was defeated by the British and then he became a loyal servant of King George. He can convince a Spaniard he is Spanish, a Frenchman that he is French or a Prussian that he was born and bred in Prussia. He can be a loyal friend to a man and yet seduce his wife. He is not to be trusted in love.

What do we know of the real James Burke? He was, indeed an Irish Catholic and like many Irish Catholics he joined an Irish regiment that fought under the French flag when this was a perfectly acceptable thing to do. Then, when England and France went to war, his regiment was defeated in 1793 and changed its allegiance to the British. Burke spoke fluent French and Spanish and moved naturally into intelligence work. His mission preparing the way for a British attack on Buenos Aires is described in Burke in the Land of Silver, which is closely based on fact.

He was a womaniser. In Land of Silver he has affairs with a queen, a princess and the wife of the local viceroy. Like the rest of the story, that is probably true. There is no record that he ever married.

He was a snob, at one stage changing his name to something that sounded more prestigious than Burke. He was a social climber, ingratiating himself with the rich and powerful. It cannot have been mere chance that all three of the women we think he had affairs with in Land of Silver were in positions of power or influence.

Why then, make him a hero?

I like the fact that he is flawed: quite deeply flawed. He’s not a knight in shining armour, but he is someone you can rely on in a crisis. He may be having sex with your wife, but he will have your back in a fight. He is physically brave. He is clever. He rides well, shoots well and can handle a sword. More importantly he will, in the end and however reluctantly, do the right thing. He will put his life on the line for a comrade. He will defend the weak against the strong. He is an unreliable lover, but not an unkind one. He hates the dishonesty and dirtiness of his work as a spy, but in the end he owes it to his king to do the job and he does it well. He is ruthless and can be cruel when his work requires it, but he is not malicious and will avoid causing unnecessary suffering, even in the midst of a particularly bloody and cruel war. He is, above all, loyal to his friends.

He is, in many ways, not a nice man, but if I met him, I’d probably like him, because he can charm when he wants to. (He cheats at cards, but he often loses on purpose because friends can be worth more than money.) More importantly, given that he is living through a particularly violent and bloody war, if I were ever to find myself marooned in his world, he is the man I would want beside me.

Burke in the Peninsula is published on 25 September and is available on pre-order. It is available on Amazon at £3.99 on Kindle and £6.99 in paperback.

You can read more by Tom Williams on his blog,
http://tomwilliamsauthor.co.uk/. His Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTomWilliams and he tweets as @TomCW9

I have to say that I think that I would like James Burke too – Colette.

Second Time Around for James Burke.

Today, Tom Williams tells us about the his hero James Burke.

 

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That difficult second book …

I’ve written five books now about James Burke.

Once I’d discovered the story of the real-life spy in Napoleonic-era South America, plotting the first novel, Burke in the Land of Silver, was easy. Most of the story is true. My main problem was making sure that the timelines were right which meant a lot of time working out how quickly you can ride over the Andes or how long a message took to travel from South America to England by ship.

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Burke was far too good a hero for me to abandon him after just one book, though. But where to take him next?

 

 

The ‘James Burke’ series was always supposed to be fun, with a brave English hero defeating the dastardly French. (If you want a more thoughtful look at history, try my John Williamson trilogy.) That means that I had to set my story round historical events where the French had lost and it turns out there aren’t that many of those. There’s Waterloo, of course, and I did write Burke at Waterloo as the third in the series, but I felt that having the second book set at the end of the Napoleonic Wars would leave me without anywhere to go. And there was the Peninsular War, a perennial favourite of British authors writing about the wars with France. Where would Richard Sharpe be without the Peninsular War to demonstrate his heroism in? Unfortunately, back then I didn’t really know much about the Peninsular War and what I did know seemed to be seen rather too much through Sharpe’s eyes. Since then I’ve grown increasingly fascinated by the war in Spain and Portugal, I’ve visited some of the battlefields and I’ve written a book that sees Burke firmly ensconced in Sharpe territory. Burke in the Peninsula will appear later this year. Back then, though, I wanted something different; something new.

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When I was a student, I spent part of my gap year in Israel, living near Akko. I was intrigued by the town walls of ancient Acre. They had, I read, resisted attack by Napoleon. What, I wondered, had Napoleon been doing in the Middle East? It turned out he had been trying to fight his way out of Egypt, his campaign there having been one of the few abject failures of his life before, 14 years later, he invaded Russia and the myth of French invincibility crumbled.

So there was the background for my second book: Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign.

There’s very little known about Burke’s life after South America. We know he remained in the army, with a pattern of moving between ranks and regiments that suggests continuing involvement in intelligence work. Beyond that, there is a convenient void that I can fill with my own imagination.TW4

So I sent Burke to Egypt, where he tangles with the French, whose landing is described in writer-friendly detail in some contemporary accounts. After that I’m left to my own imagination until close to the climax of the novel. One of the great military mysteries of the period is why the French fleet hung around at the Bay of Abu Qir until Nelson arrived to sink most of them in one of his greatest victories. Some people say that they were waiting for orders that never arrived. What could have happened to them? Two centuries later, you can read the book and find one possible explanation.

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Burke and the Bedouin isn’t the Great British Novel. There’s no deep sub-text to explore. But it’s huge fun, with pyramids, and Egyptian treasure, and a beautiful woman, and midnight rides across the desert. Despite little support from publishers in the past, royalty statements suggest it has been surprisingly popular, and I’m hoping that more people will discover it as the Burke books are re-launched. (Burke and the Bedouin is due out in July.) And, for those who need to justify their reading as self-improvement, it has a surprising amount of detail about a campaign you probably never heard of and a naval engagement that was once celebrated as one of Britain’s greatest victories but which has, in the past fifty years, been more or less forgotten.

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To find out more about Tom or indeed James Burke check out tomwilliamsauthor.co.uk

on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTomWilliams/

or on Twitter @TomCW99

Buy Burke and the Bedouin here

 

Buried Treasure and Marietta

 

GA CoverGilli’s book Buried Treasure was re-launched on 9th July with a great new cover and today she tell’s is about Tetta, one of the characters from the book. Speaking as someone who recently started looking into their family tree I found this fascinating.

Finding Tetta

Possibly the most important two facts about my approach to starting a new novel is that I’m an ‘into the mist writer’. And I like to subvert stereotypes.

I will have chosen an arena but I have only the haziest notion of where a story is going, and all I have to go on about my characters, is their back-stories.

In BURIED TREASURE all I initially knew about my archaeologist hero, Theo Tyler, was his very entangled background. I had decided to give him a family tree which suggested he should have lived a gilded youth, from prep to public school, from Oxbridge to a job in the Law or the City in one effortless glide, but……

Theo’s mother, Marietta (known as Tetta,) was the privileged only child of a titled family. She rebelled as teenager and, defying parental expectations, became involved with the punk-rock revolution. Her marriage to a notorious singer-songwriter, Vernon Tyler, drove an insurmountable wedge between her and her family.

When the story begins, Tetta is a long-widowed alcoholic, but craves recognition for the status she rejected when she was young.  If it proves impossible for her, then she wants her son to be acknowledged as the grandson of a baronet.

This scenario made the writing of BURIED TREASURE far more complicated than it might have been.  What was I thinking to create this complicated woman?  But if I wasn’t going to change her and make her more ordinary, I needed to understand her. Why would such a rebel do a complete about-turn in her middle-age and want to reclaim her status as part of the establishment? Then it came to me.  She is just like my grandmother!  The knowledge was a gift.  I could make her real.

My father’s mother, Dorothy, was from an affluent, upper-middle-class Victorian family. Her father, William Henry Ashton Smith, a pearl broker, regarded work as an interruption from the real purpose of his life – sport.  I won’t detail his various sporting accomplishments, but he eventually became president of Harlequins (rugby) Football Club. His second wife, Margaret Kitchin, Dorothy’s mother, was a professional singer of coloratura.

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Dorothy Allan

Dorothy grew up during the hay-day of the Gaiety Girl and music hall. When she was a stage-struck sixteen-year-old, having apparently inherited her mother’s voice, she dyed her hair blonde and appeared on the boards for the first time. By the time she was 21 she was married to William Pettit (described on the wedding certificate as a professor of music, in fact an actor and banjoist!). Only after Dorothy gave birth to my Aunt Joy was the marriage annulled. We don’t know on what grounds, but suspect William was a bigamist.

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The wedding of William Pettit and Dorthy’s wedding.

My grandfather, John Jamie Allan, was another theatrical – a ‘song and dance man’, known as Jamie Dallas – sadly injured in WW1. The appetite for music hall had begun to diminish after the war, and anyway, opportunities for someone who was now no longer acrobatic and able to do the prat-falls and dancing for which he was particularly known, were fewer and farther between.

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John Jamie Allan as Widow Twanky

This is how my grandmother, the rebel from the rather grand family, fell on very hard times.  Now with three boys, as well as her daughter from her previous marriage, Dorothy was no longer able to perform much herself – much as she would have loved to.  Living from hand-to-mouth, did not diminish her need to be noticed, to be the centre of attention – to be taken seriously. Once, after an altercation with her husband, she famously spent an afternoon on the back lawn in a “faint” until a neighbour enquired if she was all right.

My gran outlived her husband by seventeen years.  And the more she aged, the more the rebel was forgotten in the face of authority’s failure to treat her with sufficient respect. Snubs and slights offended her deeply. Her need to prove that she was being under-estimated, that she was better than this, would frequently erupt in the toe-curling demand: “Do you know who I am?”

When ‘No’ was the inevitable answer, “The niece of the late Dean of Durham!”  was her retort.  It became a running family joke.

We only discovered why she expected this announcement to humble her adversary, when we inherited her archive, a posh word for the unsorted jumble of ‘stuff’. Amongst it was a sepia photograph of G W Kitchin, the Dean of Durham Cathedral. It needed little research to discover he was a very eminent Victorian indeed. A notable scholar and friend of Ruskin and Lewis Carroll, he was Professor of Classics and History at Christchurch Oxford and became its chancellor. Prior to his appointment to Durham Cathedral, he had been the Dean of Winchester, as well as being an author, composer and tutor to the crown prince of Denmark. The list goes on.  But he wasn’t my gran’s uncle, he was her great uncle.

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G W Kitchin

Now, if I’m disrespected, I can say, “Do you know who I am?  I’m the great great great niece of the late Dean of Durham!”  More importantly, if anyone argues about the believability of Tetta, I can say: “But she’s based on my own grandmother!”

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Gran

Thank you so much for sharing this Gilli and for providing so many great photos. You can buy Buried Treasure here

Buried Treasure and what people are saying about it.
Jane thinks he sees her as shallow and ill-educated. Theo thinks she sees
him as a snob, stuffy and out of touch.
Within the ancient precincts of the university the first encounter between the
conference planner and the academic is accidental and unpromising. Just as
well there’s no reason for them ever to meet again. But behind the armour
they’ve each constructed from old scars, they’ve more in common than divides
them. Both have an archaeological puzzle they are driven to solve. As their
stories intertwine, their quest to uncover the past unearths more than
expected.
“I found Buried Treasure a compelling read. It was so many things: a
love story, a hunt for clues to lost secrets, and a fascinating look at how
our past experiences shape us, and how we can heal even after damage.
The characters were wonderfully well drawn. ”

Find Gilli’s other books TORN, LIFE CLASS and FLY or FALL at

author.to/GILLIALLAN

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Gilli Allan began to write in childhood – a hobby pursued throughout her teenage. Writing was only abandoned when she left home, and real life supplanted the imaginary kind.  

After a few false starts she worked longest and most happily as an illustrator in advertising and only began writing again when she became a mother. 

Living in Gloucestershire with her husband Geoff, Gilli is still a keen artist. She draws and paints and has now moved into book illustration.

All of her recent books TORN, LIFE CLASS, FLY or FALL and BURIED TREASURE have gained ‘Chill with a Book’ awards.

Following in the family tradition, her son, historian Thomas Williams, is now also a writer.

Contact Gilli at 

http://gilliallan.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/gilli.allan.1

https://twitter.com/gilliallan

The Things We Say.

This is a funny old world that we are living in  at the moment and I daresay that there are a lot of us doing things that we never thought we would. For some, those things will have been life changing and for others trivial. The thing that I have done that I thought I never would certainly edges towards the trivial and while I doubt it will ever be life changing it may see me taking a different tack.

This week I self published a book. It’s not a novel like the books that I have previously had published  the traditional way but rather a collection of short stories that I have written over the years for the now dwindling magazine market.

TFM

The older writers amongst us will be familiar with the term “vanity publishing” and that was something that I always said that I would never do. When self publishing started I still considered it to be a form of vanity publishing but I have come to realise that I was wrong and the two things are completely different. With vanity publishing there was an initial outlay of money and you were paying someone to publish your book but with self publishing there’s none of that. If you are going to do it properly there is possibly an investment to be made with regard to getting your work edited and having a cover designed professionally but if you trusted yourself to do those things properly, it needn’t cost you a penny.

I decided to start with the collection of short stories because I wanted to feel my way around the process and check out how things worked. Having done it I would consider publishing a novel at some point especially as I am now out of contract and feel like I am a bit too long in the tooth to start looking for a new publisher.

Take Five Minutes is available to buy from Amazon and is currently the bargain price of 98p in the UK, $1.21 in the US and around 1 euro all over Europe. It is only available as a kindle version at the moment but if there was a market for a paperback version I could sort that out.

I’d be interested to hear about things you have done that you never thought you would.

Buy Take Five Minutes on Amazon.co.uk

Sophie Claire – A Forget-Me-Not Summer

Today, I have the pleasure of welcoming Sophie Claire to my blog to answer a few questions and tell us about her book A Forget-Me-Not Summer.

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If you could only read one more book before reading became illegal what would it be and why?

Crikey. The thought of not being allowed to read makes me shiver! I usually have three books on the go at once (one for pleasure, one for research and an audiobook when I’m out and about) so to go without would leave a huge hole in my life. But if I had to choose one it would be The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger for its unique and gripping plot and beautiful writing.

If you could be a character in any book, who would it be?

Lyra (from Philip Pulman’s Northern Lights trilogy). She’s so brave and adventurous – everything I’m not.

What is the title of the book that you are going to tell us about?

A Forget-Me-Not Summer (originally published as Her Forget-Me-Not Ex) and re-released in December 2019. My new publisher, Hodder, asked me to extend the book and this gave me the opportunity to add more depth and twists to the story, which I really enjoyed. It was like revisiting old friends.

How did you come up with the title?

The heroine, Natasha, is a florist, and the story is about a second chance relationship, so I was thrilled when I managed to tie up the two with forget-me-nots.

Where did the idea for this book come from?

I’d had the back story for two characters, Luc and Natasha, in my head for while and I knew they’d had a passionate affair followed by an accidental pregnancy, shotgun wedding, then a miscarriage and a hasty divorce. But I couldn’t think of a reason to bring them back together again and start the story in the present day. Yet I knew that fundamentally, they were meant for each other. Then I went to a workshop about conflict and we were asked to write a scene in which two people wanted opposite things. The opening scene of A Forget-Me-Not Summer landed in my head and wrote itself: Luc walks into Natasha’s shop desperate for her help, whilst she is horrified and certain that she will never, under any circumstances, become entangled in his life again. The scene I wrote raised so many questions – why hadn’t Luc told his family about the divorce? Why was his father so adamant he wanted to meet Natasha? What would persuade her to go?

I came away from the workshop buzzing and desperate to get started on the story.

Which character in this book is your favourite and why?

Jean-Pierre, the hero’s father, is a mischievous and complex character, but you’llave to read the book to find out why!

Where can we buy the book?

The ebook is out now (getbook.at/Forgetmenotsummer) and the paperback will be out in June 2020.

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How can your readers keep in touch with you?

My website sophieclaire.co.uk has links to all my social media accounts. You’ll find me on Twitter (@SClairewriter), Facebook (sophieclairewriter) and Instagram (sophieclairewrites) most days, and Pinterest too. I love connecting with readers and swapping book recommendations.

Thank you so much for stopping by, come back again soon.

It’s been a pleasure. Thanks for having me, Colette.x

Jill Barry – The House Sitter

Today Jill Barry answers a few questions and tells us about her psychological thriller The House Sitter.

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If you could only read one more book before reading became illegal what would it be and why?

I thought I would struggle with this question and I certainly have! But I’m a huge fan of Rosie Thomas and have all her novels on my bookshelves. ‘Constance’ lives up to what it says on the tin and is truly ‘A lush and sweeping voyage of self-discovery’

If you could be a character in any book, who would it be?

I used to dress up as Mary Mouse, complete with lipstick and my mum’s high heels, when I was a small child. Later on, Little Women became a favourite and I always admired Jo March. Professor Bauer always seemed delightful, too. Having revisited the book over the years and particularly now there’s a recent new movie adaptation, I realise how ahead of her time Jo was.

What is the title of the book that you are going to tell us about?

The House Sitter – my first psychological suspense

How did you come up with the title?

The couple featured in my novel live at The Sugar House, but I didn’t want the name of their residence to be the book’s title. My scheming protagonist needed to be more than merely a neighbour and friend, and suddenly she became the house sitter.

Where did the idea for this book come from?

I spent several years living in a rural Welsh village in the heart of idyllic countryside so that area was what I saw when writing village scenes. Also, a friend had recently put her house on the market and I began to wonder what might happen if one of my friend’s neighbours decided to try and prevent the sale. Needless to say, I didn’t employ any of the tactics my manipulative protagonist uses.

Which character in this book is your favourite and why?

I can imagine becoming friendly with Bethan Harley who is the estate agent trying to sell The Sugar House. She’s attractive, good at her job and a loving mum. Sadly, she and her husband are struggling to maintain their relationship. Although Bethan becomes attracted to the man who wants to buy The Sugar House, she doesn’t attempt to take this any further in order to ‘get her own back’ on her husband. My Bethan character flatly refused to allow me to put her on the path to infidelity and she’s to be admired for this. I’d like to say here that my local book club members all decided Ray Kirby, prospective purchaser, made them think of actor Hugh Jackman, albeit a little younger.

Where can we buy the book?

The House Sitter is available as paperback or eBook via this link https://www.amazon.co.uk/House-Sitter-Jill-Barry/dp/1786157268

OR from your local independent bookshop, also from waterstones.com in paperback.

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How can your readers keep in touch with you?

Readers can check out my website: www.jillbarry.com and use my contact form

Or, via Twitter @barry_jill

Or on Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/JillBarryBooks/

 

Thank you so much for stopping by, come back again soon.

It’s been great to respond to your interesting questions, Colette. Thank you so much for inviting me on to your blog.

Wishing you well with your writing,

 

Jill Barry

Me – An Uncomplicated Man

I thought that today I’d take a stab at answering the questions I’ve been asking other people recently.

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If you could only read one more book before reading became illegal what would it be and why?

My first instinct is to say Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles because as I have said a thousand times it is my favourite book EVER. That said, maybe I should go for something different. Should I go for one of those books that appears on the lists of books that everyone should read before they die? Should I try a new genre or a new author? Then I think about it and realise that if it’s the last thing that I am going to read, I want to make sure that I’m going to enjoy it. If I had to choose my last meal, would I try something that I’ve never had before on the off chance that I might like it? Absolutely not. So, if I could only read one more book, it would definitely be Tess of the d’Urbervilles.

 

If you could be a character in any book, who would it be?

I have only just realised what a difficult question that is to answer. However, on reflection I think that given I quite often prefer animals to people I’d quite like to be Dr. Dolittle. I would be able to help animals which would be great and I’m sure I’d have lots of interesting conversations.

 

What is the title of the book that you are going to tell us about?

An Uncomplicated Man

 

How did you come up with the title?

Until shortly before publication it was called something else. The cover had been mocked up and it had been advertised with that title but then the original publisher decided the title wasn’t strong enough and asked me to come up with another one. “An uncomplicated man” is what someone calls the main character so it seemed to work.

Where did the idea for this book come from?

The first nuggets of the idea came to me when I was on dialysis one night and I was thinking about my dad. His favourite song was Danny Boy and I wanted to write a book with that as a title. Danny Boy was the original title by the way, the one that the publisher decided wasn’t strong enough. Anyway, all I had to start with was the name of the main character. But he was a Daniel rather than a Danny, in fact he hated being called Danny, it was a weakness. And, the thing is about weaknesses is that people exploit them. Daniel has another weakness too and her name is Lucy. An Uncomplicated Man is their story.

 

Which character in this book is your favourite and why?

To be honest most of the characters are pretty awful but the one that I like the most is Isobel Laither. She appears weak but she isn’t.

 

Where can we buy the book?

You can buy it on Amazon as well as Waterstone’s and WH Smith’s. You might even find it in the odd independent book store.

 

How can your readers keep in touch with you?

Facebook

Twitter

Colette McCormick on Books and Life in General