Today John Hartless is here to answer a few questions about his novel Full Throttle amongst other things.
If you could only read one more book before reading became illegal what would it be and why?
That’s difficult; maybe I should read something I don’t like, to lessen the pain of never being able to read again except in illicit underground clubs? So, maybe The Churchill Factor by Boris Johnson or The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah? Both represent appalling works of literature…
If you could be a character in any book, who would it be?
James Bond, but only because he seems able to drink and eat what he wants, and in the quantity he wants, without ever getting fat, high blood pressure, indigestion or galloping diabetes. Git!
What is the title of the book that you are going to tell us about?
How did you come up with the title?
The editor at Accent Press, Joe, quite rightly rejected my first title as being awful. (Poppy Orpington and Thunderbus). Unfortunately, he also disliked my second idea, Birth of the Petrol Queen, as Accent Press had a policy at that time for books with only one or two word titles.
The book was inspired by the 1920s racing scene, especially the Bentley Boys, famous drivers who had a reputation for driving all day and partying all night. Their most famous member was Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin, who gave his autobiography the title Full Throttle, so that seemed apt.
Rather annoyingly, Accent then seemed to abandon the title policy and I was able to name the sequel Rise of the Petrol Queen, which would have tied in nicely with the ‘lost’ title of book one and the provisional title of book three, Fall of the Petrol Queen.
Where did the idea for this book come from?
It was inspired by a few things floating around in my head; the Bentley Boys, as mentioned above, hearing about a Steampunk pantomime version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and finally seeing a car on television called Brutus, a massive home-made affair with the engine from a fighter plane dropped into a huge chassis. Add on to that my perennial musings on the unfair nature of society, with those at the top being given everything while those at the bottom get – at best – table scraps, mix the whole lot together, and bang! You have a Steampunk motor racing adventure which looks at the discrepancy between rich and poor, and how this unfair system is maintained…
Which character in this book is your favourite and why?
Poppy Orpington; she’s intelligent, funny, angry and a misfit in a small-minded world which demands conformity and obedience to the status quo. Also, she can’t hold her drink. At all…
Where can we buy the book?
The first way is in person, if you ever see me at an event. I’m scheduled to be at the Burton Sci-Fi and Fantasy Con, Burton Upon Trent library, all day Saturday 15th February 2020, and the Tamworth Literary Festival on the evening of Friday March 6th 2020.
Alternatively, of course, there is always Amazon:
How can your readers keep in touch with you?
Thank you so much for stopping by, come back again soon.
Thank you, I will!