Thursday, September 19, 2013

SOMEONE ELSE WHO ISN'T ME: INTERVIEW WITH TOM GREENWOOD



Hello Splinkervillains!  I was just reading up on the big zombie walk at Asbury Park, October 5th.  Apparently, I'm going to be there!  

But today's post isn't about clicking on "I've Been Deader" or "Inside My Shorts: 30 Quickies."

Today we are here to talk about someone else who isn't me.  Yay.  Nothing I like doing more than using my own blog to help others.  It gives me a warm squishy feeling  deep inside and a little to the left. That's why when I found out Tom Greenwood had written a book I immediately waited several  months and then dashed off to conduct what I think will be the interview of the week, if not the weekend.

Is that Splinker?  I think I see him!


So,  let's  get to it!

Me: First off, have you read “I’ve Been Deader,” and how much did you love it?

Tom G: I have read the start of it, which was as much as was available at the time. This was when it was on a certain website owned by Rupert Murdoch and starts with an ‘A’. And yes although horror isn’t my cup of tea I did enjoy what I read. The humour was my type of humour (mostly).

Me:  Hmm.  In order to truly understand and enjoy my work, you should pay for it.
How did you start your writing career?
Tom G again: 
Oh no! I'm meeting with the publisher and I'm stark naked!
This is a cliché but I had a dream and when I woke up, I thought there was the idea of a book, so the dream became parts of the beginning and the end of my first novel. I just had to flesh out the middle.


 



 

Me: Where do you dream of traveling to and why?
Not Me: I like to visit different places, though I suppose if I were able to travel anywhere, then to other planets (with appropriate life supports) and / or a time machine would be involved.







In Detroit, no one can hear you scream.

 

Me: Does travel play in the writing of your books?
Whatshisname: Yes. The first book is like a road movie, but with dinosaurs. So there’s lots of travel.

Me: Tell us about your current release.

For the unblurry version, click HERE
Tom Greenwood: It is called ‘A slight Mistake in the Code’ which hasn’t always been called that. It is set on a Dyson Sphere (Wikipedia is your friend if you want to find out more) and I don’t want to give too much away but it’s got car chases, exploding helicopters and dinosaurs in. What’s not to like.

Tom: Once I’ve sold enough books, I’ll release the sequel. The thing is, I keep thinking up ideas for subsequent stories. The problem is they follow on from the previous ones so my first one has to be a success.

 







Me: After reading my works, has there been anyone else in the history of literature that has provided you with even a modicum of inspiration?:

Not Me:   Not really – I suppose yes would be a better answer but the truthful answer is no.

Me:  What was your first sale as an author?

Tom Greenwood: Bizarrely it was to someone called Splinker. Whatever happened to him (truthfully - he bought my book first, I think. If I ever find him once I’m really famous I’ll give him an autographed copy)

Me: I know talent when I see it, which explains why I spend three hours each morning in the bathroom. When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?
Tom G: Whenever I have something I want to get out of my head and onto the computer’s harddrive – though obviously not when I’m at work.
DAMNIT!!

Me: What is the hardest part of writing your books?
When you get stuck and want to continue. The best thing is to leave it, the plot will resolve itself eventually.

 








Me: What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?
Tom: She didn’t know for ages. She couldn’t work out why I was on the computer for so long, but then I confessed. We were on holiday recently and she got a chance to read it and had to finish it.
Then my mother-in-law is going to get her book club to read it. She really liked it. And she’s not my target audience – far from it. I’m not really sure what that proves if anything.

It's just porn!  I wasn't writing, I swear!
Me: Who are your books published with?
Tom Greenwood: McStoryTeller.com

Me: Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of questions do they ask?

Not Me: Not much, not sold enough copies yet. Perhaps I should put a comments thing on my website. That’s quite a good idea. By the time you read this it might be there.

Me: That's me, Mr. Idea man.  Other than zombies, what do you think makes a good story?
Not Me: One that you would want to read. If you want to write, that’s what I would recommend.

Me: And now for the simplest of questions: Plotter or Pantser? Why?

Not Me: Right, I’m not sure I understand the question. I think you’re asking if I plot, or if I write by the seat of my pants. The answer is sometimes I have an end in sight, the problem is when things occur and then sometimes it doesn’t end up where I intended. On one occasion, someone died, I was almost as surprised as the reader will be.
Daddy, why do we always have to do everything that Mr. Floppy wants to do?

Me: Tell us about your family.

Tom: I am married, with two daughters and a rabbit.

 











Me: Other than "I've Been Deader," 
what books have most influenced your life?

Tom: Hmm.  I don't think any have.

Me: What are your favorite TV shows?
 
Not me:  At the moment I am waiting for Sherlock and Dr. Who to return.


I don't even know what we're talking about!
Me: Who?

Not Me: Yes.

Me: So you are waiting for who to return?

Not me: Exactly.

Me: Er...

 







Me: What songs are most played on your Ipod?

Tom: The top songs on my playlist are:
Heartbeat – Scouting for Girls
Wuthering Heights – Kate Bush
Club Country – The Associates
The Road to Hell (parts 1 & 2) – Chris Rea
Human – The Killers
Losing my religion – REM
I’m not sure what that says about me.


Me: Keeping in mind that there are already way too many of us to make a decent living, Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?

Tom: 
1)   Read lots
2)   Write the story you would want to read
3)   Come up with a unique slant
Me: I've heard rumors that many writers who are not me sometimes get a bad review.  How do you react to a bad review of your book?

Not Me: 
I’ve not had that opportunity yet. I suspect I’ll sulk.

 Me: Who should play you in a film of your life?

Not Me: Apparently I look like the President of Afghanistan so perhaps him, or Dr. Evil.
 
Allah, Allah Oxen Free!






Me: What is the next big thing?

Tom: Duh! – Dyson Spheres – they’re very big


Me: Describe what it’s like to be an author in three words.
Not Me: Fun, frustrating and (oops that’s three)

Me: Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

Not Me: Because I think you will enjoy it. There did it in one.

Me: Ha! That's two!
 
Me: Is there one passage in your book that you feel gets to the heart of your book and would encourage people to read it? If so, can you share it?

Tom: I like the following…
“Oh shit, oh shit. Bugger!”
“What?”
“You’re coming off on a sodding quest with me.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’ve a good mind to take you home now for all … Listen if we see a magic sword, we don’t touch it.”
Janol just stared at Onnil. What was she talking about? Magic swords!
“Oh no,” she was almost crying. “I’m the mentor. I’ve become a cliché.”
Someone has been reading too many books.


Me: CNN just did a report on this thing called the "internet." Do you have a Website or Blog?

Tom G.: Yes to both – website www.aslightmistakeinthecode.com (you can read the first 20% for free and lots of short stories – read Cryo it’s quite funny). And a blog at
http://mcvoices.weebly.com/tom-greenwoods-blog.html

Me: What question do you wish was on the list? Your answer?

Not Me: "Have you put anything in your books that will stop you getting an OBE or an MBE?" Answer – Yes I reference this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Philip_Movement.

Me: That's it.  This interview is over!
ABORT!  ABORT!

Not Me: If you want to read some of my work, then see me website or some of my short stories are on the McVoices website. But here’s something to enjoy.

The Bin Day Code

There is something to be said for having lots of time on your hand, not needing a job and having, yes I am aware of them, slight mental health issues of the compulsive sort. The thing is, once you get the idea in your head to do something no matter how absurd it is then really there’s no stopping you. You just sort of can’t.
My latest obsession was with Bin Day.
Where I live we get our bins emptied on a Monday, weekly, but what about elsewhere? Are there weekend emptyings? Do certain days predominate? This sort of thing needed research. And I decided I was the person to do it.
I should point out, for the purposes of this exercise I treated fortnightly liftings as weekly. I took note of them for subsequent analysis you realise but fortnightly emptyings on a Monday are just Mondays.
Now even with the wonderous interweb in all of its glorious pages, there is not a lot of information on which postcodes get their bins emptied on which day. For that sort of information you have to write to the councils directly.
Dear Sir I am a Post-graduate student studying recycling blah-de-blah-de-blah, you get the drift.
So wait a few weeks and the replies start coming in from the councils. A wealth of information, not just on bin days but on glass recycling days, biodegradables and so on. Lots of information to catalogue and cross-reference. Then with a large blank map of Great Britain, printed from the internet, on several pieces of A4, I start colouring in the areas according to bin-day, making sure I got all those tiny little areas in just the right place. Yes I know I missed out Northern Ireland, but because it shares the island of Ireland with the Republic, I was saving that for future research.
So blue for Monday, green for Tuesday, yellow for Wednesday was a bit faint, so I made it orange, purple of Thursday and red for Friday. Well I thought I could be line for the Turner Prize, I think that’s what its called you know that arty-farty art prize for painting with elephant dung or dead cows. My work could show our obsession with recycling or how artwork can be created out of raw information. You can make up any justification for any piece of piss and sometimes the entries are piss. I wonder if anyone has done that? Entered some piss because all the entries are piss. They ignored my previous artwork by the way, my origami jungle. It took me months to finish that.
I’m off the subject aren’t I, so I was about halfway through it when I started to notice a pattern. The annoying thing was the councils in the North of England were a bit slow to reply. Scotland and South of England, they were on the ball, but North of England, weeks behind. Eventually though, enough of them had managed to reply. I’ll bet you’re glad to know that your rates are being spent on such useful things as to replying to pretend recycling students. Not the recycling of students but students of recycling just so you’re sure about that. I’m going off the subject again aren’t I?
Anyway once I had finished, and I had to deliberately not look until I was finished, you can do that if you’re obsessive, most people can’t, but I can. Anyway once I was finished I put the map sideways on the wall, the only way it would fit. Only the colours weren’t random, what had appeared on my map was a message. Written across my wall was the multi-hued message ‘God woz ‘ere’.


Me: Sorry Tom, I ran out of ink.  But thanks for stopping by!  If you are one of those people who still read, you could do a lot worse than Mr. Greenwood.

Please, comment, purchase, comment, and purchase.  

WARNING:  CLICKING HERE WILL NOT TAKE YOU TO "I'VE BEEN DEADER"