Lychees or Peaches? with author, Adrian Deans: in which Adrian doesn’t tell us the meaning of life.

 

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1 Hard questions first, Adrian:

Lychees or Peaches?

Seeing as I’d rather suck petrol out of a hose before eating lychees, I guess it’s peaches.

 

2 If you were written about in a newspaper, what would the headline say?

Abbott’s Axe-murderer Receives Thanks of Nation

 

3 What is your favourite line from a book or movie?

Too many to choose from… Maybe: “Is sex dirty?” “Only if it’s done right.” (Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex); OR “Anyone who doublecross Tuco and leave him alive…does not understand Tuco.” (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) OR “Oh…and what’s so stinking about it?” (A Clockwork Orange)

 

4 What genre do you usually write in? And why do you think this is so?

 

I started out writing strange speculative fiction stories but accidentally morphed into an offbeat crime novelist. I certainly did not do this on purpose. My first stories were very ‘high concept’ and required a lot of work from the reader…they didn’t get published. I turned to writing screenplays and learned a huge amount about telling a story through dialogue and being very direct about getting from plot point to plot point. I also relaxed into my natural style – allowing some understated humour to enter the stories. Then when I tried again to write a novel, armed with my screenwriting skills and a very commercial story idea, the half-written draft (Mr Cleansheets) was accepted by the first publisher to whom I showed it. I found I enjoyed exploring the (slightly comic) dark side and seemed to have a talent for it. So I have increasingly focussed my writing in that direction.

 

5 Tell me a secret about yourself that nobody in the whole world knows? Go on tell me, nobody but me is listening.

 

I have discovered the meaning of life.

 

6 What is your latest book about?

 

My last book (Straight Jacket) was about a life sculptor – a lawyer who takes an interest in strangers and pulls strings in the shadows to change their lives as he thinks they deserve. At the same time the story is also being told from the perspective of a detective in charge of a serial killer investigation, but the detective can hardly focus on the case when his boss hates him, his deputy is trying to undermine him, and the woman he loves is having an affair. As it says on the back cover: In the cicada-throbbing heat of a Sydney summer, the threads of a strange story tangle together in a wild conclusion no-one will see coming.

 

7 How did you come up with the title? Did it come to fistycuffs with your editor?

 

Straight Jacket works on several levels. It is the name on the biker vests in the story; Morgen refers to his expensive suit as his ‘straight jacket’; Morgen’s greatest terror is to be regarded as bourgeois (which is a synonym for ‘straight’) and cicadas are an important transcendent theme. There is a cicada emerging from its shell on the cover. If I say any more I’ll spoil it, but no…there was no argument from the editor.

 

8 When you daydream about singing on The Voice (I know you do) which song do you sing and if you could have any celebrity judge in the world turn for you who would it be?

 

Well, I seriously don’t daydream about this…but if I did, I’d be singing Life on Mars and David Bowie would turn for me.

 

  9   What do you really, really, really, love?

 

Football, travel in Europe, great books and films, music, dinner parties with friends, excellent wine, any sort of writing success (especially good reviews) and my wife Kazzie.

 

 10 Can you show us a quick snap of your work desk? No tidy spic and span ones please. I won’t believe you.

My work desk is mainly my lap top on the train (I commute an hour each way to work every day).

 

11 Serious stuff now: where can we purchase your latest book?

 

All sorts of places (including the airport bookstores) but if in doubt:

http://www.highhorse.com.au/straight-jacket/ OR

http://www.booktopia.com.au/straight-jacket-adrian-deans/prod9780646906256.html

 

 

Thanks for taking part in Lychees or Peaches? Adrian!

If you would like to see more of Adrian you can find him here:

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http://adriandeans.wordpress.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18341665-straight-jacket

https://www.facebook.com/StraightJacket242

 

 

 

 

Lychees or Peaches? with author David Henley: wherever he lays his hat, that’s his desk!

 

Photograph by Michael Kennedy
Photograph by Michael Kennedy

 

1 Hard questions first: Lychees or Peaches?

 Peaches if you got em

 

2 Pamela Freeman ate all the nectarines so Lychees or Peaches are really you’re only choice. If you were written about in a newspaper, what would the headline say?

Hopefully something like ‘Sci-fi is back’ but don’t they outsource the headlines these days 🙂

 

3 What is your favourite line from a book or movie?

 ‘Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.’

 

4 With that famous reference we possibly don’t need to ask, but which genre do you usually write in? And why do you think this is so?

Sci-fi. For two reasons, I read a lot of science and technology blogs and magazines. The pace of change and the effect it is having on us as a species is fascinating. 

And I found early attempts to write in a contemporary setting, readers were just fixated on who the author was in the story. So I found it almost impossible to write ‘fiction’ in a now-world. It wasn’t fun for me. 

 

5 Tell me a secret about yourself that nobody in the whole world knows. Go on tell me, nobody but me is listening.

 I enjoy certain TV and movies that real men wouldn’t admit to. I’ll just say that Amy Sherman Palladino is awesome. 

 

6 What is your latest book about?

It’s book two in a trilogy and book one ended on a cliff hanger so I’ll be evasive. Basically the problems that had started to be revealed in PJ1 get out of control. The whole series is about future possibilities, where technology could lead us and what a hyper-connected world could look like. For me it is about having fun with ideas and I hope the readers enjoy it as much as I do. 

 

7 How did you come up with the title? Did it come to fistycuffs with your editor?

Manifestations was actually the original title for the first book. I had a new publisher in charge for book two and she wanted to change the direction. I know a lot of authors like to throw their weight around but the publisher is the one who has to sell the book. The packaging is their turf and I respect that. 

 

8  When you daydream about singing on The Voice (I know you do) which song do you sing and if you could have any celebrity judge in the world turn for you who would it be?

‘I wanna be like you’ by King Louis in The Jungle Book. I’ve always wanted to make that into a rock song. 

Vince Noir from The Mighty Boosh. 

 

9 So you’re The Voice dream is to be a mane-wearing rock-star? There’s an image. Okay, so what do you really, really, really, love?

Heart-love or brain-love? My heart will answer the wife, my family and my friends. 

My brain loves complexity and thinking about our crazy mixed up world. 

 

10 You have a Wizard of Oz theme developing here with your Lion and heart interests. Lets move on. Can you show us a quick snap of your work desk? No tidy spic and span ones please. I won’t believe you.

 

Desk? Where we’re going, we don’t need desks. 

I write everywhere. I just sync up my tech and then find a cafe or a couch and bring it all together on a laptop. 

Here’s where I’m writing answers to this Q&A

 

 

11 Serious stuff now: where can we purchase your latest book?

 I can’t show prejudice either way. Most bookshops ‘should’ have it, or can get it from HarperCollins. Ebooks from all the usual suspects. 

 

Thank you for taking part in Lychees or Peaches? David!

If you would like to know more about David, or just want to say hi, you will definitely find him at the following places.

@davidmhenley

www.facebook.com/TerenceBumbly

Www.pierrejnr.com

 

Lychees or Peaches? with author Pamela Freeman: don’t get between Pamela and her drum kit!

 

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1 Hard questions first: Lychees or Peaches?

Um…nectarines? Peaches if I must.

 

2 Okay, nectarines it is then (you’re such a rebel Pamela.)  If you were written about in a newspaper, what would the headline say?

Funnily enough, I received a copy of an article about me today.  The headline read:  Top Author Shares Secret With Students.  I’m okay with that one.

 

3 I wonder what that secret was – I bet it has something to do with drums – I guess we have to enroll in your novel writing course to find out! What is your favourite line from a book or movie?

This is hard…I’m a bit of a media girl. It’s likely to be a Monty Python line, like: Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Or We would like: a shrubbery. I also love the first line of George Orwell’s 1984: It was a cold, clear day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen.

 

4 Which genre do you usually write in? And why do you think this is so?

This is a hard question for me as I’ve just changed genres. In the past, I’ve written mostly fantasy (plus science fiction, mystery and non-fiction).  But my most recent novel is for adults and it’s straight history, set in World War I.  It’s called A Soldier’s Wife.  I suspect I may be writing more of historical fiction – I started a few years ago, with a book about Mary MacKillop’s childhood, but it’s been growing on me. I enjoy the research, I think.  I used to do a lot of research for my day job, and I did find that when I started full-time writing I missed that element, so maybe that’s why I’ve turned to history.

 

5 Tell me a secret about yourself that nobody in the whole world knows? Go on tell me, nobody but me is listening.

I blush to admit it, but I don’t have many secrets. I talk too much for that and my husband knows me too well. Can I use one that he knows?  I have a passion for real estate.  I’m one of those people who are constantly going online to check out what’s open for inspection.  I like to ‘keep an eye on the market’ just in case – even though we have no immediate plans to move!  My husband indulges me in this.  At least it’s a cheap hobby!’

 

6 If that’s the case, Pamela, I’ll remember not to tell you any secrets!  What is your latest book about?

The last published book is a non-fiction book about how Australia changed during Mary MacKillop’s lifetime (a project book, really).  The next one coming out is the fourth Betony book, Princess Betony and the Hobgoblin.  And my current novel is the WWI book, A Soldier’s Wife, which is with the publisher at the moment.  I’m waiting to find out if they’re going to publish it.

 

7 Good luck with A Soldier’s Wife! How did you come up with the title? Did it come to fistycuffs with your editor?

Not so far, but the cover designer hasn’t got hold of it yet!  In my experience, that’s when you are most likely to be asked to change the title. In fact, I’ve changed it twice already. My first working title was 1916, which sounded like a text book; then I called it The Home Front, but I thought that sounded boring.

 

8 When you daydream about singing on The Voice (I know you do) which song do you sing and if you could have any celebrity judge in the world turn for you who would it be?

I love Joel so I would pick him.  As for songs…. so, in my daydream, I sing a lot better than I actually do, of course, so I could handle songs I couldn’t really sing… something jazzy from the 30s, maybe? There’s a Bessie Smith song I heard recently (at a Hugh Laurie concert) which is so much fun and yet so heartbreaking that I couldn’t resist it. It’s called Send me to the Lectric Chair, and it’s a woman singing to the judge, asking him to give her the death penalty because she’s killed her unfaithful lover. Sounds appalling, but it’s a hell of a song! Judge, Judge, please Mister Judge, send me to the ‘lectric chair…

They would turn, oh yes they would!

 

9  What do you really, really, really, love?

My drum kit

 

10 Can you show us a quick snap of your work desk? No tidy spic and span ones please. I won’t believe you.

 

chair

 I don’t write much at a desk.  The great advantage of writing in a chair is that it stays neater than a desk!

 

11 Lovely, lovely chair, I think you might have the secret to writer’s back health. Okay, serious stuff now: where can we purchase your latest book?

My kids’ books are available in most bookshops – or they can be ordered anywhere,  Dymocks, Booktopia, Amazon.  You won’t find Betony at Big W, because it’s a small (gorgeous) edition and they can’t shelve it, but once it’s out in paperback you’ll be able to get it there too (next year).  My adult fantasy books can be ordered also – I would recommend Pulp Fiction books if you want them quickly (0732362750)

 

Thank you for taking the time to do Lychees or Peaches, Pamela!

Pamela Freeman teaches a novel writing course at the Australian Writers’ Centre in Sydney, her next one starts in June, and I think there is still a couple of spaces if you are quick!

 

Pamela can also be found on Facebook at pamelafreemanauthor

 

 

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