Tag Archives: interview


Check this interview with Rachel Cotterill who is here to talk about her book Watersmeet.

— Today we are talking about Watersmeet your new book. Can you tell us a bit about this story?

Thanks Lynzie. Watersmeet follows the story of Ailith, a young woman who has grown up in a large family and works in her father’s pottery workshop. Her parents would like to see her marry up, but she’s reluctant to settle for a life with someone she doesn’t love. And then she discovers she’s a mage, and has the opportunity to travel across the country by herself, and suddenly everything changes for her.

Watersmeet is the first in a new epic fantasy series – it has castles and intrigue, magic and mysterious strangers, and other elements that will be familiar to readers of the genre – but at heart it’s also a romance. I do enjoy a bleak, grim fantasy as much as the next person – but I wanted to write something with a more optimistic outlook this time.

— What kind of place is Watersmeet? Can you tell us more about your fantasy world?

Watersmeet itself is a huge, imposing fortress that sits at the confluence of two rivers (hence the name). The area known as the Twelve Baronies is dominated by a dozen major castles, each with its own ruler and accompanying legal system. And as the river valleys are the most fertile areas for crops, Watersmeet is one of the wealthiest.

The power of the Lords Barons isn’t absolute, though: a few generations back, an accord between the temples and the nobility led to the adoption of the Temple Law, which lays out harsh penalties for the worst kinds of heresy.


— Your leading character is Ailith, who discovers that she’s a mage – what is Ailith like and how does she cope with finding out she’s a mage?

As the story begins, Ailith’s family is entirely preoccupied with preparations for her twin sister’s wedding. It’s obviously a time of celebration, but as twins, the girls had always assumed they’d get married on the same day, so Ailith is feeling a little left out and concerned for her future.

And then this stranger turns up, tests her, and tells her she can do magic: it’s a total shock. At first she’s inclined to ignore it and hope it will go away, but curiosity gets the better of her, and she can’t help experimenting. Ultimately she’s a scientist, but the world of the Twelve Baronies is just on the edge of its industrial revolution, so there isn’t an obvious place for her.


— What about the Lord Baron of Watersmeet, can you tell us a bit about him?

Leofwin has lived alone for years, dedicating his life to alchemical studies, and pottering in his rooftop garden for relaxation. The last thing he wants is a young apprentice to train, but there’s something about Ailith that captures his attention. And once she’s through the door, he really doesn’t want her to leave.


— Can you share with us your favourite passage from the book?

I’m happy to share an excerpt, but I should warn you, it’s a bit of a spoiler! This was definitely my favourite scene to write, though.

Ailith didn’t stop to think, she just bolted through the servants’ door into the kitchens, running away almost as soon as Garrick and his retinue had left the Great Hall. Ymma was overseeing a couple of young boys as they wiped down the prep table, while at the end of the table she arranged garnishes on the platters that would have been going out next, had the feast not been interrupted in such a final manner. The boys both stopped to stare, and Ymma scolded them back to work before she even glanced up to see what had caused the interruption.

“Saaluk’s hands,” she said, taking in Ailith’s fine clothes and tear-stained face. “What happened?”

The day had already been so topsy-turvy that collapsing into a kitchen chair in a silk gown seemed almost normal by comparison.

“I said I didn’t want to go,” Ailith said. “I told Frida. I knew I’d muck it up somehow.”

“You were brilliant.” Lufe had followed her in from the hall, and crouched at her side, pulling her into a hug. “Gods, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“And you should’ve seen his lordship’s face,” Nia added. “He’s never looked so pleased as when you smacked that boy.”

“‘That boy’ is heir to Highfort,” Ailith said morosely. “And I’ve ruined everything.”

Ymma set down the mop and bucket. “Let me get this straight,” she said, leaning on the table and staring hard at Ailith. “Little miss not-a-lady, all dressed up in silks and diamonds, just smacked some lordling?”

“And his lordship was pleased as anything,” Nia said.

“Ha!” Ymma clapped her hands together. “You are most definitely not a lady.”

But she said it like it was the best compliment in all the Twelve Baronies, and Ailith couldn’t help but smile.

— What kind of audience will enjoy this story?

I hope it will appeal to anyone who enjoys reading fantasy, but particularly readers who enjoy romantic elements and happy endings. Based on my own reading habits, I suspect fans of Maria V. Snyder and Deborah Harkness should find something here to enjoy.

— Is there another character or setting that you can tell us about?

One of my favourite characters is Frida: she’s worked at Watersmeet since she was very young, and when Ailith arrives at the castle she’s assigned to attend to her. They’ve had very different backgrounds, Frida was orphaned as a child, while Ailith has grown up surrounded by a huge family, but they get along well and have a lot in common. Frida is incredibly smart, but more than that, she’s got a common sense that Ailith sometimes lacks. Their developing friendship is one of the highlights of the book, for me, and Frida will have her own chance to star in a future novel.

— Can you tell us about the other books you have written?

I have two other novels previously published: Rebellion and Revolution (Chronicles of Charanthe 1 & 2), which are adventure stories set in an alternative, dystopian world.

— And finally what is next for Rachel Cotterill?

I have two books in the pipeline right now.

I’m working on the second Twelve Baronies novel at the moment. Originally I thought that Watersmeet would be a stand-alone story but having created the world, I discovered that there was a lot more to say. The second volume will centre on Yutta, the heir to Wulfsberg, a mother of two who’s scarily competent with a sword.

And Reformation, the third and final novel in the Chronicles of Charanthe series, has been underway for some time and will hopefully see publication this year.

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You can read more from Rachel Cotterill here


Mary Genevieve Fortier – Terror Train

Here’s some more info about Terror Train, from Editor’s Choice Award winner Mary Genevieve Fortier.

What is your contribution to this amazing book?

Mary: My poem, “Midnight Train.” It is a 500 word narrative horror poem. Unlike many poems, it reads as a story in rhyme. I am a passenger, witnessing the many horrifying sights and sounds upon this haunted railcar. If you love horror and like to squirm, I believe you will enjoy “Midnight Train”

I understand you are involved in the podcast version of the anthology. In what capacity?

Mary: Yes, it’s a wonderful project and it has developed into a separate entity from the book.

We have taken the stories to another level for the reader’s pleasure; imagine the old time radio shows with sound effects and theatrically read pieces that draw pictures in ones mind.

I wrote both the opening and closing poems, as well as the dialogue for “Terror,” a character I created. “Terror,” is the disembodied ghost host who introduces each story in the creepiest way possible. I have been told my wicked laughter is scary all on its own! LOL

Aside from “Terror Train” the anthology and the podcast, are you involved creatively in anything else?

Mary: Indeed, I am. I have been a poet for well over 40 years and am published in various anthologies, both traditional and horror. I am an Editor/Author for Black Bed Sheet Books, a Book Reviewer for Hellnotes and Dark Regions Press and I have my own column on Staying Scared, under the guise of “Nighty Nightmare.” I addition to the podcast, my husband and I have become professional Dramatic Audio Narrators.

Do you have any future projects in the works?

Mary: In addition to continuing the podcast for “Terror Train” and other readings, my poetry will be published in six anthologies due out between Halloween and Christmas. Sometime in 2015, I hope to have my own book of poetry published.


http://www.stayingscared.com/Nighty%20Nightmare.html    (My column)

https://www.facebook.com/MaryGenevieveFortierWriter       (Facebook Writer Page)

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/viktoraurelius/2014/04/04/whispers-in-the-dark–episode-92  (Radio Interview)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GmmAY5EO-8  (Terror Train Episode 105- Midnight Train)

http://www.blazemcrob.com/search?q=Mary+Genevieve+Fortier (Named Woman in Horror)

But Can You Drink The Water?

Today I am interviewing Jan Hurst-Nicholson a British writer of fun books like But Can You Drink The Water. Here’s what she has to say.

But Can You Drink The Water? is probably your most popular book – can you tell us a bit about it?

It’s a light-hearted look at emigration and chronicles a naïve working-class family’s attempts to fit in after emigrating from Liverpool to South Africa. The story follows the upsets, hurt and changing family dynamics that emigration brings and has an underlying theme of: ‘Is home more than where the heart is?’

When Frank Turner informs his wife and teenage son they are moving to sunny South Africa he is unprepared for their hostile response. His defiant son makes his own silent protest, and his wife’s assertion that “we never shoulda come” is parroted at every minor calamity.

The story began as a stage script in the 1980s and progressed to a 13 part sitcom. A local film producer was interested, but when that came to naught I still had all the characters and situations buzzing in my head, so I turned the episodes into chapters of a novel. The title But Can You Drink The Water? is a familiar phrase to British readers who travel abroad.

Although the book had some positive responses from publishers, and even won an award, it was never taken up, but when it reached the semi-finals in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award the positive review from the Publishers Weekly judge, “with a droll, witty and utterly British voice…” prompted me to self-publish it as a Kindle e-book. The encouraging sales of the e-book persuaded me it was worth producing a paperback version.

What is the Turner family like? Are they based on any family in particular?

The characters are very much a product of my imagination, but I’d like to think they represent a typical ‘salt of the earth’ Scouse family of the 1970s who were somewhat unworldly and naïve (as many of us were) about anything that was foreign. I drew (very loosely – I was single when I arrived in SA and I married a South African) on my own experiences and those of fellow expats. I’ve been gratified by reviewers saying they ‘recognised’ the characters, with one reviewer commenting: “Every page related to EXACTLY what happened to ourselves as the author experienced, even down to when we returned to the UK on holiday. Both the wife and I shed tears of laughter.”

The Turner family emigrate from Liverpool to South Africa, this is set in the 1970s so what is it like for the family stepping into this foreign country?

There was no internet to do research in the 1970s so emigrants were very much setting off into the unknown, and the bewildered working-class Scousers are soon thrust into an alien world of servants, strange African customs, unintelligible accents, and unexpected wild life (‘crocodiles’ on the wall). Immersing into a new and very different culture can be traumatic, especially for the spouse left at home to cope on her own while the husband quickly adapts to a new working life. But the Turners each learn to cope in their own individual way. Mavis overcomes homesickness by hugging the knowledge that when Frank’s contract ends they can return home; Gerry’s sullen resentment gives way to love of the outdoor life, and Frank masks his own doubts with blustering optimism and bantering sarcasm. Having overcome culture shock, the arrival of Mavis’s parents introduces a divided loyalty when Gert and Walter’s National Health glasses and ill-fitting dentures are seen through the eyes of the Turner’s new South African friends. And when Mavis’s sister ‘our Treesa’ and her opinionated husband Clive visit, Mavis surprises herself by hotly defending SA.

But Can You Drink The Water? is a British comedy, what do you like about British humour?

It’s usually understated and subtle, with a good sprinkling of self-deprecation. Sarcasm also plays a part, and Frank is a master at sarcastic remarks. I like to think of British humour as ‘observational’ humour in that people recognize and laugh at themselves.

Can you share a passage or scene that really sums up But Can You Drink The Water?

It’s difficult to sum up the book with one scene, but I think the first few paragraphs set the tone for the book.

South Africa 1970s

As the 747 hiccupped through a pocket of turbulence Frank Turner’s white-knuckled fingers tightened round the armrests in the same vice-like grip he used on the dentist’s chair. The cigarette clamped between his teeth was the latest in the chain he’d begun eighteen hours earlier on Liverpool’s Lime Street station.

The cloudless blue sky abruptly turned to brown earth as the plane banked sharply for its final landing approach. Frank risked movement to turn round and peer impatiently down the aisle. The toilet door remained firmly closed. As his head swung back his cigarette narrowly escaped contact with the crotch of the brisk airhostess who was hurrying the passengers into their safety belts. “Please extinguish your cigarette and fasten your safety belt, sir,” she said, nimbly avoiding the glowing cigarette tip, her bright smile now of a lower wattage after fourteen hours in the air.

Frank smiled submissively, but sneaked a few last drags while she strapped in the florid-faced woman in front whose frequent trips to the toilet equated with her having walked the six thousand miles from England to South Africa.

He stubbed out his cigarette and fastened his safety belt. The landing was the part he didn’t care for. Fraught with tension, anxiety clenched his buttocks, jaw and fists. He cast further furious glances towards the toilet, willing the door to open. When it remained closed he addressed the figure slouched sulkily in the window seat.

“Trust your bloody mother. It would be just like her to be caught with her knickers down if we crash.”

There was no response from fifteen-year-old Gerry, except for the barely perceptible quiver of his Mohican haircut. He’d never wanted to come in the first place, and nothing less than the promise of a motorbike was going to bring him round.

Glaring at the silent form of his son, Frank forced down the anger that surged anew at the sight of his hair. Although, thanks to his mother’s vigorous washing, the once rainbow purple, green and yellow stripes were now a paler, muted hue, it had failed to return it to its original mouse. Nothing short of a wig could do anything for the lavatory-brush style.

“I’m talking to you, cloth ears,” Frank snapped, prodding Gerry in the ribs.

The only response was a scowl and muttered, “I ‘eard you.”

The row was about to develop into a shouting match when the toilet door finally swung open and Mavis Turner limped down the aisle, the agony of her swollen ankles reflected in her suffering face. She squeezed past Frank, wincing as her new shoes caught the bunion her mother had threatened her with since the winklepicker shoes of her teens. …

But Can You Drink The Water? is just one of your books, you’re a really prolific author, can you tell us about your favourite story?

My first novel was The Breadwinners (a family saga) , but it would be 25 years before I saw it in print. In the meantime I wrote children’s books and I’m very fond of Leon Chameleon PI and the case of the missing canary eggs which was my first trad published book and allowed me to claim fame as an ‘author’. Something to Read on the Plane was the first book I self-published (in print in 2006) and is a compilation of my published humorous articles and short stories. It is still selling at airport bookshops and is special because it was the first book I was solely responsible for. But I had the most fun writing my latest book, With the Headmaster’s Approval because I wrote it for myself (and fell in love with the MC!). Knowing that I was going to self-publish it gave me the freedom to write without any publisher’s constraints, or the usual ‘rules’ sitting on my shoulder. It’s general fiction with a romance element, so it doesn’t easily slot into any particular genre – a bit of a nightmare for a publisher’s marketer. The story tells how one man changes the group dynamics when he joins an all-female community, which is something I’ve noticed on more than one occasion and wanted to explore further (women seem to have more fun when there are no men around!)

Restoring discipline at a girls’ academy should have been easy for a former US Naval Officer. It wasn’t, nor was it easy dealing with an all-female staff.

Intrigue, scandal, suspense, and romance peppered with humour tell how one man’s influence on a school of wayward girls and their teachers changes their lives in ways none of them would imagine – and eventually his own.

I set the book in the UK in the area where I went to school, and as our TV was showing re-runs of the original Hawaii 5-0 series starring Jack Lord I used him as a model for Adam Wild, the Headmaster. Having pictures of the main characters pinned above my computer helps to keep me focused.

Can you share a passage from this story?

This is how the story begins.

As Adam scanned the morning’s agenda Lisa could hear the chatter of the girls as they filed into assembly. The closed office door muted the sound, but she knew when they entered the hall it would be like the bird house in a zoo. She stood next to his neatly organised desk ready to fill in any details he was unsure of.

“So, Mrs Stannard is going to introduce me and give a brief explanation, and then I’ll take over?” he asked, looking up at her.

“Yes, we thought that would be best. It will give some sort of continuity.”

“And you’ll be ready to prompt me on the agenda,” he said, grinning.

“Yes, but I’m confident you won’t need me,” she replied with a reassuring smile.

He glanced at his watch, a slim classic that matched his gold cuff links, clipped his Montblanc pen into his pocket, picked up the file and rose briskly from his chair, his six foot-four frame towering over her. He fastened the middle button of his suit jacket, a dark blue that together with his pale blue shirt enhanced his fading tan. His broad shoulders filled the jacket to perfection and he could have stepped out of a clothing catalogue if it weren’t for the few stray locks of hair that fell over his brow despite him constantly finger-combing them back.

“Let’s go. Wish me luck,” he said.

“Good luck,” she said, wondering if he knew just how much he would need it.

And, finally, what are you currently working on?

I have several more Leon Chameleon PI stories in draft form, but they require expensive illustrations and are in abeyance at the moment, so I’m working on marketing what I’ve already

e-published and getting them all into print. I still need full covers for With the Headmaster’s Approval, my teen book Mystery at Ocean Drive and I Made These Up (short stories for the fireside). My trad published children’s books went out of print, but I was able to get reversal of copyright and convert them to e-books. Now I need to learn how to use the programme for converting them back into print. Gone are the days when all that was required of an author was to write a good story!

You can find lots more about Jan on the links below:

Jan’s website 

Jan’s Amazon author page 


But Can You Drink The Water? 

Mystery at Ocean Drive  

The Breadwinners (a family saga) 

Something to Read on the Plane 

Leon Chameleon PI and the case of the missing canary eggs 

Leon Chameleon PI and the case of the kidnapped mouse 

With the Headmaster’s Approval 

I Made These Up (short stories for the fireside) 

The Race (an inspiring story for left-handers) 

Bheki and the Magic Light

The Agent

Today I’m talking to Jonathan Mitchell and his horror novel The Agent, a perfect read for anyone trying to get into the Halloween spirit…
The Agent is a story about loner David Turner — what type of man is David Turner? Can you tell us about him?
Turner is a decent guy who finds himself getting lost in the shuffle. As he approaches middle age, Turner realizes how disconnected he is from the stream of human existence–and, when offered an out, he takes it. Unfortunately, this escape route is not as attractive as it first appears. 
Where is The Agent set?
The novel is set in Moorestown, a fictional city which is modeled on a crumbling industrial region of northwest Alabama known as Muscle Shoals. (Anyone who’s seen the Rolling Stones tour documentary “Gimme Shelter” has had a glimpse of it.) That’s the primary setting, but some of the action takes place in California. 
The Agent is a horror — how scary does this book get?
Pretty scary in the ghostly Henry Jamesian sense. There are a few scenes of graphic horror which were necessary to the story, but I didn’t dwell on them. “The Agent” is a psychological horror piece.
Can you give us an idea of the cult murders Turner discovers?
Turner’s recurring nightmares about dismembered bodies prod him to do a little research at the library. Newspaper records confirm that he’s been dreaming about real events: a series of mutilation murders which took place twenty-five years earlier in Southern California, the base of operations for a human potential cult. Without giving too much away, there is a direct link not only between the murders and the cult, but between the murders and Moorestown.
Are there any other characters in the book that are significant in the plot?
Yes, but here again I’d be spoiling the story if I described them in any detail 😉 I can say, however, that the entire sequence of events hinges on Turner; none of the action would be possible without him. 
Do you have a favourite scene or passage you can share with us?
I’m especially fond of a dream sequence in which Turner is confronted by the novel’s lead villain. It was a chance for me to indulge in some very bizarre, off-the-wall verbal imagery (not just for its own sake, but in a way that actually moved the story forward), and I think it turned out really well. Most of the dreams that appear in “The Agent” are my own; as I began to document them carefully, I realized what a crucial source of inspiration they were for the book.
What’s next for Jonathan Mitchell — is David Turner going to reappear again?
Anything’s possible! Right now, though, I’m working on an outline for an entirely different novel and trying to make my first short story sale.
You can download this story now from Amazon

Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead

Today it’s the turn of Scott Larson and his coming of age novel Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead – have a read!

Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead is your new book about two teenagers, Dallas and Lonnie, taking a road trip. What are these boys like and what is their relationship?
Dallas and Lonnie have grown up in a small farming community. They are both kind of oddballs and so when it comes to friends they have mainly had only each other. They know each other better than they know anyone else. As they graduate from secondary school, they are feeling a bit alienated. A lot of people their age are already getting married and starting a life of hard work. They’re not really mature enough yet to want to settle down. Also they have grown up in a conservative religious environment which they have rebelled against. They are not particularly political, but they are definitely rebels by nature.
The book is set in 1971 for those of us too young to know anything about the 70’s, too old to remember, or those who were in the 70’s and therefore can’t remember, can you tell us what was culturally happening at the time and in particular what Dallas and Lonnie were facing?
Yes, I would in the third category: I was there and thus it is all a blur! More seriously, for much of the United States–and in much of the rest of the world, for that matter–in that year there was a lot of turmoil going on. The Vietnam War was still being fought and university campuses were roiling with protests and resultant police crackdowns. Because of the rural setting of where they live, Dallas and Lonnie are largely sheltered from all of this. It is a politically conservative area where most people are supportive of U.S. policy. But what the two young men are not sheltered from is conscription. They have a lot of uncertainty hanging over them because, having turned 18, they could now be drafted into the army and sent to fight in the war.
The boys are hitting the road under the pretence of looking for a missing friend – can you expand on this?
A few years before the story begins Tommy Dowd, a young man that Dallas and Lonnie were acquainted with, went to Central America as some sort of freelance journalist and then disappeared. Lonnie has always been bothered by not knowing what happened to him and so, after a period of bad behavior and boredom and family problems, he cajoles Dallas into the totally daft idea of driving down to Central America to look for Tommy. They both understand that the idea is completely crazy but each wants to see how far the other will go before insisting on turning around. Basically, it is all just an excuse to run away from home, engage in a lot of bad behaviour and let off steam before they have to finally grow up.
But this isn’t a book about missing people – what happens to the boys and how do they change throughout the story?
Lonnie, who is the more self-destructive of the two, seems to be on something of a downward spiral. But for Dallas the travelling opens up a whole new world to him. On the way to the border they pick up a younger Mexican boy and he becomes a window for Dallas on Mexican language and culture. Dallas even manages to have a brief but intense love affair before the journey leads to a series of difficult situations. They run into muggers in Tijuana, become stranded in the middle of nowhere, get arrested by a corrupt policeman and eventually wind up separated. By the end of the story Dallas finds himself on his own in a very dangerous situation with no one else to rely on but himself. In the end Dallas and Lonnie have opposite reactions to their experiences. While Lonnie’s reaction is to want to retreat to the places and people he knows, Dallas is fascinated by the wider world that he never knew that much about.
This is a story based on some of your own memories, are you Dallas or Lonnie? And what memories contribute this story?
Well, I am the exact same age as the two characters and grew up in the same place, which made the research a bit easier. The details of the draft and the lottery by which draftees were selected were (and are) all still vivid in my memory. Both characters are composites of various people that I knew, but I suppose I drew more on my own personality for Dallas. And there is a lot of the best friend I grew up with in Lonnie. But we never got into nearly as much trouble as these two characters! And while I had some interesting road trips with my own best friend, we never went to Mexico together. I did go down across the border a few times with other friends during my misspent youth but never as far south as Dallas and Lonnie go, so I had to do some research on Mexico. I have always had a fascination with Latin American culture so that informed Dallas’s awakening to that world. And I lived in Chile for a year, so that will explain why references to that country keep cropping up. And, given that I have lived in Ireland for the past decade or so, I had to introduce an Irish character along the way. After all, you can’t go anywhere in the world without running into the Irish.
The setting is the South down to Mexico for those of us who have never seen that part of the world can you describe it to us (please feel free to use an extract).
The region where the story begins is more accurately described as the Southwest. (In the U.S. “the South” somewhat illogically refers to area bordering the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico and evokes the old Confederacy and plantations and Gone with the Wind.) The Southwest is very dry and very hot, alternating between deserts and mountain ranges. The following passage from the second chapter describes a journey I made often, climbing into the mountains and looking back at the flat floor of the San Joaquin Valley:
As Lonnie’s Impala strained its engine climbing the Ridge Route toward Tejon Pass, I turned to look back at the lights on the San Joaquin Valley floor. When it came down to it, I hated the valley. I always had a feeling of escape when I drove up out of it. Even hell isn’t as hot as the San Joaquin Valley in the summer. And it’s flat. It has to be the most boring place on the face of the earth. As we got higher into the mountains, things felt different. We were headed to places that weren’t boring and hot. We were headed to places that people had actually heard of. We were less than two hours from Los Angeles. I had only been there a few times, and that was only straight to my uncle Jack’s and back with my parents. Now it was just me and Lonnie heading down there, and anything was possible.
And finally what is next for Scott R Larson?
In a total departure from the first book, I’m currently working on a fantasy novel. It’s a story I first wrote in high school and which evolved into a recurring bedtime story for my daughter. In some ways it is a variation on Maximilian and Carlotta Are Dead in that it is a road story and a coming-of-age story. After that I plan to write a novel set in the burgeoning software industry in Seattle in the 1980s, another time and place that I lived through. And I keep going back and forth about whether to write a sequel to Dallas’s story, specifically where is he and what is he doing nine years after the events of the first book.
You can read more about Scott and his other works here

The Bachelor

Today I’ve been interviewing Matthew Drzymala and talking about his novella The Bachelor. Here’s what he has to say.

Let’s start off talking about Bumpkinton Tales. What is Bumpkinton?


Bumpkinton is a curiosity. It doesn’t appear on any maps, nor have most people heard of it. In fact, if you were to look on a map all you would find is a blank space where the village should be. Unless you live there or live in the nearby village of Eppforth, it’s almost always stumbled upon by day-trippers looking for anywhere but Bumpkinton.


The village is made up of a colourful cast of characters, ranging from the everyday person like you and me, to the randomly bizarre like Amelia Goose and Artichoke Caruthers.



Is this placed based on anywhere in particular? As an English author (and English interviewer) I think most people this side of the water probably know or have driven through a similar village, but can you explain a bit more about it for our overseas audience?


Bumpkinton isn’t based on any place in particular. The story behind Bumpkinton is a fluke really. I attended two writing classes and wrote some pretty dark stories. I was writing about assassins and psychopathic killers most weeks. Bumpkinton came about because for the final piece of work I was mentally tired. I couldn’t write another dark thriller, so I just decided to write something fluffy and light and Bumpkinton grew from there.


I’d like to think Bumpkinton is accessible to readers from overseas too. The humour is quite British but they are a light read that I think could be picked up by a reader from abroad looking for a silly English tale with a colourful cast of characters. I’ve never lived in a village so I am not writing from experience and I hope that that opens it up to those who have never lived in or ever been to one. I also hope that people who do live in villages find moments that make them think “Oh, that happens at our village hall!”.



The Bachelor is the second book of this series. Can you tell us a little bit about the other books?


Of course. I have three stories in total, but I count The Bachelor as the second. This is because it is a novella. The first novella is called Bittersweet and charts the story of Venetia and Timothy Ashurst. They are outsiders with a connection to the village and when Venetia stumbles upon an old photograph of her Grandpa who lived in the village as a young man, it ignites her dream to move to Bumpkinton and re-open the shop that her family once owed.


However, this is met with fierce opposition by the village busybody, Amelia Goose who has her own particular set of issues and doesn’t take kindly to ‘Townies‘.


The other story is just a short story. I released Bittersweet on 21st December 2013 so I wrote a very short Christmas tie-in. I tend to count the novella’s as my main stories and the shorts just as tie ins. Hence that is why I count The Bachelor as the second story in the main Bumpkinton Tales.



The Bachelor focuses on Fenton a ladies man who is spoken for. He sounds like a bit of a bad guy – is he or is he just misunderstood?


Personally, I think he is just very misunderstood. I wanted the reader to dislike him for being a bit of a greasy letch, but I gave him some backstory as to why he is like he is. I wanted to give him some heart and I hope he isn’t too disliked. He is a handsome man and he knows it, which doesn’t make his womanising right, but deep down he’s a good man.


He’s a bit cheesy and hopefully I managed to make people laugh at him for being a bit of a fool, but a rather handsome fool.




Obviously being a ladies man Fenton must be meeting a lot of the opposite sex, are there any interesting women in particular?


There are a number of ladies who are desperate for Fenton to choose them at the Singles Night. Two teachers, Fiona Little and Tamara Copeland vie for his affections and aren’t afraid to show their dislike for each other while Henrietta Plonk, a girl who works in the grocers, firmly believes she’s the woman for him, albeit being far too young for him.

Fenton just laps up the attention, sneaking off to see his secret lady while having no problem with attending the singles night to indulge in his favourite hobby of flirting.



What about the other characters of the book? Who is your favourite?


I would have to say Father Whitworth O’Grady. He appears as a major character in every story. However, don’t worry if you’re not a religious person, the stories are not based around the church. He is just a pure joy to write and when I write his parts, the words just flow so easily. He tries so hard to bring the community together but most of the time things go wrong and the finger is firmly pointed at him.


I think he’s loosely based upon myself, or his sense of humour and lack of patience at times is anyway. There was a comedy show in the 1990’s called Father Ted about priests. I wanted to make sure that Father O’Grady was nothing like him. I try and make him funny and at times, un-priest-like but not to the extent where he is badmouthing the church.


He is a deeply religious man, but sometimes doesn’t have the patience to put up with his moaning parishioners.


There’s also Erica Templeton and Spencer Levine who also have their own little story-thread in The Bachelor. I liked writing them, especially Erica. She’s a sweetheart.



Are there going to be more Bumpkinton Tales?


There sure are. I have a third novella almost finished but I have since decided I *may* make this into a novel. I need to strip it back and restart it and see what I can do with it. It’s a storyline I like and has my favourite title of the series so far, however, that shall not be revealed for some time yet.



Do you have a favourite part of the book or a scene you would like to share with us?


My favourite part of The Bachelor is a random piece of babbling from Father O’Grady when he is challenged about why he has a photograph of himself in biking leathers and huge sideburns on the mantelpiece:

Fenton smirked as he noticed a photograph of his brother from when he had been going through his sideburn phase.

“Taking a peep at old Ma and Pa, are we?” said Whitworth as he entered the room.

“I’m more interested in the ones where you appear to have dead ferrets stuck to the side of your head.”

“Oh come now brother, I look brilliant in those.” Whitworth scowled. “That’s when I had the bike and the leathers. The Rebel Priest, they called me. I sent shockwaves through this sleepy hollow when I arrived. ‘Who’s that guy?’ they’d say. ‘That’s Father Whitworth O’Grady,’ they’d reply. ‘He’s a priest, but he’s different. He’s a rebel priest. He’ll absolve you of your sins then ride the devil’s highway on his afternoon off.’”


I just love that bit of dialogue between Fenton and Whitworth. It’s something that was written in the first draft and never changed through the numerous re-writes.


And finally what is next for Matthew Drzymala?


I have another Bumpkinton Christmas short story out on 12th December 2014 called Albert’s Christmas. This story centres around the village tramp Albert Scatterhorn. We’ve only seen random glimpses of him so far with no real explanation as to why he’s there. I delve into that a little with this years story, but not too much. I have a future story for Albert that reveals all, but he has a sad past, that’s for sure.


I’m also considering a collection of children’s short stories as well as working on next years main Bumpkinton Tale. Whether it will end up a novel or a novella, I won’t know for another 8 or 9 months yet.


You can find out more about Matthew and all his books here: http://matthewdrzymala.com/

Cobbled Life

I’ve been speaking with HM Flath and he’s been telling me all about his novel set in Russia. Here’s what he has to say.

1. Cobbled Life is a story about a conscripted soldier in 1908 Russia. How much of this story is fictional and have you used any events from this time, or interpreted other historical accounts that you can tell us about?


* The Tsar’s desire to modernize and build up the Russian army in 1908 is real as he did not want to be embarrassed in battle.

* The battles on the Eastern front between 1914 and 1915 along the Gorlice-Tarnow line are real.

* The Russian Revolution of 1917 is real.

* The existence of Pokovnik Constantine Vasiletvich Zaharoh is real.

* The description of the immigrant ship and train are real.

* The Flath family settlement in Saskatchewan is real.

* Many of Otto’s personal experiences while in Russia and then also in Canada are real.

* The dates are all real.


– The conversations are fictional.

* Some of the characters are fictional, ie. the Pokovnik’s family.

* Clara’s family, the Jungs, and their background contains much conjecture on my part as I had only snippets of information.

Events that are utilized:

-World War I – Eastern front battles

-The Russian Revolution of 1917

* The existence of the Spanish flu epidemic and its consequences

* The Great Depression of the 1930’s

2. Obviously 1908 Russia was a very tumultuous time, what does your leading character Otto, face as he travels on his perilous journey?

Upon entering Russia, Otto was confronted with prejudices of language, ethnicity, cultural and social status which were underlying themes through the whole book. The dramatic tumultuous time for Otto began in 1914 with the outbreak of WWI. He faced danger, the horrors of war and the possibility of physical harm and/or death, loyalty in the face of danger, escape from Russia during the Russian Revolution, the tragic death of his mother and then the difficulties of life as an immigrant during the Great Depression.

3. What type of man is Otto and how does he develop throughout the story?

Otto begins as an immature, inexperienced, nineteen year old who has had a fairly easy life until the time he was conscripted and where the story begins. His character grew much stronger as he lived and learned from personal experiences, from living with the Pokovnik’s family, from

being on the front during WWI, escaping from Russia, immigrating, etc. He grows into becoming a loyal devoted family man – strong and committed.

4. Are there any other significant characters in Cobbled Life you can tell us about?

* Martin is Otto’s father and the man responsible for the first Flaths to emigrate to Canada.

* Constantine Vasilevich Zaharoh, Pokovnik of a cavalry regiment in Russia’s third army, was Otto’s boss and mentor (father figure) for 9 years. Otto went to the battle lines on the Eastern front as the valet to Pokovnik Zaharoh.

* Anya Oleshenko was Otto’s secret love who played a major role in several of Otto’s decisions.

* Clara Jung became Otto’s wife. She provided strength and loyalty to their marriage and family and eventually became the mother to their nine children.

* Gustav Jung, Clara’s father, was a strong, ambitious, solid patriarch of the Jung family whose choices lead to the emigration of that family.

5. What is your favorite part of the story? (You can use a snippet of it if you like.)

There are several. One of my favorite scenes is in Chapter 6 when Otto takes the Pokovnik’s daughter to watch the ice break-up in the spring.

She fell backwards onto the bridge deck and lay there. Otto only had heard a small cry for help and quickly turned his attention to Natalie who was lying on the ground. Instantly, Otto fell to his knees and peered into Natalie’s face. He then sensed another presence. His eyes gazed up and not a foot away, he found his eyes locked to another set of the most beautiful soft blue eyes he had ever seen.

Another of my favorite scenes is found in Chapter 11 when the Pokovnik spoke to Otto prior to their departure for the battle fields.

This is total madness. What is there to gain? A few pieces of land? For whom? We are going to kill each other and for what reason? Because someone else speaks a different language? Because others worship God in a different way than we do? Because others wear their clothing differently? Because others have skin and hair colors that are different from ours? It makes no sense to me, Otto. All that every one of us just wants, is to be happy…… to have a family ……. to be safe ……. to live without fear. Look at yourself and the other two million men in our army …… what do they want? Do they want to lose their lives just because the Tsar wants to prevent Franz-Joseph of Austria from ruling this pathetic piece of ground? Of course not! This is sheer madness. It makes me sick. I have been in battles and I know what is coming.”

6. Who is your target audience – who will love this book and who should read it?

My target audience is anyone and everyone who has emigrated or has family which has emigrated, experienced war, poverty, prejudice and/or bigotry. I especially hope that young people who often don’t appreciate their heritage would read and reflect upon the many messages interwoven in the fabric of the story.

7. What do you want readers to come away with once they have finished Cobbled Life?

I want the reader to leave with an appreciation of their own situation, an appreciation of the Canadian way of life and a debt of gratitude to their forbearers and to those who made Canada, as a nation, possible.

8. What is next for you HM Flath?

I am presently working on a second manuscript. All that I would like to say is that it too, is historical fiction.


Download this book now from Amazon

Tim On Broadway

Today I have a great interview with Rick Bettencourt who is talking about his latest novel Tim On Broadway.


So Tim on Broadway is your new novel, can you tell us a bit about it?

I’d be happy to. First off, thank you for having me. It’s a real pleasure to be here. (You are most welcome).

Tim on Broadway: Season One is a funny yet emotional journey about an overweight, twenty-something, gay virgin who his obsessed with getting tickets to see his favorite performer. When the book opens, we learn Tim has been fired from his job at a grocery store for sexually harassing an employee. As we read on, we discover it takes two to tango.

Tim on Broadway is a journey of self-discovery. It’s about believing in yourself in order to succeed in both love and life.

I had a lot of fun writing it. I hope that comes across the page.

You originally released Tim on Broadway as a series, what made you want to do it this way and what was the response you got from your readers?

The story reminded me of a TV show—like maybe Glee or The Office but made for HBO. I thought what better way to compliment that than to release it in episodes. It’s now available as one volume/novel—thus the “full season” in the title. The episodes started in June of 2014. The first being completely free, and still is. The initial episode is about one-third of the story, much more than the typical ten percent a reader would get from downloading a novel’s sample on Amazon.

Each week I released a new episode. After the sixth and final episode, the entire novel came out in one full volume.

The response I got was excellent. People felt that getting a decent chunk of the book for free allowed them to test the waters before committing. It’s done fairly well. I’m pleased.

Since then, Tim on Broadway has been picked up by Beaten Track Publishing—a boutique publisher in Lancashire, England—and on September 15, 2014 the full season was released in paperback.

Tim, from your blurb, sounds a bit of a… well dare I say it loser. Can you tell us a bit more about him and why you decided to write a character that wasn’t tall dark and handsome?

I like my stories to have an element of truth to them. None of us are perfect. I find it hard to relate to flawless characters whose only issue is finding true love or buying the right shirt to compliment his bicep cleavage. Blah! Boring! We all have problems—whether we’re a bit overweight, shy or have a crooked nose—it makes us unique. We can relate! I don’t think Tim’s a loser at all. He’s loveable, fun, quirky and a romantic at heart. He’s just like you and me.

But have no fear. While Tim may not be the conventional hero, there’s still plenty of “eye candy” for readers to ogle over.

If you were trying to describe Tim on Broadway what books, or films, or TV shows would you compare it to?

A reader recently compared Tim on Broadway to Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City. I love Maupin, so I took this as a huge compliment. In regard to film, I’m a Bette Midler fan. The creation of my character Carolyn Sohier was inspired by Bette and her film The Rose. There’s The 40-Year Old Virgin for obvious reasons. And, as I mentioned earlier, Glee or maybe The Office might be a good television show comparison.

The book is set in Broadway, following a theatre obsessed Tim, how much research did you have to do into the setting and into the theatre, or was this something that you have an interest in yourself.

I’m a former actor. I went to NYU for theatre and had a few bit parts here and there in the industry. Nothing huge. My biggest claim to fame was having a walk-on role in a TV show filmed in Seattle, which starred James Earl Jones. I was a thug in a police station. We used an old elementary school for the set. It was fun, but long hours.

I was also a big, purple pill in a pharmaceutical commercial. And my car got more airtime in a Massachusetts Lottery bit than I did.

I’ve always been fascinated by showbiz. But one important thing I discovered in struggling to make it as a performer was that I didn’t really like it! I know. Big lesson. But I learned that I was more comfortable behind the scenes and less in the spotlight. I would rather be at the canteen talking to the other actors and crew than to be in front of the camera. I also liked watching the actors interpret their lines. That’s how I turned to writing.

Your back catalogue mainly stays in the genre of gay romance, when you write are you intentionally targeting a gay audience or do you feel the books are accessible to a wider audience?

It’s funny you should mention that. While my books involve gay characters, most of my readers are self-described as straight. I write what I know. I am openly gay, but I like to cross genres and do so by being true to myself and realistic. I think that doing this is also being true to my readers.

One reviewer of Tim on Broadway said it best. “You don’t have to be a Broadway fan (or gay) to appreciate it.” We’re all passionate about something in our lives. And we can all relate to Tim’s plight.

As a writer of gay fiction this must be a really exciting time for you. I can’t think of a time when gay romance has been so popular, but also culturally there are some big steps being made in history for gay rights. What do you think work like yours contributes to our society and do you feel that there is a bigger, more open minded reader base ready to pick up your work?

I write because I believe stories involving gay characters need to be more in the public eye. How many bestsellers have you seen primarily involving an LGBT life? While the LGBT community has made great advances over the last few years, there are still children being disowned from their families because of who they are. That’s just wrong. I believe the more realistic our lives are portrayed, the more likely the acceptance. We’re really not all that different. It doesn’t matter who somebody can love.

I think every author has a character, or a scene, or something about their book that is there personal favourite. What is your favourite bit in Tim on Broadway?

Oh, it’s got to be the shower scene. About half way through the book, Tim finds out that other men shave their private parts and he never has. He figures that maybe doing some “manscaping” will help him get lucky. It’s a very funny scene.

So Tim on Broadway blog tour is happening now. Once it is done what is next for Rick Bettencourt?

Right now I’m writing the second season of Tim on Broadway. Plus I have a Christmas story coming out around Thanksgiving time. I also have the prequel to Tim on Broadway, which is about the diva who Tim is infatuated with in Season One. So, keep in touch. The best way to follow me is to get on my mailing list. I’m forever writing to my readers, getting their feedback and giving them little freebies here and there.


So you can read more about Rick Bettencourt and his work (and his dog) here: http://rickbettencourt.com/

And you can download Tim On Broadway now from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L5AYW3A?tag=writincom02-20

Mexican Radio and Other Short Stories

This week I’ve been chatting with Jaysen True Blood and he has been telling me all about his book of short stories. Here’s what he has to say:



Mexican Radio and Other Short Stories is a real mix of genres, is there a running theme or style that unites each story?

Not really. I am a “stream of consciousness” writer.

This book is in two volumes, should the stories be read in order and how are the volumes different to one another?

The only stories out of order in the book are the westerns, and I didn’t realise it until after publication. Other than that, the others that are part of a series are all in order. But as a whole, the stories can be read in any order.

So let’s pick your favourite of the short stories – tell us a bit about it.

I would have to pick the title story, “Mexican Radio”. I had the silly song running through my head when I began and thought: “wouldn’t this make a great story? Then, I put the main character in the most impossible position I could-a staged prison break that he uses to his own benefit, and that of the female lead. Although there are so many excellent stories in these two books.

Who is your favourite character in all of the stories and what sets him/her above the others?

I would have to say either Fancy Marsh or Guy Marlowe. Fancy, because he carries a buffalo gun and knows how to use it, and Guy because he is fast with both guns and at cards.

What locations feature in your stories, are they based on real places?  

Most of my stories could be located anywhere, except a few sci-fi, but I do mention L.A., Baton Rouge, and a few other US cities, but there is only one-the historical fiction piece-that is based solely on fact…with conjecture mixed in.

Overall how many stories feature in each volume and how big on average is each story?

Book 2 has 23 stories and the Book 1 has 14.

Who is your target audience for Mexican Radio and Other Short Stories?

Anyone who likes a good story and loves adventure, no matter where the action takes them.

So you have your favourite but is there a particular scene you can show us from any of the stories?

As I raised up out of my hiding place in the backseat, she looked in the rear view mirror. As I scooted to a position right behind her, she thrust her can of mace in my face and commenced to sprayin’. I bellered in pain and surprise. Even though she was chokin’ on the mace herself, she didn’t let up until I knocked it loose from her grasp.

“Are ya stupid?!?” I exclaimed, eyes, nose and throat burning as if I’d swallowed a match and splashed gasoline in my eyes.

(From “Mexican Radio”)

And finally what is next for Jaysen True Blood?

I have two novellas, “Bad Company” and “The Faust Syndrome”, due out in a couple months and am working on a third. I also have another collection in the works.


You can download Mexican Radio and Other Short Stories now from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mexican-Radio-Other-Short-Stories-ebook/dp/B00FLL00GM/ref=la_B00IUNJWFI_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411485010&sr=1-4

Route Number 11: Argentina, Angels & Alcohol

On the 22 of this month we featured an exclusive from Harry Whitewolf’s Route Number 11: Argentina, Angels & Alcohol and Harry has very kindly returned to answer some questions about his book.



Route Number 11 is a true story – is this your story or someone else’s and can you tell us more about it.
It is indeed my own true story, although as I say at the beginning of the tale: “This story is true, but then truth is always subjective,” because any true story will always be biased from the writer’s point of view. I chose to write it in a third person narrative so that it’s somewhat detached from me; it allows me the freedom to play a character- who is frank and open, as well as being a bit of a caricature.
The book itself is about my backpacking trip to Argentina, and across neighbouring borders into Chile, Paraguay and Brazil. Being fresh out of a long term relationship and following spiritual signs is what led me there in the first place.
Route Number 11 is a book set in Argentina following a character as he travels around. The character is nameless, why didn’t you want to give him more of an identity and can you tell us more about him.
The nameless tourist is so called for several reasons. His lack of identity fits the desolation and isolation of much of his journey. Being newly single, he’s attempting to let go of the past and find a new future; coupled with being in a foreign land where he’s immersing himself in the Nowness of Being. The journey is about him trying to find a new purpose, a new future, and a new self.
To quote from Route Number 11: “He’s (been) trying on different faces, seeing if one will fit. He’s not who he used to be after all… That’s why tragedy exists. To break old patterns and move on. The company of others has allowed him to be the chameleon. He’s melded into each new person he’s met. Become a part of someone else’s world; tried their way of living on for size.”
I have wondered whether readers of Route Number 11 have picked up on the fact that ‘the tourist’ is never capitalised- for The Tourist would be as much of a name as any other.
Can you describe to us the type of things that the character sees (feel free to use snippets from the book).
It might thus far sound like a story of isolation, but there’s plenty of action and an array of people he meets along the way. His journey shifts from ultra hedonistic, girl chasing, beer drinking behaviour to peacefully climbing Andean mountains with incredible condors in the sky. Here’s a few snippets from the book:
“Driving down deserted early morning roads. Round and round. Round downtown. Through naked streets. Lips pursed on two litre bottles of beer, but pursuing the lips of freedom’s night. Swapping cars. Winding up at karaoke bars or Bolsi- the best place in town. For the food. For the folk. For the service. For the crema de papaya. And for that late night dawn’s whiskey coffee.”
“Sea wolves with salty manes and blubbering bellies that engulf their whole bodies, lie on top of each other in piles of perfect ugly beauty. He stands amongst them in the sand, as they groan and murmur in restless dry voices.”
“Iguazú Falls certainly is one of the greatest natural spectacles on the planet. It makes Niagara look like a dripping tap.”
The character is guided by signs on his journey, can you tell us a little bit more about this 11:11 Phenomenon and how it is dealt with in your book?
As I say in the book: “You’ll have either heard about the 11:11 Phenomenon or not and chances are you ain’t, unless you’re affected yourself or have a crazy friend affected by it.”
Years ago, I started ‘seeing’ 11:11 everywhere. I’d look at a clock and it’d be 11:11. Change in a shop would be £11.11. A document I’d written would be 111 words. A pay cheque I received was for £1111.11. At the time, it was just an odd quirk- and I saw it as a part of my synchronistic communion with the oneness of the Universe. But years later, I found out that thousands and thousands of people around the world have been experiencing the same thing, and all thought they were the only ones experiencing it. Some believe it’s a spiritual wake up call, some believe it’s the sign that we’re living in a computer programme and, of course, some see it as being boll**ks!
11:11 accompanies the tourist in Argentina as much as it does anywhere else.
This is a book for “any man that’s been lost after losing his love,” is this a personal loss you have felt or is this tackling wider issues? Can explain the foundations of this story – where did it come from?
Nine months after a messy break up with his soulmate, the tourist finds himself boarding a plane for Argentina. How many others try to escape from such things by moving on literally? Whether it’s a romantic relationship coming to an end, or a close friend dying, such things often seem to force us into living and behaving differently and more irrationally. To quote from Route Number 11 again:
“Ultimately, everything and everyone is gained and lost. The bit in between is life with its lessons, adventures and fun.”
Who are your target audience with this story?
The book is written in beatnik type prose, structured unconventionally, and often poetic and alliterate- a little like Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg or Hunter S Thompson, but still with my own unique voice at the centre. Though at the same time as being the fast moving, hedonistic, beat driven narrative that it is, it’s also coupled with more reflective spiritual insights and motives of looking for purpose, like a Paulo Coelho or Richard Bach book. I describe it as a “Mind, Body, Spirit book with sex, drugs and reggaeton”, as hopefully it will appeal to readers of the beat generation, or William Sutcliffe’s Are You Experienced, or the Douglas Coupland layabouts, as much as to those that enjoy travel books, memoirs and spiritual ponderings. I guess it’s the Beat version of Eat, Pray, Love.
What is your favourite part of the story (again you can use a snippet if you like)?
It’s got to be the first chapter, where the writing of it seems to be as much of a blur as living it. “Three whole non-stop weeks of Devil City dancing and drinking,” in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay. Here are some tasters:
“Scoring coke at the jazz club, just because he can. Snorting coke at someone’s somewhere house. Suggesting a club at two a.m and then: banging and hanging, winding and grinding and drinking. Sinking one after another. Getting down at the conversely called Glam club.”
“The humid hustle of the market, with the smell of burgers, bacon and butchered naked meat. Fruit, fresh tobacco, dirt, desperation, contentment and money.”
“Fishing for punters in fishnets, Paraguayan prostitutes stand bored on street corners.”
“Third night? Third week? The tourist doesn’t persist with his question. The city’s the best one. The tourist’s on the go. The tourist’s in the know. Knows the locals. Knows the travellers. Knows the hip bars. Knows the hip clubs, and the strip clubs.”
And finally what is next for Harry Whitewolf as an author?
My second book is nearly ready to be published: The Road To Purification: Hustlers, Hassles & Hash. It’s a sort of sister book to Route Number 11. Want an exclusive? Well, O.K! Here’s the not yet seen blurb to the book:
When Mad Harry spontaneously books a flight for Egypt, he doesn’t know that he’s about to embark on a fate given pilgrimage.
In fact, he’s not even sure why he’s going, or what he’s going to do when he gets there.
All he knows is he’s got to get away.
Guided by signs in numbers, names and otherworldly encounters, Mad Harry’s trip often seems to be a magical manifestation of his mind.
A crazy headed, hassle driven, sleep deprived, dope smoking journey with non-stop tests of trust and temptation.
A holiday this is not.
This good humoured true story is told in a frank, rhythmic and playful voice. Set in 2010, shortly before the revolution, it’s a backpacking odyssey through tremendous temples, towering pyramids, chaotic cities, small villages and dirty beaches, with a backdrop of ancient spiritual gnosis!
A post-modern, pot smoking Egyptian pilgrimage. 
And check out Harry Whitewolf’s Author page on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7156759.Harry_Whitewolf
Or his personal site: http://www.harrywhitewolf.com