I’ve never been a big reader. It’s amazing I managed to pick up the writing thing at all. But these days, I get asked to review quite a few books and I’m rather surprised by how much I’m enjoying the experience. My current read is ‘Sleeping People Lie,’ by Jae de Wylde. It’s a love story with an iron grip and bitter-chocolate taste. I’m a little bit addicted. The fragrant Jae dropped me a line to ask me if I’d like to participate in The Next Big Thing, a blog hop in the best tradition of ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.’ I’m a sucker for these things. Before passing the baton onto me and four others, Jae wrote her own take on the title which you can read here.
Jack’s Next Big Thing
What is the working title of your book?
I’m currently compiling the best bits from Perking the Pansies, the Turkey years, into an uncensored two volume e-book coming to a Kindle near you very soon. The first volume is called Turkey, the Raw Guide and the second is called Turkey, Surviving the Expats. Taken together, the boxed set will be a spruced up director’s cut of our time in a Muslim land with added bite, previously unreleased material and additional features.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
When I read back through the blog, I was amazed about how much I’d written. Most of it was never included in my debut book (and, being different animals entirely, much of book was never included in the blog). The trouble with most blog posts is that once they’re read they’re dead. I thought bringing it all together would be a satisfying way to draw a line under our Anatolian Adventure and now I’m back in Blighty, I can be a little more honest.
What is the genre?
The mini-series is an easy-to-digest guide to Turkey with a tasty hard centre of memoir.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Believe me, this has been the cause of much drunken speculation among the Bodrum Belles and Gumbet Gals. Liam is rather taken with the idea of Jude Law playing him. Now that poor Jude is losing his hair, the cap really fits. As for me, well it has been cruelly suggested that Danny DeVito would be ideal in the part of Jack, the rotund, drunken short-arse. If he wasn’t so creepy, I’d probably go for Tom Cruise. He’s about the right height.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Have you ever wondered what it’s really like to live in a foreign field, particularly a Muslim one? To get a real feel, you need to ask someone who’s been there, done that and bought all the fake t-shirts. (Okay this is two sentences. So shoot me.)
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It’s virtually impossible to get agent representation. Trying to get one is a bruising and expensive business, best avoided by the thin-skinned. I’m self-publishing the e-books through Kindle and pricing them competitively to see how they fly. My first book was published through Summertime Publishing and they’ve agreed to publish the sequel which should be out in early 2013. The e-books are something that lie in between, a kind of bridge between the two.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It’s taken us (Liam is my whip-cracking editor) about two months so far to revise the flabby grammar, edit the material down into a believable whole and decide what tasty extras to include.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
A difficult one. I’d say Perking the Pansies has the feel of Bridget Jones with a pink twist and an injection of pathos.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I’m hoping the unreleased material and some solid old-fashioned advice about the reality of living in Turkey will grab the imagination. I’d like to be functional as well as decorative.
Now it’s time for me to pass on the poisoned chalice. In no particular order (as they say on Strictly Come Dancing), let’s hear it from …
David Gee, author of Shaikh-Down – a delicious, randy romp through the myopic and bawdy world of Gulf expatriate life set against the chilling winds of change.
Deborah Fletcher, author of Bitten by Spain – a very funny, beautifully descriptive and endearingly frank account of building the dream in Murcia.
Jo Parfitt, multi-tasker extraordinaire and author of Sunshine Soup – a hugely enjoyable tale of loss, intrigue and redemption.
Maggie Myklebust, author of Fly Away Home – a heartfelt book written with searing honesty that covers the push-pull effect of growing up in two cultures.
Laura J Stephens, author of An Inconvenient Posting – an agonisingly candid and raw account of loss and transition.