Tag Archives: interviews

Blogging Off Piste and Visiting the Real World.

Yes, another kindly soul has let me loose on his blog. If you don’t follow the Story Reading Ape then you really should. He carries news, views and information for indie authors on his blog (as well as bananas). Today, I’ve bent his readers’ ears about my books, which I have a rather egocentric tendency to do, given the chance. A lot.

As usual the rest of the blog is a lot more interesting than my bit so I can recommend checking it out. ‘My’ bit is here.

Also, a quick reminder to anyone in the Diss, Norfolk area on Saturday that the kind souls at Diss Publishing Bookshop will be letting me lurk on their premises between 11.00 and 1.30 on Saturday – this Saturday that ever was – and devaluing my books by scribbling in them. I’m looking forward to it but also a little bit nervous. If they’ve been kind enough to put their faith in me I am keen to repay it by selling some books.  Anyway, for more about the signing, click here.

 

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Are you talking to me pal?

Is staring at something you’re trying to find for ages, without seeing it, a super power? I don’t know but it’s probably the closest I’ll get.

Does he have a better short-term memory than I do? Very probably.

You can read some wittering about that and other ideas in this week’s bit of light fluff. It’s an interview  over at Katherine’s Corner. Yes, I’ve been bending someone’s ear again. This one is part of an ongoing series of author interviews comprising two sets of questions; one frivolous and one sensible. The author being interviewed has to answer both, although in my case, there’s not really much difference between the two. You can find some witty and interesting answers from other authors on the blog here and you can read my attempts at the end of the links below.

Sensible

Frivilous

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Words With A Fellow Petrolhead

I have been very tardy with this one but my good friend, fellow member of the Gumbee Fantasy Authors’ Guild and also, fellow Petrolhead, Will Macmillan Jones has been kind enough to let me witter on about my books, my theories on economic stability and all sorts of other cobblers, on his blog.

So Will, a belated thank you, and everyone, Will does write a cracker of a blog post so pop over to say hello and do have a look around his blog. You can find the article here.

And if anyone’s come here from there the books page I mentioned, and cleverly forgot to give you the link for is here.

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An ad hoc sort of world: Introducing Mr Jim Webster and the Tsarina Sector.

This week, I am mostly featuring a guest post by my good cyber friend and fellow writer, Jim Webster. I have voraciously consumed Jim’s fantasy books and now he is dipping his toe in the water of Science Fiction Whodunnits – is that a genre? I guess it is now – I will be voraciously consuming them an’ all. Jim’s new book, Justice-4-1, Tsarina-Sector will be out soon. You can check it out on his author page at Safkhet – his publishers – here, while his author page on Amazon, which gives you details of all his books, is here.

Right then, take it away….. Jim.

Jim Webster standing in front of a hedge he made earlier.

Jim Webster standing in front of a hedge he made earlier.

When I got the idea for ‘Justice 4.1’ I had a world in mind. I’ve read a lot of SF and Fantasy over the years, and I’ve ‘lived’ vicariously in many, many worlds. I wanted mine to be different.

Firstly I wanted the reader to like the world, to feel sympathy for it, to feel as if they might like to live there. After all if I’m writing a book about someone trying to save their world, if you don’t like the world, you are likely to wonder why they bother.

Secondly I wanted the world to be complex. I wanted a range of technologies, a range of lifestyles, a lot of different communities who all had their own rules, mores, cultural norms, but who somehow managed to rub along without too much bickering on the margins. This is something that probably stems from my love of work of the late, great, Jack Vance. He was a master of creating strange but somehow convincing communities and cultures.

Finally I wanted a world that was somehow ‘just getting by.’ Not actual poverty, just a series of hasty improvisations to keep the show on the road. Here I think I was influenced by a lifetime in agriculture. I can tackle most things, but if I ever had to do something properly, using the proper tools and the proper materials and document it properly, I’d be lost. So I ended up with Tsarina, a world that “wasn’t as much colonised as infected by humanity – explored for the sake of completeness and named after the exploration ship’s purser’s dog.”

And the people? Well I long ago learned that there are no ordinary people. Stop and talk to them, walk a mile in their shoes, and you realise that ‘ordinary people’ do extraordinary things all the time. So I assembled my cast from such people, amongst my heroes are insurance loss adjusters, a pop station DJ and a middle aged traffic cop.

And the villain? Surely we’ve got to have a really good villain, dyed in the wool evil, cunning, with subtle plans that will subjugate star systems and bend worlds to his will. Well, here you’re in luck. We have. Probably.

Thank you Jim. I hope your villain is evil, I like a good baddie gah no an oxymorn… but you see what I mean.

You can buy the Tsarina Sector from Amazon UK here and from Amazon US here. You can also read an exerpt right NOW on this blog. HERE!

Tsarina book coverThe flitter was hardly luxurious. It was a spacious workhorse with just enough concessions to comfort to deter personal injury claims from those who hired it. At the moment, it loitered over the northern highlands of the Border Kingdoms at a safe altitude. To their north, the highlands rose steadily until they became snow-capped and were lost in the clouds. Below them was a jumbled badlands of gorges and ridges, twisted rock, frost-shattered and crumbling. Wheeling below them was a pair of great four-winged aradons, keen-eyed carrion feeders. In the distance, perhaps five miles away, Kilonwin Kardoverin could just make out what might be another pair. As far as he could tell, they were the only signs of life in sight. He looked down; even with vision enhancers, the ridges showed virtually no sign of life. He counted three stunted bushes with occasional blades of grass poking through the loose scree.

Kardoverin strapped himself into the co-pilot seat and fiddled with the camera array, determined to get as much footage as possible. Kardoverin had a reputation in the industry as one of the best documentary makers in the sector. This reputation was based on arrogance, a casual disregard for personal safety, and painstaking camera work. He was reputed to get five times as much material as was needed, even for top quality holo work. He turned to the pilot. “Can we get lower? I’d like to film into those gorges.”

“Why?”

“Well, there’s damn all up here.”

“Why not zoom?” The pilot sounded nervous.

“They’re in heavy shadow.”

“Look, this is the Border Kingdoms, it isn’t safe.”

Kardoverin adjusted the central rig and raked the peripheral arrays so that they covered both flanks.

“Take us down fast; we’ll be through and out.”

“They’re barbarians! They shoot at people.”

“With black powder weapons.” Kardoverin’s tone was dismissive as he checked the satellite relay. It seemed to be working perfectly. “Look, just go in, one quick fly-through. It isn’t as if I’m asking you to land, or even hover.”

The pilot muttered something blasphemous under his breath and brought the flitter round. “I’ll take us up that gorge on the left, it’s narrower. Being so overcast, it’s less likely to be inhabited.”

He opened the throttle and brought the bow of the flitter sharply down. The clumsy craft accelerated rather faster than Kardoverin had expected, and he hastily checked the camera focus. This model of vehicle was effectively a rectangular box which flew and had little consideration of style. But for his purposes, the open top meant it had been comparatively easy to fit the cameras. The pilot brought them down sharply, heading south, gaining speed as he lost altitude. Then suddenly, he spun the controls and the flitter turned and banked so sharply Kardoverin felt himself hanging in the harness. Then the pilot pointed the nose of his craft straight into the mouth of the gorge, still dropping and gaining speed. As they entered between the towering rock walls, they were barely twenty feet above the ground and moving faster than Kardoverin would have believed possible. Kardoverin kept his eyes on the monitors, running his fingers over the controls in front of him, altering the zoom, the angle, the filters. They were deep in the gorge now and the boxy craft was travelling at breakneck speed. Kardoverin constantly re-adjusted the controls. “Isn’t this a bit fast?”

The pilot’s answer came through clenched teeth. “If I could go faster, I would. I want us out of here and—” He paused. “Oh hell, we are in deep—”

There was a staccato rattle of automatic weapons fire from one side. The burst struck the pilot, jerking his body against the seat harness. Kardoverin tore his gaze from the monitors and looked towards where the noise had come from. The second burst hit the front of the flitter, and the engine began to whine. Kardoverin frantically unbuckled his harness and stood up to reach over the pilot’s body for the controls. The third burst struck him in the chest, spun him round and left him draped over the side of the flitter. Thirty seconds later, with no one at the controls, the flitter struck the rock wall of the gorge and exploded.

Wow. So, that was an excerpt from Justice 4.1 The Tsarina Sector. If you would like to find out more or stalk Jim on social media you can do so in the following places:

Find out more about Jim:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jim-Webster/e/B009UT450I/
Smashwords:   https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/fjpwebster
Safkhet publishing:  http://www.safkhetpublishing.com/authors/Jim_Webster.htm

Stalk Jim on Social Media:
Blog: http://jandbvwebster.wordpress.com/
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22998.Jim_Webster
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JimWebster6

Find out more about the book:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TsarinaSector
Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1908208236/
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1908208236/

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Author Interiew

Bit of a re-blog this one. Joo’s Book Reviews (and interviews) blog has very kindly interviewed me and you can find out what we talked about, my feet get a mention… and the telly. If you want to have a look it’s here.

You can also find Joo’s review of Few Are Chosen, here.

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Box 010 Number 10: Results, Michael Cargill

This week’s special guest was Michael Cargill, who writes all sorts of stuff because he hasn’t stuck to any particular genre. His latest work, Underneath, has been compared to Ruth Rendell – but he also likes writing humour and satire, as we’ve discovered. You can find more of that on his website here .

So Michael, ladies and gentlemen. I bet you’re absolutely ganting to know how the vote went. Quite well as it turns out.

Michael, thanks to your fine efforts, the world is no longer doomed to suffer the existence of the following three things:

  1. Three-quarter length trouser-short things
    That’s me buggered, everyone will have to see my giant swollen knees now but a promise is a promise. In they go.
  2. Poo
    Congratulations everyone. Although I’m not sure what the monkeys in the zoo will fling now.
  3. Audiophiles
    I like a good stereo as much as the next person but yes, there are limits.

Michael, thank you for joining me in Box 010. Now everyone, off you go and buy his book, Underneath!

Oh and in case you’d forgotten here’s where you can stalk Michael Cargill on the internet.
Website:- http://michaelcargill.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @MichaelCargill1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelCargillAuthor

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Box 010 Number 10: Michael Cargill

Well hello again, and welcome, to Box 010; a bit of light whimsy which is, in no way, inspired by the popular BBC programme Room 101. Here’s now it works. Every two weeks, except in the holidays when I turn into Mumzilla and everything goes a bit mental, my special guest will pop in and then present us with five things they would like to see consigned to the dustbin of existence. This week’s special guest is Michael Cargill. He hasn’t stuck to any particular genre. His latest work, Underneath, has been compared to Ruth Rendell – you can find more details about it at the bottom of the page.  He likes writing humour and satire, too – as you’re about to find out. You can find more of that on his website here .

Hello Michael. So, before you launch into your enormous and really quite splendid rant, would you like to tell us a bit about yourself?

Hello there,

My name is Michael Cargill and I started writing about two years ago. So far I haven’t stuck with a particular genre as I like to just write whatever pops into my smoothly-shaven head. Along with my books and stories I also have a website of satire humour stuff that I update every now and then.

By day I work in IT and I have to force myself to traverse the world of office life just like everyone else. Getting up at 6am is such a drag, man.

You said it, I’m not a morning person either so I sympathise with anyone who has to get up at 6am, 7am is bad enough but where was I? Ah yes, Michael, without more ado, please tell us the first item you’d like to cast into the unending darkness of Box 010.

Whacky t-shirt slogans:

“Keep calm and drink tea!” advises a thin sheet of blue cotton.

“Oh wow, that’s so random!” exclaims a breathless 19-year old student called Jeremy. “£35 is a bargain, I’ll take three of them.”

Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy. What are we going to do with you, eh?  Set you on fire and shove you in the direction of Primark, perhaps?  Exactly what does this t-shirt give you?  Sure, the local homeless guy might be entertained by your brief sojourn into sponsored hilarity, but let’s not forget that he also gets nosebleeds whenever a helicopter flies overhead. Never let your life be dictated by a thin-blooded anaemic.

Ah yes, right, MT hurriedly crosses her arms to hide the picture of snurds on her T-shirt… no witty slogan though, perhaps I’m safe. Oops, anyway, right, OK Michael, what’s you’re next pet hate?

Poo.

Mwah ha haargh! Really?

Yep, no shit. Poo: It smells and you can’t really do anything with it, unless you’re a monkey in a cage in a zoo, throwing it at passersby. If you try to use it as ink, your filing cabinet will soon be swarming with flies; if you try to use it as stuffing for a pillow, you really will have to worry about the bed bugs biting you during the night; if you bake it like clay and try to use it as a credit card, it will get stuck inside the cash machine and you’ll never be able to get a mortgage or a loan again.

It makes bloody great manure though, my geraniums are marvellous this year.

Hnur hnur hnur hnurrrrgh. Something makes me think you might not have got all that you might have done from any visits to the zoo you made as a child. OK, so after poo what’s the next item you’d like to throw into Box 010?

Three-quarter length trouser-short things: Let’s face it, no-one likes a cyborg. Robots are great, ‘cos they build cars and lift things wot are too heavy for us humans to lift. They can even speak in cute little voices if programmed to do so.

Humans are great as well. They can be pleasant to look at, they sing nice songs, and some of them can even make a right nice cup of tea if asked nicely.

Cyborgs?  Yucky, ugly creatures that have bolts poking out of their eye sockets and bulging electric veins that dangle down from every nook and cranny. And so it is for those ghastly three-quarter length trouser-shorts. If it’s warm, wear proper shorts. If it’s cold, wear proper trousers. There is no such thing as warmy-cold weather that is too hot for trousers and too cold for shorts.

Ah but what about when it’s too hot for trousers but your knees are too scarred and vile for shorts? That’s when these three quartery length abominations become quite useful. Er… at least, that’s why I wear them, anyway. But I agree that, as a fashion statement, they are a bit pants. Then again, as a, lardy, 45 year old stay at home parent I’m probably about as close to making a fashion statement as I am to Alpha Centuri so I don’t expect it matters… sorry, gone off on one there. Right-o, please can we hear about your next item?

Audiophiles:

“Yeah mate, that would deffo sound better if you were using a gold-plated SCART cable instead of them earphones. It’s all about the conductivity.”

Really?  How fascinating. And there was me thinking that listening to The Sex Pistols would be a simple affair of popping in the CD and hitting the play button. Had I known that I needed to pray to the God of Unicorn Farts at the Altar of Elbow Grease beforehand, my delicate wee eardrum would no doubt be bestowing me with flowers and blowjobs by now. Thank you, Mr Engineery Man, for your advice on the things that matter. May your moustache be forever neat and tidy.

All I can think of now is the Not the Nine O’Clock News sketch:

“I’d like to buy a Gramaphone.”

Cue about 20 minutes of laughter.

“A Gramaphone, do you mean a music system?”

“What’s the difference?”

“Oh about 30 years and a plastic casing to you Granddad.” etc.

Sorry, moving on. Michael, what is the fifth and final thing you’d like to put into Box 010?

Asparagus.

Noooooooo!

Yes, because it’s crap.

A bag of frozen green beans will cost about a quid. A bag of frozen asparagus will cost a ton. That is, if you can even find a place that sells frozen asparagus, as it’s clearly such an important and precious length of green that no-one dares freeze it, lest they risk the feeble wrath of asparagus worshippers everywhere.

Apparently asparagus is good for seducing women; I disagree. Vodka works perfectly and it’s cheap. Asparagus is expensive and is a far higher maintenance vegetable than it’s cousin the green bean. You also end up discarding half of it anyway.

The asparagus vs. beans debate is similar to the ebook vs. real book debate: “Oooooh, a real book is so much more engaging!”

No it isn’t, so stop lying.

Michael thank you for making us laugh so much with one of the most splendidly random Box 010’s so far. It was great! The results will be posted in a week’s time, when we will find out if my asparagus bed and halfway-house trousers are going to join my husband in Box 010.

Readers, you can vote on Michael’s choices here.

Underneath
Look at the person sitting just across from you. It doesn’t matter whether they’re a loved one, a friend, or a complete stranger.

Now look at their face. Are they happy?  Are they sad?  Or are they angry?  Can you even tell?

How well do you actually know the people closest to you? Have you ever seen the real person that lies just underneath what you see…?

Here’s where you can stalk Michael Cargill on the internet.
Website:- http://michaelcargill.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @MichaelCargill1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelCargillAuthor

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