Q. What is being planned for the future after ‘Treat Me Nice’?
A. ‘Innocent Mosquitoes’ is being proof read and when this is complete it will be sent to Robin Castle who is responsible for designing the covers and preparing the artwork for all of the books published by Red Rattle Books. Once this is done it will go for printing and after that it will be made available on Amazon and in bookstores. Our objective is that readers will be able to purchase the book from Amazon in May.
Q. ‘Innocent Mosquitoes’ sounds very different from the book ‘Treat Me Nice’.
A. Yes it is although there are two very brief references to Elvis in the book. The subject, though, is completely different and so is the writing style. ‘Innocent Mosquitoes’ is a much lighter read than ‘Treat Me Nice’. We think ‘Innocent Mosquitoes’ will appeal to book clubs, especially those that embrace a wide range of readers. Indeed, we have already had interest from book clubs.
Q. So why did you write something so different?’
A. Because I went to Brazil and because I was interested in the story of Canudos where 30,000 people were slaughtered. I thought an account of the month long journey and the history of Canudos and Brazil would make a good book. The style of ‘Treat Me Nice’ was designed to establish accuracy and critical authority. ‘Innocent Mosquitoes’ evokes the atmosphere of Brazil and the mood of the character.
Q. Will the Elvis Presley Challenges continue?
A. Yes they will because they are rapidly increasing in popularity. The intention is to do at least 53 Challenges. When they are complete it will amount to year of Elvis Presley Challenges. Read together they will not only give plenty of information about Elvis and other music figures but also provide a not too serious political almanac. And, of course ‘Treat Me Nice’ is still available for those people who have not yet bought a copy.
Q. I noticed that one of The Elvis Presley Challenges reviewed the book, ‘The Courageous State’, by the economist Richard Murphy.
A. I have an interest in economics. I would think that half the books I read are about economics and the financial crisis.
Q. Do you read economic text books whilst you listen to Elvis?
A I do that quite often. I liked the economist who said on the Richard Murphy blog that Elvis would be no worse running the economy than George Osborne. Of course, that wouldn’t be difficult.
Q. The challenge last week was Big Al Downing and you included a musical clip. Are you going to do that more in the future?
A. Yes, I probably will. I should have thought of it before.
Q. What or who is the next challenge about?
A. Don’t know yet. What do you think?
Q. I think Francis Maude would be quite good.
A. It could well be.
Q. Which are the most popular blogs, the musical or the political?
A They are about the same.
Q. You are also working for Red Rattle Books?
A I am but I am in the process of becoming a partner with the company. They publish my books and I work for them as an editor. I am now very involved with the company. I think what the company is trying to do is worthwhile especially as the publishing industry is changing so rapidly and life is getting much tougher for authors. Red Rattle supports new authors and gives them a first stepping stone in a literary career. Our plan is to not only publish books by new authors but guarantee that the book they write after the one we publish is read and considered seriously by a prestigous literary agency. This gives them a shot at the big time so to speak. This access is not currently available to new authors.
Q. Which agency is that?
A. We can’t say at the moment but after we visit the London Book Fair this month we have a meeting in London with an agency and are quite excited by what we might achieve.
Q. Is there a website that provides details about Red Rattle and tells authors how to contact Red Rattle?
A. Yes and it has links that produce the contact E mail address but if you do not have an email account on your computer you will not be able to send emails direct. Going into your gmail account via the website is not possible. It is simple enough, though, to copy and paste the address. The website was designed and constructed by Wim Folkers who is based in Brussels.
Q. Will you only publish books by new authors?
A. No, we will also publish literary and cult classics. A varied list supports the authors and gives the reader a more interesting choice.
Q. Any literary classics in mind?
A. ‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley would be a good place to start.
Q. I should have guessed. Tell me about ‘Crime Chronicles’.
A. This was set up by Gisela Lehmer who is based in Berlin and Irene Keith who is based in Brussels. They are interested in reviewing and promoting crime fiction. So far I have reviewed a couple of books and written an editorial. The Romanian thriller ‘Attack In The Library’ has just arrived from the publisher and I will review that this week. ‘Crime Chronicles’ also uses other writers and reviewers. There is plenty to read on the website. Wim Folkers also constructed this website. The illustrations are particularly good. The website is especially relevant as more mainland and East European crime fiction is being translated into English. Gisela and Irene are very interested in how the crime genres of individual countries have different styles and concerns.
Q. With the work that you are doing on Red Rattle Books, the Elvis Presley Challenge and ‘Crime Chronicles’ do you have time to write your own books?
A. It is sometimes difficult but I am still writing both fiction and non-fiction. There will be more books to follow ‘Innocent Mosquitoes’.
Q. I really enjoyed reading the book ‘Innocent Mosquitoes’. I liked the way it makes you laugh and cry. But then I really liked ‘Treat Me Nice’ because I am an Elvis fan and it is so pleasant to read a book that takes him and his music seriously.
A Thank you and thanks for suggesting Francis Maude for a future challenge.
These are the website addresses for Red Rattle Books and Crime Chronicles.