Friday, June 22, 2012

Giveaway: Hoodie and Interview with author Brendon Lancaster

Hoodie book cover

Ben (aka Hoodie) is a contemporary anti-hero, struggling to retain his integrity in a world of shifting values. His escapades provide a blend of up-to-date realism, dream-like escapism and gritty hard-hitting action, all while navigating a magical mystery tour of his mind.
About Brenden, from his site:
Brendon Lancaster
Brendon Lancaster
Brendon Lancaster lives in London, married with two daughters. He grew up in the Paddington/Notting Hill area.
‘Hoodie’ is Brendon’s first novel. He was prompted to write it because after spending 25 years in steady, albeit moderately successful, civil service employment he felt it was time to stretch his creative potential.
His relatively newfound passion for writing reflects his long held desire (identified at an early age) to find a way of getting paid to daydream.
Brendon is keen to emphasise that ‘Hoodie’ is entirely fictional and any characters or events are purely the product of his imagination. He is proud, however, to admit to – like ‘Hoodie’ – having simian lines on both of his palms – a rare genetic abnormality shared by drug addicts, mass murderers, scientific researches and religious fanatics  (and, by sheer coincidence, Tony Blair).  Brendon has shown no sign of possessing any of these traits.  Yet.

Our Interview:

--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.

Hoodie tells the story of Ben, a teenage contemporary anti-hero, struggling to retain his integrity (and sanity) in today’s competitive, consumerist world.

--How did you get the idea for the story?

A mixture of my own and my friends’ personal experiences over the years, mixed with a massive dose of poetic licence to create a story which hangs together.

--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?

Ben.  He’s got a good (but often misplaced) sense of fun and could do with having someone sensible like me (ha ha!) to steer him onto the right track.

--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?

I don’t get nearly as much time as I’d like to read, but would list some of my recent favourites as being:
Life of Pi by Yann Martel (had to read it a second time immediately upon finishing it the first);
We need to talk about Kevin by Lionel Schriver (disturbing, haunting);
Dog Boy by Eva Hornung (for invoking such vivid imagery and keeping a difficult story so plausible throughout);
Betty Blue by Philippe Djian (stuffed full of brilliant powerful emotion and totally absorbing)
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Berniéres (much better than the film, which totally lost it for me as soon as I saw Nicolas Cage playing the role of Captain Corelli)

--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?

Yes, and no.  Sorry!

--If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?

As a teenager I was always attracted to the idea of having a day like Huckleberry Finn, with no responsibilities and the freedom to take the open road - or raft on the Mississippi - to wherever I felt; fishing, swimming, exploring the unknown wilderness and seeking out adventure at every turn.  I did fish in London’s Thames when I was younger though…not quite the same thing!

--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?

It depends which stage of writing I’m at.  I do like a glass (or two!) of wine to accompany the creative, energetic, first drafting stage.  But strong fresh coffee is a much better accompaniment for the disciplined editing stages.  Definitely no music though.  The temptation to get up and start dancing instead of writing is too great.

--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

The ability to stay awake permanently.  I could achieve so much more…

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?

I’m an early morning fitness freak and can be found in the gym most mornings.  Aside from that, I’m a father to two daughters and have no concept of free time.

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?

Is it me, or are people becoming more judgmental of others these days? Keep an open mind.  Don’t prejudge anyone on their appearance, creed, colour, religion or anything else.  Take the time and trouble to get to know and understand others; you don’t know what you might be missing.  We’re all individual and beautiful in our own way.

And on that note, I shall bow out, and look forward to hearing from any readers of Hoodie.

Lightning round: this or that?
Vanilla or chocolate?  Chocolate.  Without hesitation.
Edward or Jacob?  Eh?
Hockey or soccer?  Football.
Ebook or paper?  Paper (but ebook is the future).
Salty or sweet?  Salty.
Beach or mountains?  Beach.
Phone call or email?  Email for business, phone call for pleasure.
Early bird or night owl?  Early bird at the gym, night owl when writing.  (I need more sleep!)
Dog or cat?  Cat.
Messy or neat?  Neat.
Ninjas or pirates?  Pirates.

Ebook, open Internationally
ends 7/20
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