Feedback

Every author loves to have feedback. Recently, over a large tub of ice cream I met up with Maya, one of my young Tarquin Jenkins fans.

Maya is a prolific reader. She’s read all the Harry Potter books and many more besides. Her mum tells me she can be found most days with her head in a book somewhere in their house.

Maya enjoyed the book, but felt there were a lot of characters introduced in the first couple of chapters and she had to recheck who they were.

The clurichauns, with Georgia Blade my pirate princess, were her favourite characters after Tarquin my protagonist. It’s funny, a lot of my readers have said the same thing; flawed, bad girls resonate with my readers.

The book’s pacing was fine. She enjoyed the fast, action thrilled ride and loved the humour, and occasional silliness.

She did not like one particular event, which dear reader, I cannot tell you about because of spoilers. But, as I had hoped when I wrote the piece, this ‘event’ spurred her on to find out more.

Would she read book two? “Absolutely,” said Maya finishing off her ice cream with a grin.IMG_6424….

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Trésor Munroe!

Armand Munroe, otherwise known as Trésor Munroe in my book, Tarquin Jenkins and the Book of Dreams, poses with a copy in downtown Montreal.

armand

It was not my intention to use real life characters in my book, but when I needed to create a nightclub impresario, he came readily to mind. At the ripe age of 81, Armand is a pillar of the gay community in Montreal. For over 25 years he ran PJs a famous nightclub. GodMother to our son, and life long friends with my wife, Armand is as sharp witted now as when he introduced, and often starred in, the nightly entertainment at the club.

Why Write The Book?

book_coverA question I’ve been asked a dozen times lately, so here you are, the reason why….

Twelve years ago, while sitting on the early morning Virgin train to Euston, London from Milton Keynes, I watched my fellow passengers either sleep through the hour-long journey or stare wistfully out of the window. This journey was to be my life for the foreseeable future – I had to do something. And so was born, Tarquin Jenkins and the Book of Dreams, a madcap, rip-roaring romp through history, time, transportation, and the known galaxies.

The blurb…

ALL TARQUIN JENKINS WANTED TO DO,
was travel through space and time, solve some of the Universe’s more pressing problems, and lay hands on the Nerydire Book of Dreams
UNFORTUNATELY,
nobody told him about the bloodsucking Leche, the leprechauns, the other leprechauns, the killer androids, the extremely rude waitress, Nostradamus, Leonardo da Vinci, the malfunctioning toaster, the Zargothian legal system, the Bloated Shagganat nightclub, the psychopathic Griddleback hordes, and a flame- haired, one-eyed space pirate called Georgia Blade
AFTER HE’D GOT HIS HEAD ROUND ALL THAT.
Tarquin’s life became a little complicated.

I am a 60s baby. I grew up with Monty Python, Star Trek, Dr Who, Hai Karate aftershave adverts, the Goodies, and wrestling on a Saturday afternoon. I was even lucky enough to be in the studio audience for the recording of a Fawlty Towers episode. It was clear to me the sort of book this would be. At the time, we were living in a quintessential village in the middle of England (Little Britain?) So, couple this with a love of history and a pythonesque sense of the ridiculous, the book would be funny, involve time travel, chairs, caravans, narrowboats, cookery and needlework books, the British Foreign Office (I retired from their employ in 2011), and very small people. Oh, and aliens, lots of them, both good and bad.

I sent my first chapter off to one of those pay for review sites in the UK. In return I got an in depth analysis with strong, critical words of advice. The reviewer was John Grant, also known as Paul Barnett. (www.johngrantpaulbarnett.com). Eleven years later, I am very proud to say that Paul edited the final manuscript. I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that without his guidance, Scottish wit, perseverance, and passion for cricket, Tarquin Jenkins would still be languishing on my laptop…That sounds funny (GQ model…), but you know what I mean.

In the early days of writing I would submit pieces to members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Chronicles website (www.sffchronicles.com). This proved invaluable, and I learned so much from their experiences and comments. It is still a website I frequent, and I often look for views on ideas for the second book in the series now underway.

I had decided many months ago that I would self publish the book. I felt that it was a niche book, and though appealing to readers from 12+, I just couldn’t see a publisher taking a chance. I am glad I went this route. Despite the sharp curve in learning, I found a good ebook formatter and a printer. Initially, I’ve had 100 paperbacks made for promotional purposes. Some have gone to bloggers and reviewers, others to friends with teenagers. A Goodreads giveaway has just ended, and a further 10 will be given to local libraries here in Montreal, where I now live with my Canadian wife and our 14 year old son.
Book two is underway, and promises to be as madcap and wacky as book one…

The draft blurb…

After his gruesome death in 2015, Tarquin Seebohm Jenkins can now get back to studying the Book of Dreams, and joining the search for Nostradamus and Leonardo Da Vinci, and the amulet they stole. Trouble is, every Tom, Dick and alien are preparing to do the same…

I hope you enjoy reading the book.

Tarquin Jenkins and the Book of Dreams is available at;
Amazon, Kindle, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
You can find further information about Tarquin Jenkins here;
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29201240-tarquin-jenkins-and-the-book-of-dreams
https://www.facebook.com/nerydirebookofdreams