31 Dec 2014

And so the year ends

Hello my little chickadees

And so another year ends. It's been a strange year of ups and downs. I started my blog again and it's been very successful it seems. The most popular blog being "Sci fi at it's best" in September 2014.

My previous publisher in San Francisco closed and I sat rocking for a while. Then out of the blue I was asked to join the Thorstruck Publishing House. My books were republished under the title of SOULFATE and I have gone upwards in leaps and bounds ever since. Most of the previous publishers authors had already joined Thorstruck and as usual I was late to the party. However once I got there I made my mark and am enjoying every moment.

I have had the opportunity to help a new writer (close friend) to start his first book. It's been floating around in his head for a while (we've all been there) and finally it's starting to take shape. Here is a link to his blog.

So as I welcome 2015 I wish you all a happy New Year and hope that all our wishes come true.


Laters Potaters

17 Dec 2014


Hello my little chickadees

I've neglected you for a while but I have an excuse... 
I've been helping the elves and faeries with all the Christmas toys. They've been worked off of their little feet and Santa has been so busy this year poor old soul.

Of course, it meant that I had to shrink in size to fit in the tiny little toadstools and workshops. Anyhow, to do this I drank a potion which was rather foul tasting, but it was only a thimble size full thank goodness. The feeling as I shrunk was extremely weird but it only lasted seconds. My new friend Tizzlewen showed me where I could find suitable clothes and a pair of wings. THEY took some time to fix I can tell you. I had many an abortive test run and I crash landed more than I expected but I eventually got the hang of it.

During an evening break, I was sitting outside my toadstool drinking mead (yummy) when I realised how cold it was getting. The sky was full of stars but the air was frosty and I hate the cold with a passion. As things had calmed down a bit at the North Pole and most of the work was now done, I decided I needed some warmth. My friend Suzannah Burke lives down under in Sydney Australia so I decided to pay her a surprise visit and lap up some of that sunshine.

Tizzlewen agreed that I had done more that my fair share, and as I would be away for a while asked if I would like to join him in his toadstool for a Christmas noggin. I readily agreed, even though I knew him to be an elf of ill-repute. However he was on his best behaviour and we supped several acorn cups of mead. Feeling very mellow by the bewitching hour I made my excuses to leave. Tizzlewen agreed to walk me to my toadstool as I was a bit unsteady on my little legs. (It takes a while to get used to mead) He planted a gentle kiss on the tip of my nose and left me to retire for the night. Maybe all the stories I'd heard about him weren't true after all.... Maybe?

The next morning I awoke with a thumping head which was to be expected I suppose. My next decision to make was, is it to be coffee and breakfast or just coffee. I decided on just coffee as I had a long way to fly. Then I realised I would probably scare the hell out of our Sooz if I turned up reduced in size so I went off to find the antidote. Could I find anyone? No; not a single elf or faerie was about. Oh well I had no choice but at least I had my nimbus broomstick which meant I wouldn't have to use my wings to fly there. I wrapped my warmest witches cape several times around me and headed for the clouds in cruise mode eager to get to that Oz warmth.

I stopped off at Singapore in a secluded spot for sustenance and to recharge the nimbus, then I was off again. By the time I got to Sydney it was midday and I knew exactly where to find the lovely Sooz. Her face was a sight to behold when she saw me (I love surprises) and after a full explanation of my present appearance she laughed and then suggested a lazy lunch and chilled wine in the beautiful garden. 

As I looked around and took in the views I sighed deeply. Sooz has a granny flat which is a converted garage on the eastern side of the main house. It has its own deck running the length of the building and faces due west. As I looked down the rugged incline, there is a fire trail that descends steeply for about a kilometer or so, which brings one out safely to a roadway bordering the park on the other side. I turned to Sooz and got her to update me on everything, since moving here (who lives where etc) and the arrival of Jacob. 

"Well Tee as you can see... Oh let me top up the wine first. Is it chilled enough for you? 

I agreed it was and relaxed back to listen.

"Where was I? Oh yes. As you can see the main house is huge and my daughter Amanda, friend Jill and beautiful grandson Jacob share it with one psychotic cat (Manky) and two even more psychotic dogs, a Boston terrier named Boss, and a Pomeranian named Prince. I adore animals so it is a happy place to be.

The main house has a very large deck with a view over the George’s River National Park; that deck faces South and the view is rugged high country, the house and my flat have been built on the highest rock platform bordering the park.

My mornings begin anywhere between 1.00am and 5.00 am, I sleep very little these days, and resent it if I need a nap in the afternoons.

I water my lovely little garden every morning now that summer is well on its way, and have just cut back the lemon tree and passionfruit vines to make way for the tomatoes and vegies that I planted in early spring.

I don’t plan my days other than that. With the exception of the 3 mornings a week that I go up early to the main house (6.30am) to dress Jacob for daycare whilst Amanda prepares his bag of goodies for the day, and readies herself for work.

They leave at 7.20 am and the rest of my day is free to do as I please. When the muse is actively engaged I write. I need to sit out on the deck, weather permitting, to do any research and play on FB as there is no internet connection available from inside my flat. 

As the heat progresses in summer, I will have to go up into the main house to do any work involving the internet, as the western sun is on my deck from midday till sunset, and the temperature can and does hit 40 celsius.

I have a portable aircon in my bedroom that will help maintain my sanity throughout summer. I much prefer Spring and Autumn temps.

The place I write, am now writing in … lets see…There is a concertina door separating the living area from the laundry/toilet and shower areas, the window is huge and I look out at the trees and get distracted by the birdlife and the fox and her cubs that now come out on the ledge almost daily to play. We get wild storms this time of year, gale force winds and thunder that shakes the place like crazy…I love storms, especially the driving rain that comes with them. At night the sound of that rain, and sometimes hail on the tin roof makes me smile with contentment. 

Jacob shares his Grandma’s love of storms, and Amanda has her hands full convincing him to come inside. He stands with his hands in the air and squeals “Whoo-hoo, more please!” Sigh. I try hard not to laugh. Amanda just grins at me and comments that ‘its gotta be genetic’. I love my girl.

The bedroom has a small built in robe, and I can just fit my queen-size bed in comfortably, with enough room to slide in on one side. It’s all I need and surprisingly I don’t get claustrophobic, perhaps because the sliding glass doors can remain curtainless at night, for there’s naught but the possums to invade my privacy, and I can look out at the stars till I fall asleep.

"Phew it sure is a cracking place Sooz. I love it; actually I had the chance to come and live out here with my first husband when I was in my early twenties, but that's a story for another day..."

"Sooz, over the years we have certainly hauled each other upright during our lowest times.  You're a cracking writer and I admire you and your writing style tremendously. I know you have written a psychological thriller that Thorstruck are publishing in February 2015 (only about 9 weeks away) Can you share any of it with us?"

"Well, my dear friend, the book that Thorstruck are releasing in February is titled “Acts Beyond Redemption” It’s complex and has several subplot’s running simultaneously…a psychological thriller that appears to be about a serial killer/or family like Charles Manson’s. The plot leads the FBI special task force in that direction … quite deliberately. Orders come from the highest held office in the land, to someone within the task force. They must continue to focus on the serial killer aspect, to deflect any and all eyes away from the real motive and the story behind it. 

I ended the book allowing for a book 2 and possibly 3. Here is an excerpt ...."

“Acts Beyond Redemption.” By Suzanna Burke
Cookie had already had the meals delivered as ordered at 7:00 p.m. in a location two miles from the cabin. One of them would be there as always to collect the food.  Clara passed Cookie on the way to the cabin, driving the all-terrain vehicle back to the main homestead.
Clara didn’t bother to knock, she strolled in and headed across to the bar, before acknowledging any of those present.
“Hi, all. What’s for dinner?”
“Roast pork,” Sheila responded with a smile. “Tim’s favorite, Clara."
“How nice. Is it a special occasion?”
“No, just thought you may all like something apart from pizza for a change.”
Clara looked at her, then glanced at the three men. Everything seemed fine, they were relaxed and readying themselves for the meal.
Clara felt a trill of fear. What was happening? The atmosphere was almost too relaxed; Sheila was smiling. Sheila never smiled.
“Do we have a problem?” she asked.
“No, Clara, no problem at all. A minor irritation we’ll talk about after dinner. Let’s enjoy Cookie’s marvelous meal shall we?” Sheila waited till everyone was seated and set their plates in front of them.
“Enjoy the meal, and I have made certain Cookie included your favorite apple and raisin sauce, Clara, and of course extra crackling for you, Tim.”
They sat and began the meal, the men making no real effort at conversation, but then Clara knew they weren’t exactly a bright bunch. Working with them was do-able, but socially they lacked any finesse at all. Sheila was different, she could pass in any society that she chose to fit, as a member of long standing. Clever little chameleon.
“Have we been given a new target?” asked Clara as she helped herself to more of the wonderful sauce.
“I am handling the next one solo,” Sheila said.
“Why is that?”
“Because those are my orders, Clara.”
“But surely the pattern of killings shouldn’t alter at this stage? They have been convinced these are serial murders, why change it now?”
“Why don’t you ask him yourself?”
“No. No. I was merely inquiring why the pattern was altered. No need to ask him. No need at all.” She laughed nervously.
“Smart girl. He does hate to have his orders questioned. Or not followed to the letter.”
Clara knew then that she was in trouble. She stood and forced herself to stroll slowly across to the bar, feigning nonchalance. “It’s just as well the last hit turned out just fine then. No need to trouble him with the details.”
“Oh, make no mistake, Clara. He is well aware of exactly how that hit went down.” Sheila replied in a bored tone.
“I presume I am to be told off for being naughty, and leaving the gag off that damned fool?”
“Told off? Told off?” Sheila’s voice rose. She stood and walked across to where Clara stood, and slapped her hard across the face.  “Stupid, stupid bitch. You ruined it. A perfect record and you ruined it.”
Clara knew better than to attempt to retaliate. Sheila would calm down after the first tirade, she always did.
“I’m sorry, Sheila. I thought the place was so isolated nobody would ever stumble on it. It was silly. It won’t happen again.”
Clara looked at her face, then across at the men who were now standing by the door. “What? Am I to be punished like a recalcitrant child? That’s ridiculous.”
Clara felt sweat forming on her brow, and her stomach began to cramp. She looked at the faces again, detecting nothing, so put the physical reaction down to nerves.
She walked a little unsteadily over to the table and pulled her chair out, sitting quickly as her legs turned to jelly beneath her. She looked around the table, and noticed for the first time that none of the plates except for hers had any of Cookie’s famous sauce, yet she knew they all liked it. The truth hit her as the first wave of nausea caused her to vomit.
“My, God! What have you done?”
“Don’t fuss so, Clara. It will be over reasonably soon. In an hour or so, you will be completely immobilized. The pain of course will not be pleasant. You should die sometime in the next twelve to sixteen hours.” Sheila stated quite matter-of-factly.
“Gentleman, I suggest you sit. Watch, and remember well what she goes through. If anyone disobeys an order again, death will not be as relatively easy as what she will suffer, believe me.”
“Sheila, no! We’re friends. Help me!”
“I don’t have any friends, Clara. This is strictly business.” She turned to the men, sitting pale faced, and edgy. “Spread the tarpaulin and put her on the floor. The mess is easier to clean up that way. Who wants a drink?”
They all nodded, however, when Sheila went to the bar she was amused to find that they insisted on pouring their own. She laughed in merriment. “Name your poison, gentleman.”
Clara lay on the floor screaming in pain. They managed to ignore her.

 Please note this work is “Subject to change, before publication.”

"Sooz you take my breath away with your exceptional writing and I can't wait to read it." 

As the sun started to lose the heat of the day (can we really have been chatting that long?) we top up our glasses with the chilling white wine and ease back into an easy silence that only deep friendship allows and watch the early nightlife come out to play. They're safe in the knowledge that we will cause them no harm. 

I'm going to stay with Sooz for a day or two recharged my batteries. I'm in heaven and going nowhere...

Laters Potaters

30 Oct 2014

Broom Stick to Cape Town

Hello my chickadees

Well I got the old nimbus 9 broomstick out of the cupboard and dusted it down ready for my flight to Cape Town. The pointy hat was perched on my head at a jaunty angle. I had my Nora Batty green striped wooly tights on, my buckled shoes were shiny and I was off with black cloak flapping in the wind. I got as far as the first star to Venus then I turned straight round and came back. I'd forgotten Pyewacket. He was not amused and growled at me as only cats can. After giving me an ear bashing he jumped on the broomstick and we started again. I'm sure he said "for goodness sake get a move on" or words to that effect. He has a flowery tongue when he's in a mood. So with his ears slicked back and my hat held on with my knicker elastic we were off. I prefer to travel by night it's quieter.

Stowed on the back in a holdall I had a change of clothes and cat food. Not everyone likes to be interviewed by a witch, It can be off putting I suppose. Pyewacket is bad enough when he gets a strop on. Anyways I was off to interview Elaina Davidson and at least it would be warm there. i love the heat. As I passed Hesperus the Evening Star I went into cruise control which gave me the opportunity to think about Elaina and the questions I'd prepared.

  • What makes her tick for instance? I knew that like me she loved time travel stories, and was a galactic and universal traveller and dreamer. Her writing was inspired by her travels and dreams.
  • She was born and bred in South Africa and grew up in the magical city and surrounds of Cape Town. After studying Purchasing Management and working in the formal sector as a buyer, she chose to raise and school her children at home. Then they decided to live for some time in Ireland and then subsequently in New Zealand. At the end of the day her roots pulled her and the family back to South Africa. Elaina once mentioned that the vibrancy of Africa had a lot to do with the inspirational side of her work. Something was always going on whether it was something to shock or something to uplift. I was looking forward to seeing the diversity of nature itself which she assured me would fire my imagination.
  • I knew that her novels had started being written around 2002 which started out as children's stories and poetry and then expanded into larger works.
  • Then there was that lightbulb moment she spoke of. 

I slowed the broom down for a bit while I collected my thoughts. The more info I got straight in my head now, meant less work to do when I got there. Yes the lightbulb moment. What was that all about? Oh yes, something about The Infinity Mantle is the first LORE volume and is about Rayne being gathered to become something greater than he initially suspects. His journey had started as an unwilling sorcerer forced into action by the manipulations of an ancient enemy. 

I'd asked how Rayne's journey had come to light and it apparently happened when Elaina paged through a book on Alchemy, a dictionary of terms.She had wished that she could remember the author, to thank her for the proverbial light bulb moment. However she did recall the fourteen steps to alchemical perfection listed that started LORE’s creative process. To further add impetus to creativity, Elaina had a dream before the said light bulb moment and she was convinced, upon waking, she possessed those volumes penned while upon a dream mission ... she simply had to find them ... or write them.

Yikes...!! I was so intent on my thoughts that I almost head butted  a star. Anyway Elaina claims that is how her literary journey began and with her lovely family to support her it continued. I just needed to meet up with her in person, and confirm all these notes and with a bit of luck, learn how to share her vision.

 It was starting to get light now  as I glided down towards the scorched earth ready to land. Pyewacket started to get twitchy as he always does when we land. I'm ok going upwards but when I come down, I usually end up in an undignified heap. This time was no different. The hat was hanging round my neck by the knicker elastic, while the cloak was wrapped around my waist. I was in a right muddle. I yanked the cloak and hat off and changed toot suite into something more suitable. At least my bearings were correct and I was in the right place to meet Elaina.There she was marching towards me and as I looked around I could see what she meant by the diversity of nature and why she loved Africa so.

We got to know one another over a cold drink and then Elaina began to talk about her books. Boy was she animated. She almost bubbled with enthusiasm, so I left her to talk randomly.
"Ah my books yes, well there is my friend Thomas Henson which is a self published story, and I intend to write three more about him. Also I intend to put a new cover on the first one which I should have soon. Then there's The Infinity Mantle, The Kinfire Tree, The Drowned Throne, The Dragon Circle - the four Lore of Arcana books all published by Wild Wolf Publishing. Epic fantasy of course. The Lore of Arcana (Companion) is self published which are the extras for the aforementioned books.
Now we have the Thorstruck publications. There's The Tinsal Deck which was the first, then Lattice which is a collection of 14 stories. The Kallanon Scales is book one of Lore of Reaume. Then next will be The Nemisin Star, The Sleepers Sword and the Dreamer Stones which make up the fore Lore of Reaume books.

For once I stood there with my mouth open. So many books Elaina that's amazing. Then I took a picture of her for the write up whilst she was grinning wildly. I loved it - a gorgeous picture.

"So Elaina Can we have a look at some book covers and links please?"
"Yes of course Tee. Here ya go, links first."


FB Author Page


Book Pages:

Having gathered all the information I needed, I reluctantly left Elaina while I changed back to my flying clothes. Waving goodbye I loaded Pyewacket on the front of the Nimbus and took off homeward bound via the milky way. Not a good idea to fly too close to the sun at this time of the day.

Laters Potaters.

6 Oct 2014

The Shed Man and The Redhead

Hello my little chickadees

Patrick the Shed Man and Paula the Redhead invited me down to their gaff to do a bit of an interview with them.
I was a bit trepidatious about meeting the redhead as I had heard so much about her from Patrick. However this intrepid author/interviewer was not going to let red hair get in the way. I have lots of experience with the guy I work with. So with the local 'fuzz' on speed dial on my phone just in case, I began my journey to meet them.

Welcomed with open arms and a big smile from Paula put me on my guard for a start, but a nice cup of tea was waiting for me and I do love my cuppas. I enquired after Patrick but was told he was out in the garden somewhere. A cold chill went  down my back when I saw the expression on Paula's face. She casually twirled her hair in a butter wouldn't melt gesture but the eyes told me something quite different. Anyway having finished my tea I made my way down the garden to find Patrick whilst Paula busied herself inside.

Hidden from sight at the back of the garden was the infamous shed and of course curiosity got the better of me so I made my way over. OMG! there was Patrick pressed up against the window begging for release. He had his books wedged up against the window. The relief when he saw me was palpable and he began grinning manically.

I checked all around for the redhead but she was nowhere to be seen thank goodness, so I unlocked the shed ensuring that I took the key with me (who knows) Patrick was overjoyed to see me. Apparently he had cracked one of his terrible jokes and been locked in the shed until he saw the error of his ways.

"Tee thank goodness. Someone to talk to at last. I'm so glad we set up this interview today I could have been here indefinitely."

Settling down on an old chair (actually he had made it quite cosy in there if truth be told) I got him to tell me about his background and what started him writing.

Apparently he is a retired miner and antiques dealer - I love antiques but refrained from making the obvious remarks.  :-) He's never had any formal training in writing, however one morning he woke up and started to write 'Shakespeare's Cuthbert. It was entered on the Harper Collins Autonomy site and eventually got a gold star. Due to a lot of encouragement from there, the Cuthbert series emerged.

Like Patrick I still have friends from Authonomy years later.

Comedy is his genre and I can vouch for that having read and heard some of his jokes. Having seen the mess the serious people have made with their lives he is of the opinion that we all need an escape route and he will continuously taunt us with comedy until we give in and smile or at least giggle.

Then I asked Patrick where his characters came from (I've read some of the series and trust me they are hilarious). He explained they were basically an amalgam of all the people he had met and worked with over the years; also that a title should always suggest the content of the book, so that a potential reader can see the cover, read the title and pretty much know what to expect. The covers have been specifically designed to show that there are golden laughs within. You just need to open the book to enjoy them.

After we discussed the beautiful garden and then the redhead for a while, I asked Patrick if he had any favourite parts in the Cuthbert series. Yes he had! It was the references to ancestors.

Apparently.... Cuthbert has a best friend named Percy who is a red haired self- proclaimed gardener, anyone who isn’t a gardener is declared ‘Non compost mentis’ by him. According to Percy, his ancestors have influenced many of the major events in history. For instance, he has revealed that Noah was a racist bigot who would only take two of his family because they had red hair. :-)

Whilst the family squabbled over who should go, the Ark sailed. Promptly grabbing a passing albatross, the family reached the high ground in Norway and began the Viking race. This is why the albatross is considered unlucky by the rest of civilisation. The Vikings were thoroughly misunderstood. Their boats were only made that shape so that they could transport cucumbers from Norway and the hoards of cash and treasure were the result of selling vegetables to the monks in the North of England.

Patrick considers his comedy to be thoroughly old fashioned in that anyone can read it without being offended. His books have been compared to Tom Sharpe and Terry Pratchett which is great and even Wodehouse has been mentioned. Oddly enough he has never read Wodehouse but remembers a very early Jeeves and Wooster on black and white TV. 
I love Jeeves and  Bertie Wooster and Aunt Agatha and all. Talking of TV evidently they haven't had a TV set for over fifteen years which is a huge advantage because they use the time for writing and there is no danger of inadvertently copying something from a programme only half heard. (True enough.)
I think the lack of food and drink was getting to Patrick because he started to go into his own little world... 
I am a great reader and have always been, I found Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall fascinating, it was like entering Thomas Cromwell’s home and sitting by the hearth observing him and his family. Wilbur Smith was always a great storyteller. I will read fact or fiction depending on my mood at the time. 
I started to doze in the comfortable chair as he reminisced about his reading preferences, then I was suddenly bolt upright wide awake. Paula had pushed open the door of the shed and had been outside listening. Patrick changed track.....

The greatest influence on my life is my beautiful wife Paula, (Aka the redhead) even though she has been in a wheelchair for most of our married life she has edited my books, won gardening competitions, cooked, cleaned, raised funds for The British Heart Foundation and provided the stable base that I need. She is fiercely independent (Latin for a terrible patient) and drives her mobility scooter like Basil Brush on speed. She has just been warned by town centre security to slow down but the real police think she’s great.

You know what? I could suddenly see the real love between these two as they gazed at one another lovingly. I suddenly felt like the proverbial gooseberry. I began to get the feeling that the locking in the shed was purely propaganda for my benefit. 
I asked Patrick about links to the books whilst still keeping one eye on the redhead just in case there was any sudden movement but all was good.
"The three links below are for e-books and three more books have been submitted." said Patrick and Paula almost in unison.
Shakespeare’s Cuthbert                       http://mybook.to/Cuthbert1
Cuthbert How Mean is my Valley       http://mybook.to/Cuthbert2
Cuthbert Tee for Two in the Valley     http://mybook.to/Cuthbert3
I finished up the interview with Patrick, as Paula backed up her motorised scooter. With Patrick beside her and me trailing behind we walked up towards the house for a well earned cuppa.
Maybe Paula wasn't the tyrant Patrick makes out she is after all :-)

Laters Potaters

21 Sep 2014

Sci-Fi at its best

Sitting in the Pub

Hello my little chickadees

I was sitting in my local pub waiting for a friend to arrive. Free drinks had been promised in return for an interview about himself and the book he was currently writing. I knew it wouldn’t be an easy task because I know him so well. Quite often it's easier to interview an author unknown to ones self.

The bar was virtually empty and I had a table to myself. I stretched my legs out in front of the inglenook fire and imagined it piled with logs and coal sending out heat on a cold winter evening. A glass of mead and roasted chestnuts came to mind.

As I sat there with my glass of wine, a man approached the table and asked if I minded if he joined me by my imaginary fire. He commented on the fact that the bar was absolutely heaving with people and mine was the only table left. I laughed to myself at the chat up line as the bar was virtually empty. As I glanced past him, I realised that he was right. Every table was occupied and it was almost a standing room only. When had that happened? Seconds ago it was nearly empty and why had no one besides him asked to share. There were women in groups standing around. Maybe I gave off an aura of steer clear. I hope not as I'm a friendly person.

So getting back to this guy who was still awaiting my approval. I agreed that he could sit down but explained that I was waiting for a friend to join me for an interview. He just grinned and turning the chair around, he sat astride it cowboy style and rested his arms on the top of the seat.

He introduced himself and enquired what the interview was about and why was I doing the interviewing. I explained that I was an author and in between writing my books I did interviews of other authors. Just for a second he looked at me quizzically, then clicking his fingers he said. 

“I know where I’ve seen you before; you’re T.K.Geering author of Soulfate.”

Blimey I didn’t realise I was that recognisable.

“I’ve read your books!” he said grinning wildly. “Actually I’m writing a book at the moment. Perhaps you could interview me instead as your friend doesn’t seem to be turning up.”

Actually he was right. It was well past the time we’d agreed upon and this guy seemed quite friendly. The thing that bothered me though was I felt I knew him from somewhere but I just couldn’t place him. He certainly had a very infectious personality.

So out came my trusty tape recorder in anticipation of bearing witness to more writers’ gossip. I switched it on and pressed record – Nothing! Zilch! Nada! I had replaced the batteries, so I knew that wasn’t the problem. I tried again but still nothing. The last time that had happened to me was when I stepped on to the rock at Alcatraz in San Francisco. It just refused to work. Frustrated I just looked at him.

“That seems to happen a lot around me. Personally I’ve always preferred the old fashioned method. A notepad and pen has always worked for me. Let me get you another drink while you sort it out. A Merlot isn’t it?”

How the hell did he know that and how come his glass was still almost full and yet he had been drinking from it constantly?

I offered to contribute but he said, 

“No it’s my treat”

Hm! This must be my night for treats then. As he walked off to the bar I retried the tape recorder. Yes! It was working again. The light was on and I did a test run. Yep it was all working efficiently. He returned to the table with a very full glass of Merlot. Noticing my look he remarked. 

“I’m guessing we may be here a while and it will save us time later.” Adding as an after thought “the drinks are on me tonight.”

Why couldn’t I place him? I definitely knew him from somewhere and the damn recorder light had gone out again! It was working fine when he moved away from the table. Rather a coincidence. Maybe he was one of those people that had an effect on mechanical products.

“I see the tape recorder has stopped again. I guess it’s going to be a notepad and pen after all.”

“So it seems” I agreed and fished around in my Mary Poppins bag in search of a notepad and biro.

He watched me with amusement because the biro had been sitting in the bottom of the bag refusing to be found. Finally the notepad and biro sat in front of me. I took a large gulp of wine and with biro poised got down to the business end of me.

“So then remind me again of your name and background.” 

I looked him straight in the eyes challenging, waiting. He returned my stare and after a moment or so he started speaking, quietly and with eloquence.

“My name is James, James Empett. I’m married with three children and I live on the South Coast of England. I work in the public sector full time and manage approximately seventy people at the moment but it can vary from time to time.”

“You told me earlier that you’re a new kid in the writing arena. What encouraged you to start writing?”

He took a long pull on his beer before he answered.

Why wasn’t that glass emptying? Somehow it didn’t seem important though. I was intrigued yes, but was also eagerly awaiting his answers.It was the nosy writer in me. I spend a lot of time studying people.

He began again, 

“I think for me I had a story within that had been itching to be written. I haven’t had to think too much about it as it’s flowed very easily from its inception. I’ve always been an avid reader and have a friend who is a published author. However I decided to look into the world of self-publishing, which appeals to me. So far my writing has been an enjoyable experience but then I haven’t started editing yet. Maybe that’s something you could help me with sometime?”

He gave me a little boy lost, in a whole new world look.
I could feel myself giving in before his words were out but I held my tongue and raced on to the next question.

"Have you ever written poetry or any short stories?"

I took another gulp from my glass, was it half full still or half empty I idly wondered? The eternal optimist in me agreed it was still half full. His was definitely still half full and yet he’d matched me drink for drink.

“Nope! I’ve never written anything before so it’s all completely new to me. I do spend time looking at writing forums and social networks. I’ve met some really helpful people along the way."

I decided to find out more about the book but this writing free hand lark was taking its toll. I missed my trusty tape recorder, damnation…

“Can you give me a bit of an outline of the book James? Characters etc.”

“As you wish Tee but it’s all on my blog http://www.jempett.blogspot.co.uk  I’m just kidding you there but you’ve got to advertise in this world where you can!! I’m really excited by it as the story changes slightly every time I start tapping away. What I can tell you though, David the main character is a lovely guy that gets on with everyone. A bit like me really.” 

He finished with a cheeky grin and I found myself agreeing with him. He was certainly an infectious character. But how the hell did he know to call me Tee! Only my friends and acquaintances know that! Maybe it was just a lucky guess, wasn’t it?

He went on,

“David is a kind, genuine man that just wants the best for him and his family. That idealistic life is taken away from him, as he is faced with a change in reality. He has to try and adapt to a new life chosen for him that is dictated by other beings elsewhere.”

For a minute, James seemed lost in his thoughts. In fact he was miles away with a sad expression on his face. The writer in me did wonder if he was talking about his own life but that was probably a bit fanciful… then there was that beer glass… I took a very large drink from mine and realised that it was almost finished. I had no problem emptying glasses.

James was suddenly back again and focused. The smile was also back again.

“Will it all work out for David? Well you’ll have to read the book and I should add that I’m already thinking about a sequel.”

“How do you fit in writing around your day job James?”

“Let me get you another glass of Merlot first and then we’ll continue.”

Before I had a chance to argue he was gone and back again with another full glass. Yikes! Easy Tee pace yourself, but I was really involved in his story now and the Merlot was going down smoothly.

“In answer to your question I don’t like to plan my writing I just write when the inkling is there. I have my notepad at work beside me. If an idea or plot line hits me I can jot it down ready for inclusion. I try not to get into a rigorous regime as I want it to be fun and not a chore.”

I could empathise with that as my publisher in the past has wanted me to work to a time table and we nearly always have to have a book written and waiting in the wings. I decided to come away from the book and get to know him a bit better.

“So then David, … err sorry James (Opps) Have you got a favourite food?”

“Usually it’s quite cold where I come from,  so I do love extra hot food. My favourite is Indian cuisine. I’m a vindaloo lover. The hotter the curry is the better.”

“How about films? Do you get much time to watch?”

“Oh that’s easy to answer. I would say ‘The Social Network’ I love entrepreneurialism. It’s a film that I have watched many times.”

I admitted that I hadn’t seen it and I wasn’t really a film buff.

“How do you feel if you’re writing James and you get constantly interrupted?”

“Well as I’ve said; I write when I can, so the interruptions are often welcomed. It means I can go back and refocus which stops me getting in a rut."

“What happens when the muse takes over though?"

 I wanted to get inside this man’s head. He’s still on his first pint but … Well mine’s half way drunk as I will be if I keep going, but this man’s story is fascinating and there’s still a no show of my friend I should have been interviewing. I’m secretly glad and I smile to myself. He notices but makes no comment.

“Well I don’t want to be beholden to it but that said the characters feel as though they are constantly dancing to their own tune in my head. They have so much to say and do which pushes me on.”

Ok it was getting to me now and I had to ask…

“I’ve nearly finished two large glasses of wine and I thought you were matching me drink for drink, and yet your glass is still half full and it’s still your first one!!”

He started laughing and shifted his legs against the chair accidently brushing my foot. A hint of an electric shock went through my leg making me gasp.

Still laughing he said.

“I’m a very slow drinker Tee.”

“Fair enough.” 

(I lied. I was still confused and he wasn’t going to help me out.)

“Talking of drink, have you a favourite?” 

He’ll slip up sooner or later.

He crooked his head to one side and looked me straight in the eye. If I didn’t know better, I would have said he was trying to read my thoughts.

“Oh anything with a percentage” he finally offered. 

“If I had to choose though, Cobra Indian beer gets my vote.”

That was a new one on me and I said so.

“Ok then how about your favourite beverage?”

“I love a latte!!”

Finally something we had in common. I love latte coffee.

“Have you any Jobbies hames?”

Ok so the wine was taking effect now and he laughed out loud.

“Hobbies James, hobbies!!” 

embarrassed now…

“ I’m an avid gardener. I have a large vegetable patch and various greenhouses so I spend a lot of time outside.”

My hand was now aching from all the writing. As fascinating as he was it was time to wrap this interview up.

“So what genre does this book fit into James and do you blog and social network?”

“Oh it’s definitely science fiction with a touch of romance here and there. Every science fiction book has a hint of romance somewhere.”

Well I had to agree there.

“My blog and other pages can be found here.

“Can I take a picture of you on my phone for the interview page James?”

“Yes of course Tee.”

There was no smile this time though just a thoughtful look.

The interview at an end he picked up his glass and finished it completely. He replaced the empty glass on the table, winked at me, shook my hand and walked towards the door gradually fading into thin air as he did so. 

I suddenly realised the bar was as empty as when I had first entered and I had a full glass of wine sat in front of me. Ironically I felt completely sober. At that moment my friend turned up for the interview and apologised for being five minutes late.

“But your three hours late and I was just going home!”

“Tee are you ok? It’s only just after seven. I know we agreed on seven o’clock but…”

I looked at the pub clock. He was right it was just after seven. So what had happened during the last few hours and why was he wearing an identical top to James? In fact apart from the hair they could almost have been twins parted at birth. Maybe that’s why James had looked familiar to me. Why on earth hadn't I made the connection? Maybe I just wasn't meant to. It was that sort of an evening.

I looked at my friend who was eying me with a look of concern.

“I think I’m in need of a treble!!” 

Then I sat down again, ready to do another interview. I took out my tape recorder, switched it on and yes of course it was working now. My notebook was now in my bag burning a hole, demanding to be read.. I resisted the urge to see if there were any notes there on James. That would keep for tomorrow.


Find my books here:

Buy The Russian Gift of Love on Amazon:

Buy Soulfate on Amazon:

My Amazon Author page:

My Twitter: https://twitter.com

My Publisher (my personal page) http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Geering_TK/index.htm

Soulfate Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xM0yzIf6Jn0

Laters Potaters