Please tell our readers a little about yourself.
I love writing in all shapes and forms - it evolved for me as a way in which to deal with and combat a diagnosis of bipolar depression given when I was a young man; the illness informs my work, but what shapes it is the tremendous well of creativity that sprung within me just weeks after leaving university
Could you tell us a bit about your book and why it is a must-read?
Champagne Jealousy is the book I've always wanted to write - it combines my sense of fun with experiences garnered over a decade working in retail and galvanises them to produce a fast-moving, tragicomical plot set in the twilight world of an industry where each day can seem uncannily like the last...except these three in the story! It's zany, cruel, humorous and cantankerous all in one, that's why in my opinion it's a must-read.
What inspired you to write your book?
Oops, I've just answered that! I've worked in a supermarket, a pub, a restaurant kitchen and for a long stretch in book shops - I've met loads of different people in these industries and indeed in wider work, and I really wanted to throw all my thoughts and feelings about them into a big melting pot - Champagne Jealousy is the result!
What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?
I felt the plot going away from me - a good thing, because it meant the story was alive, but at one point nearing the end when Emily visits her colleague in hospital, I really did feel out of control. Fortunately, my experience in writing novels helped me regain the reins of the retail horse!
Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?
No! I write very quickly, and I'm very disciplined; I believe inspiration comes once you start writing, not the other way round
How did you come up with the title for your book?
Now that would spoil the story!
Is there a message you want your readers to take away from your book?
Absolutely, and it's a very serious one - this book is fundamentally about the chaos caused when one person, for whatever defect they may possess, not only makes community impossible but actually stands in the way of one ever being able to form in the first place. These people are dangerous, and often popular, strong personalities with weak characters, shadow not substance. Avoid them if you can!
Do you have any advice for the yet-to-be-published writers reading this?
Persistence. It is the only way to progress. I always bear in mind the maxim 'Even when you're beat, you're not beat' because it sums up for me the writing career. Take the knocks, fall down, and then stand right back up.
What are you working on now?
I'm typing up a long poem I began way back in 2007, it's about trying to escape the clutches of the ego to embrace the life-giving Self, as you do!
What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, etc.) and link(s)?
My author page:
About the book:
Champagne Jealousy, romance, comedy and detective book rolled into one, follows the everyday trials of Emily Tranter, employee at supermarket Sheila’s, Drotsville’s community workplace which isn’t really a community at all, and is hardly even a workplace. Well, not since Manager Carol started losing the plot (again) over the recurring, and returning theft of the store’s stock of champagne.
Now she’s firing her Assistant Manager, now she’s bullying Emily, now Emily’s workplace rival Ginger is going mad with jealousy over new boy Matthew and his apparent feelings of romance for Emily, now the community which isn’t a community is being torn further from its moorings by store rivals Adrian’s from across the road. And now Matthew’s mother is getting involved in all the workplace stress by taking on kindly old Cynthia and the rest of the community…which isn’t a community.
Where’s the comedy book in this? And who’s the detective? Well, it’s none other than Emily herself, and the deteriorating situation in which she finds herself which would be tragic if it wasn’t so pathetic in every way. You see, the jealousy is in the champagne, and the romance in the workplace, leaving the community, which isn’t a community, well…
About the author:
I read English at Bristol university and took an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, both degrees really helping me with my novel writing, stage plays and poetry; creativity is like a tap for me, it builds up until it bursts out from pen to page. I’m 41, I live with my lovely wife, our baby boy and our cute cat and I support pupils at a local school. I’m also a keen track and field athlete, and I still love mixing electronic music together as a superstar DJ…in my dreams!!