Thursday 13 December 2012

Guest Author - John Auckland

I am delighted to introduce



Book Blurb


 The Universe is dangerously close to collapsing. With a shady authority known as the Time Police on their tail, will the Timeseekers be able to save us all? Their only hopes rest with the prophesied 'chosen one' who - rather unexpectedly - turns out to be a kind old lady called Barbara. However, Nana Barb, as she is affectionately known by her seven grandkids, one great-granddaughter and the members of her local bridge club, becomes lost in time after the physicist who lives next-door accidentally activates her new invention. Unfortunately the only people who can save Nana Barb (and the entire Universe) are her hapless grandson Dave, his best and idiotic friend Simon and the beautiful yet clumsy physicist Louise. Guided by the omnipotent tentacles of the Fates, Nana Barb ventures through time desperate for a good cuppa, in the process meeting her long-dead parents, spawning a new religion and picking up a futuristic android companion.Will Dave and his new friends shake off the deadly Time Police? Will the Timeseekers stop the Universe from collapsing? And more importantly, will Nana Barb ever get a decent cup of tea?

The Adventures of Nana Barb
Ecademy Press Ltd (4 Sep 2012)

My Review

When I first started to read Nana Barb I wasn't entirely sure that I would be drawn into the adventures of a time travelling granny, but do you know what, I really enjoyed the story – it’s very cleverly composed to be neither too fantastical nor too patronising to its audience, and even now on finishing the book, I’m still not altogether sure where it’s audience lies. I suppose I would liken it to an offshoot of The Hitch Hikers Guide, certainly there are elements of that great book lurking in the shadows, but really Nana Barb is a creation of her own. I don’t want to spoil the plot by relaying the story – so my only advise is – if you’re intrigued by a time slipping granny and a hapless bunch of intrepid sidekicks, then give this book a chance – I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, I wasn't.!


John has kindly taken the time to answer a few questions for jaffareadstoo

Welcome John,

What inspired you to become an author?

I have always felt I've got a lot to say - whether anyone wants to listen or not is a different matter! I suppose I didn't really consider the possibility of writing for a profession until my early twenties. I used to be in the events industry and I reached the peak of where I could get to, so I started looking for a new career. I used to write a lot of scripts for Murder Mystery events and I enjoyed thinking of different situations, characters and outcomes. I decided to go back to university to learn to write properly, and I've not looked back since.

Where did you get the inspiration for Nana Barb?

During one of my University seminars we learnt how to write comedy. We were asked to think of a quirky character and place them in an unusual situation. I knew a charming elderly lady who would always say highly inappropriate things that made people laugh. I thought it would be funny to make her travel through time, and so The Adventures of Nana Barb was born.

Do you write stories for yourself, or other people?

I think every writer writes for selfish reasons, to appeal to their inherent self-interest. However, Steven King is probably the most successful author in modernity quite simply because he predominantly writes for his audience. I've always felt you should pick the person who does something better than anyone else and copy them. So in short, I would like to write for myself, but I try very hard to write for my audience.

Which writers have inspired you?

The list is huge, but the biggest influencers would be Douglas Adams for inventing the genre of comedic sci-fi, J.G. Ballard for writing great stories that were thought-provoking, Michael Crichton for writing mainstream books around fantastical ideas and Bret Easton Ellis for writing with an edge.

Do you have a special place to do your writing?

Not really. I write anywhere and everywhere! I have very little time and an incredibly busy life, so wherever there is a hard surface to lay my laptop.

What are you writing next?

I'm writing the second instalment of The Adventures of Nana Barb, called Lost in Space, which will be out this time next year. I'm also working on my first literary piece, which is about a CEO of a pharmaceutical company who is developing a cure for ageing. It has a huge twist that I hope will wow readers. 

John , thanks so much for taking the time to appear as a our guest author today. Nana Barb is a great concept, Jaffa and I wish you continued success.

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