Saturday, April 7, 2018

Grim & Bold Interview Jason Whittle

Morning all! As you may know, Grimbold Books, publisher of my upcoming novella, has two dashing kitty mascots named Grim & Bold, and they've been interviewing us "Grimmie" authors. Today I'm hosting their interview with Jason Whittle.
So, this story you’ve written. What’s it about? Why should I interrupt my nap-time to read it?
It’s called Escaping Firgo, and it’s about a desperate everyman who makes a terrible mistake. He robs the bank where he works, but then gets stranded in a remote village when he tries to make his escape. Every attempt to get away from there is foiled, leaving him wondering what secrets the place holds, and what forces are conspiring to keep him there.
This novella has drawn comparisons with Hot Fuzz, Psycho, Groundhog Day, The Prisoner, Twilight Zone, Tales of the Unexpected, and even more unexpectedly Trumpton and Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads!
Where do you get inspiration? Where did the ideas for your latest novel come from?
Escaping Firgo was inspired by a real incident which happened to me in the year 2000. You’re unlikely to have heard of it, I certainly hadn’t, but Firgo is a real place, just off the A34. Along with a couple of friends, we got stranded there when our car broke down one bleak January Sunday. As we walked around a nearby village, encountering nothing but weirdness as we tried in vain to find a mechanic, I vowed to write something about it one day. After eighteen years and a little creative licence, this novella is the result.
I also went back there a couple of years ago, and wrote this blog post about both the return and the original occurrence.
Who’s your favourite imaginary friend? Is there anyone you don’t like?
I used to have two imaginary friends, but lately they’ve just been hanging out together and freezing me out. It’s not good for my self-esteem.
What are your plans to conquer the world?
To be nice to everybody. Literally everybody. And then when I get to the stage where the entire population of the world trusts me, and maybe feels like they owe me a favour, my reign of tyranny will begin.
What research rabbit-holes have you been down while writing? What was the most interesting, or the most tedious?
Research? Yeah, I’ve heard of that, but mostly I mine the top of my head. I did learn a fair bit about cannibalism when writing my zombie novel though. For example (young ‘uns, you can skip this bit) if you ate British beef in the 1980’s you were almost certainly exposed to BSE. If you didn’t contract the disease it’s because you had immunity stemming from the cannibalistic tendencies of your ancestors. People with no cannibalism in their ancestry were vulnerable to the disease.
So there you have it. The chances are your ancestors ate people, and by doing so they saved your life. Chew on that.
How often do you provide a cat sleeping spot- I mean, write? Do you have a comfy chair and a routine, or do you freelance cat-nap style?
I generally write on a laptop on the sofa, and as much as I can, basically. The plan is to write all day Monday and Tuesday, at least an hour after work the rest of the week, and on an ad hoc basis at the weekend. It’s Camp Nanowrimo right now, so at present I’m a bit more focused than usual.
When you’re not writing, what do you spend your time doing? Besides looking at cat pictures on the internet, obviously.
I’m a big sports fan, but the teams I follow bring me nothing but misery. I’m a long distance runner too, with two marathons behind me and hopes to run a third.
Is there anything you’ve read/seen recently that would be worthy of my attention?
It’s a step away from Grim ‘n’ Bold’s preferred genre, but my favourite book of the year so far is Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary. I do like a bit of crime fiction, and am looking forward to Belinda Bauer’s new release too.
If you kindly brought your human a present, and they scream and tell you that they don’t like dead mice - that’s just rude, isn’t it?
It really is. Regardless of your opinion on the desirability of deceased rodents, the cornerstone of civilisation is to smile politely, say thank you for any gift received, and pretend you love it.
Cats. Fabulous, or completely fabulous?
Absolutely fabulous, darling! I love all cats, except the one which defecates in my back garden.
What’s your second-favourite food? Because obviously you are a human of taste and discretion, and therefore your favourite is tuna.
I’d have to say pizza. My all you can eat sessions are the stuff of legend, and I’ve often considered trying my luck on the competitive circuit.
Bold’s bow tie: excellently stylish, or rather dashing?
A great deal of both, obviously. It is a truth universally acknowledged that bow ties are cool.
On a scale of ‘excellent’ to ‘needs more practise’, how good are you at giving ear scritches?
Beyond excellent. I was well trained in a childhood by a cat which would bite down hard upon my exposed hand if my performance wasn’t up to scratch. As a result I’ve now honed my technique to perfection.
By the way, I left you a present behind the chair. I hope you like hairballs.
(smiles politely) Thank you. I love hairballs.
When a bank worker takes a wrong turn in life and on the road, he finds himself trapped in a remote village hiding from the police. 
Before he can find his freedom, he has to find himself, and it’s not just about escaping, it’s about settling up.
Because everybody settles up in the end.

Jason Whittle:

No comments:

Post a Comment