Saturday, 4 August 2012

FACING 50'S IN THE SPOTLIGHT...



Stand by ladies because today I have a perfect specimen of manhood sitting opposite me; good looking and with a terrific sense of humour. No squabbling over him though because his wife is also here and she has a large menacing cat sitting on her lap which is currently staring at me. So, without further ado let me welcome Chris James, humorist, author, Indies Unlimited contributor and decent all round guy. 
Welcome Chris and erm Mrs Chris and the Evil Feline Overlord. A few questions for you please to let people know a little bit about you.


The A Team or the Carry On Team?
Oh, definitely Carry On. Laughter is the most valuable thing that’s free, yet also the most easily forgotten.

Etch-A-Sketch or Hot Wheels?
Etch-A-Sketch. That was the coolest thing when I was a kid. I broke mine open to find out how it worked, and that’s when I knew science would always interest me.

Can you tell us a short joke?
Ronnie Corbett? No, that’s probably been done before. The shortest joke I know is: How many dyslexics does it take to change a lghit blub?

What makes you laugh most?
Apart from my book sales figures, which always have me fits (though not always of the laughing variety), I adore many of the stand-ups and sit-coms from the 70s and 80s. Oh, should I have said “The hilarious book ‘Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines’, by that total babe Carol Wyer?” Ah, but if I did, you might think I was trying to hit on you, and that would send us off on a completely different track…

Confess if you ever owned or wore a tank top?
My mother bought me one and made me wear it. I left the house for school, got round the corner, took it off and put it my bag for the day. Since then I’ve been compromising like that with all the women in my life *sigh*


Was an Action Man or a GI Joe in your toy box?
And Action Man. With a broken leg. Bought from a market. Sort-of summarises my life, really.

What was the first record/CD/song you ever bought?
“Do the Funky Gibbon” by The Goodies. Whatever happened to them anyway? Everyone still raves about Monty Python and Fawlty Towers, but The Goodies were just as crazy and funny too! 

Sing along if you remember them.."...Goodies, goodie, goodie, yum, yum..."

Do you still like it now, all these years later?
Ha ha, are you kidding?

If you could turn back time, where would you stop the clock?
I would go back to the evening I proposed to my wife. I wouldn’t have that tenth beer.

Pause while I pick up Chris from the floor after his wife bops him one.

And so onto some questions about you as an author. What genre do you write?
Comedy and Science Fiction, though not at the same time.

So you’re no Douglas Adams?
Absolutely not. My sci-fi novels are full-length and pretty serious, but a couple of months ago I published my first comedy/picture book, because the situation that lead to me writing it was too good not to.

Details please!
Late last year an abandoned dog took refuge in our garden. I wanted to get rid of her, but my young daughters saw her and begged me to let her stay. Of course, she hadn’t been spayed and in February she produced five puppies. As I’m a keen amateur photographer, I took lots of pictures; when I reviewed them, the jokes suggested themselves and I wrote “The B Team and Me, or How five adorable puppies nearly ruined my life”.

Who is your favourite character in your books?
We also have cats, and in The B Team the youngest cat took on the role of The Evil Feline Overlord, who is outraged that the humans in the house - whom he only just tolerates - have let five puppies in. He resolves to eat them the first chance he gets!

Where do you think up your ideas for stories?
Anywhere, although I find talking to two people, my wife and my boss, to be especially helpful, since with them I can safely switch to autopilot and dream of faraway things and just let my mouth say “Yes, of course,” and “Absolutely, I agree,” every time they stop talking.

What do you do to help you concentrate on writing?
My day-to-day life takes care of that. I have a full-time job helping lots of people, and three kids, two dogs and two cats. All day I’ll have a scene running around my head; I think about how I can improve it, the best way to write it, etc, then, in the late evening, I’ll bash it out on the computer.

Could you please put a few brief words about you - something that doesn’t show up on the Indies Unlimited website. Surprise us!
One of the funniest things (I think) I’ve done is pee in Adolf Hitler’s kitchen. A few years ago we were on holiday in the Polish lake district, and visited Hitler’s command post on the eastern front, called the Wolf’s Lair. It’s actually a complex of about 30 bunkers, and by the time our guide got us to the ruins of Hitler’s (bunker number 13, obviously), I was simply bursting. So, while no-one was looking, I nipped into the rubble-strewn kitchen that adjoined the bunker itself. It might have been a bit immature, but it was also quite nice to do that.
  
Chris Many thanks for being here and thank you to Mrs Chris and the very nice cat. I think the tin of tuna and the mice kept him amused. 

I read Chris's book just after it came out and recommend it as a lovely coffee table book. I defy you to not go "Aaah!" by page three. The photographs are wonderful and it is a heart warming tale. (Or should that be 'tail'?).

The B Team and Me, or How five adorable puppies nearly ruined my life
When a struggling writer reluctantly agrees to give a home to a stray dog, he gets far more than he bargained for. The dog gives birth to a litter of pups that turn the writer's life upside down. But while causing chaos, the pups have their problems as they must avoid the Evil Feline Overlord, the resident cat who is determined to eat them.
The B Team and Me is a hilarious comedy-picture book that shows five cute, adorable puppies as you've never seen puppies before!


You can purchase Chris's book by clicking on to any of the links below:
You can link up and find out more about Chris and the Evil Feline Overlord by clicking on the links below:
Chris James blog: http://www.chrisjames.eu
(The Evil Feline Overlord is also on Twitter - he’s a very clever cat!): 


33 comments:

  1. I loved this. Thanks Carol! (AND Chris!)

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    1. Thanks KD Rush - When Chris drags himself out of bed and has fed the cat I'm sure he'll be over to say hello and thank you too. x

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    2. Thanks for commenting, KD. Carol, if you knew how much these cats (and dogs, and kids) eat, it would make you shiver! :)

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  2. Wonderful! You Brits do have the best senses of humour! Carol, always lovely. Chris, always lovely as well :))

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    1. We pride ourselves on it :) If there were an Olympic sport for humour we'd be in with a good chance.
      Thanks Jo-Anne you are lovely too. x

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    2. Thank you, Jo. I've always thought that there should be an Olympic sport for sleeping :)

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  3. Carol,

    Sincerest thanks for hosting me on your lovely blog - it's very warm and comfortable here :)

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    1. Is that why you dozed off in the chair Chris? Or was it the four bottles of wine?
      Pleasure was all mine. xx

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    2. Wine was lovely, thank you! It's either that or my wife tlaking that put me to sleep *ducks* :)

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  4. I really enjoyed this :-) A great sense of humour - I love it!
    Enjoy your weekend!

    Eva

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    1. He's very funny - nearly as good as me :) Have fun Mrs Talented Person x

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    2. Thank you for commenting, Eva. I really like the watercolours you do; they are some lovely cars! (And no, Carol, I'm nowhere near as good as you - cheeky! :))

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  5. So there is a very wicked side to our IU hunk. :-)

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    1. We need to keep a closer eye on him Yvonne - all this pretending he's shy nonsense!

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    2. Ha ha - thanks for the "hunk", Yvonne. Don't we all have a wicked side? ;)

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  6. Another interviewee with a good sense of humour. That's what I like to see! I thought both of his short jokes were very funny! Beautiful photo of those cute little puppies. Aaaaaw!!

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    1. Aren't they cute? The puppies, not the jokes!)I only let interviewees on here who can make my lovely followers smile...it's imperative.
      Got a tremendous storm here. Hope Devon is sunny for you. xx

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    2. Thank you, Thisisme. Please tell me that being a grandparent of three children is easier than being a parent of three children ;)

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  7. Long time no visited. I've read the last few posts and I want to congratulate you for your great success with the book.
    Nice to know your invitee as well. I know I wouldn't resist keeping five cute puppies myself. :)

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    1. Hi Lavi, thanks for commenting. Nice to meet you, too (don't tell anyone, but I'm a bit anti-social too, it's one of the reasons I write).

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  8. I just bought it--it looks adorable!!

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    1. Thank you, fishducky, really hope you enjoy it! I liked the "car mitzvah" gag on your blog - that's a good one! :)

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  9. Thanks Carol, he really looks like a good ol' chap (maybe not too old..). Are all British people funny? Is the funny gene carried along with the bad teeth gene? Sorry, I digress. You know I'm going to get this book, I can't resist puppies and I have three evil cat overlords myself, they ordered me to get each one of them a copy. Gotta follow the feline on twiter too. :)

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    1. Hi Alessandra,
      Yep, I think the funny/bad teeth thing could be connected :)
      Thanks for getting the book - I really hope it makes you smile!

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  10. Peeing in Hitler's kitchen? Who thought that would ever be possible? That goes right onto my bucket list.

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    1. Hi Bodacious,
      I don't know for sure if you can still do that - I was there 6 years ago, but I doubt it's changed much since then. The whole bunker complex is open; nothing is fenced off or anything. The "bunkers" are actually massive lumps of reinforced concrete about 60ft high, and probably 100ft along the base. Each houses a few small rooms the size of a London flat, the rest is solid concrete. Hitler's bunker is just one of them, and the kitchen, in ruins, is off to the side of it. Because it looks today just as it did when the Nazis left it (sappers tried to blow the bunkers up, but they'd been too well built and most of them just cracked), it's a very absorbing place when you think of what was directed from there.

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  11. Pee'd in Hitlers kitchen hahaha.
    I love puppies. Chris sounds like a corker and his wife is quite a sport.
    By the way I'm still waiting for my copy of Surfin in Stiletto's to get here. I swear the post office most have snagged it and are reading it before they send it on.
    B@~%#%d's

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  12. postingan yang bagus tentang"FACING 50'S IN THE SPOTLIGHT..."

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  14. Peeing in Hitler's old kitchen....priceless! Your book looks lovely too :)

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  15. Thanks for sharing this, Carol. Loved your questions and especially loved the way Chris answered them! Sounds like you two had fun doing the interview!

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  16. Thanks for commenting, menopausal mama (great name, btw!). Interveiw was fun because Carol knew how to handle the Evil Feline Overlord - much better than me!

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