I’m pleased to welcome Alastair Puddick today who is revealing #TenThings he’d like his readers to know about himself and his writing. It’s a really eclectic mix as he talks about Elvis Presley’s ghost, reading with his ears and being bitten by penguins!
I’m Alastair Puddick, author of 46% Better Than Dave, Killing Dylan and The Unexpected Vacation of George Thring. Here are 10 things you may, or may not, know about me…
1) I’ve written about some pretty odd things
I’ve been a professional writer for 20 years. I started out writing for magazines, and I’ve had various other editorial jobs since then. I’ve written about everything from wacky sports to facilities management, industrial flooring, cloud computing, mobile phones, gadgets and even electricity pylons. And I once wrote an agony aunt column from the point of view of Elvis Presley’s ghost.
2) I wrote my first book in a cupboard
The first flat my wife and I rented together had a cupboard just big enough to fit a small desk. So, I quickly transformed it into the smallest office ever. I spent many hours in there, writing the majority of my first book, The Unexpected Vacation of George Thring and much of my second book, Killing Dylan. There were no windows, so it got very hot in the summer.
3) I do lots of reading with my ears
By which, of course, I mean that I listen to lots of audiobooks. I think there’s still a bit of a stigma about audiobooks (as if it’s not really reading), but I love them. They’re a great way to pass the time, especially during a long car journey or commute. And with a great narrator, the book really comes to life. One thing I don’t get, though – abridged versions. Why would you want a cut down version of the book? I want the whole thing!
4) I’ve been to Germany twice (and both times were weird)
A company once invited me to Frankfurt for a job interview – which I didn’t get. They flew me out there, the interview went pretty badly and then I flew home. I was literally only in the country for about four hours. The other time was when I was editor of the imaginatively title The Flooring Magazine (no prizes for guessing what it was about). I was flown out to Hamburg for a tour of a laminate flooring factory. I suspect I have yet to see the real beauty of the country.
5) I enjoy a bit of running
I’m no extreme athlete, but I’ve done a few 10k runs in the last few years. It has come in handy for inspiration, and I used some of my experiences for the part in my new book, 46% Better Than Dave, where the main character has to do an extreme race. He gets a much rougher time than I did, though.
6) I’ve tickled a penguin
My wife is a bit of a crazy penguin lady. She loves them. So, for her birthday one year, I took her to London Zoo, where you can pay to go in with the penguins and stroke them. It was actually quite good fun. Although, the penguins do seem to enjoy sneaking up behind you and biting your bum – which is quite sore.
7) Elvis came to my wedding
Okay, not the real Elvis. But rather than having a standard DJ or band, we took inspiration from my first book – in which the main character ends up in a town full of Elvis impersonators – and we hired an Elvis impersonator to perform at the wedding. He serenaded us during our first dance and was a real hit with all the guests.
8) I’ve been on TV three times
And none of them were particularly auspicious. First, I was once in the audience on early morning talk show Kilroy (you definitely need to be of a certain age to remember it). I was right at the back and it was a real blink-and-miss-it appearance. Secondly, I was on the BBC news – slightly drunk outside a nightclub in the background of a news feature. And finally, whilst working in a previous job as a magazine editor, I somehow ended up in a BBC documentary called WAGs to Riches.
9) I’ve never read a Stephen King book
Yep, that’s probably a bad thing for a writer to admit, considering he’s arguably the most successful writer of all time. I’ve seen lots of movies based in his books, but I know that’s not the same thing. I guess the horror genre isn’t really my thing. But I should do something about it, and I will read at least one of his books. Promise.
[I’m not a fan of the horror genre either Alastair, but would highly recommend you give Stephen King’s 11.22.63 a go. Brilliant book which was also made into a rather excellent tv mini-series.]
10) I like writing in coffee shops
Yes, I know it’s a bit of a cliché. In fact, I think there must be some kind of law that every Starbucks or Costa has to have at least one person with a laptop working on their novel or screenplay at all times. But I find them productive places to work. If I’m at home, I’m far more likely to put the telly on and slack off. Plus, I like the buzz and energy. And they’re great places to people watch, picking up inspiration for character traits.
So, those are 10 hopefully interesting things about me. Come and find out more about me, my books and the other things I write at alastairpuddick.com.
My thanks to Kelly from Love Books Tours for inviting me to take part in the tour. 46% Better Than Dave is available in paperback and ebook formats and you can order your copy here: 46% Better Than Dave
From the back of the book
A novel of jealousy, muddy shoes and giant barbecues.
Dave Brookman’s new next-door neighbour is ruining his life. Because in a bizarre coincidence, he’s also called Dave Brookman, he’s the same age and he even grew up in the same town. There is one big difference, though. This new Dave is vastly more successful in every way.
As Dave starts questioning everything about himself, suddenly his perfect life seems a lot less than perfect. And what starts as friendly rivalry soon turns into obsessive jealousy and crazy behaviour that could see Dave lose it all. Can he get a grip before it’s too late?
About the author
Alastair Puddick is a writer and editor who has spent the past 20 years writing for a variety of magazines and websites. His work has spanned many different paths, from jetting off to exciting cities across the world to writing about dating advice, data centres, facilities management and the exciting world of flooring. He also once wrote an agony advice column posing as Elvis Presley’s ghost.
Alastair still works as a copywriter and lives in Sussex with his wife, Laura, and cat, George. He has written three novels: The Unexpected Vacation of George Thring, Killing Dylan and his newest book, 46% Better Than Dave.