Interview with new author Ted Dunphy

Today I have a treat for you as I have had the pleasure of talking to new author Ted Dunphy about his debut book Rowing Down the World to Auckland, an adult (not ’50 shades’ adult, just not YA!) novel following Bruno Brennan as he attempts to row across the world to see his grandchildren one last time. I know Ted personally as we studied together on our MA and we have remained friends and writing buddies. Ted writes deep, dimensional characters who draw you into their narrative with humour and fantastic observations. Beneath the interview is my review of his book.

Hopefully we’ll be able to see the book on Goodreads and Kindle soon, and as soon as we do I’ll update the post. For now, grab your copy from Amazon here!

Ted's book cover

Hi Ted, thanks for answering the questions!

What inspired you to write Rowing Down the World to Auckland?

My second son and his family lives in Auckland. Neve and Zack are two of my grandchildren. I can’t hug them often. I know the need to see his grandchildren that drives Bruno. Joshua Slocum’s book, Sailing Alone around the world, and Sarah Outen’s account of rowing across the Indian Ocean, A Dip in the Ocean, put the idea of rowing to Auckland into my mind. I loved the title of Sarah’s book so much that I modelled my story around her attitude of mind. It’s as if she had said “It’s not far. Just across the world a bit”.

Could you name some of your favourite authors, or authors who inspired you to write?

Elmore Leonard, Stephen King, Harper Lee, Ed McBain, Terry Pratchett, Flann O’Brien, Brian Moore, Julian Gough, Kevin Barry and Maureen Freely. My writing companies, Rose, Raj and Shuli as well as Cambridge my publisher kept me at the writing over many months.

Your writing is very comical, and you use humour to highlight the irrationality of prejudice in the world, is this done intentionally or does it come naturally?

I have suffered prejudice on grounds of religion, ethnic background, age, gender, nationality, accent, skin colour and because I grew up on Merseyside, so I react against prejudice wherever I meet it.

You cannot survive in a large family without humour. I worked in schools for many years and learned different types of humour from the pupils. Humour is all around us. People use it to poke back when the odds are against them. Humour takes the edge off the negative shit that is dumped on us. When we laugh our life is full right there.

What’s the most exciting/crazy thing you’ve ever done?

The craziest thing I did was being nearly drowned when I was a student. A German visitor bet he could swim faster than me across Dublin Bay. A long way across I was badly stung by a shoal of jellyfish and slipped in and out of consciousness while being dragged back to shore. He didn’t win the bet because he cheated by using trained jellyfish to stop me. That was slightly scarier than the time I was caught up in a race riot in Washington DC.

Are you working on anything else right now?

My next book, due out in the autumn, is about a group of boys growing up in Ireland. They make their own excitement and enjoyment, while the adults want them to knuckle down and meekly obey in a world where evil is secretly taking hold around them.

Do you have any writing tips for people writing in your genre who are just getting started?

Be open to the humour all around you – see it, hear it, add to it. Believe in yourself as a writer. Be humble and learn from others but do not imitate them. Write and write and read and read. Join a writing group. I am blessed to belong to a writing group with people I trust to be honest, sensitive and supportive. They are also great writers and with backgrounds totally different to mine. They inspire, cajole, suggest, correct and most importantly give me the warmth and comfort of total support that all writers need when the writing does not flow.

Thanks for those brilliant answers. Here’s a bit more about the author and my review:

About Ted Dunphy:

I was born in Waterford in Ireland a long time ago. I hit the emigrant trail at the age of nine when my family moved to England. Fortunately we landed in Liverpool and crossed the Mersey to live in Birkenhead. I grew up there and have worked in England most of my life.

Schooled to distrust happy endings, I believe in the power of humour to upstage the stark surprises of life. People who read my material say the black humour in my writing is a consequence of my Celtic ancestry, my early uprooting from my birthplace, being part of the Irish diaspora and growing up on Merseyside. I don’t know where they get those ideas. I just love poking the underbelly of life and writing about real people creatively managing the indignities and daftness dumped on them. Young people do that poking so much better than me, which is why I love being around them.

It is almost four years since I completed my MA in Creative Writing, at the University of Warwick under the direction of Maureen Freely the novelist and translator of Orhan Pamuk. I was fortunate to be tutored by the internationally recognised biographer, Jeremy Treglown, and A L Kennedy, the prize-winning novelist. They set such a wickedly high standard that it has taken me this long to learn, practice and develop my writing and to grow the courage to usurp the title of ‘author’ that sits so gracefully on their shoulders. There is a long road ahead of me still.

My review:

I received an advanced copy of this book and was so happy I did! From the very first line, I was laughing. Ted Dunphy’s writing is sophisticated and polished. The author never ‘tells a joke’, but instead lets the reader fill in the gaps, so that you get that laugh-out-loud moment when you realise what’s happened. To quote one of the lines: “He grunted, broke wind in an impressive manner and waved with a finger gesture that suggested he was wishing me twice the luck I needed.”
The running joke of what Siegfried did in the shopping centre was one of my favourite aspects of the book. Much like the, ‘money was just resting in my bank account’ joke in Father Ted, it gets funnier each time it’s alluded to.
Yet the book isn’t just a great comedy; the main character’s transformation is fascinating, and this truly is a story where it’s the journey, not the destination, which counts. At the beginning, the narrator demonstrates bigotry in every form, but the way he does it exposes the ridiculousness and futility of discrimination and stereotypes. He is completely oblivious to his own hypocrisy and it’s these flaws which make the character human. It also makes the reader look forward to his character progression as he experiences these wild adventures and encounters people who will change his view points.
I can’t wait to get my hands on the author’s next book. If you want a poignant, laugh-out-loud story full of amazing characters and great writing, pick up Rowing Down the World to Auckland.

Win a copy of After the Fear and Interview

As dystopian book readers, you might already know the great website ‘Delve into Dystopia’, but if you don’t, here’s your chance! It’s a fab resource for anyone who can’t get enough of dystopian societies, and you can win free books and cool stuff all the time. Yey!

It also hosts author interviews and this week it’s my turn! So check out my interview here: http://www.delveintodystopia.co.uk/2015/05/meet-author-rosanne-rivers-interview.html and be sure to enter the competition to win a signed copy of After the Fear!

Write On! Magazine

The Write On! Magazine is out! For those who don’t know, the Write On! Magazine is an online mag full of creative writing from promising young writers around the Midlands, UK. It’s run by Writing West Midlands, an organisation which I’ve had the fortune to work with on lots of occasions now, from running workshops in their Write On! groups to seeing the brilliant writing produced on their week-long summer schools.
If you are a writer in the Midlands aged 8-20, or a parent of a young person who wants to get into writing, please check out their website and all the amazing things they are doing here: http://www.writingwestmidlands.org/young-writers-schools/

This month, I guest edited the magazine and you can see the entries which made it through here: http://www.writeonmagazine.org/latest-issue/.

Well done to every who submitted, whether your work was featured or not, I was seriously impressed with the standard of writing.

There will be another magazine out later this summer so keep updated with everything going on at Writing West Midlands, or me, on Twitter to submit!

Brilliant Giveaway in Support of Autism Acceptance Month

I’m proud to be a sponsor in this giveaway which not only gives the entrants a chance to win a free kindle of $100 paypal cash, but also raises money for a brilliant cause!
Details below:

YOUR ENTRY IN THIS GIVEAWAY SUPPORTS THE AUTISTIC SELF ADVOCACY NETWORK!

FIND OUT HOW AND ENTER TODAY!

This month we are hosting a second giveaway. This one is for a special cause. You may have heard that April is Autism Acceptance month. If you haven’t, well, now you know! So a very special team of authors has come together to help YOU donate to the cause…but wait! It doesn’t cost you anything to donate! We donate for you! In fact, not only do we donate on your behalf, you ALSO get a chance to win a free kindle or $100 Paypal cash. All you have to do to show you care about this cause–all you have to do to do YOUR part to help spread awareness of the need for autism acceptance–is ENTER TO WIN A FREE KINDLE OR $100! But wait? How can that be? How are we doing this? WHY are we doing this? Very simply, the authors who sponsored this giveaway have all pitched to cover the cover of donations and prize in exchange for you helping us to spread the word! We’ve actually set it up so that we will donate in MULTIPLE ways. See below for details.

Participation Donations

At no cost to you, enter the giveaway. Here is the donation scale.

0-999 entrants = $50 donation
1000-4999 entrants = $100 donation
5000-9999 entrants = $200 donation
10,000 or more entrants = $300 donation

Purchase Donations

But wait! There’s more! If you see a book here you like and decide to grab a copy,

We’re put tracking links on all the books, and we’re going to pitch in MORE money toward our donation for books bought.

This is completely optional🙂 We’re donating $10 for every 100 books bought, up to a $200 donation.

So take a look at the books provided by our Participating Authors, then scroll on down to the giveaway and enter to win! The more entrants, the more we can donate!

Please help us reach our maximum donation goal of $500!

OUR SPONSORS

HUGE VALUE – Many of the books are Just $0.99, Including a 21-book-boxed set! Wow!

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THE GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Calling all Young Writers!

I’m really pleased to be able to share with you all an amazing writing opportunity! For the next edition of the Write On! Magazine, I will be the guest editor and the great news is: THEY’RE CURRENTLY OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS!

If you are a young writer aged 8-20, live in the Midlands UK and would like to see your work in an online publication, then you can submit up to 3 short pieces of fiction for consideration. Even if your work isn’t accepted into the magazine at this time, you will receive a short piece of feedback from me.

To find out more information and how to submit, click here: http://bit.ly/1xfq7QH

The deadline is 6th March 2015, so get writing!

Spread the word🙂

Thanks,

Rosanne x

Exciting News!

I’m sooo happy today to be able to share with you something that I think/hope you’ll love!
For a while I’ve been working with Fallen Tree Games to create a script for their upcoming game: HIGHRISE HEROES, and today, the trailer was released!


A bit about Fallen Tree Games:
Founded by Joe Moulding and Lewis Boadle, Fallen Tree Games is an independent games company known for creating the sensation that is the QUELL series. Find out more about them and their other acclaimed logic games here: http://www.fallentreegames.com/about/

About Highrise Heroes:

Highrise Heroes is ‘the towering word game that fits into your pocket!’
Following a sudden earthquake, Seb must escape a crumbling skyscraper. Along the way he will make some intriguing new friends, and together they might just unravel the sinister origins of the ‘quake, assuming they can evade the mysterious stalker in close pursuit…

Starting at the top and working down, the game’s 90+ levels take place inside the skyscraper. The player creates words on a grid of letters and obstacles, clearing a path for Seb and friends to descend. Strategy is the key to success!

About the script to Highrise Heroes:

Fallen Tree Games knew they wanted a game which also had a riveting story and characters that the player cares about. Together with Joe and Lewis, we came up with a storyline which was developed into an exciting and adventurous script.

About my writing:

I get a lot of inquiries about a sequel to After the Fear or what I’m writing now (which I love!) so I thought I’d keep you all in the loop. Obviously I’ve been working on a computer game, and alongside that I’ve written another standalone YA novel. I am currently editing that so it might be a long time before it is released, but I will keep you updated!
I have re-read After the Fear and don’t feel that a sequel would add anything to Sola’s story, but I will never say never😉 Thank you for standing by me and I promise I have lots more stories that I hope you will enjoy as much or more than After the Fear.

I really hope you’ll enjoy the script to the game, but be careful, the game is quite addictive so make sure you have lots of time set aside before you start!

***Coming December 2014***

Win a $50 giftcard & read about a fab book!

Today I am sharing with you an awesome book from author Lindsey R Loucks. Beneath the book feature, there’s also a giveaway to win a $50 giftcard of your choice!!

Check out the book cover:

Image

Title – The Grave Winner

Author – Lindsey R. Loucks

Genre – YA Paranormal/Fantasy Romance

Publisher – Crescent Moon Press

Release Date – May 15, 2013

 

 

About the book:

Leigh Baxton is terrified her mom will come back from the dead — just like the prom queen did.

While the town goes beehive over the news, Leigh bikes to the local cemetery and buries some of her mom’s things in her grave to keep her there. When the hot and mysterious caretaker warns her not to give gifts to the dead, Leigh cranks up her punk music and keeps digging.

She should have listened.

Two dead sorceresses evicted the prom queen from her grave to bury someone who offered certain gifts. Bury them alive, that is, then resurrect them to create a trio of undead powerful enough to free the darkest sorceress ever from her prison inside the earth.

With help from the caretaker and the dead prom queen, Leigh must find out what’s so special about the gifts she gave, and why the sorceresses are stalking her and her little sister. If she doesn’t, she’ll either lose another loved one or have to give the ultimate gift to the dead – herself.

How to get your hands on The Grave Winner:

Buy The Grave Winner on Amazon

Buy The Grave Winner on Amazon (international)

Buy The Grave Winner at Barnes & Noble

Add The Grave Winner to Goodreads

Watch the book trailer on Youtube

 

About the Author:

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Lindsey R. Loucks works as a school librarian in rural Kansas. When she’s not discussing books with anyone who will listen, she’s dreaming up her own stories. Eventually her brain gives out, and she’ll play hide and seek with her cat, put herself in a chocolate induced coma, or watch scary movies alone in the dark to reenergize.

She’s been with her significant other for almost two decades.

 

Check out Lindsey’s website: http://www.lindseyrloucks.com

Follow Lindsey on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LindseyRLoucks

Follow Lindsey on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/LindseyRLoucks

 GIVEAWAY!

Click here to enter to win a $50 giftcard!

Sponsors:

Forever WITCHed

The Forever Girl

WITCHED

Fractured Light

Fractured Truth

Fractured Soul

Call Sign Karma

The Breakers Code

Protector

Finding June

Chaotic

Another New Life

The Grave Winner

After the Fear

Made to Forget

Mad About Undead You

How to Save a World from Dying

Soul Taken

Bound by Time

Fallen