Interview with Fun London

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Three days ago, I reviewed the great short story ebook ‘LOST IN THE WOODS’ by Fun London. Since then, we’ve kept in touch, and he’s kindly agreed to do a quick interview – so here it is!

When did you realise you wanted to become a children’s author?

When I realised how much joy and entertainment I took as a child and an adult from stories and fairy tales, I wanted to be able to create that same excitement for others.

What made you decide to take the ebook path to publishing?

It’s the most A to B program for an author to get his work out and affords a great amount of control.

Do you have a writing process? Is there planning involved, or do you just sit down and write whatever flows out?

Good question. I do some of both. When a story is rolling, keep it rolling. When it needs some planning, I do some planning.

Do you have a special writing place? Are you an inside or outside person?

My wife has created a room we call “the cabin” where I do the heavy lifting.

I recently reviewed your short story ‘LOST IN THE WOODS’, which was wonderful. Where did you get the inspiration for it?

Rudyard Kipling & Lewis Carroll are two authors I admire.

A break from the questions for a second: tell us a bit about yourself.

In addition to writing I work as a private tutor. I’m a nature enthusiast and love spending time outdoors. I’ve always enjoyed team sports and group activities. And, needless to say, I love and enjoy spending time with children.

I saw in your book’s biography that you came from Italy, and that you’ve travelled a fair bit since then… Do you have a favourite place you’ve been to?

My favourite places have been in books like Tolkien’s Middle-earth
and Harry Potter’s Hogwarts.

Dogs or cats?

Woof woof.

Last one: any advice for aspiring writers?

Stop thinking and start writing.

Oh, one last thing – do you have a recent book you’d like to plug? Or maybe just give a shoutout to your website?

I would recommend readers to check out The Dog Prince and The Dog Princess books. They’re fun.

Here’s a link to my Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fun-London/e/B004FSQ9JY/

 

 

Thanks again to Fun London for agreeing to the interview. It was very insightful, and I hope you check out his work.

Until next time!

Dave

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Me No Funny…?

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For those out there who didn’t know, I submitted two stories to the ‘Greenhouse Funny Prize’, a literary competition for new and unagented writers from the UK. The shortlist was announced today, and neither entry made the cut.

Am I disappointed? Only slightly: there were over 720 entries, so competition was tough. Plus, one of my stories was a madly-redrafted second draft after my betas tore the original a new one weeks before the deadline. And the other was a fantasy that only contained comical moments, so it stupid even less of a chance. But you don’t get anywhere if you don’t put your work out there!

My best wishes to all shortlisted entries!

Does this mean the end of my attempt at a professional writing career? Well, yes and no…

It’s the end of my attempt to be a funny writer – at least for the foreseeable future. Sure, I enjoy a good laugh, and making others laugh, but in trying to actually write something funny, I’ve spent more time staring at blank pages than with any other genre. It’s HARD.

So, I’m sticking to what I know – paranormal adventure! Don’t worry, there’s no angsty vampires pining over socially stunted wretches (seriously, though, if you were nigh-immortal, and as ‘gorgeous’ as Edward is supposed to be, why in the blue hells would you wait all your life for a plain, emotionless emo? Think it through, vamps…) – no, we’re talking good, old-fashioned paranormal investigation stories. Because, let’s be honest, there’s more to paranormal than vampires and werewolves… So much more. Some more disturbingly human than you know.

More on that at another time,

Dave

Lost in the Woods – eBook Review!

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A first for this blog, an eBook review! The author, one ‘Fun London’, contacted me on Twitter. He complimented me on this site, and said if I was interested in reviewing his book ‘Lost in the Woods’ that he could email me a review copy. I said Okie-dokie, and here we are!

… Don’t you all feel more edumacated? You’re welcome.

On to the review!

The story starts, and revolves, around 12 year old Jack Barton. He’s your average adventurous type, and loves climbing trees. After a fallout with his mother, Jack climbs a tall tree. A really tall tree. We’re talking the ‘endless corridor’ of trees, here, so it’s pretty tall.

But eternally tall or not, all trees abide by nature sooner or later, and it’s not long before Jack falls foul of weak branches and, erm… Falls.

(I’m so utterly brilliant at synonyms, me…)

Fortunately for Jack, a thick branch breaks his descent (hah, see? I didn’t say ‘fall’ – dammit!). With cautious steps, he sets foot on solid ground. Only, it’s not any ground he’s familiar with… And the tree he came down from wasn’t the one he climbed up…and is that squirrel talking to him?

… Yes, yes it is. Wait, wait! I know what you’re thinking; talking animals have had their day, and shouldn’t be heard unless they’re satirising the communist movement in a barn. That’s right, Dave has read ‘ANIMAL FARM’ – but that’s not important!

What is important is that Fun London does talking animals well. Each creature Jack meets on his journey home had a different, unique voice. And not all of them actually spoke to get their voice across. And not all of them are friendly… But instead of having random enemies, Fun London (in case you’re wondering, that is his pen name – I’m not referring to him by his Twitter name to confuse you all) makes sure that any and all foes have a personal and, more importantly, believable reason why they’re going after Jack.

But it’s a forest-wide disaster that brings everyone together, friend and foe alike, in a bid to save their home. And maybe – just…just maybe – Jack learns something about himself along the way…

‘LOST IN THE WOODS’ is a brilliant, old-school fantasy story that will entertain and delight children of all ages. If I had one complaint, it’s a tiny one; Allen (the squirrel) says “And so forth and so on” a few too many times for my liking. But, like I said, tiny – a slight characterisation hitch isn’t enough to get in the way of this wonderful tale.

Rating: 4/5

For those wondering (that’s probably just a few of you), I will be reviewing the rest of Barry Hutchison’s ‘INVISIBLE FIENDS’ books very, very soon.

Until then!

Dave

Judgment is Coming…

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Saw this poster upon stepping outside New Cross Gate train station…
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At first, I thought it was some sort of ‘End of the World’ notice. I thought it was nice they wanted to remind us ahead of time, but the Mayan’s predicted date was still a way’s off. Then, upon closer inspection (ie. spotting a release date and the Lionsgate logo), I quickly realised that this was a teaser poster for the upcoming ‘DREDD’, and that it was pretty spiffy, for more than one reason…

Firstly, it LOOKS GOOD, and draws your attention and curiosity. Judgement? Whut now? There is a city in the midst of fiery devastation, and surely that means this judgement is either a) the cause of said destruction, and not good, or b) the answer to this ruined city’s problems, in which case huzzah! It can’t come around quick enough!

Secondly, could have just shown a picture of Dredd himself, but then – other than to take in the costume – you wouldn’t give it a second glance. They purposefully left him out, along with any other glaringly obvious iconography from the movie or comics. Doing so is a very clever marketing strategy, if you think about it… Instead of thinking ‘If we don’t make it obvious this is advertising DREDD, how is anyone going to know?’ They instead went with ‘Hey, if we just have the ominous statement “JUDGMENT IS COMING”, it will confuse a lot if people, but in a good way – instead of shrugging it off, they’ll hopefully look into it online, and find out more about the movie!’

And they’re not the only ones to take this approach. Only recently I saw an advertisement on the tube for ‘Rekall memory services’. This was easier for me to place, as I’m a huge fan of the original TOTAL RECALL, but it struck me nonetheless as an ingenious marketing campaign – involve your audience, bring them into the world of your story, and they feel more affinity towards it.

And I’m sure it’s not just movies utilising this strategy – the card game ‘Magic: The Gathering’ did a similar postal campaign for their recent horror-influenced ‘Innistrad’ set, mailing postcards done in the olde English style of posters, declaring everything from witch hunts to monsters stealing children. They were odd and disturbing, and set the mood perfectly when the new range of cards came out.

I’m sure books can use similar approaches, if they haven’t already. I’m already in the planning stages of a HUGE publicity angle for the series I’m writing, but I can’t be alone…

What do YOU think? Are there any unique publicity/advertising campaigns for books I’d should know about? Maybe you have plans for the future, or would like to share a past success? Leave a comment!

Until next time,

Dave