When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
In so many ways. Obviously I read a lot. I ‘play’ on Facebook and I have recently discovered Yahtzee on my iPad. I am addicted :).
What is your writing process?
Many and varied. I have to get the idea first but then I am very disorganized. I may start my story at the end,middle or beginning. All of my books started out originally as short stories.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yes I do. I was at school in first grade and read the Janet & John books. From then I progressed quickly to more advanced story books until I was way ahead of the rest of my class. The book that had the most impact on me was Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. I actually heard it first at school in 6th grade when a teacher read it to us. I had to have the book and I have read it so many times.Middle Earth is a creation beyond compare. It will never be equaled.
How do you approach cover design?
Bearing in mind the laws of copyright I use my own artwork or copyright free pictures.My first Novel, Love Sex and Time Travel actually used a stock picture from Lulu’s library. I wish I could change it now. Maybe I can. But obviously I hope my front cover jumps out at you and shouts… “BUY ME”
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1) J R R Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings. For it’s mind blowing lands and characters and also Tolkien s spellbinding prose.
2) Jack Kerouac’s On The Road. Great characters and gritty writing.
3) Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure. Fantastic story. Very allegorical as is the Title. Such beautiful description of the times and landscapes. Everyone should read at least one Thomas Hardy book.
4) Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’urbervilles, for the same reasons as above.
5) Finally Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy. Fantastic science fiction from the writer of I, Robot.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything that interests me. From books to blogs. I have not read newspapers for years though. Too much political orientation.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have the new Kindle Paperwhite. I did have the original Kindle until it was stolen last year. Apart from the lit screen on the Paperwhite I much preferred the original Kindle. I occasionally use my iPad but it’s nowhere near as good.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Social Networking I find to be pretty much useless. Too much and it becomes spam. My blog as been the best marketing tool for me along with word of mouth.
Describe your desk
Currently small as we are staying with a friend at the moment. Just about room for my laptop and iPad… oh and my Boofle.. 🙂
When did you first start writing?
Originally in my teens at school although none of that survives now.
What’s the story behind your latest book?
That is Faffy the Leprechaun. It is only a short story but started out as a bit of fun on my blog at http://www.stanmrogers.com. I found that as I was getting so many hits on it I may as well publish it as a novelette.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Simples. The love of writing.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It has helped me to publish my books in electronic format easily and for free. You can’t beat that can you.
Don’t forget. Faffy is available as a $0.99 ebook download in all formats. Click Faffy’s picture to visit the site.
First of all thanks to all the people that have been viewing my blog. My hits have rocketed recently and it’s mostly due to my little friend Faffy the Leprechaun. What started as just a little bit of fun has turned into an avalanche of readers.
And so I have decided to launch Faffy as an eBook. He has been tidied up a little and expanded also. It is still only a short novelette but well worth the price.I set the price at the absolute minimum that the publisher would allow barring making it free. It is launching at the incredibly low price of only $0.99 … begorrah.
Here’s the blurb for the story:-
Imagine turning up for work one day to find the place in chaos. Deliveries have gone to the wrong addresses for no apparent reason. It has to be sorted out … and quickly. You need help and you need it fast but it comes from an unexpected quarter. Enter Faffy the Leprechaun and his helpers including a Zombie from Yorkshire and various other strange characters.Can it be done even with the help of Faffy’s poteen?
I am also launching Faffy as a print version. It is done but I am awaiting the first book to arrive from the publishers so I can check it for errors before releasing it. It will be a bit more expensive at around the $6.00 but still well worth it.
So people go get your $0.99 ebook today. It is available in all flavours (Kindle,Apple,Nook,PDF, etc etc).and prepare to be shilelaghed by Faffy.
In case you were wondering… a shilelagh.
Faffy the Leprechaun is available at Smashwords. Click here to be taken to the site.
Ben had to sit down. He thought. Then he thought again. How the hell was he going to tell his boss, Mad Mick, that bloody Santa Claus was delivering their mail now? “Faffy!” he whimpered, holding out his mug. Faffy obliged with a slug of poteen. “Don’t worry Mr Ben sorr. Santa has never let us down with deliveries before although no doubt a few people will be surproized to get mail down their chimneys sorr.”
As Ben took a slug he heard the sound of small explosions. “What the feck!” he cried, looking suspiciously at his coffee mug. “No sorr, it isn’t der coffee. It’s Robert (Not Bob) dealing with the Fook Up Faeries.” Said Faffy.
“Huh?” said Ben.
Ben and Faffy re-entered the warehouse. Ben’s nose prickled as it picked up the smell of … what was it he thought? Ahh yes, gunpowder. The place smelt like a bonfire night party after all the fireworks had been let off.
Robert (not Bob) ambled towards them. At least the smell of explosives masked the smell of zombie thought Ben.
“How are you doing Bob? Chuckled Faffy, it sounded loik you moight have found them?”
“Eeeeee baa gum I did Faffy and stubborn little buggas they was too. Over thirty of them there were. A reet battle it was but I think I got them all.” Robert turned towards Ben.
“ Does tha appen to have a stapler Mr Ben?”
Ben looked confused. “A stapler?”
“Yes lad, a stapler. Ah needs to fix me hand back on.”
Robert held out his hand. He literally held out his hand. It had come off. His other arm just smouldered slowly in the space where the hand should have been.
Ben shrieked and slowly backed away. “Don’t be a pansy lad, laughed Robert, just get me a stapler and it’ll be as good as new.”
Ben got the stapler. He looked away as Robert (not Bob) performed surgery.
“Eeee that’s better lad.” Smiled Robert waving his newly re-attached hand around.
Faffy re-appeared and proffered Robert (not Bob) a large mug of steaming tea and a hot currant bun. “Thanks lad, grinned Robert, food of the gods aye. Has it got …?”
Faffy interceded. “Yessir Robert. A triple measure of poteen and ten sugars. Just how ya loik it.”
Robert (not Bob) slurped contentedly and munched slowly on the bun. “Well lad, Robert looked at Ben, I’ve done my job here. Tha shouldn’t get any more trouble with those little pests again. Everything should be tickety-boo. I’ll just sup oop and I’ll be on my way back to hell.”
Ben grabbed Faffy and took him aside. “Err Faffy, he asked, is that right? Is Robert (not Bob) from hell?”
“To be sure he is Mr Ben sorr and it is a cold dismal place of no hope where poor souls live a life of misery. You know it as Huddersfield.”
Ben sighed and leaving Robert behind he and Faffy returned to the dispatch department. Ben cringed as he heard Mad Mick shouting for him.
“Ben! Ben? Where are ya fella? I need you.”
“I’m here Mick. Shouted Ben sounding happier than he felt.
“Well done young Ben. Smiled Mick. All the deliveries have arrived already although we’ve had a few reports of them dropping down chimneys. Which delivery service did you use?”
Ben swallowed and prepared to explain but Faffy jumped in quickly. “O’im glad you is pleased Mick. We used an old family business to deliver them. SDS is their name and although they can be a wee bit … how should oi say … unorthodox … they get der job done quickly.”
“Well fantastic news Mr … errr Faffy? Although Mr Smith in Devon was so shocked at the packages arrival down his chimney that he has now gone to a better place.”
Ben looked shocked. “You mean…”
“Yes Ben, continued Mad Mick, he has gone to the village pub. The Ferret and Firkin, I think it’s called where he is currently downing large rums and muttering something about reindeer?”
Faffy grinned. “Pay no heed sorr. Oi am sure he will be OK. Now if you are happy oi think oi’ll be on my way. Mrs Faffy will be wondering where oi am.”
Mad Mick agreed and returned to his office.
“Well Mr Ben sorr. Moi work here is done. Every ting seems to be running smoothly. Oi’ll be on me way. If youse needs us again just give us a call.”
Ben was speechless. He ran out through the warehouse. The DeVito’s had gone. Robert (not Bob) also had gone. He ran back into the dispatch department… Faffy had gone. The department seemed to have returned to normal. The Anglo-Irish document centre staff were working away normally preparing the next delivery.
“Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.” Muttered Ben.
Ben slept well that night and awoke feeling refreshed. As he drove into work he thought back to the previous day. It all seemed a little vague now. Leprechauns? Zombies? The DeVito’s? Ha!
By the time he arrived at work he was convinced it had all been a dream and his suspicions were confirmed as he entered the Anglo-Irish Document Clearing Centre. All was as normal. His staff were chatting idly as they enjoyed a last swig of coffee before starting their days work.
He grabbed a quick coffee himself from the canteen and settled down at his desk to read his emails.
He sipped the coffee and was disappointed that as usual it tasted of mud with a hint of caffeine. He sat back in his chair and sighed. Just a dream. Oh well let’s start work. Lots to do. He thought sadly. He opened his desk drawer to find a pen. And grinned. Nestling in the drawer was a bottle. The label read. ‘Poteen’. He poured a large slug into his coffee.
THE END … possibly!
Faffy has been expanded and is now available as an ebook here. Only 99 cents too. Begorrah!
“Ben… BEN….I need you Ben. We have a crisis. A crisis of mammoth proportions.”
Mad Mick bustled into the department and grabbed Ben.
“We have to get as many of those packets out today… I mean NOW Ben… oh hello, who are you?”
Mick had spotted Faffy.
That’s Faffy Mick. He’s my new leprec….. I mean personal assistant.”
“Hmmmm.” said Mad Mick. “Bit small isn’t he?” Is he Mr O’Crumpet? The agency said he’d be here.”
“That oi am sorr. Faffy O’Crumpet. One of the County Kildare O’Crumpets, not to be confused with the Dublin O’Crumpets.
Mad Mick shrugged and turned again to Ben.
“I’ve just checked out back and there’s three bald guys zooming about chucking our packets about. What’s that all about Ben? You need to stop them mucking about and get them working.”
“All in hand boss.” Murmured Ben.
Just then Robert (not Bob) lumbered into view.
Mad Mick did a double take.
“Excuse me squire are you lost? The old people’s home is just down the road.”
Ben interrupted quickly.
“This is Robert Mick. He is a errrr…. Troubleshooter. He is helping us out.”
“Wow he pongs a bit. And should he have fungus growing on him?”
Robert grumbled louder.
“OK old timer. Keep your hair on. If you do a good job I’m happy. Aren’t we Ben?
“Well Bob. It was nice meeting you.” Said Mad Mick as he turned away towards the office.
Robert (not Bob) growled, his arms rose to shoulder level and he started to shamble after Mad Mick.
“NOOOOO.” Cried Faffy as he jumped in front of Robert. “He doesn’t know and he’s de boss.
Robert stopped. Grudgingly.
“Whatthefeck?” said Ben.
“He called him Bob Mr Ben. Robert hates being called Bob. If oi hadn’t have stopped him den Mr Mick moit have been missing his brains boi now.”
Robert growled again.
“Aye. Damned right he would although by t’ sound of the lummox it wouldn’t have been much of a snack lad. We have a name for people like him in Yorkshire.”
“What is it?” Said Ben.
“Soft southern twats.” Replied Robert.
Robert seemed placated and moved off to continue hunting Fuck up faeries.
Ben started laughing.
“Is your name really O’Crumpet Faffy?”
“It is Mr Ben and I’ll hear no bad words about my name if youse please sorr. Tis a very ancient and honourable Leprechaun name.”
“OK Faffy. Ben suppressed a giggle. We better check on those DeVito’s. We need those packets out as soon as we can although I can’t see it happening for a few days at least. I have to arrange the delivery pick up times with UPS.”
It was Faffy’s turn to suppress a laugh as he puffed on his pipe.
Green cubic smoke rings appeared.
They entered the back of the warehouse together.
It was empty. No DeVito’s … and just empty trollies which had previously been full.
“Omigod.” Cried Ben. “What happened? Where’s all the work gone?”
“It’s out back sorr.” Chortled Faffy. The DeVito’s are just loading it up for delivery. Youse won’t be needing dose UPS fellas after all.”
“Eek.” Said Ben.
“Tis OK sorr we are using our own delivery….erm … company.”
Ben rushed out of the rear loading door just in time to see his packets flying off into the air.
If that wasn’t strange enough they were flying off in a very large sled pulled by what seemed like a team of … horses? … nope they were bloody reindeer. He could just make out a man in red driving and faint cries of “Hohoho.” As his packets disappeared into the distance.
“Well he is cheaper and faster than UPS sorr. Oi thought we’d give him a chance.”
Ronald Smith sat in his two bed-roomed house in Devon.
He enjoyed sitting in his old but very comfortable armchair.
He sat drinking his tea time cup of hot chocolate and he wondered where his delivery had got too. He worked from home now that he had semi-retired to the West Country. He checked documents for the Anglo-Irish Document Clearing Centre to bring in a few extra quid. He didn’t need a lot but the checking job paid for the little luxuries of life.
Mr Biggles, his ancient black tom cat looked up from his bed by the unlit fire and meowed as Ronald dunked a hob nob in his hot choccy.
There was a whooshing sound followed by a loud bang. Mr Biggles jumped up and raced out of the door as a large grey plastic package dropped into the fireplace followed by a small cloud of soot.
Ronald Smith sat open mouthed in astonishment as the soggy hob nob fell into his mug mid dunk.