Author Interview: Jo Roderick

South African born Jo is a funny fellow.  Funny in the positive sense, I mean – funny ‘haha’ not funny ‘odd’.  He has written several fantastic books about everything from self-publishing and recycling to sci-fi and political comedies.  His non-fiction includes: The Book of Life, Recycled Thoughts, and PIY: Publish it Yourself.  He writes fiction under the name Jo Roderick and his books include: Six for Seven and Aeonosphere.  He is currently working on his third novel, a rom-com called Bermuda Phoenix. 

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Sunday Morning Round-Up: Women, Potter, and Judging Books by Their Covers

Your one-stop shop for the week’s most interesting bookish news and reviews

 

Women Writers Winning

kindle-254339_640I100 this week announced that 18 out of the top 20 selling ebooks of 2015 so far have been written by women, with The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins taking top spot.  It’s great, I suppose, that female writers have managed to grab so many of the top spots but I honestly don’t see why it matters.  If you’ve written a great book, then you’ve written a great book – whether you’ve got dangly bits or not!  By always talking about topics like this, surely all we are doing is perpetuating sexism…patting women on the head and saying “there, there, haven’t you done well?  18 out 20 spots!” but in actual fact, gender has no impact on what makes a good book.  What does have an impact is whether that book is good.

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Short Story: Unicorn Dreams

This story came from Sarah Barcello’s prompt on Facebook.  The prompt was ‘Unicorns’.  

Unicorn Dreams

fat_unicorn_by_candymountainclimber-d76393dNorman was fed up with his life.  It wasn’t the right life for a unicorn after all.  He trudged home from work, his fat belly hanging so low that it almost dragged across the floor whilst his lank and greasy tail flapped between his thighs.  His chubby little legs thundered and clumped rather than trotted spritely as a unicorn’s should, and a cigarette hung from the corner of his mouth, the ash leaving a trail as he walked.  He was going to drown his sorrows in beer when he got home, and he was looking forward to it – at least as much as a depressed, middle-aged unicorn can look forward to anything.

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Review: DEiFIED by Justin Dillon-Shallard

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DEiFIED by Justin Dillon-Shallard is set in a future in which virtual reality is a…er…reality!  The book follows two stories: a story set in the real world and story set in a VR gaming world, The Third Realm.  As the book continues, the two stories entwine and the reader discovers just how dangerous online gaming can be and how it can cross easily into real-life.  It’s undoubtedly science fiction but with a touch of fantasy and a drop of thriller thrown into the mix.  Imagine that with a black-ops military team, hard-core gamers, and a small-but-still-there side-order love story and you’re about there with DEiFIED.  It’s got a bit of everything, and that’s not always a great thing to have.

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Sunday Morning Round-Up: Middle Earth, Don Quixote, and Drinkable Books

Your one-stop shop for the week’s most interesting bookish news and reviews

 The 100 Best Novels

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This week saw the completion of The Guardian’s list of the 100 best English-language novels, a list that’s been two years in the making.  It’s an interesting list, and it doesn’t include some of the big names that you’d expect to find so I was surprised at only having read 13 of these.  Comparing it to the BBC’s list, from which I’ve read a slightly more acceptable 38 books, The Guardian seems to have gone for a much broader spectrum.  Robert McCrum, the list compiler, explains why he chose these books over other possibilities, but Rachel Cooke argues that there should be more female writers included.  I’m not sure I agree with Cooke – a list of great books should be exactly that: a list of great books.  There shouldn’t be a quota (or even a discussion) of how many of each gender should be included.  Should we feel the need to include books by authors of a range of ages too?  How about racial profiling?  Or how about, just picking books that are great?  Surely anything but the latter is severely restrictive.  Whatever way you look at it, there is never going to be a definitive list that everyone agrees to.  How many have you read?  Do you agree with McCrum’s choices?

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Review: Self-Made Man by Norah Vincent

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Journalist Norah Vincent turned herself into a man for a massive eighteen months in an attempt to explore the ‘man’s world’.  Ned, as she called herself, spent time with many different kinds of men, in lots of different situations.  The experiment is no doubt an interesting one, and Vincent’s objective certainly fascinating but the question is, did she manage to pull it off?  Well, that’s debatable.

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Short Story: For the Love of Mr. Trollope

This story was written for Anna, my mum, after she gave me the title in this month’s Reader Interview: An Affair with Jane Eyre.  

For the Love of Mr. Trollope

“Look Trollope!  Just admit that my beard is better than yours and we can move on with our lives.  I mean deaths.  You don’t wish to spend the rest of eternity bickering about beards do you?  Especially when you are so obviously wrong!”

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Sunday Morning Round-Up: Tolkien, Threesomes, and Overdue Library Fines

Your one-stop shop for the week’s most interesting bookish news and reviews

 

For the Love of Tolkien

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Perhaps the most famous and most revered fantasy author of the twentieth century, JRR Tolkien’s work is renowned and, well, (let’s be honest) fantastic!  And you think you’ve read everything by him?  You’re wrong!  This month sees the release of the first fantasy story he wrote: The Story of Kullervo.  It was written in 1915, is based on an epic Finnish poem, and has never been published before.  ‘Kullervo the hapless’ is an orphan with supernatural powers and is raised by a dark magician.  Do you need to know any more?  I know I don’t!  This book is definitely on my shopping list.  I’ve written it in pen and everything.

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Introducing: Interviews!

Interviews are going to become a bi-monthly feature here on Authordom and not just author interviews either – we’ll have reader interviews too!  Reading books, writing books, and writing about books are some of my favourite ways to pass the time but listening to other people talk about books can be just as exciting!  That’s why I’ve decided to do one author interview and one reader interview each month.  They’ll be light, they’ll be fun, but they’ll be interesting and informative too.  This is what you can expect and how you can get involved:

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Review: The Book of Life by Jo Roderick

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Marketed as self-help, The Book of Life by Jo Roderick is literally a book about life.  It’s about everything from guilt and depression to daydreams and spirituality.  It’s about changing the way you live and having the life that you want.  That might sound like a massive undertaking – and it is, but does the book achieve what it set out to achieve?  The answer is an unequivocal yes.  I suppose I should explain.

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Donating Books, and All That

WP_20150801_11_05_31_Pro[1]I belong to lots of online groups that are related to books and reading, and one topic that comes up again and again is buying books from charity shops.  I’m always surprised at how much misinformation is out there: charity shops don’t want any more books because they have too many, charity shops pulp 70% of the books that are donated, charity shops shouldn’t charge so much because they don’t have any overheads (and that last one really gets my goat).  There are lots of misconceptions about what happens to books when they are donated to a charity shop and whilst I can’t speak for all charity shops, I thought that writing about what happens to books in my shop may help to dispel some of those myths.  (And when I say ‘my shop’, I of course mean the nationwide charity retail shop of which I am manager.  I’m not going to give away the identity of said shop for privacy reasons, although I will not be saying anything negative, nor passing judgement, but merely explaining the process).

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Sunday Morning Round-Up: Alice, Quentin, and Murder Mysteries

Your one-stop shop for the week’s most interesting bookish news and reviews

Wrinkly Old Alice

Print Collector/Getty Images
Print Collector/Getty Images

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was this week celebrated for having reached its 150th anniversary.  Yes, that’s right, the now iconic novel was published 150 years ago on 2nd August, 1865.  So to celebrate, of course, The Telegraph have questioned whether it’s an “innocent fantasy or dark and druggy” – hmm, I’m not sure if matters either way, so long as it’s an entertaining and enjoyable read!  There are celebratory events going on all over the world but alas, I’m not attending any (although if anyone has spare tickets…), and here is a great list of quotes from the book to get you in the mood!
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Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Whilst mourning the loss of his beloved grandfather, young Jacob follows a set of clues that lead him to an obscure Welsh island, where it rains a lot even in June (Riggs got that about right then).  It’s here that Jacob uncovers the secrets of Miss Peregrine and her home for peculiar children and he learns that perhaps his grandfather wasn’t quite as crazy as everyone had assumed.  Interspersed with (mostly) genuine vintage photographs, the narrative takes us on a journey with Jacob as he meets children more peculiar than he could ever imagine and is set to make a life-changing decision.

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Short Story: Ketchup Days

“This is not blood, my dear.  It’s ketchup.”  The young police constable was trying to keep the smirk from his face, rather unsuccessfully I might add.  I could tell he thought me a kooky old bat.  Maybe he’s right, but I panicked when I came home to see the walls painted red and Oliver lying amidst it all, not moving.  I suppose the sickly sweet stench of tomato sauce should have given it away but I’ve never smelt a dead body before.  For all I know, it could quite conceivably smell like the gallons of ketchup that is now smeared all over my expensive wallpaper and Italian leather sofas.

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Sunday Morning Round-Up: Boris Johnson, Dr. Seuss, and the Birthday Snitch

Your one-stop shop for the week’s most interesting bookish news and reviews

Green Eggs and Seuss

PeDr. Seussrhaps we should rename 2015 The Year of Publishing Lost Books as the second famously found manuscript of the year, Dr. Seuss’ What Pet Should I Get? is released this week.  It’s been almost 25 years since Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Geisel, died.  The manuscript was found in his home back in 2013 but it’s only now that publisher Random House are releasing it.  It’s likely that the book was written between 1958 and 1962, and it features the same brother and sister as seen in Seuss’ classic One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.

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