Going Postal by Terry Pratchett – Book Review – #TerryPratchettBlogTour

Terry Pratchett is the name of a man, nay a wizard, who wrote books.

I have come to his books later than most, mainly because I knew that once there I’d get hooked in. Like the post in the story I’ve arrived… Better late than never.

I’m therefore perhaps more familiar with Terry’s tireless campaign for death with dignity, after his diagnosis with Alzheimer’s than his books, so when Serendipity Viv suggested hosting a blog tour to commemorate his life and writing I jumped at the chance to finally get stuck in.

Going Postal seems to be the book that was written for me to read at this time; after two Sundays spent with dogs barking as I posted leaflets through doors, a character called Stanley and even a comic mention of Occupational Therapy in Chapter One.

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Moist vin Lipwig is a con man, who gets caught and faces the gallows… but if he puts his belief in angels he gets a second chance. His is tasked with taking over the ailing postal service of Ankh-Morpork, which is suffering after the introduction of the Clacks Towers run by Reacher Gilt – eye patched and even shadier than Moist. This culminates in a competition to deliver a message between the Clacks and a coach and horses but can Moist perform a miracle… after all everyone believes he has the gods on his side.

It’s easy to see why the character of Moist made it onto Jim Den’s top ten characters list – he is exceptionally witty and clever, and, although he doesn’t seem to recognise it himself, does have a heart that is only shifted just to the right of where it should be.

The post office is filled with a whole host of special supporting characters – Stanley the pin collector who gets very excited at the introduction of stamps… and occasionally very very angry! Mr Groat, an ageing Junior Postman, and Mr Pump – a clay Golem and Moist’s parole officer.

And there’s a love interest, Miss Adora Belle Dearheart. An independent, chain-smoking, Golem activist who isn’t easily conned and is pretty handy with weapons.

I think my face had a permanent smile whilst reading this book, and now I want to watch the Sky production again.

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Enjoyable character names, witty banter, the usual made unique and just a little bit batty, and some sly social commentary tucked into an entertaining story. I loved it…and I’ve got just a few more to catch up on.

But now Terry Pratchett, the man, has been welcomed by Death, one of his most beloved characters , and they are having a jolly good catch up. But he has left us his words… and as he writes in Going Postal, ‘Words have power’ and his books, like the library are a ‘gevaisa, a tomb of living words.’

Please check out the blog tour’s opening post where people shared their thoughts about Terry and follow the hashtag on twitter to find the other posts. But, if like me you hadn’t delved into Discworld please pick up a book – I’d say Going Postal isn’t a bad place to start.

farewell terry pratchett tour

Happy International Women’s Day

Women can be are strong,
crying does not make us weak;
but human,
the same goes for men.
 
You are a woman
if you are tall or short,
skinny or chubby,
mammaried, small, wonky or removed,
in dresses or trousers,
and simply if you identify as such.
 ….
Woman can be whatever they want,
in charge, on the way to the moon;
or followers, feet firmly on the ground.
At home, in work and both.
Woman can achieve things,
the vote, prizes, records,
and one day,
hopefully soon,
equality.
 ….
If you are a woman or
love a woman
or both.
If you were born from a woman
(yes that’s everyone)
then this day is important.
Celebrate the women in your life.
Celebrate the men too.
Celebrate yourself.
Make your happiness happen.
 …
Happy International Women’s Day to all of the fantastic women I know and all of the men that love them. This year’s theme is Make it Happen, let’s take a step closer to equality, #heforshe and #sheforhe. 

 

Teeth Blog Tour: Interview with the author Chele Cooke

Teeth

Blurb:

Medical intern Thomas awakes in a blood-drenched basement and the realisation that his life must change forever. After all, how can he practise medicine when the smell of blood turns him into a vicious killer?

Spencer thinks being a vampire is better than any teen movie made it out to be. Now he must train Thomas and make his mentor proud.

One mistake risks more than either are willing to lose, and a single broken law could turn them from predators to prey.

 

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Part time author and full time fantacist, Chele Cooke is a sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal author living in London, UK.

While some know they want to write stories since childhood, Chele first started writing as a teenager writing fanfiction and roleplaying. Before long playing in other people’s worlds wasn’t enough and she started creating her own. Living in San Francisco at the time, she found a lot of inspiration in her favourite city, some of which can be found in her books.

With a degree in Creative Writing, Chele’s first novel was published in 2013. She currently has three books published: two books in a sci-fi series, Out of Orbit, and the first book of a vampire serial, Teeth.

Interview

If you had to describe your book in a tweet (140characters), what would you say?

Come on word count, don’t fail me now.

Teeth is a fast, fun, and bloody vampire story. With more bite for your buck, this book doesn’t shy away from the darker side of the undead.

140 exactly. I feel I need to fist bump someone. {*virtual fist bump}

Was there a specific moment of inspiration for Teeth or was it more out of the blue?

There was an original idea which came about because a good friend of mine was writing a story about down on their luck 80’s rock band vampires (VERY funny story.) Anyway, I had an idea about two vampires getting stuck in a coffee shop during the day. They can’t leave and they have to keep buying coffee to be allowed to stay, so they end up on an extreme caffeine high.

Whilst I didn’t use this particular idea in this book, it was the idea that started the ball rolling, and after that the ideas just kept on coming.

What was your favourite thing about writing Teeth?

It has to be the characters, without a doubt. These guys started off as nothing and they came to me whilst writing. It was a very organic experience. For the first ten chapters I had no idea where I was going, I was just writing. It was very freeing.

Who was your favourite character to write about in Teeth?

I think it has to be Spencer. As I said, the characters developed as time went on, and Spencer just grew into this incredibly complex and interesting character to write about. He has a lot of issues, some of which are only made worse throughout the book. We’ll definitely be seeing a lot more of Spencer as the series continues. I’ll be exploring more of their histories and such in later books.

How many drafts did it take to write Teeth?

That’s actually a difficult question, because I rarely work in a straight draft number method. Some authors will need to get all the way through the first draft before they start editing, but I find I get to a certain point and then I need to bring everything up to speed before I continue.

I’d say that it probably went through about six drafts. Some of these were part edits and some full run throughs. There were two edits by other people and then lots of tinkering.

I’ll always find something to change. If I could continue working on a book forever, I probably would.

If someone wanted to read a book after Teeth that was similar, what book would you recommend?

Admittedly, most of my paranormal genre experience has been through television and movies. I’m a big fan of Buffy/Angel and True Blood, so those would probably be the stories I’d direct people to as I think they’re probably the closest in my feelings about vampires with the same injections of humour and horror in equal measures.

As for books, I think I have to go back to a classic and say ‘Interview with the Vampire’ by Anne Rice. Though the style is very different and is based very much in the gothic view of vampires, it’s less about the romance aspects and more about seeing vampires through their own perspective instead of a view from the outside in (which a lot of modern paranormal books do by having a human as the point of view character.) IwtV also has a lot of great ideas that I adore, like what happens when you turn a child into a vampire.

Where is your favourite place to write?

Somewhere no one will stare at me when I begin giggling at myself, or when I start crying whilst writing an emotional scene.

Seriously, I’ll generally write in my house where it’s quiet and I can concentrate fully. I have an extremely comfortable desk chair.

Are you someone who plans all of your books meticulously or are you more of a “pantser”?

That’s funny, because with most stories I am a meticulous planner. I’ll generally have about 10,000 words of planning before I write the first word of a manuscript. I’ll have bullet points and diagrams of locations, etc.

However, when it came to Teeth, as I said above, I wrote ten chapters before I knew anything. My favourite romance in the story actually weren’t going to be anything until it suddenly happened and I realised how well it worked.

Obviously, there was lots of planning before I did the rewrites and big edits, but mostly that involved where I needed to put hints to later plots and character developments.

Pantsing was incredibly fun on this project, but I’ll be going back to planning with the next book.

What piece of advice would you give to aspiring authors? 

Writing is about the long game. This is a difficult thing to come to terms with, especially when you’re on that first novel. We all want to think that people will notice our first book and scream ‘genius’ but the likelihood is that your first novel will sink into the pool of what you’re going to become as an author. You’re constantly learning and growing, and your writing will reflect that.

So always keep an eye on what you’re going to be doing next, where you’re heading towards. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get there straight away, just keep plugging on, one step at a time. Most importantly, be professional and keep your head. No matter whether you think nobody is watching you right now, the internet saves things, and as you gain readers you don’t want people to be able to look back and see that you were one of those authors who attacked a reviewer, or something like that. It’s the long game, and you have to play fair all the way.

 

Thanks very much for having me, Kirsty. These were some great questions. If any readers have anything they’d like to ask me, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you, or I’m always open to questions on Goodreads.

We’ll have to thank Faye for the questions this time and for organising the tour.

Now I haven’t managed to read the book yet but it sounds exactly like my kind of story so I’ll be entering to win a copy – click the link below to do the same.

 

Link to the Rafflecopter Giveaway

There is a tour wide giveaway during the tour.

The prizes include;

Three sets of all Chele Cooke’s books as e-books

Seven e-books of Teeth

 

 

 

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