Wednesday, 13 February 2013

A Very British Blog!!!

I've been invited by fellow Very British writer Clive Eaton to answer some Very British questions!  

Clive's post:

Each author named at the bottom of the page has been asked the same questions but the answers will obviously all be different. 

By the way, we British have certain conventions, traditions, and procedures that are expected. There is a dress code in the reading of this British blog and you are expected to comply with it.
For example...

Gentlemen will wear suits, white shirts and dark ties. (Military ties are expected wherever possible). Ladies will wear dresses (one inch above the knee, no higher, no lower) and floral summer hats. A break for TEA and cucumber sandwiches is expected at some stage and is permissible. The list at the bottom the page is not a queue.
It is an invitation and you are expected to accept that invitation and support the home-grown product. Now then, let us proceed in an orderly fashion. As you know, we are all very boring and staid in Britain, aren’t we?
Well, there’s a myth about the British and your starter for ten Stuffy, class conscious, boring,
staid! But is this still relevant in today’s world? Let’s find out from our wonderful writers what they feel about it.

So, without further ado, here my answers:

Q. Where were you born and where do you live at the moment?

A. I was born just outside Cambridge, and now live in the North East of England.

Q. Have you always lived and worked in Britain or are you based elsewhere at the moment?

A. Yes, I've hardly been abroad at all, alas.

Q. Which is your favourite part of Britain?

A. Like Clive, I cannot pick just one.  I lived in Norfolk for nine years, which is one of my favourite parts, but I also love Cornwall, parts of the North East, the Scottish Highlands, North Wales.  I prefer the rural areas; I am not much of a city or towny person.

Q. Have you ‘highlighted’ or ‘showcased’ any particular part of Britain in your books? For example, a town or city; a county, a monument or some well-known place or event?

A. Most of my books are set around East Anglia; You Wish is in Norfolk, Nobody's Fault mostly in Northampton (where I lived for most of my life), Dream On in a fictional fenland town.  The Other Side is set in London, the Scottish Highlands, and Suffolk.  Often I make up fictional places that are very much like certain real towns, or fictional streets/restaurants/pubs/shops etc in areas that really exist. 

Q. There is an illusion – or myth if you wish - about British people that I would like you to discuss. Many see the ‘Brits’ as ‘stiff upper lip’. Is that correct?

A. Some of us like to think we're a bit more classy than yer average, I suppose!  I'm not sure about the idea of us suffering through hardship without moaning, in true 'Blitz Spirit'... I think we used to show less emotion generally, and maintain more reserve than, for instance, Americans or people from the Mediterranean countries.  Now, though, we seem to have got into this reveal all, huggy-kissy thing, too.  I find the huggy-kissy trend a bit too much, to be honest, and I certainly don't want to send virtual 'hugs' to people on social networking sites.  We've adopted the culture of encouragement, too, which I think is a tad unhealthy and not very traditionally British! I think we do 'snooty' pretty well, but then I'm only thinking of certain types of British people.  Sometimes the opposite is true; consider people such Katie Price, Kerry Katona and various other tell-alls; the stiff upper lip in those cases is of the botox variety only.

Q. Do any of the characters in your books carry the ‘stiff upper lip’? Or are they all ‘British Bulldog’ and unique in their own way?

A. My characters range from the educated middle class to the lower middle class with pretensions (both social and intellectual), to the down to earth working class and happy to be so, to the occasional member of society's underclass.  I don't write about upper class or aristocratic people because I don't know any!

Q. Tell us about one of your recent books

A.  Soon, cross fingers, I will be bringing out my next novel, Full Circle.  It's finished!  Just the final read through, formatting, cover, etc to go now... it is the sequel to Dream On, though can be read as a stand alone.  Dream On is about musicians struggling for success, and Full Circle continues their story, though it is, in fact, more about the relationships between the characters: Dave, who dreams of being a rock star and has found himself with a family he never intended to have; his womanising friend Shane; the love of his life, Ariel, who was about to hit the big time at the end of Dream On ... and Janice, Dave's ex, who thought she had made the perfect marriage.  Full Circle takes up the story two years on.

Q. What are you currently working on?

A. I've just started my next one!  Well, I've written 'Chapter One' and saved the file!  Its working title is Head First.  I've written the basic plan; it's going to be about the self-obsessed flipside of deep insecurity, and complicated family dynamics ... and stalking.  I've touched upon stalking in a couple of other novels, but not in this way!  I hope it will be finished by about August or September. 

Q. How do you spend your leisure time?

A. What, you mean that bit of the day when I'm not writing, keeping up with Twitter, Facebook, blogs, emails, Goodreads, reading and reviewing other indie books and doing domestic stuff like washing, shopping, ironing etc?  I sit/lie in bed and watch telly with my husband.  I like films, lots of films, and US series like Breaking Bad, The Shield, Lie To Me, Oz, Sons of Anarchy, etc, which I binge watch.  When I lived in Norfolk I used to go to the pub a lot and walk on the beach, but there's no beach here and I hardly drink anymore.

Q. Do you write for a local audience or a global audience?

A. Without doubt a global audience. I hope my books appeal to a wide audience around the World.  <  that was Clive's answer to the question, and I couldn't have put it better!

Q. Can you provide links to your work?

A. Certainly. Just click on one of the Amazon links below.

Amazon UK Author Page Author Page



I have also tagged the following people in this, who will be doing their own VERY BRITISH blog posts!
As soon as the link is there, it means that their answers have been completed for you to read, too!

Geoffrey West

Maria Savva

Susan Buchanan

Bev Spicer

June Kearns

Alice Huskisson
HE Joyce

JM Leitch

Kevin Bennett

Andy Lucas

Rose Edmunds

Clive Johnson


  1. Great answers, Terry! Thanks for tagging me in this. Looks like fun! :)

  2. Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the images on
    this blog loading? I'm trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it's the blog.
    Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

    Also visit my web site ...

  3. Who are you, anonymous???? I haven't heard of anyone else having this problem, no. Hope you get it sorted out.

    Thanks, Maria! xx

  4. Didn't know you were a Cambridge girl! Great blog post, as usual.

  5. Wasn't really; Mum was a Londoner and Dad was from Suffolk but Dad was working for a Cambridge based firm at the time! Still think of it fondly, though, as Julia was born there too, and we always hope they will win in the Boat Race!

  6. Replying to your comment on my blog here. Course I've read it, lol! (Walk Sunday, not Saturday this weekend, btw; the forecast is better)

  7. Oxford-based, myself, when I lived in England, but I visited Cambridge often. My brother-in-law lived there. My husband is from Hartlepool. So nice to find out more about you

  8. Err merr gerrd, love this British bloggy thing. You know how I feel about you Brits! So I'll be popping in on your mates to see their British bloggy fun. Can't get enough! Love you Glodie! Stiff upper lip and all.

  9. Hi Terry, I hope I'm not too late. had to run really fast in order to jump on the platform of the bright red Routemaster bus. But I kept my stiff upper lip throughoutt, even when the conductor shouted at me. Thanks for letting me read your blog. I will have to check out THE OTHER SIDE as two of the places where its set, I have also used in my novel - Tall, Dark and Kilted. Thanks for the Earl Grey and the cucumber sandwiches, catch you over on Twitter.

    1. Thanks for replying, Jenny - I didn't know you were British too, I think I thought you were Spanish! I lived in Oxford as a child as well...

      Lizzie, ha ha! I made sure I visited the Highlands again before I wrote The Other Side - I tend to make up fictional places in novels (unless London, of course), and Fort Angus in The Other Side is loosely based on Fort William!

      Oh, could you put the silver back from where you nicked it, before you leave? It's been in the family a long time....