Today I am joined by Peter Jones author of The Good Guy’s Guide To Getting The Girl.
The Fun Five:
1. What part of the world do you come from?
I’m an Essex boy! Was born and raised in Chelmsford, moved to Southend as soon as I was able (Mum used to take us there on the last day of the summer holidays). I do have a fondness for London though, living so close.
2. What did you want to be when you grew up?
One of my earliest memories is kneeling on my grandmother’s living room carpet ‘making books’. I’d fold as many sheets of A4 paper in half as I could, and then use her stapler to create a spine. Then I’d start writing a story and drawing the pictures to go along with it. Other ambitions came and went, but for the longest time this is what I wanted to do with my life.
3. List three words to describe yourself.
More tea please.
4. Who would play you in a film about your life?
Wowsers. That’s an interesting one. Goodness. Well considering that I still feel that my life has only just gotten started and the best bit is still to come, maybe that actor hasn’t been born yet. Did I manage to side step that question? I think so.
5. Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
Unique?! No. I did used to belong to Chelmsford Juggling Society, and I used to be Detective Chief Inspector and master of ceremonies for Murder Mystery events all over the Essex area.
The Sensible Six:
1. What inspired you to write your first book?
By first you mean How To Do Everything And Be Happy? I had a life changing incident a few years back that turned my world upside down and forced me to take a good hard look at myself. I came to realise that my life as a fix it man in Credit Card Banking wasn’t making me happy. In fact I was pretty darn miserable. So I took those problem solving skills that I used to use to make rich men richer, and applied them to my own life. Several months later friends started to comment on how much happier I seemed and suggested I write down my ideas in book form. I must admit I was reluctant to do so at first, but look where we are now; it’s already on its second edition, published by Harper Collins and Audible, and continues to get re-printed all over the world. I never saw that coming!
2. Give us the title and genre of your latest book and a brief tagline.
My latest book is The Good Guy’s Guide To Getting The Girl. It sounds like non-fiction, but it’s actually fiction. It’s the tale of slightly naïve, boy-next-door, Jason Smith – 29 and self confessed ‘good guy’ – and the ridiculous lengths he goes to in order to find the girl of his dreams…at the turn of the century…before online dating had really been invented. If you like Bridget Jones’s Diary or anything by Nick Hornby, or Mike Gayle, or David Nicholls, well, you might enjoy this 🙂
3. Your latest release is fiction, why have you chosen to move in this direction?
Actually it took me ten years to write The Good Guy’s Guide To Getting The Girl! I started it long before I carved out a career writing self-help books! Which is kind of ironic as it has a very self-helpy title. So I don’t really see this as a “move” – this is the real me, this is what I’ve been working towards! That said, I think I’ve still got one more self-help book inside me so I’m hoping to keep a foot in both camps.
4. Tell us a little bit about the cover art.
Ah the cover. We spent a loooooong time developing that cover, and came up with many, many different designs. It was important to try and convey that the book is fiction, and not an actual how-to guide for good guy’s wanting a girl friend! It was also important to aim it squarely at the women’s contemporary fiction market but without alienating potential male readers. In the end we looked at the books by Nick Hornby, Mike Gayle, and David Nicholls and followed their lead by going for quite a graphic solution. Personally I absolutely love it. But maybe we got it wrong. I’d be interested to know what your readers think.
5. What can we expect from you in the future? Any more fiction novels on the horizon?
Oh yes. Ohhhh yes! The sequel to The Good Guy’s Guide To Getting The Girl is sitting on my desk. Finished. Well, first draft finished. It ‘only’ needs editing, so it could, theoretically, be ready any decade now. It rather depends what sort of reception the first book gets.
In the meantime I’m currently working on a novella (working title: The Truth) that I hope to finish (writing) by October (2014) – whether or not it’ll be published this year is another matter entirely.
I’m also working on a completely different novel (working title: My Name is Maldwyn), but I suspect it’ll be quite a while before this sees the light of day.
6. How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
Oh, there are many, many ways. Here’s a nice bulleted list of just three