When I started on my personal development journey and devoured every self-help book on the market, I discovered an author who managed to combine life, love and goal setting with a huge dollop of humour. This man became my go-to resource when I needed a metaphorical kick up the behind. After reading all of his self-help titles, I tentatively connected with him on Facebook and found him to be gracious, witty and charming. He welcomed me into his ‘gang’ and that, as they say, was that. He has allowed me to stalk him ever since!
Peter Jones (not that one!) is one of my favourite authors and a thoroughly fabulous chap. In 2015, he released The Good Guy’s Guide to Getting the Girl, his debut fiction novel. It was very well received, racking up the five-star reviews, such as this one from a Mr Caulfield:
Loved it! This was such an easy read, the story flowed effortlessly even with the jumps in time. I could so see this as a movie and was mentally casting it as I read. The beauty of this book is that every misfortune, mistake, blunder and block that our hapless hero, Jason, endures, is feasible, not overblown or unrealistic. I’m sure there are many men who would identify with him. I loved the author’s writing style and humour. There were plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, and I can’t wait for the sequel. According to the author, it took ten years to get this book out; if the sequel isn’t out in the next 12 months I shall hunt him down and become Cathy Bates!!
Much to everyone’s delight (especially Mr ‘Bates’ Caulfield), Peter has now released his second novel, The Truth About This Charming Man and I am honoured that Peter has joined me on my blog to talk about his latest release.
Me: You have mentioned in various interviews that The Good Guy’s Guide to Getting the Girl took you ten years to write. How long did this one take you to pen?
Peter: Just under a year! Although it was never supposed to be a novel at all. Back in 2015 I started what was intended to be a five part serial called The Truth for a well-known weekly magazine for women. However, just as I finished it I got picked up by my current agent, who then secured a deal for my first novel. She was understandably keen to know if I had anything else in the pipeline – something that was near completion. I showed her the serial and she loved it. “Go away and turn this into a novel,” she said.
Me: So, is this a sequel to ‘Good Guy’s’?
Peter: No. Completely new story. Though it’s still broadly speaking a romantic comedy.
Me: Dare I ask – did you base these books on fact or research? 😉
Peter: I actually did quite a lot of research for this book. I’ve always had a love of theatre but I wanted to get right inside the mind of a man who feels as passionate about acting as I do about writing – with this in mind I had to find out about auditions, and castings, and the craft of being an actor. It was absolutely fascinating.
Me: I love your style of writing and find your humour to be a great tonic. How easy is it to include those laugh-out-loud scenes in your books?
Peter: Easy. I just look at my own life, those moments when I’ve fallen flat on my face, and then I write those down. 😉
Me: I love the cover for The Truth About This Charming Man, did you have a hand in the design?
Peter: I did! Though we went through God-knows how many designs before we FINALLY settled on this one. And the irony of it was, this one was designed in less time than it took me to pen an email, go downstairs, make a cup of tea, and return to my desk! It was supposed to be a simple, throw-away, typographical solution, so that we could say – hand on heart – that we’d come up with (another) three potential covers. It was never supposed to be the one.
Subscribe to my blog and in a few days I’ll post some of the other covers we considered.
Me: With such a brilliant response to The Good Guy’s Guide to Getting The Girl, does this motivate you to write more fiction in the future?
Peter: Fiction is all I’ve ever wanted to write – everything else happened by accident. But yes, it has made me more motivated than ever. I think there’s one more self-help book in me, but not for a while. For now, I’m sticking with the fiction.
Me: Can you give us a quick teaser from The Truth About This Charming Man?
Peter: Excerpt from The Truth About This Charming Man:
All I’ve ever wanted in life is to be an actor. That’s all. A proper actor. On a stage. With an audience. An audience that knows I’m an actor, and knows they’re the audience. Just to be paid by people who want to be entertained for a couple of hours. Instead, I’m a con-man.
That’s the truth of it.
And the biggest con I’ve pulled off in my dubious career is the one where I’ve convinced myself that I’m anything different. In therapy circles I believe they call this denial.
As I open my front door, the answering machine light dares to blink at me from across the hall – I stomp over, pull the power cable out of the back, and then yank the phone cable out of the wall. I’m not in the mood for talking, I’m in the mood for wallowing. And wallowing, as you might be aware, is best done with a bottle of cheap wine. The cheaper the better. It adds to that overall sense of suffering.
When I’m done with wallowing I plan to crawl into bed and dedicate much of tomorrow to self-pity, a task that will be considerably easier with the thumping hangover I’m bound to have by then.
But my wallowing plans are disrupted by thoughts of Rachel.
And her lovely long dark hair.
And those eyes.
And her shy smile.
And the way that she makes me feel.
Whilst I want to fixate on the career I’ve never had, all I can really think about is how much I’ll miss Rachel now that my part in her ruse is over, and how I wish I’d been more to her than a stooge.
Me: What’s next for Peter Jones?
Peter: I’m currently working on my third novel which is supposedly due in June this year. That seems highly unlikely but… you never know. If you follow me on facebook you can watch my daily progress and occasionally chip in whenever I ask for the name of a character, or some other detail that I’m planning to worm into the narrative. You could also tell me to get off facebook and get back to the writing!
Me: Where can we find out more about you and your books?
From best-selling author Peter Jones comes this hilarious romp about love, truth, deception, and the spaces in-between.
All William Lewis ever wanted in life, was to be an actor.
That is until he met Rachel.
Beautiful. Beguiling. Sharp as a tack. Rachel’s almost as appealing as a life in theatre. Unfortunate then that she happens to be married. To cut-throat venture capitalist Michael Richmond. So that’s the end of that.
Or is it?
Although Will’s never actually been on stage, or immortalised in celluloid, or appeared in a TV commercial, he’s still made a reasonable living out of pretending to be people he’s not. So when two of his ‘roles’ collide – seemingly by complete coincidence – well, maybe there’s a way he can be with Rachel after all…
Buy your copy:
About the Author:
Peter Jones started professional life as a particularly rubbish graphic designer, followed by a stint as a mediocre petrol pump attendant. After that he got embroiled in the murky world of credit card banking. Fun times.
Now, Peter spends his days – most of them, anyway – writing.
“The Truth About This Charming Man” is his second novel. Rumour has it that a third is just around the corner.
He is also the author of three and a half popular self-help books on the subjects of happiness, staying slim and dating. If you’re overweight, lonely, or unhappy – he’s your guy.
Peter doesn’t own a large departmental store and probably isn’t the same guy you’ve seen on the TV show Dragons’ Den.
You can find out more about Peter Jones, his books, speaking engagements, and other author malarkey at: http://www.peterjonesauthor.com