Friday, March 30, 2012

GFP Tour - Doodling and Flidderbugs by Jonathan Gould - For the Young at Heart

Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. Jonathan Gould. I'm so happy you could join me today in Melbourne, Australia.

BK: Please tell us a little about yourself...

Well, I’m tall-ish but not too tall. I’m slim-ish but not too slim. I’m smart-ish but not too smart. I like to think that I’m a whole lot of a lot of things, but not too much of any of them.

One thing I can definitely say about myself is I have a chronic need to make stuff up. It started when I was a kid who had invisible friends. Now the invisible friends are the ones that go into my books.

BK: Please tell us a little about your book....

Doodling is the story of Neville Lansdowne. Neville has a bit of a problem. He’s fallen off the world. Of course, it’s not his fault. The world had been moving far too quickly for him. Marooned out in space, Neville finds himself in the middle of an asteroid field which he begins to explore. Here he finds some rather unusual people who have made their homes out there, and experiences some most unexpected adventures.

I like to describe the story as Douglas Adams meets Lewis Carroll, with just a touch of Gulliver’s Travels. A lot of readers seem to agree with that.

BK: What inspired you to pen this particular novel?

I suppose it’s a kind of wish-fulfillment fantasy. I’m the sort of person who likes to take things slow, and I often feel that the world is moving too quickly. However, it was actually a comment from my wife along those lines some years ago that inspired me. I began to think about what might happen if the world moved so quickly that somebody actually fell off. And next morning, I was at my computer, writing it.

BK: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Sometime before I was born, maybe towards the end of the second trimester. I was probably scrawling out something on my mother’s placenta with a barely-developed fingernail. Seriously, what I would regard as my first successful writing venture was the first university revue that I contributed material to (a university revue is a theatre show comprising songs and comedy sketches, often of a satirical or political bent). After that, other people starting calling me a writer so I figured I could take the label on.

BK: How do you keep your story flowing?

A good story needs to be well lubricated – and so does a good writer. Actually I’m not quite sure what that means. I just write what I can and when I can. A lot of the trick to getting a story that flows is the reworking and re-editing. It’s actually the hard work that makes something look simple and effortless.

BK: Do you ever run into writer's block, and if so, what do you do to get past it?

Full speed and head on. And let me tell you, it can hurt. I can especially find myself getting blocked because I work full-time and sometimes it can be hard to give your head the clear space it needs to come up with ideas. In order to get past it, you can either try to burst on through by forcing yourself to write, or try to find another way around the wall. Sometimes taking a bit of a break is the best thing to do, as it helps clear your mind and renew your creativity.

BK: What is your writing process like? Do you have any quirks, or must-haves to write?

It involves a lot of staring at a blank screen. A lot of finding other things to do and procrastinating. It also includes periods when I can bang out a lot of words very quickly. Whether they are good words or not, I can’t always tell but it feels nice to get them out there. As far as quirks go, the main one is that I like to hold a pen in one hand as I type. Not sure why – it may be because of something that happened back in my childhood.

BK: Where do you hope your books/writing will be in the future? 

Where do I want my books to be? On every book shelf and every ereader of every person on the planet – and hopefully a few other planets as well. As far as my writing goes, I have no real expectations. As with any writer, I’d love to do this full time and make a living out of it, but I’m aware of the realities. It would be nice, in a few years, to be able to have a steady income stream from it.

BK: What do you hope readers will take away from your books?

I’d like to give them a reading experience which is fun, surprising, warm and engaging. I’d like to make them laugh, and also make them think a bit. But most importantly, I’d like to leave them smiling.

BK: What is one piece of advice you received that you carry with you in your writing?

Be brave. Don’t be afraid to write what it is you want to write

BK: What is one piece of advice you would give to new and aspiring writers?

Come to your writing with an open ear and an open mind. Always listen carefully to any advice you receive. But in the end, it’s up to you to find your own path.

BK: Are you currently working on any new projects? What can we expect from you in the future?

I always have multiple projects on the go. One of them is a sequel to Doodling. It’s tentatively titled Scribbling and will continue Neville’s extraordinary adventures.

But, before I finish this, my most immediate WIP is an epic fantasy (or at least what an epic fantasy ends up being when I write it) titled Magnus Opum. I like to describe it as Tolkien meets Dr Seuss. And it should be out in the next few days, so please keep your eyes posted.

BK: Where can readers find you?

I can be found at a few regular haunts:

My blog:
Twitter: @jonno_go

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future.

Jonathan is also offering a chance at a $25 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky commenter from his tour, and you can follow his tour HERE.

Title: Doodling
Genre: Comic fantasy

Neville Lansdowne fell off the world.

Actually, he did not so much fall off as let go. The world had been moving so quickly lately and Neville was finding it almost impossible to keep up.

Doodling is an engaging comic fantasy which relates the events that befall Neville after he finds himself abandoned by the world and adrift in the middle of an asteroid field. Douglas Adams meets Lewis Carroll (with just a touch of Gulliver's Travels) as Neville wanders through his new home, meeting a variety of eccentric characters and experiencing some most unexpected adventures.

Title: Flidderbugs
Genre: Satire/fable/fantasy

As Kriffle the Flidderbug investigates why his fellow 'bugs find it impossible to agree on the pressing issue of how many points there are on the leaves of the tree on which they live, he finds that the truth is more complicated, and ultimately more terrifying, than he ever could have imagined.

Flidderbugs is a political satire, a modern fable, or maybe just a funny little story about a bunch of insects with some very peculiar obsessions.

I am a Melbourne-based writer and doodler and a confirmed and proud dag.



My speciality is modern fairytales for the young-at-heart - Dag-Lit.

I have had two children's books published in Australia (see a review) and have now published a couple of ebook novellas: Doodling andFlidderbugs.

TV and Movies

Anything that makes me laugh, especially the "classic" British stuff, eg Monty Python, Blackadder, Fawlty Towers, Young Ones, Hitch-Hikers Guide...

I'm also a sucker for three cameras and a laugh track - I'm particularly partial to Big Bang Theory at the moment.


Nothing that's being played on the radio now. Occasionally I'll discover someone who was popular ten years ago and feel very cutting edge.


You've got to be kidding! I never go shopping for clothes. Luckily I have a wife and a mother who buy stuff for me so I don't have to walk around in the nude.


Another blank. I don't even own a mobile phone. And I've only just entered this world of social networking - so if you meet me somewhere out there, please be nice to me.

Goddess Fish Partner


Mary Preston said...

I got all this:

"I’d like to give them a reading experience which is fun, surprising, warm and engaging. I’d like to make them laugh, and also make them think a bit. But most importantly, I’d like to leave them smiling."

from the post, so the books are a given. I wish you well.

Is that sunshine I see in Melbourne?


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Jonathan today.

Jonathan Gould said...

Hi BK,

Thanks so much for having me on this, the last day of my tour.

I guess this is a final chance to thank the people at Goddess Fish for organising all of this, and also my great friend Donna Brown - check out her great website - and her terrific short story collection, Double-take Tales -

And don't forget my novel, Magnus Opum, is due out on Sunday. See for details.

Jonathan Gould said...

And hi Marybelle,

Yes, we have had a great day in Melbourne today. Pity I spent most of it at work.

MomJane said...

So Magnus Opus is coming out on April Fools Day. Is there some significance in this? I really have enjoyed following your tour. Everyday I learn something new. You must have been a genius to have learned to type before you could walk.

I am going to miss your tour,but I am going to love reading your books.

Jonathan Gould said...

Hi Momjane,

Congratulations - I think you've made it to every stop.

Not sure about the genius tag. But yes, April 1 did feel like an appropriate day to launch my book.

Great to meet you and hope you like the books.

Catherine Lee said...

OH, Jonathan...You don't want much! Your book on every book shelf & every ereader of every person on this planet AND other planets! LOL.

I, too, am a Big Bang Theory fan. That Sheldon cracks me up. AND, like you, I do not have (and have never had) a cell phone. Maybe, in the future, if there's anyone I want to talk to...

Best of luck with the books. I've enjoyed learning more about them and you.

Jonathan Gould said...

Hi Catherine,

Thanks for your comment. It was great to have you along for the tour.

Deb PelletierC said...

Sorry the tour is ending,but good luck with the book.Deb P

Jonathan Gould said...

Hi Deb,

Thanks for comments and kind thoughts.