Friday, 29 March 2013

Tulips And Other Short Stories

As I recently mentioned in a previous post, I'm making a punt to help out some of my Blogging peers.  For too long Muppets For Justice has stood as a lonely monolith, radiating pain and chaos across the Internet with little regard for safety regulations.  The time has come to give something back to the community that I have taken so much from (including all of your weapons-grade plutonium).

In order to rectify this, I am pleased to welcome my fellow Blogger Mark from The Rambling Person, who has recently released an ebook full of entertaining delights.  The ebook consists of 8 short stories and can be yours for the minuscule price of 77p!  That's less than the price of a chocolate bar, and I guarantee it will last much longer and not make you fat.

In order to cajole you into buying his book, we have prepared a series of fresh interview questions for your eyeballs.  Please read them all:

An actual photograph of Mark

Addman:  Your book, Tulips And Other Stories, is a book of short stories including a story called Tulips.  Did the fact that it is full of stories, one of which is called Tulips, influence the name of the book?

Mark:  I was struggling for a while for a name for the book. As most people who know me know, I'm terrible with names. For me to use up every name for a kid I want I will have to have a lot of babies. On the plus side, I'm ready should I need to repopulate the Earth one day. I couldn't come up with anything and then one day it hit me like a penny dropped from the Empire State Building that the first story is called Tulips and there are other stories in the book. I could just combine the two thoughts in to one supreme title. I celebrated with a night of heavy drinking that resulted in me not remembering the day before but thankfully I had written the title down already before I got drunk.

Addman:  There's quite a bit of difference between most of the stories isn't there?

Mark:  There is a vast difference between most of the stories yes, and actually that's not too good because it makes it so hard to write a description. The one question about my book I've so far been unable to answer is the very simple one of "So, what's it about?". A lot of short story collections follow a theme and really mine doesn't. If there is one though it would be spirituality given that a lot of the stories deal with life, death, life after death, love, and loss.

Addman:  Speaking specifically about Tulips (the short story) there are some rather stark themes of loss and sadness.  Did you drawn on anything in particular for inspiration?

Mark:  I've dealt with a fair amount of loss in my time, so I hope I was able to convey the feeling quite well. I wasn't drawing on any particular inspiration for the story though. It was inspired by a picture prompt and to me the picture looked like shattered glass behind which flowers could be seen. I went from there to, well, the story. I would probably be more worried about what my mind comes up with but I'm used to it at this point, and I'm capable of writing happy sappy love stories.

Addman:  Which story are you most excited for people to read, and why?

Mark:  A Conversation With God. It's something where I do actually draw on my own thoughts and opinions about the ways in which God works. I'm not saying I'm right, I'm just're wrong. Well actually I'm just trying to provide answers to questions nobody asked and I would like people to take what I said in that story and think about it, and how they can help improve the world.

Addman:  Speaking of which, were you concerned that you might raise some controversy over Conversation With God?

Mark:  Yes I was, which is why I specifically mentioned it in the preface to try and halt the controversy before it began. On the other hand though controversy is brilliant marketing so a part of me wanted it to happen too. Although right now I've not received any death threats or hate mail so it's not working.

Addman:  Out of the 8 stories you've included, are there any that you felt constrained or had to squeeze down to fit into this short story compilation?

Mark:  To be honest for most of them I had to expand upon them further and further and keep adding to them. Some of them I couldn't do this at all and they remain really short. There was barely any cutting out, and definitely a lot of adding and expanding.

Addman:  Would you consider yourself a post-feminist-ultra-neosmapolitan-cyberbeing, or should we just call you Mark?

Mark:  I AM technically a Cyberbeing sent from the future but my name comes from the language of the future and your unevolved tongues aren't capable of pronouncing it so my designation of Mostly Automatic Reading Knave, or Mark for short, will do.

Cyberbeing comes with cat accessory

Addman:  Have you ever defeated a love rival in an arena of combat?

Mark:  Yes but the police don't know and I'd rather not incriminate myself.

Addman:  What would you say to anyone else thinking of self publishing an ebook?

Mark:  Don't as you're taking my customers dammit! Although to be serious I say go for it really. It's a lot easier than it looks (and yet a lot more difficult) and I think it's something that's worth doing if you have a story you want to tell. Getting published isn't hard these days, thanks to Kindle, it's getting sold that is. Don't expect to shoot straight to the moon, and be patient. Your time will come.

Addman:  What five words would you use to persuade people to buy your book?

Mark:  Buy my bloody book already. Seriously though? I overcame insanity for this.

Addman:  What six words would you use to persuade people to buy your book?

Mark:  Seriously, buy the bloody book already. To be serious once more...They're good stories, so buy them.

Addman:  Is your book suitable for illiterates (bearing in mind that you can write what you like about them here; they can't read it)?

Mark:  I believe it is as some Kindles come with a feature where it reads the books to you. I think they make excellent bed time stories as well as there's nothing more suitable for children than a story where children...well that would be spoiling the book but I think there are good lessons about what a child shouldn't do in there. They're also quite simple stories so I imagine they could probably be read by people who aren't very good at it, or used to help teach people to read in the first place.

Addman:  Do you have any other stories/books/scriptures/dance routines that you are working on?

Mark:  Oh God yes. Too many perhaps. I'm working (right now) on one fun little side project that gets no love, a story about a boy who dreams of becoming a pirate which I hope to turn in to a full length novel, two other short stories (one of which is halfway and one that's not started), and of course Immortal Space. That's the story I run on my blog in twice weekly instalments. When it's done it will be compiled in to a book and should hopefully be published by the end of the year.

If that hasn't persuaded you to buy it, anyone who purchases the book will get to see myself and Mark performing a sensual scarf dance, as soon as I can coax him to agree to it.  If not, you'll just have to imagine it instead.  Imagine it.  Imagine it!


  1. Well done both that was like listening (OK reading) to an interview on that today programme on Radio four in the morning with that Mac-something-ty chap grilling George Osborne.

    Good luck with the ebook, I still don't understand them and well done Mr Addman for being a good chap and letting the millions that read your blog see the talents of other talented people.

  2. Thanks again for doing this. It was a lot of fun, but that cat isn't really an accessory. She's more of a boss, but revealing more about it may reveal too much about the future.


  3. That was the best first-question of an interview ever.
    I feel like I totally understand how you came up with the title now.
    Hope it's doing well on KDP!

  4. Your interviews are always priceless. You should start interviewing bands.

  5. Brilliant interview, gentlemen! I read the book, and it was a very fun read, indeed. So, yeah. I suggest it to people who enjoy having fun. If you don't like having fun then stick to The Big Book for People Who Don't Like to Have Fun.


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