Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
I am very happy to welcome Andy Darby here today and thank him for kindly answering my questions for me to share his responses with you. Read on to discover his replies as well as more about him and his book, ‘Me and the Monkey’.
Where did you get the inspiration for the book/series?
The idea sort of just happened. I decided to experiment with writing a daily blog format on Facebook to see if anyone would be interested and to give myself the discipline of writing something every day. I created The Monkey as a vehicle for any nonsense I might come up with and after writing for a month I realised that it was developing a story arc all on its own and so I started to take it seriously! As it progressed, I introduced elements of mythology, conspiracy, alternative history, things that have happened to me, stories others have told me, and anything else that popped into my head. Sometimes I would read something, see a news report, watch something on TV, or just have a conversation with someone and find a new element of the plot had just emerged. I enjoyed the episodic nature of it, almost like writing for a TV series, and I managed to get a few followers who enjoyed what I was writing, they kept me motivated and even made suggestions for what should happen at times.
What is your writing process?
I just sit down and start to write, and it just comes out – I can’t wait to find out what is going to happen next!
Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?
I wrote Me and The Monkey on my phone or iPad or laptop while sitting on trains, in airports and on planes, in motorway service stations, in hotel rooms, backstage at events, and even sometimes while sat at home with a glass of Jack Daniels. I am writing Vol 2 with pen and paper as I am no longer traveling.
Who is your favourite character out of your stories and why?
The Monkey is without doubt my favourite character, he allows all the chaotic and not socially correct stuff to come out into the daylight!
If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be?
I would be the narrator, as I think I probably am…
How and why did you choose the names for your main characters?
Randomly saying names in my head until one sounded right! I often just use nicknames and you never get to know the names of some of the characters. I like the reader to play a part in the story, which is why I never over describe characters, I think it’s far more fun for the reader to imbue them with their own ideas.
Thank you so much for answering my questions!
Well there’s this talking monkey who won me in a game of Othello in a coffee shop in Amsterdam. He came back to Cornwall with me and has become a prolific reader and dabbler in magic. He also has past life flash backs – the most prominent of which are the Nam special forces ones. We have partially deceased girlfriends who apparently eat dead bodies. The Monkey created a sort of black hole in the spare bedroom and now we have a team of nerds investigating it and trying to stop ‘things’ coming out of it. A bunch of Oriental hit men who appear to believe he is a god attempted to steal The Monkey’s magic lolly pop sticks, but he managed to blow them up in their caravan. We are off to Cambodia in search of a temple from which came a monkey faced pendant with glowing eyes and we seem to have upset an international cabal who are out to get us. Oh, and did I mention that The Monkey likes a cigar and we regularly get very drunk on Jack Daniels…
Purchase Link – http://getbook.at/MeandTheMonkey
Andy Darby, would-be Viking, and lover of the bizarre. Mission – infest the world with his strange creations. He is the author of Me and The Monkey.
Son of a WW2 Commando, growing up in 1970s Birmingham, as a teenager Andy became a fan of heavy metal, fronting several metal bands over the years. His passion for martial arts also began in the 70s and has continued to the present. Competing as a bodybuilder and playing American Football for the Birmingham Bulls took up much of his 20s.
working in a jewellery factory, spraying cars, and office work, he finally managed to follow his other passion, art, and began a career as a designer. A marketing department honed his skills, and he became aware of the world of designing for live events, joining a small production company, and eventually becoming creative director of their larger parent company. Moving to Cornwall he decided it was time to go freelance setting up his own business focusing on motion graphic design.
In the late 1990s he began to get the urge to write and his laptop drive is littered with the unformed creations that have popped into his head. Me and The Monkey is his first novel, coming to life as an experiment in having the discipline to write something every day during a period when he was travelling extensively for work. The story was written during train journeys, flights, backstage at events, 2am in hotel rooms, even during stops at motorway service stations, and was often written on his phone or iPad.
Andy lives on the north coast of Cornwall with his artist wife, teenage daughter, cat, two ponies, and constantly growing library. He still secretly thinks he could be a big wave surfer regardless of what reality tells him.
1 x Hardback book – author signed and numbered (out of 250)
1 x spliff bookmark – author signed
1 x promotional limited edition print – author and illustrator signed (out of 250)
1 x Monkey death from above T-shirt
9 x Runners up prize.
1 x signed spliff bookmarks &
1 x signed and numbered promo print
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