I am excited to have Dave Johnston back for a rather fun and unusual Q&A and Giveaway. When Dave recently decided he wanted to offer a giveaway for his YA debut Lot of a Nobody, I approached him about doing a Q&A. Which he happily obliged, but he decided he had a few questions of his own! And well, I like to play fair 😉 Be sure to stick around and enter for a chance to win The Lot of a Nobody on eBook (this is international).
So without further ado.. here are Dave’s responses to my questions:
1. The Lot of a Nobody was a significant change in pace compared to your Sixty Minute Reads featuring Holly Holloway. What prompted the decision to write a YA title at this time?
I had such a fantastic relationship with my late Grandfather, that I really wanted to explore those emotions and hope that they resonated with others. As a writer you get the wonderful opportunity to say “Imagine if …”, and I found that a story began to present itself from that initial little acorn. I allowed the characters to drive the story and the narrative, to which point it emerged fluidly as a YA novel. There are so many genres I’d like to explore, but hopefully the core voice of my writing will remain.
2. Lot Nobody is an incredibly fun character! Where did you draw your inspiration for such a young and spirited protagonist?
Well firstly I think Lot would be surprised you think he is fun, and that lack of self-confidence was definitely born in him from my own anxiety and shyness experienced as a child. But you’re right, he is fun, and so much fun to write, and what better foil to have him bounce off than Ethan Longbow, his best friend and special ball of craziness. I’d hate to say any of my characters were inspired by just one thing – they are an amalgamation of myself, my friends, heart-warming stories I’ve read, and comedy TV programmes I watched when younger (Fry & Laurie, The Day Today, Blackadder, Monty Python)
3. It appears that you are on your way to having to very contrasting but wonderful book series (if I am wrong about this, I am going to be disappointed.). How do you plan to find balance between writing the two?
I have to admit I am at a bit of a crossroads. I know exactly where Book 3 of the “Sixty Minute Reads” series is going, in the same way I have mentally planned out what will probably be a trilogy of Lot Nobody novels in that series. Perhaps I should throw it to a vote?
4. Describe yourself as accurately as possible in 5 words.
Sporadic, determined, forgetful, spontaneous, silly.
5. If your name were an adjective, what would it mean? Use it in a sentence please.
Hmm, well in my twenties my friends called me Dangerous Dave. With great imagination comes great irresponsibility, and before kids I lived my life whichever way it chose to go. Living off pure spontaneity is great fun, but can also end up quite hairy – it just depends if you can accept the consequences. “Who’s that guy in the wheelchair with the broken feet?” “Oh, that’s Dangerous Dave”.
Bonus Question: I now know that you are not a tea drinker (I am letting that one slide). So what is your beverage of choice?
I do feel like an outcast in this industry not drinking tea haha. My only recollection of ever trying it was at primary school, when I spat it all over the headteacher.
Orange squash is my go-to-drink. Is it called that in America? Maybe its known as cordial or dilute? Anyway that keeps me fully stocked up on E-numbers during the week, and then at weekends when the kids are in bed I’ll usually go for a white wine from New Zealand, or my new favourite liquor Amaretto – its like drinking (alcoholic) liquid sweets YUM
And then it was Dave’s turn to ask the questions:
1. If you could spend a day with any fictional character, who would it be, and what would you do with them?
This is an easy question for me! It would be with Bilbo Baggins and we would enjoy second breakfast, smoke a nice pipe and go on an adventure.
2. Is England a place where you have / would like to visit?
Asking me if I would like to visit England is like asking me if I wear pants. Of course I would! It has been on my bucket list for years. I would love to stay in Yorkshire and enjoy some of the renown food and sights. Also maybe Suffolk coastline for a bit. And of course Tower of London, Stone Hedge and visit Cotswolds! In short, I could spend a very long vacation traveling in England.
3. What toppings do you have on a pizza?
Garbage Pizza! Everything minus the anchovies and mushrooms. I like it loaded and sloppy. I also eat pizza with a fork.
4. What’s your funniest habit (including secret ones haha)?
I had to think about this. I have several quirky habits. I cannot go to sleep at night without Forensic Files on the television! Seriously, 7 nights a week. Thank you HLN for airing constant episodes. Although I am not sure if that is considered funny or creepy? I cannot handle open doors. If a room is not in use all doors (including cabinets, etc) have to be closed). I feel like someone is watching me, otherwise. Do you think this falls back on my Forensic Files problem?
5. What’s the best film adaptation of a book you’ve read?
I have a few favorites that include: Great Expectations, The Shining (although I have read King was not impressed), Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep (Blade Runner) and A Clockwork Orange.
Bonus Question from my 6-year-old son: “How do you speak American?
Oh wow! American VS British English.. hmm. Slang has to be one of the biggest differences. Learn American slang and you are halfway there right? I don’t know if that is actually true (sort of making bits up as I go). I feel like Americans tend to also speak at a higher volume (we are loud) and more aggressively. We use a lot of different words. Vacation = holiday and that sort of thing. We also spell them slightly different. We neglect the letter “U” a lot. Color, neighbor, favor. Is any of this even helping? Tell your son I think I just failed his question haha.
Many thanks Dave, for the awesome and very interesting Q&A!
Dave Johnston is a Father, writer and climber – smarter than an onion, edgier than an orange, rasher than bacon. He can complete a Rubiks Cube in under 2 minutes, has a series of DIY disasters under his belt, and once broke some major bones in his body – now filed as a character building exercise.
Dave has published one novel and two novellas to date, lives in Sheffield, England, and likes gravy.
Search Facebook/Twitter: TheDaveJohnston, or visit www.sixtypublishing.com to stay in touch.
The Lot of a Nobody
“Lot was a Nobody. Lot was a nobody. Sometimes, life deals you a right melon.”
Lot Nobody is average – even his ears – and is so lonely that he’s become invisible. But on his 16th birthday Lot truly starts disappearing – uprooted to a magical island, then sent back fully naked in the most embarrassing of situations.
After befriending Ethan Longbow – a classmate who’s about as street as a satsuma – Lot’s insecurities start to peel away, an angry volcano begins to pulsate, and Lot Nobody goes toe-to-toe with the dastardly megalomaniac Hector Shady.
Lot must now face his anxieties, save his new island friends, and discover why the hell his bum has been so itchy …
Enter to win one free eBook edition of The Lot of a Nobody (International).
*Please Note that this giveaway is for one eBook provided by the author. It is open until 5/10/17. A valid email address will be required to receive the book. The winner will be announced on the blog and social media and must be 18 yrs of age or older. I will contact the winner by email, and they will have 3 days to respond before a new winner will be selected.
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