Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT DANGEROUS by Ian Probert @Truth42 #Boxing industry #Memoir

Today’s team review is from Chris, she blogs here http://cphilippou123.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Chris has been reading Dangerous by Ian Probert

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An unexpected read that delves deep into the issues that athletes and fans face when things go wrong in sport.

A few decades after leaving the sport behind following a rather harrowing event, ex sports journalist Ian Probert returns to investigate boxing and all the changes that have occurred since his last foray into the sport. And change it has…

Based on the blurb, I was expecting a book on boxing but, instead, I got a memoir punctuated by meetings, memories, and the good (and bad) that the sport brought out in the author. This was an interesting story that delved into the depths of the human psyche, and charts the effects that wins, losses, and retirement can have on fighters and fans alike. It is not always comfortable or indeed pleasurable reading, but it is a very interesting memoir cum investigation that makes you think about the sport in very different ways.

*Thank you to the author and to #RBRT for my free review copy.

Book Description

A quarter of a century ago journalist and author Ian Probert decided never to write about boxing again. His decision was prompted by the injuries sustained by boxer Michael Watson during his world title fight with Chris Eubank. Now, in common with so many fighters, Probert is making an inevitable comeback. Dangerous sees Probert return to the scene of an obsession that has gripped him from childhood. In the course of numerous meetings with a number of leading figures in the fight game, including Herol Graham, Steve Collins, Michael Watson, Nigel Benn, Ambrose Mendy, Rod Douglas, Frank Buglioni, Kellie Maloney, Glen McCrory and Jim McDonnell among others, Probert takes a look at how lives have changed, developed and even unravelled during the time he has been away from the sport. From an illuminating and honest encounter with transgender fight manager Kellie Maloney to an emotional reunion with Watson himself, Probert discovers just how much the sport has changed during his absence. The end result is one of the most fascinating and unusual books ever to have been written about boxing.

About the author

Ian Probert

Ian Probert has been scribbling down words ever since he learned to spell the phrase: ‘Once upon a time…’. He is the author of Internet Spy, Rope Burns and a bunch of other titles. Internet Spy was a bestseller in the US and made into a TV film. Rope Burns is a book about why books shouldn’t be written about boxing. Ian has also written things for a shed load of newspapers and magazines. When Ian was a student he used to write lots of letters to the bank manager.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

Guest Author Ian Probert discussing reaching younger readers

Please welcome author Ian Probert to the blog today discussing how he has reached the younger reading audience with his book Johnny Nothing.

Ian Probert

Last year I read and reviewed his book, here is what I thought.

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Johnny Nothing is written for children aged 11 upwards, but is readable as an adult. This book should appeal to young boys and girls and should do a good job in encouraging boys to continue reading.

Johnny is a dull child, bored with life, ordinary and poor, until he’s left £1 million by Uncle Marley. The adults in Johnny’s life can’t believe his luck and there is the chance to inherit more. If Johnny can come back in 1 years time with proof of a profit, then he can get £10 million.

Johnny is given a cash card, but as soon as they leave the funeral his Mum snatches it and goes on a very long spending spree, without spending any on Johnny. After 8 months of spending Johnny can stand it no more and puts a stop to his mother, but he finds himself giving away his money to people in need. Suddenly there is nothing left and Johnny once again has nothing. Is there any possible way Johnny can still get hold of the £10 million at the end of one year? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

************

To celebrate the launch of Johnny Nothing in paperback Ian has come along today to chat about his writing and the book.

THE CONCEPT
In the past I’ve often toyed with the idea of writing a kid’s book. Way back in 1989 my first attempt at ever writing a book was a kid’s thing entitled ‘Star Maker’. It was readable but it certainly didn’t make me a star. While in 1995 I became obsessed for some reason with the name ‘Stephen Dawkins’ (a strange combination, I presume retrospectectively, of Stephen Hawkins and Richard Dawkins), and decided that I’d write a series of books about an ordinary boy having the obligatory extraordinary adventures in Narnia-like worlds. This is how ‘Something Is Wrong With Stephen Dawkins’ began:

“According to some notable physicists there is a very good chance that more than one of you has just reached the end of this sentence. The theory goes that at this very moment in time there are millions or zillions or squillions of identical copies of you sitting in an identical copy of the seat you are sitting in, reading an identical copy of the book you are now reading at precisely the same instant as you are reading it. Just like you they may have also gone back to the first sentence of this paragraph and just like you they may be wondering if the person who wrote this book was completely sane when he wrote it. The trouble with theories, of course, is that they remain just that until somebody can be bothered to get around to proving or disproving them.”
Something is Wrong With Stephen Dawkins, 1995

Like a lot of projects that I start, this one, perhaps thankfully, came to nothing. As did the enigmatically titled ‘Room 23’, ‘Maisa My Dear’ and ‘Patricia Perkins’ Perfectly Paranormal Pet Shop’. As you can see, I’ve tried. I’ve really tried.

Johnny Nothing came about after my daughter was born. One of the great joys of parenthood is reading to your kids. One of the great pains of parenthood is reading particularly awful books to your kids. In reading to Sofia I discovered that books such as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Charlotte Sometimes, Caroline Dreams and H. E. Todd’s Bobby Brewster series were just as fantastic as I remembered (Prince Caspian was just as awful). But when it came to the dreaded TV tie-ins that saturate book stores there were just too many titles that I was forced to read which were poorly written rip-offs designed to relieve parents of their cash. I also noticed that it was rare for Sofia to laugh when I was reading to her. I mean really laugh. Guffaw. Belly-laugh. That sort of thing.

Sofia reaching ten-years-of-age happily coincided with me finally getting diagnosed for a disease that had plagued me for years and years. I won’t bore you with the details but if you’re interested you can read this Guardian article I wrote about it: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/sep/08/underactive-thyroid-was-slowly-killing-me.

Freshly cured like boiled ham and ready to go, I set about writing something that would make Sofia laugh. Except I could never just do that. When I showed the opening chapters to friends I was dismayed to discover that they were not laughing. It wasn’t enough for Sofia to laugh, I wanted everyone to find Johnny Nothing funny. And that, I believe, is the true test of a good children’s book. For it to have any worth at all it should provide entertainment for all ages. A big ask. A tremendously big ask. Whether I’ve succeeded is, of course, not for me to say.

MARKETING
Marketing the book has been incredibly difficult. Writing the book, illustrating it, designing the cover, publishing it. That’s all the really, really easy bit. The hardest bit – obviously – is getting people to read it. And it’s getting harder.

My problem is that in the past everything was given to me on a plate. The first magazine article I ever wrote was immediately published; the first publisher I approached with an idea immediately went for it; I actually chose an agent from a list of four or five who offered my their services; the first book I had published – which is utter crap – sold 100,000 copies without me doing any promotional work whatsoever. All I did was sit on my fat spotty backside collecting cheques.

Now I’ve getting my reward for all that ill-deserved good luck. Being ill and sliding down the greasy pole of failure has given me a long overdue reality check. I now know that if you want success in writing, if you want to sell books, you have to work, work work. How could I ever have thought otherwise?

I had an indie publisher approach me recently wanting to publish ‘Johnny Nothing’ and we both agreed that the number of books that you sell is directly linked to the people you meet, the people you contact. The amount of effort you put into being a salesman.

I have a very strong feeling that we are now in a period that Neil Young would describe as ‘After the gold rush’. The problem is that everyone and their aunt is now able to self publish a book. It’s a subjective thing, I know, but if you spend any time at all on Amazon you will not fail to notice the vast numbers of truly awful ebooks that are now on sale. Sofia has become adept at spotting a bad one and will sometimes laugh uncontrollably when she reads it. The market is choking for air and the traditional role that the big publishers played, i.e. as an editorial system that separated the wheat from the chaff, has more or disintegrated.

At the moment it’s chaos. And it will continue to be so until people like Amazon begin to exercise a little quality control. I think it’s beginning to happen but it’s early days.

THE COVER
The cover of ‘Johnny Nothing’ is probably completely inappropriate for a kid’s book cover. Everybody keeps telling me that. But that’s good as far as I’m concerned. The image depicts one of the book’s supporting character ‘Ebenezer Dark. He’s that most unusual of characters – an honest solicitor. Initially, my idea was to change the cover every couple of months, putting another cast member on the front of the book. That, to me, is one of the advantages of digital publishing. It’s fluid. It can change whenever you like it. You can add chapter. Remove chapters. Rewrite. Change illustrations. What a fantastic thing to be able to do.

The cover was created entirely on an iPad, using a Jot Touch pressure sensitive pen and five or six different apps.

BLURB

“Great new kids book alert! My two are in hysterics reading Johnny Nothing by Ian Probert (and I am too).” Jane Bruton, Editor of Grazia

“Oh, Wow! Dark, sordid, grotesque and hilarious are only a few words I can conjure up to describe this hilarious book.” Lizzie Baldwin, mylittlebookblog

Critics are comparing Ian Probert to Roald Dahl. And Johnny Nothing we have a modern successor to Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.

Johnny Nothing is best-selling author Ian Probert’s first ever children’s book – although adults are enjoying it too. The story of the poorest boy in the world and the nastiest mother in the universe, the book is earning rave reviews. Children and grown-ups are all laughing at this incredibly funny kids book.

Take a look for yourself:

http://geni.us/3oR8

To celebrate the paperback launch of Johnny Nothing we are offering a free Kindle copy of the book to the first 100 people who Tweet the following message:

@truth42 I’m reading Johnny Nothing by Ian Probert. http://geni.us/3oR8 #YA #Kindle #kidsbooks

The first ten readers who answer the following question will also receive a signed print of one of the book’s illustrations.

Q: What is the tattoo on Ben’s arm?

Send your answers to truth42@icloud.com

Links

Amazon http://geni.us/3oR8

iBooks https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/johnny-nothing/id908777441?mt=11

Book promo http://youtu.be/xaWO4tR4oj0?list=UUzLRcpNMLRKKtJhes1s1C7w

WordPress http://ianprobertbooks.wordpress.com

Website http://ianprobert.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/716683635030173/

Twitter @truth42

Author biography

Ian Probert has been scribbling down words ever since he learned to spell the phrase: ‘Once upon a time…’. He is the author of Internet Spy, Rope Burns and a bunch of other titles. Internet Spy was a bestseller in the US and made into a TV film. Rope Burns is a book about why books shouldn’t be written about boxing. Ian has also written things for a shed load of newspapers and magazines. When Ian was a student he used to write lots of letters to the bank manager.

EXCERPT

Johnny

Johnny

Bill had a shaven head and was wearing a blue tracksuit. He was almost seven feet tall and built like an outdoor toilet made of brick. Bill didn’t realise this but he was a distant descendent of Neanderthal Man. He had only one eyebrow – one long bushy eyebrow that reached right across his forehead. He looked like what you might get if you force fed a member of Oasis with a half-tonne black plastic sackful of steroids.
And if you were brave enough to be present when he took off his tracksuit you would discover that his back was so covered in hair that he was able part it with a comb. If Bill had had more of an interest in fashion, he might even have considered giving it a curly perm and perhaps a few extensions
On his right arm, Bill had a tattoo which simply read ‘Bill’. This was in case he woke up one morning and forgot who he was. This was actually less unlikely than you might imagine because standing next to him was his twin brother. His name was Ben and he was identical to Bill in every way except that the tattoo on his arm read ‘Bin’ (the tattooist was either South African or not a very good speller). He was wearing a red tracksuit.
Bill gave Mr. and Mrs. MacKenzie the tiniest of smiles and managed to grunt ‘hello’. Ben gave the couple exactly the same tiniest of smiles and also managed to grunt ‘hello’.
The two men were standing protectively close to Johnny. They were so large that in the confines of Johnny’s bedroom they looked like giants, which they were. They were so enormous that each of them had their own postcode. They were so gigantic that they had their passport photos taken by satellite. They were so humungous that you could spend all day thinking up rubbishy jokes about how big they were and never adequately describe just how indescribably, earth-shatteringly ENORMOUS they were. By no stretch of the imagination could you call them small (unless, of course, you were a lot bigger than them).
The pair of Goliaths were having to stoop slightly so as to avoid head-butting the ceiling, which actually even looked a little scared itself. They were a terrifying sight. Even scarier than a school trip to a Weight-Watcher’s nudist camp.
There was a long, pregnant silence in the room like this:

Uncle Marley

Uncle Marley

This eventually gave birth to an even longer post-natal silence, which, in the interest of preserving the rain forests or the battery on your Kindle, I shan’t demonstrate.
The four grown-ups eyed each other nervously. Bill and Ben looked at the Mackenzies like they were looking at insects that could be squashed into pulpy insect juice any time they so desired.
The Mackenzies looked at Bill and Ben like they were looking at two giant skinhead Neanderthal bully boys who had just appeared from nowhere in their recently and unexpectedly decorated council flat.
Johnny looked a little scared.
Finally Billy Mackenzie managed to get his mouth working a little and spluttered: ‘Who are you?’ And then: ‘What do you want?’
There was another long silence – let’s call it a pause – while Bill and Ben looked at each other as if trying to decide who was going to answer. Finally Bill spoke: ‘You the boy’s parents?’ he demanded in a voice that sounded like an angry rhino with horn-ache. Although if he was clever enough he would have realised that this was a rhetorical question.
There was yet another long silence (you’ll be relieved to hear that this is the last silence you’re going to get in this chapter) before Billy Mackenzie mumbled ‘Yes’.
‘We’re Johnny’s bodyguards,’ continued Bill. ‘We’re here to make sure that everything’s hunky dory.’
‘Hunky dory?’ Mrs. Mackenzie suddenly found her voice. ‘What do you mean ‘hunky dory”?’
Now Ben spoke: ‘What my brother means to say,’ he explained. ‘Is that we’ve been – how shall I say – contracted – to make sure that this young feller’s affairs are in order.’
‘Get out of my house!’ interrupted Mrs. Mackenzie, suddenly feeling a little braver, although she had no idea why.
Bill and Ben looked at each again for a moment. They did this almost as much as your mum looks in the mirror. Or you dad looks at websites that he shouldn’t be looking at. ‘First of all,’ said Bill, ‘This isn’t a house – it’s a flat.’
‘And second of all,’ said his brother. ‘We ain’t going nowhere. And neither are you.’
‘Johnny who are these men?’ Mrs. MacKenzie asked her son, ignoring the two giants.
‘I’m sorry mum but…’ Johnny started to speak but Bill cut in like a pair of scissors that chops sentences into bits.
‘…What the young feller means to say is that the fun’s over.’
‘The fun’s over?’ repeated Felicity MacKenzie numbly.
‘That’s right,’ continued Ben. ‘You’ve had a right old time. You’ve been spending his money like it’s your own. You’ve been ripping the poor young feller off. And we’re here to put a stop to it. From now on things are gonna be different.’
‘I’ve had enough of this,’ said Mrs. MacKenzie. ‘Nobody speaks to me like this in my house…’
‘Flat,’ corrected Ben.
‘Nobody speaks to me like this in my flat. Billy, call the police!’
As usual Billy MacKenzie did as he was told. He reached into his pocket for his mobile phone. Before he had the chance to even turn it on the gigantic frame of Bill was towering over him.
‘That an iPhone?’ asked Ben.
‘Erm… Yes,’ said Billy, who could only watch as the huge man took it from him and with one hand crushed it into a chunk of buckled metal and shattered touch screen.
‘I think it’s broken,’ said Ben. ‘You ought to take it back to the Apple store. Tell ‘em that you’re not getting a decent signal.’
‘Right!’ cried Mrs. MacKenzie. ‘We’re leaving! You’ll be very sorry you did that. I’ll fetch the police myself!’
Now the giant frame of Bill was standing in front of her. He was holding something in his hand that looked a little like a child’s toy space gun.
‘Know what this is?’ he asked. Although once again he wasn’t clever enough to recognise that this was a rhetorical question.
Mrs. Mackenzie regarded the object for a moment. Then she shook her head. Whatever it was she guessed that it was not intended to provide pleasure, happiness or fulfilment. Anything that has a trigger and a barrel and goes ‘bang!’ seldom does.
‘Come on Billy!’ she said. ‘We’re leaving!’
Bill stood in front of her blocking the doorway. ‘Not so fast,’ he said, not so slowly. ‘It’s called a Taser. See this little trigger at the front? If I press this it’ll give you a small electric shock. It won’t hurt you…Well not too much anyway.’
Bill raised the object and gently touched Mrs. MacKenzie on the arm. There was a loudish bang and a flash of blue neon light and Mrs. MacKenzie collapsed groaning to the floor. She was conscious but wasn’t able to move her arms and legs
‘Oh my gawd!’ said Billy Mackenzie bravely charging out of the room in terror. He got as far as the stairs before there was a second flash. He, too, crumpled to the floor. Bill dragged him back into the bedroom by the scruff of his neck.
Johnny Nothing got to his feet and stood over his two parents. He looked anxious. ‘Are they… Are they… OK?’ he gasped.
‘Don’t you worry yourself,’ smiled Ben. ‘Give em a few minutes and they’ll be right as rain.’
‘But they’ll think twice before they try to run off again,’ said his brother.

How To Lose 14lbs In A Week by Ian Probert

How to lose
How to Lose 14lb’s in a week, is a book I would consider putting in the dark humour genre. The title would suggest a self-help book, however  the author is quick to point out that it is NOT SELF HELP to anyone other than the lead character John.
The book is about John and his dying estranged father, but it’s also about John working through his own anger and resentments and admitting to his own reasons for hating his father. The reader is almost a fly on the wall listening in at a therapy session, working through all the turmoil until we get to the moment when John and his father sit down and finally talk things through and make their peace.
The journey to this point in not a short one, we learn about John’s job at Gravity Publications and we get involved in a complex social life. John is at times highly critical of others reflecting what he doesn’t like about his own life, but at other times he is incredibly generous. He is a terribly confused sole who doesn’t seem quite sure what he really wants in life until it’s almost too late.
This isn’t a light read, nor a particularly happy one, I’d say it sums up the lives of many who are depressed and angry at the life they live today.
Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Good Deeds Challenge Year 2, Week 11

Welcome to my second Year of Good Deeds, a challenge I set myself during April 2013. I decided to do at least one Good Deed a day for a whole year.

New Good DeedsDuring my week I’ll also being updating you on My Kindness Challenge which I’m also doing. I read about a new challenge to make the world a better place to live in. “Speak Kind Words, Receive Kind Echoes” see the inspiration on  The Kindness blog . During my learning process I’m donating money to charity for my slip-ups to make me work harder to achieve results. I earn no money from any of my book reviews, so having little to spare should focus my mind.

This week I’ve been doing the following;

June 29th – Just sorting out the book and readers for the challenge as we head to the last day of posts. Trying to get at least one reader for every book.

June 30th – My morning helping at school, and a final push for the book review challenge. Posting out lists of readers to authors.

July 1st – So just when you thought you could pause for breath, I thought I’d launch a Book Review Team to help authors reach a wider audience. A relaxed team, free of charge to join with the importance being writing and posting those reviews. For more details click on the rose widget on my sidebar. Just sorting out finer details now but we already have lots of interest from both authors and readers.

Online issues of Fleet Life and Elvetham Heath Directory went out today.

Here are the featured books;

Business As Usual by E. L. Lindley

Kings and Queens by Terry Tyler

Derek’s In Trouble by Mac Black

Secrets of The Unaltered by Leti Del Mar

and  The Hollow Heart by Adrienne Vaughan 

The Singing Bowl by Roy Dimond

Johnny Nothing by Ian Probert

Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb

The Manila Strangler by Steven Donahue

and An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy by June Kearns

July 2nd – Book reviews are coming in from readers who took up my book review challenge already, there are some speedy readers out there. I’m posting them on my blog as they come in. Went over to my Mum’s and fed her 3 week old chicks at lunchtime as they were out. Was chief navigator and tour guide to friends as we went out to a countryside pub for a meal. Put an extra tip in the restaurant bill to cover any trip ups in my Kindness challenge.

July 3rd – Dashed to the supermarket to do the weekly shop, picked up litter in the car park and bought some cereal to go in their Charity Food Bank collection. Just about to launch the first Rosie’s Book Review Team booklist.

A long evening walk and more litter picking.

July 4th – The first book review from my new Book Review Team has come in already, I will be posting Dani’s Review today as you are reading this (Sunday). Back to Friday, went out for a walk to check out a closed footpath and picked up litter along the way.

July 5th – Added another book to the Book Review Teams’ list. Any one who would like to join can check out the link http://wp.me/P2Eu3u-5qu. I’m in a whirl wind of admin collating books, book reviews, guest author pieces, adding books to the Book Review Team list and reviewers to another. I’m sending book review requests to authors and drafting up lots of book review posts. It all seems really popular to thank you everyone for all your support.

Sent out details of children’s books I’ve read to a student who is looking to do a project on children’s books over the summer.

 

July Issues Of Fleet Life And Elvetham Heath Directory – Book Reviews

It’s that time of month again when my book reviews are published in the two magazines that I write for. This month’s Fleet Life has my reviews on Page 6. For an on-line version go to http://www.fleetlife.org.uk click on the online directory and once its loaded turn to page 6.

Here are the featured books;

Fleet Life July

Business As Usual by E. L. Lindley

Kings and Queens by Terry Tyler

Derek’s In Trouble by Mac Black

Secrets of The Unaltered by Leti Del Mar

and  The Hollow Heart by Adrienne Vaughan 

For The Elvetham Heath Directory go to http://www.ehd.org.uk click on the online directory and once it has loaded turn to page 6.

July Ehd

Here are the featured books;

The Singing Bowl by Roy Dimond

Johnny Nothing by Ian Probert

Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb

The Manila Strangler by Steven Donahue

and An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy by June Kearns

 

Guest Author Ian Probert

Today our guest is Ian Probert author of yesterday’s book “Johnny Nothing”, here is a link to the book if you missed the review. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-56g

Ian Probert

Let’s find out more about Ian and his work.

1) Where is your home town?
Burnley in Lancashire. A place where they still point at aeroplanes.
2) How long have you been writing?
When I was a kid I used to bore my English teacher to death by filling up exercise books with stories about vampires. She’s dead now. Professionally I had my first article published in 1987. It was about boxing.
3) Is Johnny Nothing your first humorous children’s book?
It is. Although I’ve written funny stuff before but never thought about publishing it. Well I think it’s funny but humour is so subjective.
4) Have you ever had children read your book like beta readers?
I’m horrible. When my daughter has her friends around for playdates I get them to read Johnny Nothing aloud. It makes them laugh, though, which is amazing to watch. If they refuse to do it I shave all their hair off and tell their parents that they did it.
5) When the family went off around the world on holiday you had fun with some of their feelings about the destinations, can you give the readers some examples of these?
• They went to Amsterdam but found the Dutch tulippy.
• They took a slow boat to China but they were bored to death by the time they got there.
• They went to Coventry but the locals wouldn’t talk to them.
• They flew to Warsaw but found it an eyesore.
• They found Cuba dull (although everyone else seemed to be Havana good time).
• They went to Egypt but the pyramids were like a prism.
• They went to Sao Paulo but thought the Brazilians were nuts.
• They sailed to Costa Rica but it Costa fortune.
• They got hungry in Hungary.
• So they had turkey in Turkey.
• And then chicken in Kiev.
• And crackers in Caracas.
• And visited a Deli in Delhi.
• They got thirsty in Chertsey.
• So they had high tea in Haiti.
• Then drank iced tea in the Black Sea.
• They went for a wander in Rwanda.
• Something went wrong in Hong Kong.
• They weren’t bowled over by Moldova.
• They found Chile too cold.
• They bought perfume in Cologne.
• Mr. MacKenzie had a very painful accident in Bangkok.
6) Can you tell the readers how Johnny stopped his parents from spending any more of his money?
It worries me actually because what Johnny does is hire some bodyguards to kidnap his horrible parents. Then he locks them in their bedroom for months and forces them to do homework. This worries me because it’s the the story I’ve written in which the main character does something really nasty to his parents. Any psychiatrists out there?
7) When Johnny tries to think of ways to raise the money needed to make up £1 million what were the best ideas put forward?
Frankly all the ideas were rubbish but probably the best one was to buy £500,000 worth if lottery tickets. Or course, you have zero chance of winning but this was still the best suggestion that any of the really stupid characters came up with. Personally, I’d kidnap a politician and tickle him until he gave me the code to his debit card.
8) Do you think you try to give readers a message about spending wisely and donating to charity?
I think I probably do. Underneath all the jokes and the vulgarity there is an underlying message, which is: ‘Give Ian Probert all your money!’ Only joking kids. What I’m really trying to say is: ‘Many a mickle makes a muckle…’
9) Tell us about your book called “Internet Spy” and it being made into a film.
I wrote it in 1995 and it became a hit in the US, I think, because it had the word ‘internet’ in the title. Nobody had heard of the internet then and they thought it was a magic creepy thing that would rot your fingers. They were right. A few years ago I was approached by Brad Pitt about making it into a movie. That’s Bradley Pitt, the lesser-known South African plumber. He and his wife Angela Jolly did quite a good job actually. I was paid about 5p, which I thought was a fair price.
10) What are you working on next?
I like dead heroes so my next book is going to be called ‘Dan’s Dead’. I’ve already written the first sentence. It says: ‘Dan was dead.’ It may be the first and last sentence. I’m not sure yet. It’s another book for kids that will hopefully be so funny that they will wee their pants every Thursday.
Johnny Nothing
Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
Oh Ian you do make me laugh!  Good Luck with the next book.

Johnny Nothing by Ian Probert

Johnny NothingJohnny Nothing by Ian Probert

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Johnny Nothing is written for children aged 11 upwards, but is readable as an adult. This book should appeal to young boys and girls and should do a good job in encouraging boys to continue reading.

Johnny is a dull child, bored with life, ordinary and poor, until he’s left £1 million by Uncle Marley. The adults in Johnny’s life can’t believe his luck and there is the chance to inherit more. If Johnny can come back in 1 years time with proof of a profit, then he can get £10 million.

Johnny is given a cash card, but as soon as they leave the funeral his Mum snatches it and goes on a very long spending spree, without spending any on Johnny. After 8 months of spending Johnny can stand it no more and puts a stop to his mother, but he finds himself giving away his money to people in need. Suddenly there is nothing left and Johnny once again has nothing. Is there any possible way Johnny can still get hold of the £10 million at the end of one year? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Ian is our guest author on the blog tomorrow, do come back and find out more about him.

Meanwhile let’s have some fun, what would you do to turn a profit from £1 million if you were an 11 year old boy?

Good Deeds Week April 13th – 19th my 52nd week.

Welcome to my weekly roundup of my year long challenge to do one Good deed a day for a year. This challenge began back in April 2013 and is still going strong, I’m now entering my 52nd week. My inspiration came from reading “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. Here is what I’ve been up to this week.

Good deeds

April 13th – Still going strong promoting #OperationMallory to help a fellow author out who has Cancer, see my post and PLEASE share as much as you can, or even better, buy his books. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-55W

Posted reviews for Johnny Nothing by Ian Probert, my review will appear on the blog in a few weeks time a long with an author interview for you.

April 14th – Picked up lots of litter on my way to the post box. Am talking to author June Kearns about reading and reviewing a couple of books for her. Finished reading and wrote a review for Personal Alchemy: The Missing Ingredient For Law Of Attraction Success by Michelle Martin Dobbins.

April 15th – Had a wonderful delivery of 4 books in the post today, it felt like Christmas! So what will I be reading and reviewing for you? Tall, Dark and Kilted and Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb. The 20’s Girl and An Englishwoman’s Guide To The Cowboy by June Kearns.

Just hand delivered a birthday card and present and on my way back picked up litter.

April 16th – I woke up this morning and realised that I’VE DONE IT, I’ve completed a Year of Good Deeds! Blow up the balloons, pop the Champagne, how great is that? I am writing a big post to release on Sunday all about my year.

Helped out fellow author Sean Flynn with a bit of advice after he’d had a 1* abrasive review. Suggested he didn’t dive in with a rebellious reply, reminding him that he’d never win the argument, and just to let it go no matter how annoying. You’re never going to write a book that everyone will enjoy. He’d had plenty of good reviews, so I told him to hold his head up and move onwards and upwards.

Agreed to read and review two more books; Secrets of the Unaltered by Leti Del Mar , this is the second book in the series, I’d previously read and reviewed her first one, so I’m looking forward to this book. Also Irish Inheritance by Paula Martin. I love a book which has Irish mysteries in it, I’m sure there’s a bit of Irish blood flowing through my veins, although I’m hard pushed to find it on the family tree at the moment.

April 17th – Book review requests coming along like buses at the moment, all or nothing! I’m going to be reading and reviewing the first book in The Georgie Connelly series, Business as Usual by E.L Lindley, I’m super excited about this after featuring them under letter G of my tour. I’ve read some other books by this author and thoroughly enjoyed them all. I’m also equally excited to be getting my hands on the very latest book by Terry Tyler called Kings and Queens. (Due out very shortly)

Invited friends to join us at the park for some cricket. Looks like I’ll be getting my hands on some more books by author Cynthia Harrison too. It’s all happening!

April 18th – Hubby’s birthday today, so we are entertaining the in-laws with high tea (written especially to make certain readers salivate) Have finished reading Tall, Dark and Kilted and Boot Camp Bride by Lizzie Lamb and written my review. Went to the local market and bough some delicious homemade cakes for later.

April 19th – Kids sporting events clashing meant I was on cricket practise duty. Alternatively froze and boiled as the sun played cat and mouse with the clouds. Picked up litter. Got home to find some more books have been delivered for review. Today I’ve got The Hollow Heart and A Change of Heart both by Adrienne Vaughan.

Don’t forget to come and read my celebration post too.

Thanks to everyone who has followed and supported me during my year long challenge.

Good Deeds Week April 6th – 12th

Welcome to my weekly roundup of my year long challenge to do one Good deed a day for a year. This challenge began back in April 2013 and is still going strong, I’m now entering my final two weeks. My inspiration came from reading “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. Here is what I’ve been up to this week.

Good deeds

April 6th – Began my day with a re-cap of the A to Z tour so far, it’s good to try and keep the momentum going for up coming authors and I’ve sent out e-mails to all those who have a post next week to ask them to get all their faithful followers to help us share the posts. I’ve really enjoyed going to the sites of bloggers that I added to my posts who were also on the tour, people I wouldn’t usually meet on my day to day blog.

Have begun reading a modern classic Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada, it’s set during the war and so far it’s about the people, individuals caught in the umbrella of Germany and how some of them wish to remain individuals who work and think for themselves.

Found out some information for my brother-in-law to help him with some farming forms that he must fill in and passed on the info.

April 7th – It’s the school Easter holidays so I need to find a different Good Deed to my normal Monday morning volunteering. Was able to pick up a large bag of potatoes from the farm when I went to pick up some work for tomorrow, have just delivered them to my friend’s house for her.

April 8th – The sun is shining, I’ve been out to mow the lawn for the first time this year, mowed the piece I share with my neighbour, swept up behind me and picked up some litter that was blowing around. Good Deeds received, whilst I went out to work this morning my lovely children cleaned my house and put the washing out to dry, such a great thing to come home to.

Spent the evening visiting loads of bloggers taking part in the A to Z challenge in what felt like a blogathon of it’s own.

April 9th – Still busy visiting other bloggers on the A to Z Challenge. Had time to pick up some litter which had blown my way when I went out to my car.

April 10th – A lovely day and we headed for the park for some cricket practise, whilst there we found a good condition cricket ball whilst hunting through the undergrowth for our own ball, we picked up a base cone left by others and put it to good use, and we picked up some litter and popped it in the bin to leave the park looking lovely for other users.

April 11th – Agreed to read and review Johnny Nothing by Ian Probert, look out for it’s review on my blog in the back end of May. Still working my way around the A to Z tour, there are so many people blogging about so many different things, amazing!

April 12th – Went to work this morning on a non work day, to catch up on lots of filing. I’ve been itching to give the place a good clean (we work in an old Granary, think barn with dirt and dust and untidy farmers!) So I attacked the place with duster and brush creating clouds of dust (cough, cough) and I filled the rubbish bins, I live far enough away that I can’t hear them shouting about my housework, but I left the bins incase they need to retrieve anything. I’ll empty them next week!

Have been talking to author Lizzie Lamb (Letter B for Boot Camp Bride on the A to Z Tour) about reading and reviewing some of her work and perhaps being a guest on her blog after the A to Z tour has finished.

One last SUPER DOOPER deed today, I’ve just posted about Operation Mallory, a group of very kind people have been working behind the scenes to re-launch books my author Stephen C Spencer who has cancer. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE go to my post read it, share it and if possible get involved with the promotion of his books. You never know what the future holds and one day it might be you in need. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-55W