Please welcome guest author Sean Flynn to the blog.
I read Sean’s book “Beer Goggles” a few weeks ago here is my review;
Beer Goggles by Sean Flynn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is a very funny look at a couple of British blokes who don’t mind laughing at themselves. They embark on an innocent day trip which gets more complicated as their day evolves. I loved the way the author gives you tiny pieces of information or characters which all get tied together nearer the end. Dave and Travis find themselves embroiled in a murder case when all they set out to do was pick up a set of golf clubs. The comedy of errors that follows is true British humour dosed with some strong language which may offend a few readers, but fits with the style of the book. This book was going to be a 4 star, but by the end I’d fallen in love with the characters and I’m going to give it 5 stars.
See “Beer Goggles” on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
Let’s find out more about Sean;
1) Where’s your home town?
Home town is Pontefract in West Yorkshire and has been since I was eleven, although I originate from Poole in Dorset, where my parents still live (although they originate from Pontefract too…don’t ask, it’s complicated!)
2) How long did it take to write Beer Goggles?
I started writing “Beer Goggles” during a period of unemployment in 2000. I finished the first draft about two years later. I was writing on the train too and from Edinburgh, where I was an IT contractor.
Only when I had finished it, did I realise that I didn’t know how to write at all and so spent the next couple of years learning how to do it properly – there are still people I showed the first draft to who thought it was terrible (it was!) , but didn’t want to tell me and have declined to read subsequent versions.
Most of my friends have refused to read it – one read part of the first chapter and called it a poor Ben Elton rip-off and he hated Ben Elton, so he didn’t read further. I showed him the early reviews praising the one-liners and his response? “How can that be true? All your one-liners are shit!” So you can see what I was up against. If I got a laugh from my friends with a one-liner, I knew it had to be good, so I’d remember it and put it in the book. My father-in-law’s response: “It’s just like a real book!” – Cheers Ken.
3) Which character in your book is your favourite and why?
My favourite character has to be Travis. My initial aim was to put myself and a friend in conversation and see what happened. Over time, the first chapter took shape. Only after I’d completed the first chapter did I think of a plot. Everybody who knows me and has read it says Travis is me to a tee – when I was younger I was very shy amongst women and used humour as a defence mechanism.
4) Much of your book is set in Blackpool, can you tell us 5 great things about Blackpool?
As I’m only a visitor and not a local, the things I like are very holiday based: The Pleasure Beach funfair; everybody’s holiday attitude; sea air; Blackpool rock; Blackpool tower. (predictable, I’m afraid).
5) Your book is full of some wonderful humour. Writing humour is quite an art, did it come easily or did you have to do several re-writes?
The general banter dialogue came easily, but the asides in italics were what took most time. Many I put in just weren’t funny enough, so ended up being removed. Every time I was rejected by an agent, I would go through it again and do a rewrite. Over the years it must have been rewritten forty times. I would put new gags in as they came to me.
(My favourite gag is when Travis says you shouldn’t keep anything in the freezer longer than six months) And the gag line is? (Sean has given me permission to quote the gag from his book), so here it is;
Here is the freezer gag.“This is quite a bash,” said Travis. “Are there any famous people here?”“Just because it’s a country ball, doesn’t necessarily mean there will be famous people here, you know. There are, but they wouldn’t want to be identified. Anyway, we have all sorts here. I’m a great believer in rehabilitation.”
“How’d you mean?”
“For example. We have one guy here who killed his wife after an argument.”
“No?” said Dave.
“Honestly! Not recently, like. He did twelve years, but I think everybody deserves a second chance, so now he works for me.”
“You’re a very generous man,” replied Travis. “How did he kill her?”
“I don’t think you really want to know.”
“Oh, go on,” said Travis, showing a distinct lack of tact.
“OK, but don’t say you weren’t warned. He stabbed her with a carving knife, chopped up her body and kept it in the freezer for three years.”
“Oh that’s disgusting! I mean …you should never keep anything in the freezer longer than six months.” Te he!
6) When I discussed your book with you, were you surprised that I thought it would appeal to both men and women?
When I wrote it, I was convinced that it would be a boys’ story, as the women are peripheral (although Jaimie is the one who saves the day); but the response of several women has made me think that you don’t have to have a major female lead to appeal to women.
7) Have you considered a sequel to Beer Goggles?
I have been pondering a sequel and am playing around with plots in my head. I’ll have to think of some new gags though, as I put all the ones I knew into Beer Goggles. I’ve never bothered before, as I didn’t know if there would be a market for my sense of humour. Or if, indeed, I could actually write and wasn’t just deluding myself.
8) You’ve written a second book, I believe it is sci-fi, can you give us a brief description of it?
My second book is called ‘Chasing the Tiger’s Tail’, although I’m seriously considering going back to my working title ‘The Karpathian Paradox’, as I think the current title is being confused with books about golfer Tiger Woods.The plot (deep breath…)
It is about a scientist whose parents were murdered thirty years previously and he has dedicated his life to building a time machine to go back in order to prevent their murder. A government secret agent gets sucked into the machine and is sent back to just before the original murders, but a flaw in the machine means that several copies of the agent arrive in the past – each dominated by an aspect of his personality. As he’s a professional killer, has a paradox occurred whereby one of the copies is driven by the agent’s killer instinct and he has caused the murders in the first place?
It’s not a comedy, like beer goggles, but written like a b-movie; it has many aspects of b-movies: mad scientist, robots, alien monsters, time-travel. I took some sections out, as they weren’t received too well, but I’m not sure if they need to go back in, to revert to my original idea.
I was told to put Beer Goggles in a draw and forget about it by my English teacher uncle; which I did, but after I won the writersbillboard.net
best first chapter competition my enthusiasm was renewed.
I recently sent it to the onlinebookclub in America and the guy reviewing it hated it, primarily because he felt mislead by the title. He was annoyed because the accepted definition of beer goggles
is; “Finding a woman beautiful when drunk!” He couldn’t accept my more liberal definition. He was also annoyed because it had too many one-liners and thought the characters clichéd and one-dimensional. It just shows, you can’t please everybody. Through a friend of a friend I managed to get it seen by Tiger Aspect
, the production company. However, they rejected it with the line “My fear is that the drama would get in the way of the comedy!” As you know, that is not the case, so they can’t have read it.
Personally, I think the first chapter alone would make one of the funniest half hour TV programs of recent years and the rest would make a great film or series.
I’ve also asked the owner of the Yorkshire Humour page on facebook
if he’ll read it and if he likes it to post a link. He has said he will. Every little helps. (Now that is a site with some regional humour! I’ve just checked it out, I couldn’t help myself!)
Ah I love this Guy, how anyone can pick themselves up after so much ridicule and rejection and still laugh, I don’t know? Sean deserves our support readers! Thank you Sean for being such an entertaining guest.