Thank you to Pete Adams and to Emma Welton of damppebbles blog tours for having me on this tour today! I am honoured to be kicking off for this first book in Pete’s new series, which brings back some old Kind Hearts and Martinets faces.
I was lucky enough to get hold of an exclusive interview with Pete Adams (or possibly ‘Susan Narmee’ in the context of the book), but first let’s have a look at the goods…
Blurb: Cataclysmic events have occurred in the decorous upper middle class enclave within Southsea, Portsmouth, on the south coast of England.
But what were the circumstances that contributed to this violent clash involving a Sherman tank and a bazooka? The strange occurrence is Investigated by Lord Everard Pimple, a naive, upper class twit who not only inadvertently opens a can of worms, but has an introduction into the world of womanly wiles.
Everard’s life is about to blow up like an atom bomb… he just doesn’t know it yet. But after the dust settles, will he still be standing?
Knowing this author from his previous series, I could warn poor Pimple that he is about to be swept up in a surreal crime caper, with a placenta (sorry, Malacopperisms are catching) of running gags and saucy shenanigans. But instead, let’s hear it straight from the man himself… no, not Pimple… or
Jack Jane Dick… the author, Pete Adams!
First of all, can you please tell us about your latest book?
Road Kill – The Duchess of Frisian Tun: Book 1 of the DaDa Detective Agency: A crime thriller series with brass knobs on. An idiosyncratic development of the crime thriller miniseries ‘Kind Hearts and Martinets’ (5 books) but really is:
An au courant, romantic comedy, crime thriller with scary bits. A droll and saucy insight into the Middle Class, Haute Monde and Geography. Tales of a reclusive England with: The Journalist, The Professor, The Synchronised Swimming Instructor, The Fish Wife, The Dame, The Actress (really Jack Austin), The Geography Teacher, The Gossip Columnist, The Spy, The Police Inspector, The Man from the Council, The Priest, The Knight, The Super-grass (deceased), The Gangster, and The Lady Blanche.
Fans will be glad to see that you have brought back Jack and Amanda with a new (or is it?) venture… the ‘DaDa Detective Agency’. I can see a faint allusion to Jack’s insistence on their new nicknames – Dick and Duck – there, but ‘DaDa’…?
Dadaism was an arts movement that flouted the conventional by producing works marked by incongruity.
The DaDa novels have an idiosyncratic narrative, the intention being to create a DNA spiral of the real and surreal narratives, but there is a rational design with a significant and satisfying, ending.
The central protagonists in the Kind Hearts and Martinets, miniseries, an elderly DCI, Jack (Jane) Austin and Detective Superintendent Amanda Bruce, have a growing following and, it was suggested I develop them into a new series. It has also been said, more than once, that Mandy and Jack are akin to a modern day Jeeves and Wooster; not intentional, but too tempting to ignore. Jack Austin (a cockney Wooster), and the more adroit and decorous and, definitely stronger, Amanda (Jeeves), retire from the police and establish the DaDa Detective Agency.
Picasso said, “Everything you can imagine is real”, and the DaDa Detective Agency books are strangely, real.
This book tee’s up the DaDa series. Book 2, Rite Judgement – Heads Roll, Corpses Dance, is due out soon and book 3, Wigs on the Green – Blood Sports is already written.
What three words would you use to describe your novel?
Realistically Surreal Daddeo
Where do you find inspiration for your books?
I am sure there are influences that I absorb as I go about my life, or recollections that float to the surface of my mind, but I never interrogate that source. The ideas come and, I am grateful for that – I do make comprehensive handwritten notes if ideas, experiences, but I also find once I have made a note, it sticks in my mind.
Do you have any rules for writing you would like to share with us?
Never, ever, ever give up. I find it hard to write and, I have to persevere, daily, and, when it all falls into place, it is such a wonderful feeling. It is that buzz that keeps me going, that and I am obsessed. One other thing, I think it was Malcom Muggeridge who said, “Only dead fish swim with the stream”. I make my own way, with my own style and stories; why would I want to swim with the stream?
What characteristics/personality traits do you and your lead character have in common?
Very interesting: Many have asked is Jack, Jane, Austin based upon me? Well, for one, Jack is fat and ugly – I am not ugly, much, maybe a little but, it might be true my central protagonist does things I would like to do, and get away with – truth be told, although I look like a roughty toughty ‘ard nut, I am a softie.
In reality, in all of my books it is the strength in the female characters that I feel sets them apart and, in truth, I come from a large matriarchal London family; East End and Bermondsey.
If your book/series was made into a movie, which famous actor/s would play the lead characters?
I have been asked this many times and my feelings change, but for the character Jack Austin, I would choose Geoffrey Rush. For Amanda Austin, this is difficult but often I settle for Abigail Thaw.
Who is your writing hero?
I don’t have one but if you pushed me, I would likely fall back on P G. Wodehouse.
Which book do you wish you had written?
Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco (only because I did not start reading until I was past 40 and this was a book recommended to me by a librarian and it got me hooked)
What advice would you give to someone considering taking the plunge and attempting to write their first novel?
Be yourself. Identify whether you are a planner or a by the seat of your pants merchant. I am the latter – PS – you are never too old to start and I am the ‘currently living’ proof of that.
If you could have a dinner party and invite three other writers (living or dead), who would you invite?
Probably none – it would very likely end up a battle of the egos. I prefer to invite reprobates and as the booze flows, I would make notes for future books.
What’s the one question you wish I had asked and what’s the answer?
How do you handle promotion of your work? I hate it, hate it, hate it and, I am bloody useless at it. I wish I had more skill at computer technology – I see promo stuff done by authors and think, I wish I could do that.
Another thing, How much do you read? I wish I could read faster but at least I don’t follow the words with my finger anymore. I read books and digest them, often reading a section over again – I like to absorb the story and, the style of writing. I am always learning.
Another question: What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you in writing? My first school of architecture project, I wrote my design report and was called to the tutor to discuss. I went in and she was shocked and said. “Oh, you are English”. From that day forward I focused on improving my writing.
Thank you, Pete, both for enlightening us on authorial and Austinial matters, and for providing direct evidence of the humour/chaos mix that can be expected from your work!
Road Kill: The Duchess of Frisian Tun releases on Amazon today!
Check the following links to find my thoughts on Pete Adams’ Kind Hearts and Martinets series: Book 1, Cause and Effect; Book 2, Irony in the Soul, Book 3, A Barrow Boy’s Cadenza, Book 4, Ghost and Ragman Roll and Book 5, Merde and Mandarins.
And don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour (details on the poster below) for more great reviews and content!