Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the one hundred and sixty-first, is of Guy Portman.
Guy Portman is a writer in his thirties currently residing in London. His working life has included stints in academic research, the service industry, working for a Premier League Football club, being employed as a private tutor and working as an English teacher in Japan. Guy’s experience in these roles, includes creating marketing brochures, making teaching materials and writing about the sports industry for a range of academic publications.
It is only in recent years that Guy has started writing recreationally, a pursuit like countless others he hopes will lead to fame and untold riches. Charles Middleworth is Guy’s first novel and he is currently planning a second. Although Guy wouldn’t really compare his writing to anyone else’s, he has been influenced by a number of authors, including Mark Haddon, Bret Easton Ellis, Thackeray, John Steinbeck and Will Self.
Guy is also an avid reader of both Fiction and Non-Fiction and loves writing reviews about the books he’s read on his blog and at Goodreads.
And now from the author himself:
‘Charles Middleworth’ is what would probably best be described as Literary Fiction. The book is an insightful and humorous tale of the unexpected about an actuary called Adrian. Adrian leads a rather banal and predictable existence as one might well imagine a typical actuary does. However after a revelation that leaves his life in turmoil, Adrian finds himself struggling for redemption in a very different world, where the foundations of his existence; rationality, scientific logic and algorithms, are now deemed null and void. The story follows Adrian’s attempts to adapt to his new life in the face of obstacles that he could never previously have imagined.
I chose an actuary as my main character as I felt this vocation would contrast markedly with the otherworldly events that affect Adrian in Charles Middleworth. This contrast along with the book’s dry humour, vivid descriptions and intriguing characters is what I hope will appeal to readers for many years to come.
You can find more about Guy and his writing via…
- Blog: http://www.guyportman.com
- Twitter: @GuyPortman
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CharlesMiddleworth
The following is an extract from Charles Middleworth:
The meeting hall is a cold, austere and unwelcoming building that adjoins Foley village church. It is constructed of red brick and terracotta tiles; quite typical of the period in which it was built. Adrian is apprehensive, fearful of what he might discover there. Tentatively he opens the wooden door and enters the hall.
The room is bathed in a luminous light that causes him to squint momentarily. As he surveys the bleached walls and orderly rows of chairs, the distinctive odour of disinfectant pervades his nostrils, giving him the impression that this sterile, sanitised environment resembles a laboratory.
‘Hey Adrian, over here.’ Franklin is standing by the far wall bearing a rather manic expression, all bulging eyes and agitation.
‘Hello Franklin,’ greets Adrian.
‘We meet again,’ says Franklin, gesturing with one hand towards an adolescent stood by his side.
‘This is Tempest my nephew.’
‘Good evening Tempest, nice to meet you.’
Tempest does not immediately respond. Adrian examines the diminutive youth warily, finding it most disturbing that his complexion is so pallid, as to be positively cadaverous, which contrasts alarmingly with the darkness of his hair and what appears to be mascara around his eyes.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with non-fiction author Phyl Manning – the six hundred and twenty-seventh of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the information. They do now (January 2013) carry a fee (£10 / €12.50 / $15) for the new interviews on this blog but everything else (see Opportunities on this blog) is free.
If you go for the interview, it’s very simple; I send you a questionnaire (I have them for novelists, short story authors, children’s authors, non-fiction authors, and poets). You complete the questions, and I let you know when it’s going to go live. Before it does so, I add in comments as if we’re chatting, and then they get posted. When that’s done, I email you with the link so you can share it with your corner of the literary world. And if you have a writing-related blog / podcast and would like to interview me… let me know.
Alternatively, if you’d like a free Q&A-only interview, I now have http://morgensauthorinterviews.wordpress.com on which I’ve rerun the original interviews posted here then posted new interviews which I then reblog here. These interviews are Q&A only, so I don’t add in my comments but they do get exposure on both sites.
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As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. I welcome critique for the four new writing groups listed below and / or flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays. For other opportunities see (see Opportunities on this blog).
The full details of the new online writing groups, and their associated Facebook groups, are:
Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
We look forward to reading your comments.