I'm always looking for a scoop...I just hope this furry fellow isn't looking for one, too!

I’m always looking for a scoop…I just hope this furry fellow isn’t looking for one, too!

I’m at it again.

I found a fab author with a nifty book he has just released. He lives in the U.K.

Here it is!

Here it is!

Many of you might know this dapper chap. It’s Peter of Counting Ducks fame and his book is entitled “Living Life Backwards,” a fascinating title if ever there was one.

Well, I’m so enchanted with Peter and his book, that I invited him for a cyber-chat, complete with a cyber-cup-of tea. We’re meeting in my living room, which, in cyberspace is just gorgeous.

Lorna: Hey, Peter, Cheers! Glad you could beam over for a chat about your book and anything else I feel like asking you about.

Peter: Cheers, Lorna! So delighted I finally got a chance to meet the dizzy blonde behind all the fanfare. Thank you ever so much for inviting me to your spacious and impressive home.

Lorna: Well, in cyberspace, a condo can become a castle, which is kind of what I made happen. I wanted you to feel at home. All people in the UK live in castles, right? Right! Are you ready to talk about your new book?

Peter: Yes. I think I have my bearings. But could you get your dog off my lap?

Lorna: Oh, sorry. Scrappy just loves visitors. We get so few, given that I’m a virtual shut-in these days. Ignoring him is the best solution–kind of like the Royal Family.

Peter: (nodding with slightly worried look).

Lorna: So, let’s get to this. If you know me, and I think you do, you know that I’m fascinated by titles and names. So what’s the story behind the title of your book? It’s a real attention-getter!

Peter: Thank you Lorna. I wish I could take credit for it, but the title comes from the mouth of a character in the book called David Potts, who is a hippy-like man in his middle ages, who grows rare vegetables for a living and is the father of the girl our married ‘hero’ fixates on.

Lorna: You kinda lost me at “hippy-man”. Is he a child of the 1960’s or a man with big hips? Both can be trouble-makers.

Peter: A child of the 1960’s, sorry for the confusion.

Lorna; It’s okay. I speak British. We’ll get through this in jolly good fashion. Just to be clear, though, this hipster David just came up with the title, not you. Should I be interviewing David?

Peter: (Scratching head). No. I came up with David. So I came up with the title, but it was his concept.

Lorna (Scratching head). What kind of British are you speaking, anyway?

Peter: How about this? As you get a bit older, it seems like quite a nifty idea to rewind a few years and see if you can iron out some of those errors you keep blaming everyone else for, and to have another go at the same events, but not put on so much weight this time.

Lorna: Oh, I get it! You’re talking about a re-do.

Peter: Yes, I suppose so.

Lorna: That’ll attract a lot of reader’s to your book! Who doesn’t long for a re-do? Well, not me. I’d just flub things up again, wouldn’t you?

Peter: (Shrugging)

Lorna: Moving on…Steven King said, “Fiction is the truth wrapped up a lie.”How much of this based on real life experiences and people?

Peter: The only real life bit is to do with the UK location which is based on the seaside town of Brixham in Devon, where my mother’s family lived for generations. I still have relatives down there.

Lorna: Are you sure none of those relatives popped up in the story?

Peter: (Shrugging)

Lorna: For a guy who just wrote a 188-page book, you sure are a man of few words.

Peter: Thank you…I think.

Lorna: You’ve had you’re blog for a long time. Whatever possessed you to write a book?

Peter: I love writing. Some of my best conversations are with blank sheets of paper because they have the characteristics a windbag enjoys in his friends: they listen patiently and don’t answer back.

Lorna: I don’t quite know how to take that, Peter. We’re having a conversation (if you call shrugging a lot a conversation). Should I shut up more and listen?

Peter: No! I’m not saying that at all. I love conversing with interesting people, like you. I just love writing, too.

Lorna: Okay. I guess. Then stop the shrugging, will you? If you were to write the book all over again, would you do anything differently? If so what?

Peter: This is an excellent question because, in my opinion, no artist is ever satisfied with his work. He or she is always thinking of ways to refine and improve it, but in the end must accept that, if it is ever to be published, displayed, watched or listened to, he must, as if it were a child, have the confidence to set it free to experience life without its creator’s protection.

Lorna: So basically you’re just crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. As I parent, I completely understand. One more question about writing and we’ll move one more personal stuff. What do you like best about writing? Least?

Peter: I love coming up with characters and them placing them in situations which ask them penetrating questions. What I find most challenging is that point when you’ve got the first couple of chapters under your belt but you know there is a long way to go before you reach port on the other side of the ocean, so to speak. The sheer scale of the work required, and your own sense of what is worth publishing provides a daunting commentary on the task.

Lorna: Yup. Writing: it’s a love/hate roller coaster. Personally, I dislike having to convince other people to read your work…well, my work. Convincing them to read your work is easy! Let’s move on to the more, um, ah, personal side of Peter, shall we.

Peter: (Shifting in his cyber chair) I suppose. I was going to shrug but thought better of it.

Lorna: Good thing. I’ll be gentle. If you could be anywhere right now (beside sitting in my cyber living room with me), where would you be?

Peter: Snorkeling in the Virgin Islands.  Once I went on holiday, and it was like being in a James Bond film but without the figure or charisma. The sheer clearness of the water, the slowly moving coral plants and multi-coloured fishes were truly magical. I love travelling and adventure more than anything.

Lorna: And I thought you, being such a fine English gentleman, would say that there’s no other place you’d rather be than being with me. Ouch! And I was just about to offer you a cup of tea. Hmmm. I suppose I’ll be gracious and rise above my hurt feelings. What is the secret to brewing a great cup of tea?

Peter: Another excellent question!

Lorna: Oh sure, sweet talk me now…

Peter: It is a perfect question, which, in my opinion, cuts right through to the heart of life’s profundities.  Patience. The secret is in the brewing and the listening. If you have guests have you asked them how they like it, including its strength and have you made sure to remember that as you brew it. Always remember, one man’s cup of tea is another chaps brackish horror story.

Lorna: All I have are tea bags…

Peter: I’ll pass.

Lorna: Thought so. My dream job is being Princess Diana without Prince Charles. What is your dream job?

Peter: Being a successful writer and magazine or newspaper columnist.

Lorna: Aim high, just like I am, Peter. And my last question to you is if you have any new projects (writing or otherwise) on the horizon?

Peter: Disturbingly, I have already completed my second book, and it is now in the hands of the editor, which in my case is someone I admire greatly; a happy coincidence. My third book is being written as we speak. It’s hard to shut me up!

Lorna: My guess is you don’t have a regular job. Who writes that much AND works for a living?

Peter: (Shrugging)

I had fun, too!

I had fun, too!

Thanks, Peter for the interview. It was fun!

You can buy a copy of Living Life Backwards at Amazon by clicking here.