Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Flidderbugs and Doodling

Jonathan will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commenter from the tour. Tour date links:


Welcome, Jonathan. Tell us about Flidderbugs and Doodling.

Doodling and Flidderbugs are both prime examples of what I like to refer to as Dag-Lit. They’re kind of friendly and funny and a little bit surprising. They’re also both quite short – more novella than novel. Not that Dag-Lit has to be short. But as a writer, I like to say what I want to say and then get on with things – I tend not to go on and on and on. Some people who have read them seem to have been a bit annoyed at their shortness, but most people seem to appreciate that they’re both exactly the right length that they need to be.

While they have much in common, they’re also quite different. Doodling is more random and rambling. It’s about a man who falls off the world (because it’s moving too fast). He winds up marooned out in an asteroid field and spends most of his time wondering around, unsure of where he’s going or what he’s doing. In the end there’s a bit of action and adventure, but mostly it’s slow moving and gentle. I called the process of writing it “literary doodling” as I had no idea what was going to happen from chapter to chapter – hence the title.

Flidderbugs is quite different. It’s a satire, with a bit of a political focus. But I also like to think of it as a sort of fable. It’s about a bunch of insects who spend a lot of time behaving rather foolishly and having silly arguments about things that are really not as important as they think they are. And yes, we do get a bit of action and adventure at the end, but probably not quite as much as in Doodling. It’s a bit more grounded, even though all of the events take place high up in the branches of a tree.

Hopefully they’re both a lot of fun for readers. Interesting and funny stories, with deeper layers which readers can discover if they choose to take the time.

Are you a blogger? If so do you blog every day?

I’m not sure. I have a blog. I try to keep it nice and clean. I suppose it’s a bit like saying I have a garden I try to look after, but I’m not sure if that makes me a gardener. It’s a simple little blog called Dag-Lit Central – The theme is “Writing that stands out from the crowd”. That’s one of the things about Dag-Lit – it definitely doesn’t follow any fashions or trends in writing. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to be getting into it every day, but I try to get a new post up at least once a week. And I always love to have guests coming to visit as well.

What do you do to promote your books?

I stand on the corner with a large club in my hand and threaten passers-by with a good thumping if they don’t buy a copy. Well I wish I could do that. I guess otherwise, I try to do the usual things – Twitter it and Facebook it and blog about it, wherever I can. One thing I do a bit of is cross-promotion with other writers. I’m involved with a group of science fiction and fantasy writers called SciyourFi. Check us out on Twitter or Facebook. And if any of you knows a good corner of the internet where I can stand with my club, please let me know.

Hmm. I never thought about the club thingy. Let me know if it works....

Do you transform people you know into characters in your book?

I have been known to do it, but not that often. Generally my characters come from two places:

a. I’ll get an idea for a theme or concept and try to work out how a character might exemplify that

b. I’ll have a problem with the plot and try to work out a character to fill it

When I have based characters on people I know, it’s usually about taking a particular aspect of that person and then transforming them quite a bit. I’d be surprised if they’d be able to recognize themselves.

Oops – I just forgot –there is one person who is very like a lot of characters in my stories – it’s me.

If you were marooned on an island, what would you prefer to have with you: Your current wip, or beer and a pizza?

That’s a brutally hard question. I don’t suppose I have the option of including a beer and pizza salesman who would accept books as payment?

Where can someone buy your books?

From the major ebook sellers:

Both Flidderbugs and Doodling are available at:


Amazon UK


Barnes and Noble



Sony Bookstore

Book 1

Title: Doodling
Genre: Comic fantasy

Neville Lansdowne fell off the world.

Actually, he did not so much fall off as let go. The world had been moving so quickly lately and Neville was finding it almost impossible to keep up.

Doodling is an engaging comic fantasy which relates the events that befall Neville after he finds himself abandoned by the world and adrift in the middle of an asteroid field. Douglas Adams meets Lewis Carroll (with just a touch of Gulliver's Travels) as Neville wanders through his new home, meeting a variety of eccentric characters and experiencing some most unexpected adventures.

Book 2

Title: Flidderbugs
Genre: Satire/fable/fantasy

As Kriffle the Flidderbug investigates why his fellow 'bugs find it impossible to agree on the pressing issue of how many points there are on the leaves of the tree on which they live, he finds that the truth is more complicated, and ultimately more terrifying, than he ever could have imagined.

Flidderbugs is a political satire, a modern fable, or maybe just a funny little story about a bunch of insects with some very peculiar obsessions.


  1. Thanks so much Sandra for having me here today.

    Love to hear what people think about short books. Is there a minimum length a book should be, or is it more about getting the right length for the right book.

    And I promise, I won't be clubbing anybody (today).

  2. Jonathan, I'm pleased to have you. I enjoyed your responses. I still think the clubby thing is a 'novel' approach:)

    My pleasure, Goddess.

  3. Both your stories sound fun. You must really enjoy writing them.

  4. Interesting interview...Is "Dag-Lit" a real genre (or sub-genre) or just a term you've coined for your writing? Are there other dag-lit writers out there?

    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  5. Hi MomJane,

    Thanks for popping in again.

    Yes, I definitely enjoyed writing them. I try to only write things I enjoy. I'd hate to think writing could ever become a chore.

  6. Hi Catherine,

    Is Dag-Lit a real genre? It feels real to me but I might be a bit biased. You're right that it's a name I've coined for my writing.

    Are there any others - almost certainly. They probably just don't realise it yet.

  7. I applaud you for: “Writing that stands out from the crowd”.

    I am looking forward to reading both books. If the interview is anything to go by they should be a hoot.


  8. Late to the party and playing catch up. Enjoyed the interview. I've been checking you out at Amazon and noticed some of the tags attached to your books. Tags like satire, fantasy humor, science fiction humor and even monty python appear. Do you agree with those tags? Do they describe your books?

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

    PS...yes, I live in North Carolina.