Interviews

Nobel Prize Winning Interview with Guy Portman

Hello there, I’m gonna start this interview off with saying how outraged I am, the week that my first Nobel Prize Winning Interview went live I didn’t hear anything from the Nobel committee, not even a missed call, and in that same week the sociopath president in the USA goes and gets himself a nomination! Well I can only think of one course of revenge, another interview with an amazing writer, this time it is with the chap who has created one of my favourite killers in literature, the smartly dressed and very sinister Dyson Devereux.  Please wag yer tails at Guy Portman the man with an impressive 7 books under his belt.

Q1: Tell us a bit about the trilogy that Dyson Devereux is a part of.  Also how did you come up with the idea of setting it in the Burials and Cemeteries department at the council?

The Necropolis Trilogy is a darkly humorous work of Transgressive Fiction brimming with satirical observations. It is written in the first-person from the perspective of sociopath and sometime council worker Dyson Devereux. The first two instalments are largely set in a council’s Burials and Cemeteries department. I once spent a few months working at a council and I guess the experience must have stayed with me. It certainly wasn’t an inspirational stint but it was an eye-opening one. My assumption was that the contrast between the predictable nature of the public sector and the unpredictability of protagonist Dyson would work well. As for the burials and cemeteries department bit, it was its morbid nature that led me to choose that particular department.

Q2:  The Gazebo is your latest book to be released.  Care to tell us what it is about?  (I seem to remember you recently had a Gazebo built in your garden did that inspire this book?)

The Gazebo consists of two stories. The first features a gazebo, hence the title. It is essentially about the breakup of a marriage. As for the gazebo itself, it is a sinister presence in the background. The second story sees an entrepreneur unwisely fall the charms of a Transylvanian temptress. You’ll have to read the stories to find out what happens. By the way, the structure in my garden is a summerhouse not a gazebo. I could have called the book The Summerhouse I suppose, but it doesn’t sound as catchy as The Gazebo.

Q3:  Who designs your covers as they look very professional?

Ebook Launch – well four of them anyway. I like their work and plan to keep using them. Stylish simplicity is how’d I’d describe the covers. I have toyed with different concepts as to how my books should look and now feel that I have something approaching a brand.

Q4:  I know it is only a matter of time before Netflix realise what they are missing out on and give Dyson the TV series he deserves.  Who would you like to see playing the lead role?

Netflix are certainly taking their time about it. As for actors, it needs to be someone male, who is English, or can do a good English accent. And they need to be good looking, not too young and not too old. Perhaps Henry Cavill of Superman fame.

Q5:  Do you have a particular process whilst writing?  Do you listen to music at the same time?

I love listening to music, but find it hard to concentrate on writing when I do. So I usually write in silence and save the music for when I am doing admin stuff/other things.

Q6:  I have read 4 of your books so far and none of them feature Gnomes, is there a reason for this prejudice?  Will there be a Gnome in a future book?

Damn, I knew I’d forgotten something. And my new book The Gazebo even features a gazebo in a back garden, so there is really no excuse for not having at least one gnome in there. A gnome in one of my future books – that’s food for thought. Only time will tell …

I am looking forward to your Gnome apology story.

Q7:  How have you been handling life in the time of Coronavirus?

As an introverted creature who lives alone in the countryside, it didn’t affect me as much as many others. When you are isolated and think everyone else is out having fun, it can be slightly unnerving. During lockdown I assumed everyone else is at home too and I’m not missing out on anything. There is nothing in life if not by comparison. I have had concerns of course, particularly how it might affect finances. However, my plight could be worse, much worse, and I can’t really complain.

Q8:  You got any ideas for a story based on the virus or the quarantine?

In one word, no. Seemingly a lot of writers have got virus and quarantine-inspired ideas but I’m not one of them. Maybe it’s because I’m so intent on getting my present set of ideas onto the page that I have not given the subject any thought. That could change of course.

Q9:  Can you remember the first book you fell in love with?

I’d love to say it was War and Peace or Crime and Punishment, but the reality is that it was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Lots of great pictures and not a lot of writing. A few novels spring to mind from my formative years, particularly White Fang by Jack London, Perfume by Patrick Suskind and Canary Row by John Steinbeck.   

I loved Perfume and Canary Row, great books.

Q10:  I’ve been stalking you on your blog for a while now and I see you posting quite a few photos of food, what is the weirdest thing you’ve eaten and how was it?

Scorpion, crocodile or turtle perhaps. I guess one of the three. 

Q11:  What’s next for you?  Got a new book in the pipeline?

Yes, I am hard at work on a new book which will have a similar format to The Gazebo. It (title undecided) will likely contain three stories of a darkly humorous nature.

Interesting…cos Gnomes have a darkly humorous nature. hehe

Practical task:  I am doing a gnome gallery on my blog, can you create a piece of artwork based on Gnomes, can be any medium and you are welcome to name the piece. 

Massive thanks to Guy for taking part in this and adding to the gnome gallery, pretty certain we got the Nobel prize in the back this time.

If you would like to stalk Guy on the Internets then click the links below:

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