Thursday 28 February 2019

I wrote some very funny things for other people's blogs and you may have missed them

Unless you've had me muted for the last month (which is entirely possible) then you'll know my new book just completed a blog tour (follow the link for an explanation if you don't know what that is). I'm quite pleased with how it all came out, and, while I promise I am working on new blogs, today I'm just posting links to all the promotional content I created to promote Gap Years.

First up, two small guest posts I wish I had kept for myself as they are possibly two of the best things I have ever written.

This is some of the best Londoner-baiting I have ever done (and I have form) about the mystery of London-based fiction and its dominance in literature. Hosted by The Magic Of Wor(l)ds.

Not-London is a strange place, a place for people to be from – striving through their young lives to get to the bright lights of London town; or a place to go and hide, to get away from the stresses and strains of the high-powered lives they lead in the capital. It is peopled by those who have failed, those who are resigned to lead lives of no meaning and quirky, menacing characters that will derail the hero’s quest. A place for young, go-getting, couples to relocate to before being terrorised by ungrateful locals.

Read the full thing here

Then a short dissertation on pigeonholing your work into easily marketable categories and why it's impossible. Hosted by Splashes Into Books.

Musicians will invariably try and invent their own genre, claiming nobody else sounds like them; describing it as electro-swing-glitchhop-disco-gypsy-funk-prog, and actually sounding a bit like somebody playing Pink Floyd guitar solos over an Orbital album while an asthmatic didgeridoo player hacks up a lung. Artists will refuse to be drawn into even the most modernist of niche, while authors, not allowed the luxury of making stuff up, because marketing, will sigh and call it Literary Fiction.

Read the full thing here

Then I had to answer some questions – some about the book, but I managed to deflect most of them onto things I would rather ramble on about.

I spoke to A Story About A Girl about old characters from Neighbours and how to fix laptops

Then, Nemesis Book Blog made the mistake of asking me to pick just one song, and I couldn't even narrow it down to one REO Speedwagon song.

B for Book Review somehow kept me on the subject of books and writing with only a brief tangent on my cats.

Then there were a whole load of extracts to help you make up your mind to buy my book.

The opening

Shit, Dad was right.
Why does Dad have to be right?
Why am I so annoyed that I am wrong?
That’s not what’s important here.
Priorities Sean, that car just came out of nowhere, and your twelve year old stepsister is in a hedge.

Read the full thing here

2nd Extract

If you live in a rented family-sized house with a high turnover of tenants, then digging a hole in the
garden involves a game of rabbit roulette. There's always the fear of coming across something already buried there.

Read the full thing here

3rd Extract

Oh how exciting,’ she says. ‘Nobody’s ever sung me a Tom Hopkins song before.’
Tom fucking Hopkins! Really? Tom fucking Hopkins? The twelve year old that won that TV show last year, that Tom Hopkins? Housewives’ favourite Tom Hopkins? Christmas number one Tom Hopkins? Toddler’s birthday party disco Tom Hopkins? The one even Melody thinks is for kids? Fuck my life.
Read the full thing here
4th Extract

It’s all so different from when I was his age. When I was a kid round here being gay wasn’t even an option, unless you wanted a swift kick in the head and a trip into the river. It’s good that he has options I didn’t. I admit I have trouble with it, but I mean well, I am a product of my upbringing. I grew up in Devon in the 1970s, where diversity was something to do with crop rotation.

Read the full thing here

5th Extract

It is not funny. It turns out that Leanne is a sex blogger. A very successful one by all accounts, shared constantly by people laughing at the idiots she goes out with all over social media. I have read it before and laughed, but didn’t make the connection, there are no pictures of her and she uses a pseudonym. I am now at the top of page one, with more likes and shares than any before.

Read the full thing here

6th Extract

Nice.’ Rhiannon appears at the door in a dressing gown, grinning from ear to ear.
I stop singing immediately, frozen mid-Jagger.
Didn’t know you were home,’ I say, sheepishly, face matching the wine in my glass.
Evidently. Show me your moves then.’ She sashays on to the rug and strikes a pose as the opening riff of ‘Happy’ kicks in – because this is the 21st century and we don’t have to go and fumble about in the sleeve for disc two.

Read the full thing here

And finally the reason I sent it on tour, the reviews, unanimously good and providing me with lots of juicy marketing quotes – left here for you if you can't be arsed to click the links.

I adored the writing style which easily created all of these situations with much realism, and brilliant humour. I have smiled and chuckled throughout the story, at both the writers wit and the scenarios that happened.

This coming of age story is also driven by emotionally complex and psychological aspects. It’s a contemporary read with an honest approach to a messy family dilemma.

The language is frank, the story is funny, no holds are barred in this honest account of life, love and boring jobs.

A well-crafted story about discovering who you are and where you belong and where you’re headed to next, recommend!

There is humour and some dodgy singing all a credit to Dave Holwill’s engaging writing.

Gap Years has one of the strangest starts to a book that I have read in a long time. After just the first page, I was completely drawn in to Dave Holwill’s unique writing style.

It’s oddly beautiful how Holwill portrays the family as they attempt to piece their lives back together. The novel is impeccably diverse and inclusive, while never once stepping into the realm of bigotry. If you like books that will make you feel something, and where you can relate to the characters, I highly recommend this book.

The author does a magnificent job of showing the pressures and problems that beset the ordinary people up and down the country in the modern age and every reader will find something to relate to in this story. It is unusual to see male relationships portrayed so honestly and accurately, and I felt really moved by it.

All the characters were endearingly quirky train wrecks and profanely talented in the use of creative expletives. I am enamored with the talented scribbler Dave Holwill and unrepentantly covet his peculiar characters, clever wordplay, and highly original vulgarities. He has mad skills.

It’s that diversity which makes it so enjoyable to read, it is so unpredictable and with Dave’s acerbic tongue it is gritty and honest., this book is everything and more a coming of age story should be

The writing sweeps you along through the chaos and is immensely entertaining. A quirky, absorbing read. This is another sharply satirical novel from this author about false expectations and the sub-optimal lot of humankind.

A compelling, gritty, realistic and absorbing read about family, connections, relationships, adulthood, building bonds, and new beginnings. The Characters are relatable, complex, endearing and definitely made an impact. It had plenty of drama, wit, emotion, angst, making it an entertaining read that I highly recommend.

Once I got into this book I couldn’t put it down, I loved the differing viewpoints, the humour and the fact that it was very British.

It’s somehow a simple story, but that’s the charm of it. And it’s that charm that made me continue reading it.

With beautiful writing and dark comedy, this is a quirky novel that I highly recommend giving a shot. Dave Holwill’s writing will draw you in and the characters will see you through to the end.

The story is gritty, realistic and believable and that is what gives it an added edge, a very well written and enjoyable story about the ups and downs of relationships – highly recommended!

Each chapter left me wanting to know more, which in my book - pun not intended - is the sign of a truly absorbing read. Another great read from Dave Holwill. I look forward to his next book.

If you have made it to the bottom of this post, Sky thanks you, and admits she can't actually read.