Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Introducing the participants of the #LlandeiloBookFair: Richard Foreman

And here is yet another newbie to the LlandeiloBookFair: Richard Foreman.
Welcome Richard, please tell us about the books you’ll be bringing to the Book Fair.

Primarily, my own book of short stories, ‘Wilful Misunderstandings’.  Will also bring a selection of other books from my publisher, Lepus Books.  These will be: ‘The Things You Do’ and ‘The Saddest Sound’ by Deborah Delano, ‘Kiss My Asbo’ by Alistair Fruish, ‘Book Thirteen’ and ‘Leepus – Dizzy’ by Andrew James (aka Jamie Delano).

Which genres do they belong to?

WMs: Fantasy.  TTYD: Memoir.  TSS, KMA & BT: Literary novels.  L-D: Thriller

What are the characters and plots like?

WMs: 34 short stories, extremely varied (see below).  TSS:  Working class prostitutes and radical lesbians form uneasy alliance in response to Yorkshire Ripper type serial killer attacks.  KMA: Youthful ‘urban’ chars, semi conspiracy/social commentary plot.  BT: Ageing writer with family issues that threaten to get out of hand.  L-D: In post apocalyptic, dystopian future, a canny but flawed poker genius teams up with a tough gun-toting lesbian to protect his community from nihilistic forces.

Tell us about your newest book.

A unique concept frames Richard Foreman’s ‘Wilful Misunderstandings’.  In each of these thirty-four tales the author takes a word, phrase or saying, twisting it into a new meaning, and by extension a new reality.  The stories that emerge extend across a diverse stylistic range through s.f., adventure, crime, romance, horror, folk tale and magic realism. The many worlds of ‘Wilful Misunderstandings’ can be rampantly surrealistic at times, not so very different from our own at others.  A ‘parapet’ becomes a beast assigned as a familiar to would-be mystics.  If you go out and ‘stretch your legs’ you come home taller.  ‘Accolade’ is a drink that gives you a pat on the back.  But in each tale, readers will meet engaging characters in intriguing situations - some humorous, some perilous, some with deep emotional resonance.

Which of your books are you’re most proud of, and why?

‘Wilful Misunderstandings’ is, as far as I know, unique in its conception.  Since its publication last year it has had two excellent online reviews and an overwhelmingly good response from readers.

What is the best thing that has been said about your books?

From readers’ comments:
“Stories like dreams half remembered, tapping into a seam (or seeming) of the unconscious mind.”
“I love the feeling of shifting, malleable realities.  It is so much fun and encourages thinking in new ways about the world.”
“The book is bloody brilliant. I read it in nearly one sitting. It totally messed with my head.”
“This is a collection to reread, a book to tickle and amaze, to ruffle and amuse and sometimes to raise the hairs on the back of your neck.”
“Unafraid to tread off the beaten track into vivid, unsettling worlds where nothing can be taken for granted.  Where anything can happen.”

From comments made by other writers:
“A passport to a parallel planet where nothing means quite that you thought it did, this book offers an excursion to a strangely familiar place that you have never previously dreamed of. Get your shots and book your ticket today.”  Alan Moore – Watchmen, From Hell, Voice of the Fire, Jerusalem      “An ambitious and truly original collection from a master storyteller whose memorable characters in often surreal, unsettling situations linger long after the first page.”  Sally Spedding – Wringland, Cloven, A Night With No Stars                                                                                                                         Carefully constructed scenarios with a playbill of disparate characters shrewdly and sympathetically observed.  Offspring of a particular and subtle imagination, told with humour, craft and insight.”  Jamie Delano – Hellblazer, World Without End, Leepus - Dizzy

From reviews:
“Within five minutes of picking the book up and reading it for the first time I was immediately entranced. These stories are a delight, and I have spent much of the ‘Festive Season’ proselytising about Foreman to anyone who would listen. I have found myself using the words ‘delight’ and ‘delightful’ far more often than I would have wanted to, but I truly cannot think of a better adjective. My life has been enriched for having read these stories. I cannot wait for the next volume.” Jonathan Downes, editor Gonzo Weekly magazine.
“Expect the unexpected while reading Wilful Misunderstandings.  The oddball characters and their quirky concerns will attract your attention. Richard Foreman demonstrates how deep his imagination is, and how the simplest of ideas can make interesting prose. He writes fluently, wittily, and his stories tend to approach the dark side in a humorous way.”  Michelle Stanley, Readers’ Favorite website.

Why did you decide to come to the Llandeilo Book Fair?

Suggested to me as a way to promote/sell my book by Sally Spedding

Do you have a special connection to Wales? 

Yes.  Lived for some of my childhood in Cardiff.  Later in life (late 90s & 2000s), lived in Brynamman, Carms for 11 years, then Cwmafan, Port Talbot for another 4.  Worked in Swansea and Port Talbot.

What is your personal background?

Having completed a BA in literature at Essex University in 1973, Richard Foreman took on a variety of occupations including community arts and theatre work. In the late 1980s, writing as ‘Dick Foreman’, he became a full time scriptwriter of comic strips, progressing from one-off stories to a monthly series for US publisher DC comics. ‘Black Orchid’ ran for two years. Following this, his working life switched to other interests, but for twenty years he continued writing quarterly scripts for photo-stories/comic strips in ‘Who Cares?’, a national magazine for children in care. Since 2009 he has returned full time to writing. Following a series of well-received articles for Alan Moore’s ‘Dodgem Logic’ magazine, he began work on ‘Wilful Misunderstandings’. He has recently contributed to the magazines ‘Roundyhouse’ and ‘Tears in the Fence’ and is currently writing a novel.

Who are your favourite authors?

Too many to list adequately – a random selection of names that come to mind immediately:  Italo Calvino, Alan Moore, Doris Lessing, Deborah Delano, Angela Carter, Ken Kesey, William Burroughs, Dylan Thomas, Ursula Le Guin, Stanislaw Lem, Iain Sinclair…  Another day and I might think of a bunch more…

Please share your social media links and buy links to your books.

Wilful Misunderstandings – publisher website page/buy link: http://lepusbooks.co.uk/wilful-misunderstandings/
Richard Foreman’s website: http://richeff.moonfruit.com/
Wilful Misunderstandings blog: http://richeff.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/wilful-misunderstandings-birth-of-idea.html

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