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Monday, November 30, 2009

Book Blog Tour: The Brain Finds a Leg by Martin Chatterton

Hello, hello!  Welcome back to another post here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!  Guess what today is?  (Oh, come on....guess!)  It's time for another FANTASTIC Book Blog Tour to grace us with its presence and bring YOU the readers a chance to hear about a great new book!  The fun only begins there though....not only do we have your as-expected book review from yours truly, but we have an interview with the author (definitely fun if I may say so myself...and since I read them already, please trust me on this....you have to read it) AND your chance to score your very own copy of the book we are focusing on and presto changeo, TADA...a post full of fun for all!

Today's tour comes to us from across the seas....Australia to be precise, or at least that's the current residenence claimed by the author.  The story tells of a murder, robberies, and basically nature gone awry.  The stars...a genius Brain, faithful sidekick.....and a pet named Mavis, who happens to be a crocodile.  (*chuckle*chuckle*...you'll see....) Without further ado, today's tour star is....


The Brain Finds a Leg
by
Martin Chatterton

(Gotta love the title, right?)  Welcome to the small little water-side community of Farrago Bay.  Peaceful and calm with not a care in the world...or so it would seem.  Humpback whales attack and kill a boat load of tourists.  A reknown surfer is found dead missing a limb or so and under rather slippery circumstances.  Mysterious robberies have been occuring at the local businesses.  All of these and more without so much as a concrete suspect.  Something is not quite right in this sleepy little outpost, but not to worry.....the Brain is on the case!

Who is the Brain (and how on earth did he come upon his name)?  Well, in short....the Brain is really an accidental nickname for his preference to be called Theo Brain, but his real name is Theophilus Nero Hercule Sherlock Wimsey Father Brown Marlowe Spade Christie Edgar Allen Brain.  (Okay, so short may have been misleading there....)  He is the self proclaimed World's Greatest Detective and with good reason...alas I can not reveal all, but let's just say his name wasn't just bestowed upon him....there was quite a bit of thought put into it.  The Brain is determined to uncover the truth behind the happenings in Farrago Bay...but not without a little help.  Sheldon McGlone, his newly elected sidekick, hasn't been one to draw attention to himself.  Known to fly a bit under the radar (when he's able), Sheldon will discover more about himself and what really makes a friend a friend sooner than he thinks.

Let's just say that I had a blast with this one.  I have been reading such a myriad of books recently on a variety of topics...I really needed a YA break from it all.  The perfect opportunity arose when a blogging friend of mine (*cough* Bri *cough*) passed along the chance to host a stop on this book blog tour.  The story is engaging...catching you off guard and drawing you in with each page.  I mean the writing...well the actual content is insulting at times, but in a good way.  Hmmm, let me see if I can explain that a little better.  When you read the work of an author, it tends to be written in their own style and "language", thus reflecting who they are and where they are from.  This particular author, Martin Chatterton, had his roots back in Liverpool, traveled he world including stops in the US, and settled down in Australia.  What does this say about his writing?  Just that it is a unique voice from some of the books I have read.  There are passages that are so absurd (read that as insulting) that you can't help but laugh at how the person or situation is being described.  It's really quite original (in my humble opinion). 


Then you have the storyline.  I mean the character names are one thing (thank goodness their origins are explained within the book), but the nature-gone-wild is very imaginative.  I can't say too much about that portion without spoiling the story, but I bet you won't be able to guess the exact outcome of this adventure until all is revealed.  In the end, this book definitely stands on it's own, but FEAR NOT...it is not the end of The Brain's story!  There is another title in this newly started series scheduled for Spring 2010 entitled "The Brain Full of Holes".

With an adventure this interesting, I simply had to opt for an author interview to tie in with this stop on the tour.  I simply had a few things I was curious about and thought...hey, you might be too!  Check out what Martin Chatterton had to say when presented with my array of questions...take it away!

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THE QUESTIONS

Where did you come up with the general story behind "The Brain Finds a Leg"?

I was living in SW Florida (at Bonita Springs) and I almost trod on a gator while out one day. It made me think about how we (humans) had moved in on their territory and the idea for a story about animals going crazy was born. Originally it was going to be called 'Wild Things'. When I moved to Australia I switched the setting and introduced local animals and people (substituting hippies for snowbirds for example).

Who was your favorite character to write?  Why?

I really enjoyed writing Theo Brain. I grew up reading the Sherlock Holmes stories and I channeled that voice for Theo's dialogue. It's a clipped, English upper-crust and somewhat dated way of speaking which - I think - makes everything he says funny. It was challenging to make such an extreme character fit in with more realistic and contemporary characters.

Which character did you identify with the most?

Probably Sheldon. He is (obviously) the Watson to The Brain's Holmes. That makes him the human voice behind the story. Although not very like me in personality I think we can all relate to the underdog.

Your "about me" information lists you as having been born in Liverpool, but settling in Australia.  That's quite a jump!  What's the one thing you miss the most about your home country?  What's the one thing you LOVE the most about your new one?

It was a jump although we spent five years on and off in the US, and moving there completely in 2002. We then went back to the UK before moving again to Australia. If there's one single thing I miss about England it's the proximity to Europe. I miss being able to go for a weekend in Madrid or Copenhagen or Paris so easily. Having said that, where we live now has a few major advantages over rain-sodden Northern England, the main one being SUN and plenty of it! We have a fantastic outdoors beachy kind of life here.

Of the wild and crazy critter characters you brought to life, which one was your favorite?  Why?

That has to be the psycho koalas. I like the idea that animals have an inner life that we know nothing about. Koalas in Australia are seen as such gentle, sleepy creatures that I enjoyed reversing that idea. And, as a 'Pom' (the Australian word for the English) I get a kick out of messing about with an Australian icon! People get very annoyed if you criticize a koala.

Did you always want to be a writer?

No. I was always a big reader but it wasn't until my late twenties that I began to write. I was, and still am, an illustrator. That was my training and it's been a gradual shift into writing.

What is the best advice you can offer to aspiring writers?

When I do school visits or festivals I get asked that a lot. I always say a few things. Firstly you must be a huge reader. The reading doesn't have to be particular books but it must be fairly wide and you must gravitate towards the realization that just because it's been published that doesn't mean a book is any good. The better I get at writing (modesty not being my greatest asset) the more I see lousy books all around me. Some of this is plain old professional jealousy but at least part of it is true: most books aren't very good. 
The second piece of advice is to keep practicing. I went to see David Beckham play in Sydney last year in an exhibition game. Beforehand, he practiced long passes for twenty minutes. For an exhibition game at the tail end of his career. He got good because he practiced.


And now for a few quick quotables....
If I wasn't a writer, I would be... a pro soccer player.
When I am not writing, I can be found... on the beach.
On my night stand.... is usually Elmore Leonard but right now it's 'Restless' by William Boyd.
One author I look up to is.... PG Wodehouse, no contest. Can I have more? Evelyn Waugh. Elmore Leonard. Kingsley Amis. I really enjoyed 'A Spot of Bother' by Mark Haddon recently despite wanting to hate it (because he's an English illustrator turned writer like me...except he had a HUGE hit with 'The Curious Incident...'). I love writing that looks effortless but is honed to perfection. I loathe the waffly, 'Book Club' kind of writers.
Additional thoughts I'd like to share.... Never trust a critic.

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Thank you so much...that was a riot (and had some great advice too)!  It's always great to see where things came from with an author's perspective....you never quite know what you'll discover.  The Book Tour for this title is visiting today thanks to Erin at Peachtree Publishers; the review copy was also received courtesy of them. For a further look at this publisher, see their website or make a connection on Twitter.  The author interview was courtesy of ....well, the author...with a little help from A to B thanks to Erin! (THANKS!)  Author Martin Chatterton can be found on Facebook, his website and Twitter (but of course).  Check them out for more information!



And now....for the next moment you have all been waiting for....the CONTEST!  (Whoo-Hoo!)  You have your very own chance to win a copy of this hilarious and fun book!  All you need do is enter!  Oh, but how to enter....it's got to be rather interesting to go along with the book, but not so much that you are hassled (been there, don't wanna do that)....hmmm....I know!  Let's tie it into a "comment creator"...

COMMENT CREATOR
Being an animal lover, I don't relish the thought of animals-gone-wild, but in the literary aspect....it definitely provided unexpected twists and a rather enjoyable plot.  For your first contest entry, choose one of the following to answer....
Question ONE....if you could give a cuddly (or-not-so-cuddly) critter a hidden agenda, or sneaky-creepy habit....which would you choose and what would they do that was out of the norm?  (Let your creativity fly!)
OR
Question TWO....of all the animals in the Animal Kingdom (not Disney...well, okay, some in Disney, but not only those...), which one do you find the most interesting and why?

How to enter:
(PLEASE try to keep the majority of your entries in one comment...depending on how many times you wish to enter, it may not be possible, but try....just makes it easier to track)
Your main method of entry?  Comment of course!  You score 1 entry for commenting on this post AND answering one of the 'comment creator' questions.  Be sure to include your email address (it can be "coded" like soandso(at)nowhere(dot)com....) so I can contact you if you are the winner!  (No comment/answer/email, no entry.)
For a chance at a few extra entries:
+1 for answering BOTH "comment creators"
+1 for being a follower of my blog
(not required, but hey...it's an easy-peasy extra entry!)
+1 for being a follower on Twitter...please include your Twitter name!
(again not required but another means of entry)
+2 for tweeting about the contest
(Maximum 1 extra entry...and don't forget to provide the link)
+3 for blogging about contest and/or putting it on your blog sidebar
(either way works for me...but please provide the link...and for those of you with multiple blogs, it does count per blog)


The Rules...
THIS CONTEST IS OPEN TO US/CANADA RESIDENTS ONLY!
(Sorry, but as the contest prize is being given/shipped by the publishers, I must abide by the rules!)

No P.O. Boxes please.
All entries must be received by midnight CST on Friday, December 11th, 2009.
The winner will be drawn no later than Monday, December 14th, 2009 and contacted via email.  Winner will be chosen using random.org.
On that note, please include your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win!  To avoid spammers, feel free to "code" it as shown in the example above.
Once contact with the winner has been made, you have 48 hours to respond back.  If a response is not received within this time frame, another name will be drawn. 
Mailing information will be forwarded to the publishers (Peachtree Publishers) for shipment ONLY and then discarded.
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Have fun entering and until next time....happy reading!

4 comments:

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

What a fun idea.
I've been on a mini YA break too.

Great question!
It makes me think of that movie Cats & Dogs where the cats are evil spies.

Alexia561 said...

Loved the interview! And the book sounds so original and fun!

Hmmmm...what agenda/tendencies would I give a cuddly critter? That's a tough one. I like the cats as evil spies that Juju suggested. How about having pet birds gossip with each other about their owners? The rumors my parakeet could have spread! *L*

+1 I follow your blog
+1 Follow you on Twitter
+2 sent a RT out about the contest

Melanie said...

Who needs to give cats any superpowers? They already have them, I swear. My aunt's cat can make me squirm just by looking at me. She's evil, I say, EVIL! =D

+1 I follow this lovely blog
+1 I follow on Twitter: @MelanieMFoust
+2 I tweeted: http://twitter.com/MelanieMFoust/status/6305878173

Alexia561 said...

Oops! Forgot to leave my email address before! *facepalm*

Alexia561@yahoo dot com

Sorry about that!

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