Monday, 1 July 2013

Blog2Buzz Buzzin' author of the week #1 ~ Duncan Whitehead


Welcome to the Blog2Buzz's Buzzin' Authors weekly meme created by All We Have is Stories and Book2Buzz! This meme is to showcase, highlight and BUZZ about the authors that are really making an impression on us! Blog2Buzz is a group on Goodreads welcome to all bloggers and authors wanting to connect with other bloggers and authors! Our goal is to create a helpful, informative and fun community for all in it! We also hope to help generate traffic to everyone's sites and help get their names our there! We encourage everyone in the group to share this meme!

Would you like to be involved as well? It's as easy as a click of the mouse! Just click our logo below to join us!

Our first author to BUZZ about is Duncan Whitehead! I was lucky enough to work with Duncan recently and enjoyed every minute of it! He's uber funny and his book The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club was beyond amazing!

Here's the interview Book2Buzz had with Duncan and some really cool extras!

About Duncan!
Duncan was born in England in 1967.
After a successful career in the military where he served in British Embassies throughout South America and saw service in the Gulf War he joined the world of super yachts as a Purser aboard some of the world’s largest private vessels, working for many high profile individuals, being fortunate enough to visit some of the world’s most luxurious and exotic places.

Eventually retiring to Savannah, Georgia, he began to partake of his greatest passion, writing. Initially writing short stories he finally put pen to paper and wrote The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club, inspired by the quirky characters and eeriness of his new environment, the book, a thriller, which boasts an assortment of characters and plot twists, set in the leafy neighborhood where he lived.

His passion for comedy saw submissions to The Onion and a stint performing as a stand-up comedian.

He is a former boxer, representing the Royal Navy and an English under 19 team as an amateur and is a qualified teacher of English as a foreign language as well as a former accomplished children’s soccer coach.

In 2011 Duncan returned to South America, spending six months in Brazil and a few months in Paraguay before travelling to the Middle-East and Europe before returning to the United States.

He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, gets by with Russian and Arabic and lists his hobbies and passions as cooking, the Israeli self defense art of Krav Maga, Esgrima Criolla (The South American Art of knife Fighting)and the deadly pressure point martial art Dim-Mak.
Duncan has written over 2,000 spoof and comedy news articles, under various aliases, for an assortment of web sites both in the US and UK.

As well as his other activities he performs volunteer work, as a hospice visitor.

He has penned a further novel; a comedy set in Manhattan, The Reluctant Jesus, as well as drafting the sequel and second book in The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club trilogy.

Connect with Duncan Whitehead via the following ways:

Duncan's interview with book2buzz!

The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club takes place in the same neighborhood you lived in while you were in Savannah Georgia, is the park the ladies walk their dogs in really there?
Gordonston is a real neighborhood and the park is how I describe it in the book and it does indeed exist, however the Ladies Dog Walking Club were fictitious so you won't see a group of women, drinking cocktails from plastic cups sit around plotting! 

When you got the idea and started writing The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Cub, did you know how it was going to end?
I did.  I knew that the end would have to be a big twist, as there are twists all the way through the book.  So I knew how it would end, who would die and why and of course the final twist, the sucker punch, I planned that from the beginning.

Have you used any of your life experiences as inspiration for TGLDWC? How so?
Yes, I spent a lot of time in Argentina, where some of the book is set, so I was able to draw on that experience to describe locations and characters I encountered.  Also, I was myself a stay at home dad for a while so I was able to draw on those experiences to develop the character of Doug.
  Click the cover to see my review!           
What made you choose the photo you did for the cover? Were their any other ideas for the cover?
I thought the Lady on the cover kind of looked like she was plotting something and of course she fitted Carla (to some degree) and her dog. Some people have likened the cover to Mob Wives With Dogs! I did consider using a photograph of the actual gates to the park as the cover but when I saw the photo of "Carla",  I decided it was perfect!

Do you have any writing rituals you partake in? Prayer, total isolation, 300 jumping jacks? Anything?
I like to set my stopwatch and alarm for two hours.  I will not do anything but write until that alarm goes off.  Then I will relax and go back and tidy up what I have written.  I let the plot develop in that initial time and get my ideas on paper, but limit myself so I don't go to far.  Another ritual is that I write while completely naked. 

What are you reading right now?
Right now I am reading Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens for the TENTH time!

What would you say is the hardest part of being an author and the best part about being an author and having someone read your work?
The two hardest things are firstly marketing and secondly dealing with negative reviews where the person just did not "get" the story.  Marketing is tough, as there are so many books out there and the reader has such a great choice. As a first time author I am still trying to find that "spark' which help promote the book.  Negative reviews are fine and I believe we all have different tastes, but it is sometimes difficult not to respond to a reviewer who simply misread the book and did not see the clues or understand that the book while a mystery, is tongue in cheek and satirical bordering on dark comedy.  The best part is when someone enjoys the book and gives feedback.  I get a great sense of pleasure that I was able to provide enjoyment to a reader who found the book entertaining.  Which was my aim. 

Duncan, you have traveled quite a lot, Where did you enjoy the most? Where would you still like to visit that you haven't been able to yet?
I love living in the USA.  The USA is my favorite place in world, no doubt about that.  I am proud to live here and I believe it is the greatest country on the planet.  I did enjoy South America, Argentina and Brazil and of course London is a great city and I lived there for many years.  But for me, I enjoy the US best, and I am English! 

Are there any charities or organizations you would like to give a shout out to or anything else you would like to share with the readers?
Yes, I support the Hospice of Broward County, last year I volunteered there and visited patients in their homes.  It is non -profit and is a great cause. I hope to volunteer again there this summer.     

What can we expect from the second book in THE GORDONSTON LADIES DOG WALKING CLUB trilogy?
Well, obviously there are a lot of lose ends to tie up so we can expect maybe one or two people to maybe "disappear'. You can also expect Ignatius's back story.......and a twist on how he developed into...well, I can't give too much away! 

Duncan also got back to me and had a little tid-bit for The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club!
The first draft sequel to The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking has now been written and as in the first book there will be forays to South America, this time Brazil, and to Europe. We will learn more about the "Director" and of course, in the sleepy middle class Savannah neighborhood of Gordonston there is unfinished business and even more secrets and lies yet to be discovered. Past, present, future....everyone is connected and though we may think the past is over...the past has other ideas.....

Duncan also let us know he has a FREE (for right now!) short story on Kindle!


For this weeks Book2Buzz's Buzzin' Author, Duncan Whitehead has also provided us with ANOTHER comedic spoof:

Taylor Swift Breaks Up With Her Mailman, Guys Who Mow Her Lawn, Kid Who Bags Her Groceries And Passing Cyclist All In One Day!

Taylor Swift has announced that she has broken up with her 54 year old mailman - Eric, the spotty teenager who bags her groceries at her local supermarket, Jose AND Manuel, who provide lawn care for her palatial home and an unknown cyclist who happened to pass by her a week ago last Thursday.

"We are never ever getting back together" said the 23 year old singer, referring to the men "I am done, it is over, I never want to see them again...ever...never, ever, never, we are never getting back to together, they can go their way, I'll go mine, I am moving on!"

Swift's outburst though has confused the men in question, as none of them believes they were even dating the fickle singer.

Eric, the mailman, said "I am old enough to be her dad, I have been happily married to Barbara for 22 years, all I do is deliver her mail!"

Equally confused were both Jose and Manuel, who though neither spoke English, scratched their heads and shrugged their shoulders "Que pasa?" they said, before returning to work.

17 year old virgin Scotty "Acne" Wilkes says he has only ever spoken to Swift twice, and that was when he asked her if he needed to double bag her ice-cream.

"Weird" said the spotty faced teen.

Most confused was passing cyclist Dave Montanna, who regularly rides his bike passed Taylor's home.

"I have no idea who she is" muttered the 33 year old homosexual, engaged to his boyfriend, Tatty Mullett, for the past 6 months "Is she mad?"


Thanks for that Duncan!

Do you guys have any questions for Duncan Whitehead? Maybe some words of praise or any questions? Why not leave your thoughts below!

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