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You may not have heard of Wallace Runnymede yet. But I am a little difficult to forget, once you first get to know me... And my art! Catch my AMA, in order to find out about my side-splitting satire, evocative poetry and breath-taking speculative fiction. That's right! Ask me ANYTHING at all! That's what I'm here for.

Jonathan Ferguson
Oct 11, 2017

I've been published in various satire and journalistic outlets; but I'm actually here to talk primarily about my books.

For one thing, there's my poetry series 'Alpine Chanter.'

What drove me to write the beautiful spiritual poetry of The Braying Angel?

Does life inform art; or art life?

Ask me anything!

Do you wonder what really makes me tick? What about my weird account of gender dynamics and neurodivergence in Foaming the Optics?

What's all that about?

Where did it come from?

Ask me anything!

Oh, but what's this? Fiction too?

Gripping near-future account of a USA sliding ever deeper into tyranny?

Surely not! What kind of a weird, over-hyped and speculative imagination would bring worth a bizarre novel concept like Honest Adolph?

If you want to know about what led me to develop this weird vision of the future of America, or how us 'across the pond' kinda folks view the current fun and games...

Ask me anything!

And finally...

What else do I have in the pipeline?

How do I see both my published and indie output developing and progressing in the near future?

Have I got anything else in the tank...

Well if you don't ask, you're never gonna find out, are ya?!

Ask me anything!

Follow me on Twitter!

And like my Facebook page...

Here are my Amazon books, as Wallace Runnymede.

And here's my Pronoun, if you use other bookstores.

https://twitter.com/W_Runnymede/status/917051781250715650

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Conversation (43)

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Really enjoyed your AMA, I wish you all the best :) I thought you might like to check out this other AuthorsAMA - Enjoy!

Oct 11, 8:17PM EDT1

Thanks, I will!

Oct 11, 10:28PM EDT0

So fantascti. 

Oct 11, 1:14PM EDT1

Thank you!

Oct 11, 4:35PM EDT0

Your welcome. Your so amazing person;)

Oct 12, 11:23AM EDT1

Is the rise of Western satire over the last few decades a sign that our societies are inherently flawed and possibly in decline? Is satire a symptom of that flaw, since instead of helping to fix society, satirists just mock everything?

Oct 11, 10:19AM EDT0

It's a question well worth asking.

I think one can view it as a division of labor.

If you have an entire nation of satirists, then that is no more use than an entire nation of farmers, or of painters, or of factory workers, or of medical folk. 

As long as there are plenty of people to engage in academic critique, mainstream and indie journalism, grassroots blogging, social media, or whatever else one can think of, I don't think having a lot of satirists will be a problem.

I do think, though, that there is a risk of satire becoming a substitute for serious critique.

Ultimately, satirists should rest fairly easy. We're not 'stealing' time or other resources that could be spent on more rigorous and systematic criticism of ideologies, institutions or individuals.

However, it's always worth considering whether one might have a vocation to do some prose critique. It's not necessarily either/or.

I've done some journalism myself, and even run some projects on Medium.com

As for the matter of decline: it's a big question. In some ways yes, in others no. There are huge problems not just on a material level, but a spiritual level: moral relativism, nihilism, cynicism. But I like to think it is possible to change that, with dedication and patience. There is nothing new under the sun, after all!

As for whether satire is an indicator of this; it may be, at least partly, a question of technology. It's very easy nowadays, or at least easier than it was, to either find a platform, or make one yourself. So I think it's good to factor that consideration in as well.

Last edited @ Oct 11, 4:54PM EDT.
Oct 11, 11:56AM EDT0
Show all 3 replies

When and why did you start writing about American Politics? 

Oct 10, 9:19PM EDT1

Roughly around the summer of 2015. I submitted some satire to some websites; such as Glossy News, where I am now sub-editor.

But what about books?

My best ever fiction remains unpublished: a 'post-Dystopian' series that actually has some links to Honest Adolph.

I wrote this around the same time as The Braying Angel; around 2015 or 2016. I was coming out of a very damaging and difficult break-up, combined with some very serious health problems. 

The unpublished series partly served as catharsis; but it also helped me work through some philosophical ideas of my own. Hence my journal Universal Libertarianism, or UniLib.

As I've said in some other responses, US politics affects people in the UK a great deal. I hope Honest Adolph will contribute a little towards changing attitudes to war and foreign policy, as well as to politics more generally.

However, it is not some mere political treatise in the guise of a novel. For, it is supposed to be proper art too.

And I do hope many readers will agree with the 4* reviewer of a few months ago. I hope they will view the book as well worth the time spent on it.

Review and interview requests are always welcome!

authorjf@gmail.com

Last edited @ Oct 13, 10:58AM EDT.
Oct 11, 11:49AM EDT0

I had a look inside "Foaming the Optics" and "Honest Adolph" but I have to say it was a bit too much profane language for me, Was that intentional and what statement are you making with that?

Oct 10, 6:09PM EDT1

Excellent question: both probing and honest.

I myself don't really fully understand what was going on with Foaming the Optics; it's a very strange book, and I often didn't have a clear message or agenda.

Sometimes, as an author, one writes with more clarity; at other times, it's almost like 'stream of consciousness,' as it were.

For those who found the text a little crude, or otherwise unappealing, I think the other Alpine Chanter volume would be a better fit: The Braying Angel. There is very little, if any, crassness or obscenity in this; it is also more life-affirming and optimistic. This book helped save me from despair.

As for Honest Adolph, I can say something very different from what I just said about Foaming the Optics. In the case of this sinister look at the near future USA, I wanted to portray a political class in moral meltdown. Certain figures, especially Senator Marcus Charleston Bubble, are really quite vile. 

However, this is not about cheap sensationalism. While much of the dialogue and the violence are difficult to stomach, there is a clear moral purpose behind the horribleness.

It is certainly not about shocking people for the sake of it, or trying to get sales by some kind of immature taboo-busting.

Journal article

One possible anomaly is Saul Friedman, who is one of the main sympathetic characters.

I suppose that he is meant to be a rather earthy and likeable (if flawed) character; so in this case, it's not about showing bad character, so much as a sense of downhomeness.

Last edited @ Oct 13, 10:25AM EDT.
Oct 11, 11:44AM EDT0

What made you interested in writing about American politics? Are British politics too rational? ;)

Oct 10, 4:54PM EDT1

Sliding scale, Mitch! Sliding scale! ;)

Joking aside, I thought the recent EU referendum was an absolute disgrace...

On both sides.

It truly was the closest thing we have to an actual US election; as far as my own living memory is concerned, anyway.

(On that note, please check out Tarquin Binnett's Sound Englishman's Common Sense Jamboree!)

Well, I suppose US politics disproportionately affect the UK; so there's that.

Secondly, the UK media, probably for precisely this reason, talk more about US politics than Canda or Australia.

We don't really have an independent foreign policy, which is a cause of great resentment and bitterness.

If 'our' politicians want respect and legitimacy, they are going to have to show a more patriotic spirit, and stop doing what they are told.

That may sound 'simplistic' to many of our warmongers, but perhaps reality is simplistic!

Either way, Honest Adolph is a little disturbing; I hope it will serve as a warning to some on both sides of the pond; and ideally, many other places too!

Last edited @ Oct 13, 10:29AM EDT.
Oct 11, 11:37AM EDT0

What draws you to political satire? What do you think of the state of political satire at the moment, especially in the UK?

Oct 10, 3:54PM EDT1

Excellent questions which are very relevant to the current climate.

Firstly, I certainly think a lot of my online satire, e.g. my stories on GlossyNews.com, focuses on politics. It's too easy to just say politicians are low-hanging fruit; there is low-hanging fruit everywhere in life, if you look hard enough!

That said, politicians do have a disproportionate power to affect the lives of others for good or for ill. Perhaps, on some level, that's why I talk about politics so much; whether in an artistic or journalistic context.

I do after all have a very stubborn and rebellious streak, which is part of my cultural background; not just as a Hiberno-Irish person, but also in terms of my religious upbringing (although my views on spiritual matters haven't stayed static at all).

I may not sympathise with religious fundamentalism, and I don't consider myself to have particularly hardline views on the Northern Ireland issue.  But I do have a heart that burns against hypocrisy, cant and injustice.

That may sound boastful, but it's not really a boast, because there is a real moral temptation there. Indifference is not always the worst moral crime by any means.

So, I guess I am drawn to political satire by some kind of emotional affinity; and my background probably has something to do with this, as well as the general development and cultivation of my own character, opinions and values over time.

As for question two:

I must admit that I rarely watch television, as I think the price of a TV licence is extortionate, for what little is worth watching. I admit I'm not up to speed on current televised satire, and some of the big hitters.

As for online satire: I think Newsthump have done excellent work. A lot of their material is genuinely funny; some of it is even really quite hilarious. They've managed to get the branding right, including a kind of house style of sorts.

Not sure whether the latter is a deliberate strategy or not; but as soon as you being reading, you just know it's a Newsthump article. 

That said, even Newsthump are not entirely free of what you might call the 'Buzzfeed effect.' This kind of short, snappy satire is often amusing; but by temperament, I'm drawn to things that are a little more complex and detailed.

At the same time, one has to be a realist; if Newsthump writers wrote some of the epics I've written for various satire sites, it might not be as commercially effective.

So, I think there is some good news satire out there, in the UK and elsewhere; my one reservation is that often not very lucrative. And because of this, it does risk getting quite clickbaity at times.

I am not 100% sure if Honest Adolph counts as satire; perhaps a very dark kind of gallows humor!

Last edited @ Oct 13, 10:30AM EDT.
Oct 11, 11:33AM EDT0

Do you self publish or what publishing house are you with?

Oct 10, 2:05AM EDT0

I am mainly self-published: a mixture of Amazon KDP, Pronoun and Draft2Digital. However, I've had a microfiction published in George Donnelly's 'Valiant, He Endured.'

I took my lead from the sci-fi themes of modern Chinese fiction and poetry, such as Lao She's 'Cat Country/City of Cats; as well as a poem about aviation by Xu Zhimo that was discussed in a truly unforgettable manner by the historian Jonathan Spence in 'Gate of Heavenly Peace.'

So, here we have a short but very meaningful parable of Chinese modernity.

Liberty and equality: best friends or enemies?

Or frenemies?

Enefriends?

That aside, I have some very good news: 

I am gettting published by Sad Press! This will be a poetry compilation. Feel free to check the site out, and their current stock.

I am also starting a mailing list soon to update everyone about my books, whether published or indie; as well as a new website! Probably on Medium.com. 

Feel free to ask me any questions about my books, or any news about future publications, at authorjf@gmail.com

Last edited @ Oct 13, 10:32AM EDT.
Oct 11, 11:23AM EDT0

What artists do you like? What are your thoughts on the situation in Barcelona?

Oct 9, 7:33PM EDT0

As per another answer, Yannis, I should probably clarify (just in case) that I really mean my writing; as in Oscar Wilde's 'Art for Art's Sake.'

Right now, who am I reading? Well, I'm exhausted after a very big academic project; so not much pleasure reading. 

I have dipped in and out of Ursula Le Guin's 'The Dispossessed.' It's a highly original and thought-provoking allegory, which is great for someone like me who loves speculative fiction.

Can I learn something from it? Philip Pullman gives advice to writers in the His Dark Materials trilogy:

Read like a butterfly, write like a bee.

What about Barcelona? For quite a long time, I was very guarded about Barcelona.

For, no matter how passionate or polemical I may generally be in tone and style, I like to think of myself as a ruthlessly dispassionate reasoner.

So, it's understandable that I began by taking a skeptical distance from the events, and from the flamboyant rhetoric of the day.

I generally think such disputes (Catalonia, Israel/Palestine, Tibet, Xinjiang, Chechnya, Kurdistan) are more complex than they may appear at first to sentimental and subjective people on any side of the debate.

However, I am disgusted by the behavior of some of the police.

I think secessionism always risks setting very dangerous precedents; there is a real slippery slope there, and God only knows where it will end!

But am more sympathetic to the cause, by now, than I was. to start with.

Ultimately, I don't believe it's for me to meddle in the affairs of others; especially insofar as they do not directly affect me. This is also applicable to many other disputes in the world today.

But it is still OK to express an opinion, and to publicize facts and information. Where do you draw the line between criticism and advocacy, information-gathering and imperialism, journalism and lobbying?

It 's not easy to say.

I can't say for sure what ought to happen in Spain and in Catalonia. But either way, the behavior of some of the police  has been utterly appalling, and I am a bit less well-disposed to Madrid's case than before.

There are limits!

Last edited @ Oct 13, 10:34AM EDT.
Oct 11, 11:17AM EDT0

Where are you from and how long have you been writing?

Oct 9, 5:44PM EDT0

Originally Northern Ireland; now England. 

I wrote a lot as a child, but got very frustrated. I had a vivid imagination; but my long, rambling tales never seemed to finish.

Then, as I mentioned to another correspondent from today's AMA, I tried poetry in the academic year 2007-2008, when I was studying in Beijing.

Check out my story Spaceship Pingdeng, if any of you are interested in China-related matters! It's in the compilation 'Valiant, He Endured,' edited by George Donnelly.

Then there was another long hiatus.

Then one day, at my girlfriend's house, I decided to sit down and experiment.

Why don't I just try one short thing, and see how it goes? I don't have to do anything more than that. Keep it simple... A monodrama.

This is what I told myself. I managed to do a very weird and trippy one-act play; which so far, remains unpublished.

Over time, I grew in confidence. More writing followed, including something on the Victorian code of honour; and various other short-ish 'tableaux,' as I like to call them.

I then got into satire writing, and got published on many sites; including GlossyNews.com, where I eventually worked my way up to sub-editor status. If any of you are interested in news satire, contributions are very welcome!

glossynews@gmail.com wallacerunnymede@gmail.com.

I eventually started self-publishing ebooks; while still getting my poetry, satire, and even journalism, published online.

So, I've been doing serious writing more or less consistently since the summer of 2015, or thereabouts.

If any of you used to try writing when you were younger, and got discouraged; don't be!

I have found myself that maturity and experience bring the discipline to write effectively.

still have a good chance to unleash your creativity.

Sometimes, you can be too early; but I really believe you can never be too late!

Last edited @ Oct 13, 10:37AM EDT.
Oct 11, 11:10AM EDT0

I read a few chapters of you "Honest Adolph" book, is it based on Hitler's personality in your view?

Oct 9, 1:20PM EDT1

I guess there are two possible angles here. First of all, did I deliberately or consciously appeal to Hitler, as a model for any of the characters?

Not really. THere is actually no single real-life historical model for any of the characters; whether it be politicians past or present, USA or elsewhere.

That said, the work is suffused with a general sense of authoritarianism and of extreme populism; as well as the glorification of violence.

In the UK, every teenage learns about Hitler in detail, at high school. So maybe there is something from my high school education that rubbed off there.

Secondly, even if I didn't intend to do this, is there at least an implicit analogy of some kind? 

Well, Senator Marcus Charleston Bubble is the best candidate for this, as he is a hatemongering demagogue; a real embittered, hyper-populist, ultra-reactionary rabble-rouser.

He goes beyond merely talking about friends and enemies, and outright dehumanizes others; not just in his speeches, but even in every day life.

His colleagues bear the brunt of this; particularly those who are in a weaker position.

He even treats his own family appallingly!

Aside from hatemongering and dehumanization, Bubble also brings a certain insincere 'theatre of the diabolical.' He gaslights a little bit.

For example, when someone heckles him with hatred of minority individuals, he doesn't completely disavow the hatred; he messes with people's heads a little. Did I really just see that?!

So, there's a real buffonishness which would be comical, if it wasn't so utterly horrific. Another example is when he talks about throwing the Czar down the well (wrong century!) and brings in a weird musical accompaniment.

The atmosphere is so surreal it leads the journalist Otis Spengler to have a very bizarre visionary experience; which doesn't please his establishment media boss so much.

One more quick point.

Why is Adolph Adams, or 'Honest Adolph,' one of the good guys?

I can't precisely remember why I came up with this name for him, but it might have been a kind of sarcastic irony.

Certainly, Adolph is treated by Bubble and the rest of the establishment as though he were (to quote a common social media meme) 'literally Hitler.' 

Interestingly enough, Saul Friedman also has a curious name, for those who are aware of where this name comes from.

Heroic but flawed.

Virtuous but ever risking failure.

Let's see how the plot unfolds!

Last edited @ Oct 13, 10:41AM EDT.
Oct 11, 4:35PM EDT0

Is it difficult to publish a book? How has your experience been?

Oct 9, 12:23PM EDT1

Self-publishing is quite easy; getting published elsewhere is challenging. At the moment, I am primarily an indie author; but I'm making progress with getting published as well.

If you want to self-publish, you can try services like Draft2Digital and Pronoun (both of which I've used, and can recommend). There are other options too, like Smashwords.

It's not hard to get a decent book prepared; but marketing is very hard. The royalties will not just roll in.

You can learn how to do it better though. George Donnelly has advised me a little.

Speaking of which; George did publish a story of mine in a book of his: Valiant, He Endured.

So, one option is to keep an eye out for people who are looking for submissions for a book they're preparing.

Also, seeking out as well as keeping contacts is useful.

That's all very important. In fact, I met Jo Walton of Sad Press at a speculative fiction conference: CRSF. I am now getting a poetry book published there! So, always remember:

1.. Be bold (but not disrespectful. There's a difference between being courageous, and being intrusive. You can all read about the etiquette of these things, if you can find the right articles online).

2. Whenever you make a contact, don't forget about them. 

3. Remember that contacts may also have contacts. Try and work your way out of your 'central cloister' over time.

Obviously, having contacts doesn't guarantee that anyone will publish you; nor will it guarantee that they will offer advice on self-publication and marketing.

But it's still worthwhile to think about how your contacts, and contacts of contacts, may help you in the future!

Hope this helps.

Last edited @ Oct 13, 10:42AM EDT.
Oct 10, 2:16PM EDT0

Where do you get the inspiration from for your books?

Oct 9, 7:43AM EDT1

Wow! You can ask that in ten words, but...

Well, I'm going to have to say something rather than nothing. That's generally the only thing you can do, right? Imperfection is better than nothing.

Firstly, the Braying Angel came out of a very dark period. I was very unwell, in terms of my mental health.

And I had come out of a relationship, and I knew that I could have and should have done more to prevent this terribly, terribly sad crisis we both shared. 

The Braying Angel represents the whole kaleidoscope of complex feelings from that period; or at least a great number of them.

Grief, pain, remorse, sorrow...

Patience, consolation, bittersweet joy, and wonder.

Wonder, wonder, wonder.

What a beautiful word!

A print copy of this book was the last gift my late mother gave me; so it has an even more special place in my heart. 

What about Honest Adolph?

I think that recent US political developments definitely played a big part; although it would be very wrong to just see this as a direct allegory of the current situation.

Indeed, there is no one-to-one fit between any of my characters, or any politician; whether living or dead. 

It is certainly true, however,  that the US election season, as well as many other developments in politics in the USA and elsewhere, influenced my writing.

But even so: it's not like I can say "Oh look, this is Saul Friedman, and this is (x person)."

Or, "this is Adolph Adams," or Marcus Charleston Bubble, Ruby Chandra de Montevideo, whoever! 

I certainly hope the characters are a great deal more complex than that.

Senator Bubble is shallow, crass and boorish, and is thus a little more 'cartoonish' than some of the other characters. But others are more complex.

Afterall, it's not just about goodies and baddies. Many of the characters are part of the "Cosmic 99%."

By that, I mean the overwhelming majority of people, who are neither especially good, nor extravagantly evil.

On that note, I think the plainness and humility of fallible, non-superhuman figures like Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders has certainly lent an air of 'imperfection' to the proceedings.

I'm all for imperfection.

One simply cannot live without it!

Last edited @ Oct 13, 10:50AM EDT.
Oct 10, 2:07PM EDT0

Have you always been into poetry or is it something that you learnt how to appreciate as an adult?

Oct 9, 3:06AM EDT1

You know, I don't think I ever even thought about that one! But it's a great question.

I guess I wasn't always into it, no.

When did I start?

Maybe falling in love with Byron, Shelley and Blake in my late teenage years.

This was round the time Natasha Bedingfield was singing about these guys:

Dead poets and a drum machine!

As for writing poetry, I made my first serious efforts during my Bachelor's degree, when I had a year abroad in Beijing.

I'm really sad that I don't seem to have any record of what these poems said.

Was I not confident in my writing skills?

Perhaps. 

I don't remember.

Years afterwards, after a very serious break-up, I began to write some poems. This was partly a form of catharsis.

In a sense, maybe it was a little penitential: I felt like the most heartless person on Earth.

Perhaps it was a kind of olive branch that would never be seen or heard of.?

Either way, these poems eventually made their way into the Braying Angel. 

There's an ancient piece of Greek wisdom that says not even the gods can change the past.

This is true.

But poetry can change one's future, if only one is willing to keep that vulnerability, that frailty.

That 'right kind of weakness.'

Last edited @ Oct 13, 10:45AM EDT.
Oct 10, 1:56PM EDT0

What reviews did your books get so far?

Oct 9, 2:55AM EDT1

I've noticed a number of Amazon reviews. I haven't checked other stores in detail yet; including but not limited to Kobo, Barnes & Noble (Nook), iBooks, Google Play.

Any of my books that have been reviewed are 4 stars or above.

I will try and return to this reply later if I get a chance, and add some links. I seem to remember that Honest Adolph (one of my key works, a disturbing look at the near future USA) got a fairly decent review, for the first volume. 

Also the second book in my poetry series 'Alpine Chanter' was well reviewed: Foaming the Optics.

A short, light collection of funny stories also got a decent review: Tarquin Binnett's Sound Englishman's Commonsense Jamboree!

Many people here in the UK will appreciate the latter book; lots of naughty fun and games from 'The Other Nasty Party.'

UPDATE:

Poetry (5*): Foaming the Optics

Short satire book (5*): Professor Smiggles

Speculative fiction (4*) Honest Adolph Volume I

Short satire book (5*) Tarquin Binnett

Finally, one of my stories featured in a sci-fi compilation, edited by George Donnelly. This got 4* on the UK Amazon store, and 5* in the US store.

Hope this helps! For advice on what book might suit best, or to broach the topic of review copies, you may all feel at your leisure to email authorjf@gmail.com.

(Some of my books are exclusive to Amazon, so I will need to see whether these ones are suitable for this option. If not, we can always try the ones which aren't Amazon-exclusive. Email me, and I will try and work out the best strategy, without stepping on any toes).

Last edited @ Oct 13, 10:48AM EDT.
Oct 10, 1:50PM EDT0

What is your art, are you referring to something aside from writing?

Oct 9, 1:27AM EDT1

Ah, yes! I don't know if my use of language was perhaps a little confusing. I don't mean graphic art; like painting, drawing, say. I never really had a talent for that at all. I am a very word-orientated person.

Have I done anything other than writing? I do a little open-mic in my local area. And I recently bought a great microphone that, sadly, I haven't done much with.

Yet!

But I'd really love to co-operate with some people; maybe an audiobook of my writings, or theirs!

Anyone out there interested? Try me! authorjf@gmail.com

Last edited @ Oct 11, 10:51AM EDT.
Oct 10, 1:45PM EDT0

Are you making enough money from writing to live off or do you have another job?

Oct 8, 4:53PM EDT1

Sadly, I am part of the artistic 99%!

Well, it's not actually 99%; I have no idea about the statistics. I am self-employed with right now, and providing some professional services; and even that isn't always so lucrative.

I'm going to keep plugging away with those, as well as my writing.

And I hope to eventually start making some headway with book royalties; as well as freelance journalism contributions.

If my Patreon account takes off in any way, that will obviously help.

I often think that I've been heaping up firewood for a while.

So, all I need is the proverbial 'single spark' that can 'start a prairie fire,' and then all the rest of it can catch fire.

On the other hand, it might  not work that way at all. Maybe it will be a slow trudge up.

So, the other Chinese metaphor would be 'the foolish old man who moved the mountain.'

Not that I am so old, nor young; I am old enough to write with some maturity, but young enough to be still on fire.

I hope I always keep that energy and determination. 

So, yes: I really am just so many other people out there who have begun to make a little progress, but who have a long way to go.

Maybe one day I will get my entire income from royalties; but even if I don't, it is a labor of love. And art is surely its own reward.

I'm always happy to consider collaborating with others; writing or otherwise artistically (audio, video, etc.)

Perhaps some of us can work together for our own mutual benefit.

See the social media links on my AMA, near the top of the page, before the comments. Or email: authorjf@gmail.com

Last edited @ Oct 13, 10:49AM EDT.
Oct 10, 1:43PM EDT0

What is your favorite author and your favorite book?

Oct 8, 3:57PM EDT1

Always a good question!

And yet, so hard...

I haven't touched Dostoyevsky for a while, but I think Crime and Punishment remains as relevant as ever. Better still, it's a cracking read!

1984 is an obvious favorite; some of you who have read Honest Adolph will appreciate that this disturbing account of a near-future USA, sliding ever deeper into tyranny, cannot have remained untouched by my encounter with Orwell.

Isn't this one of the ultimate books that people keep coming back to?

In a way, I would say 'Honest Adolph' is a Pre-Dystopian or Proto-Dystopian work; it may not be full-blown tyranny like Airstrip One that is at issue here; but it's certainly well on the way!

I'm not sure that 'Pre-Dystopian' or 'Proto-Dystopian' are recognized terms, as such; although another author has spoken of 'Post-Dystopian' fiction.

The more people show an interest in Honest Adolph, the quicker I might get towards self-publishing or finding a publisher for my best future work, which is currently unpublished.

I have a series of books where the action actually occurs after Honest Adolph; although the series in question was actually written long before Honest Adolph. 

So, writing is quite a tangled process, isn't it?

Speaking of tangled writers and tangled writings; it's no surprise, then, that I love Tolkien!

One day, I will certainly have to go back to the Lord of the Rings; as well as the Chronicles of Narnia, and the 'His Dark Material Trilogy.'

Sorry I couldn't give you a very direct answer! I'm one of those people who never finds it easy to answer this question in a short way.

I should maybe add, very briefly, that moving from secular literature to a more spiritual level, I love the poetry of Rumi, the book of Isaiah, St John's Gospel, St Augustine's Confessions, St Julian of Norwich's 'Revelations of Divine Love,' Paradise Lost, the Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching) and the Bhagavad Gita.

So, while rooted in Christian tradition, I love to see that of God in every book, as it were!

Last edited @ Oct 13, 10:53AM EDT.
Oct 10, 1:37PM EDT0

Are you well known in your country?

Oct 8, 3:01PM EDT1

I definitely have some progress to make with my branding and platform.

I am motivated to go on ahead with this, though.

Anyone interested in following my progress can check me out on Twitter, or like my page on Facebook.

I'm setting up  a new website and mailing list soon, so I will be very happy to keep people posted!

In the meantime, feel free to correspond with my public email address: authorjf@gmail.com

One thing I should mention is that aside from my books, I have done some freelance journalism and blogging.

However, I am not yet a 'leading light' by any means; but as with my books, I do hope to make progress soon in this area.

I am on Medium, and have some journals there. The main one is: 

Universal Libertarianism.

My style is very much that of a contrarian and a provocateur; not everything I say should be taken literally, or at face value!

One of my most high-profile gigs is my blog at Sputnik. But at this point, I am a blogger, not an employee of Sputnik.

So, as with most publications I've contributed to, I do not 'represent' Sputnik in any way, and I am not a 'Sputnik writer,' as such.

This is quite a long and detailed answer; however, I do want to do everyone justice, and to give a good account of myself too.

The short answer, in a nutshell, is this:

I've made some progress with getting myself out there; but I am still working hard to really become high-profile.

As a low-income person, I am going to make sure I can start bringing in more money; marketing and branding certainly have a big part to play in this.

Last edited @ Oct 13, 10:51AM EDT.
Oct 10, 1:28PM EDT0

Does your poetry also include satire?

Oct 8, 1:35PM EDT1

Sometimes, yes!

Neither of my two poetry ebooks (Alpine Chanter I: The Braying Angel, II: Foaming the Optics) have any satire; at least not in the sense of "ha-ha funny," if you will!

But here is something I am quite proud of:

In Syria Did Cameron (The Satirist)

Although I've published various song parodies, this one is actually a parody of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's renowned artistic fancy, 'Kubla Khan.'

This took a bit of effort; parodying a work of this stature is no mean feat, and certainly carries a degree of presumption.

Obviously not all my poems, satirical or otherwise, are quite as profound or enchanting as this one; but a certain degree of unevenness is only to be expected, after all! I am really quite proud of this one, however.

You can catch a lot of my satire at Glossy News; although most of this is news satire, rather than poetry. I am a sub-editor there, and have contributed a lot of work.

See also my serial of Honest Adolph, on that site. More chapters to follow soon! 

Last edited @ Oct 10, 1:18PM EDT.
Oct 10, 1:17PM EDT0
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