Friday, December 14, 2018

The Thing Is

One of the things I enjoy most about blogging is the wonderful people you get to interact with and that includes getting to know new authors.

Today I’m delighted to welcome a new-to-me author, Andrew Carter, to Thoughts in Progress. Andrew is here to talk about his latest release, THE THING IS, which is now available on Amazon.

First here’s a brief synopsis of his book:

          Andrew Carter is a man in his thirties with a wife and child, greying hair and a tendency to go to bed before 10pm. His second book, THE THING IS, is a collection of charming and hilarious tales about all that went on before. From a childhood where he cheated in chess tournaments and tough kids stole his SNES games, he grows into an adolescence including dalliances with drink and drugs, attempts at punk rock stardom and an overwhelming desire to look cool in front of girls.
Wanderlust takes him across the globe where there’s a spot of bother in Bolivia, Australia in a battered van, a police chase in the Greek mountains and a stint as a minor celebrity in Hong Kong. There are late nights and fistfights, Sunday league struggles, call centre hell, a campus love story and a whole lot more.
Like a perfect conversation with your pals in the pub, you’ll feel fuzzy with nostalgia, wince in recognition and laugh out loud.

*  Paperback: 286 pages
*  Publisher: Proverse Hong Kong; 1 edition (4 Dec. 2018)
*  Language: English
*  ISBN-10: 9888491407
*  ISBN-13: 978-9888491407

Now please join me in giving a warm welcome to Andrew. Welcome, Andrew.

"My second book The Thing Is has just been published so I should probably be doing something to try and drum up a bit of interest rather than spending my limited free time watching hip hop documentaries and drifting into Wikipedia wormholes researching the breakdown of Dr Dre and Ice Cube’s relationship.

I certainly need to work on my sales pitch. Someone asked me what the book was about last week, and I said:

“Hmm, I guess it’s a collection of anecdotal tales from various points of my life.

I bet you’re gripped.

The issue is; however, this is an accurate description of the book. Anecdotal tales from various points in the life of a spectacularly unspectacular bloke from England. I think I’m in trouble, aren’t I? 

As much as I enjoy writing, and I’m excited about The Thing Is, I feel awkward talking about it in person (on the internet, evidently no such problem. Thanks for featuring this, Mason!) Even if my friends show an interest, I give short answers and try to move the conversation on to more comfortable subjects such as their thoughts on Dr Dre’s The Chronic. It’s self-indulgent enough to write a book about your own life, so to also talk about a book about my own life, I fear I would become insufferable. I need to spruce my description up a bit though, don’t I? Perhaps I’ll ask my old boss from a former recruitment job for some advice. She had the ability to make a commission-only job selling car breakdown cover outside budget supermarket sound like a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity. She wasn’t entirely honest but that’s by the by.

I finished The Thing Is just before our son was born, which feels like another lifetime now, but I have just read through it for the final edit and I’m really pleased with it. My first book, Bright Lights and White Nights was a novel but, to be honest, the protagonist was basically just me and, aside from the drugs and Triads, the story was representative of my own experiences living in Hong Kong. I thought I had created a good, original lead character, which kind of means I think I am good and original, doesn’t it? This is extremely arrogant.

It took me until after Bright Lights and White Nights had been released to realize how blatantly I’d plagiarized my own life. As a result, I tried to start a second novel about a bunch of people who are absolutely nothing like me in any way whatsoever. When I read back my chapter about a guy who was working in a soul-destroying recruitment job with a charismatic but morally-dubious manager, I could no longer kid myself. Perhaps when I’m in my forties I’ll write a novel that bears no semblance to my own lifea tale about how a group of young men from Compton went on to change the face of music?

A few weeks after Bright Lights and White Nights came out, I started writing a blog, Monday Musings. This started as an attempt to “gain an online presence,” an irritating phrase that kept cropping up in any research I did about book marketing, and something that I absolutely did not have (I have a presence in personIm unusually tallbut this does not help to flog books sadly.) Id never thought of myself as a blog-writing kind of guy, associating the idea more with sun-kissed Scandinavians writing about finding themselves on Tibetan yoga retreats, so I was surprised to find I enjoyed it. After initially writing about my book and getting published, Monday Musings evolved into tales of the mundane and the unusual from my week, such as the time my wife and I were accosted by a giant man holding a box of biscuits.

Monday Musings gathered a steady following and I was pleased to hear that people beyond friends and family were enjoying it. So pleased that I wrote The Thing Is, an entire book in much the same style, only recounting tales from my whole life rather than just the past week. Given the general positivity around my blogs, I’m hopeful that people will enjoy The Thing Is and I’ll sell a few copies. This could be inaccurate, and the only buyers will be a handful of friends and family and I will regret that my mum now knows I got arrested in Greece in my teens. Time will tell.

If you think this sounds like your cup of tea, please have a look at my Facebook page which features regular blogs and book updates.

Andrew, thanks for joining us and sharing this insight into your book. It sounds most intriguing.

Author Andrew Carter
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Andrew, here’s a bit of background on him.

ANDREW CARTER was born in Leeds in 1986 and grew up in the city. After graduating from Lancaster University in 2009, he spent three years in Hong Kong where he taught English and wrote his first novel, Bright Lights and White Nights, which was released in 2015 to critical acclaim.

Andrew has since moved back to Leeds where he works as a probation officer and occasionally writes for local magazines. In his free time, he plays tennis and 6-aside football and enjoys hiking in the Yorkshire dales. He lives with his wife, Louise and son, Joshua.

Thanks so much for stopping by today during Andrew’s visit. If you’re a writer, do you find that you include bits of yourself in your writing without realizing it?


  1. Bookie lust ignited. Thank you both. And drat you both.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read about my book, much appreciated! It’s great to hear your bookie lust has been ignored!

    2. *ignited! Ha. Annoying autocorrect’

  2. Congratulations, Andrew. And you and I are opposites - I write next to nothing about my own life into my books.

    1. Thanks, Alex. I really appreciate it! I’ve tried writing fiction but it always seems to end up being based on reality! I’m hoping to write a new novel that has nothing to do with my life but waiting for the inspiration to hit! All the best with your writing.

  3. This sounds like a really interesting look at different life moments. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Margot! I really appreciate the positive vibes!

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