My guest today on The Running Commentary is John Dolan, author of ‘Everyone Burns’, a novel and ‘Jim Fosse’s Expense Claim’, a short story. Welcome, John. What? What the heck is that look for?
JD: I don’t think this is a good idea; you’re going to kill me.
DS: Here’s the deal John, not everyone who reads my blog wants to hear about books. Some of them come here because they like to hear about running, and rescuing dead animals, and Dick. I need to entertain them too while I interview you.
JD: I look ridiculous.
DS: Oh, suck it up John. Look, I put on a black leather cat suit (for that interview click here), and it was at least a size too small by the way, for your
blog. The least you can do for me is to join me for a simple run.
JD: But I’m not a runner, Diane.
DS: I’m not a pussy-cat, John.
JD: Hey, you put on the cat suit to sell books, not for me.
DS: (glares directly into his eyes.)
JD: Fine. I’ll go for your silly run but I’m not wearing this stuff (pulling running tights and a thermal shirt out of a paper bag). What the hell are these?
DS: Grandpa’s man panties. My husband swears by them. Don’t you read my blog?
JD: I’m not wearing these, they look like a cotton Speedo.
(An older, extremely fit gentleman walks up wearing running tights and a florescent running jacket)
DS: Dick! You’ve come! I’m so glad you came.
Dick: What the heck, Diane. I told you men need to wear a running brief. He can’t run in cotton man panties.
DS: No you didn’t. Well, maybe I misunderstood you a little, but I swear I saw vinyl running man panties when you flashed me. Anyway, enough about that. I’m glad you came to help John on his first run.
JD: (hand over mouth in talking into my ear) Who is this Dick?
DS: You don’t read my blog, do you? Dick is almost 70 years old, my running mentor and he is here to offer good advice to you and any other new runner out there.
(John puts on the running clothes after Diane threatens to tweet spoilers on his book if he doesn’t)
DS: You look great, John. Let’s start out with a brisk walk and we can talk a little about your books. I’ve read them both and loved them both. I don’t give 5 stars easily, but I did to both of your books. You are the master of twists. But first, ‘Everyone Burns’ takes place in Thailand, why?
Dick: Walk tall and use your core son, it’s all about using and strengthening your core.
JD: Strengthen my what? My ‘core’? What on earth is that? I’m not an apple. Oh, never mind. I’m walking. It’s right foot after left, isn’t it? Or is it left after right? Give me a minute. I’m not used to walking and talking at the same time. OK, got it. What did you ask me? Oh, ‘Everyone Burns’, yes. It’s set in Thailand because it’s got lots of Thai characters in it. I thought they might be a bit out of place in Kentucky.
DS: Careful. We Americans don’t take kindly to sarcasm.
JD: That was irony, actually, but don’t worry about it.
The book is the first in a series – ‘The Time, Blood and Karma Series’ – and the story will move backward and forward between Europe and South East Asia over an extended period of time. Although the novels can be tagged as mystery/crime, each book is really about a bigger theme of interconnection, a premise I set up in ‘Everyone Burns’.
DS: What do you mean by ‘interconnection’?
JD: It’s like the idea that when you throw a stone in a pond, you never know how far the ripples will spread or what they will touch. In the case of my series, this is tied firmly to the Buddhist notion of ‘karma’; that all our actions have consequences and sooner or later those will come back to us.
But the short answer to your question is that I write about the places I know, and I hope the exotic location and culture of Thailand will appeal to readers. It felt like the right place to start the series.
Hey, there’s a hill ahead. You never told me we were going up hills.
DS: Stop whining. So … you’re from England and your wife is from? Do you have kids? Because Reason to Run #68 is to set a good example for your kids.
JD: My wife is also from England. She’s also a blonde who tells me to stop whining, but in an English accent. I have two sons and one daughter, two grandsons and three step-daughters. I’m not entirely sure how all that happened, but there you go. I also have a cat and a Jack Russell. I like to think my non-exercising is setting a good example for the cat.
Dick: Let’s run, you’ve had enough of a warm-up. Let’s just run to that pole over there. Start with a short distance and build up from there.
DS: You haven’t always been a writer, or have you?
JD: I … can’t … talk and … run… Wait, I must have run 100 meters. That’s nearly a mile, isn’t it? Let me walk while I answer. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been scribbling one way or another: poetry, plays, short stories, sketches, songs. But I’ve only recently started writing full-length books. The time seemed right somehow.
DS: Are you going to walk every time I ask you a question? How about we run while I talk, and walk while you talk?
JD: That works for me.
DS: Your bio says you make a living by traveling. I have to say, I hate you. I am so jealous. How do you do it and is it as awesome as it sounds?
JD: Well the aeroplane does most of the work and I tend to sit and drink a lot of coffee, poured for me by a stewardess. But seriously, I’ve been in the power business for over 20 years, and been fortunate enough to look after projects as far apart as Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Bangladesh and Malaysia. I’ve been to every continent apart from Antarctica. It’s great working and interacting with people from all sorts of cultures and backgrounds, but as for the travelling bit itself … well, one airport lounge is pretty much like another. And with all the visa stamps I get through passports pretty quickly. In fact I have two of them. Sometimes when people ask me where I live I say I live in a pressurized steel tube at 35,000 feet.
DS: I notice your answers area getting longer. You’re cheating yourself, John. Your body wants to be a runner.
JD: No, my body wants to be in a pub.
DS: (sighs) Your stories contain a lot of sex, drinking and stripping. Do you live vicariously through your characters or are they an extension of your current life?
JD: Yeah, I spend a lot of my leisure time shagging policemen’s wives and bargirls. What sort of a question is that, Mrs Strong? Actually, like most – or perhaps all – writers, I base my characters on people I’ve encountered, and then I mix them up a bit. It’s true that my anti-hero, David Braddock, does think rather a lot about the fairer sex, but I don’t suppose he’s remarkable in that. He also likes a drink, which I don’t. The last time I was drunk was the night before my first wedding and that was about 400 years ago. And as for the stripping, the closest I get to that is stripping the paint off walls.
So are we done running yet? How far have we gone? I think I have chaffing.
Dick: It’s those darn cotton man panties.
DS: They’re grandpa’s man panties, my step-father in-law gave them to us. Hey John, where can we find your book exactly?
JD: ‘Everyone Burns’ is available in paperback and Kindle formats. You can go to Amazon and take a look at the book by clicking HERE.
Dick: You’re coming with us tomorrow right John?
Dick: Yes, on a run. But tomorrow it will be a different road, at a different pace for a different distance. That’s my advice to all runners, change it up, it will keep you running for 50 years just like me.
JD: That’s great advice Dick, but I think I’m going to go back to torturing people on my blog GALERICULATE. Or maybe just tweeting some nonsense @JohnDolanAuthor. I’ll try to run a few laps around the Dubai Dungeon each day though, I promise.
DS: You did a great job today John, but I’m a little concerned about the way you are walking. Is it the chaffing? Oh, tell me, is there another book in the making?
JD: I’m currently working on the second book in the series, ‘Hungry Ghosts’, which will be out later this year.
DS: I’m pretty excited for that. Come on John, let me get you something for that chaffing, want some alcohol?
JD: A beer would be good, but at this point I think a gentleman’s support girdle and some painkillers would be of more use to me.
#Running #books #free #Thialand #mystery #crim