Pulp Fiction pt2, Ornithology and a child nearly called Valentino


Thanks to awesome writer, comic book aficionado and FlashDog Brian C. Creek for my nomination. Check out his blog here.

What’s this all about? It’s a blog introduction, designed to be shared so we all get to know a bit more about each other.
• 11 Random Facts.
• 11 Answers to questions posed by Brian.
• 11 New questions posed to 3 new folk.


11 Random facts

1. I have a very unique reason for my name
2. I feel very lucky about the name thing, as I was almost called Valentino 🙂
3. I own a Cockapoo (possibly the worst named dog breed ever)
4. Despite working in one of the most raided banks in London for many years, my first/only encounter being held at gunpoint was when I went to rent a video from our local Off-Licence (the film was really rubbish as well)
5. We live on the edge of a bird sanctuary, and our cat often brings back ‘presents’ which I then have to shamefully phone through to the sanctuary HQ (said cat has bells on her collar and we’ve been told ‘cats are cats’ by the bird folk). The last time I phoned the man said his wife caught and ringed that bird, which made me feel even worse.
6. I’ve never tried Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich – but then I’d never tried rice or pasta until I was about 22.
7. Despite all being born in England, and having lived in England until our 20’s, I am the only one of my siblings not to have returned to the pastures of Ireland (where both sides of my family are from). I’ve always been passionately English, which makes for interesting times during sports events.
8. I have made a career out of breaking things.
9. I have green eyes. I didn’t realise this was rare until last year.
10. I have been known to feel sea-sick just looking at the sea. Oh, how I used to love the Irish Ferry crossings each year. My Dad just loved the Swansea/Cork route, which was about 11 hours of violent sickness.
11. I am a Captain of Dragons and a Flashing Dog.

Answers to Brian’s questions

1) If you could have any super power for a day what would it be?
I would give everyone the chance to rectify one thing in their life (without committing any crime).

2) Who is the most famous person you’ve met?
I’ve met some famous people, but nobody major. I have been in circumstances where I cooked for the Duke of Edinburgh (who came to say hello and he tried a bake I’d made at scouts). Visited the Pope and got special access passes, standing feet away from him with the school choir. Played in a schools exhibition match where the England Manager was feet away, watching me closely and I had an opportunity to score an easy goal but missed and just passed it weakly to the opposing goalkeeper.

It could have been me!

3) If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
I loved visiting Canada, USA and Australia (especially Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef).
No matter where in the world I go, I love where I live and feel amazing when I return. So I probably am exactly where I want to be.

Heron Island
Heron Island
Norwich, the capital of Norfolk and much better than Heron Island :)
Norwich, the capital of Norfolk and much better than Heron Island 🙂

4) What was the first story you can remember writing?
I remember writing a story for my early English exams (I was about 11, I think). It contained very little in the way of punctuation or grammar (some things don’t change).
Then I remember dreaming of this story that I would write. I eventually submitted it to Writers of The Future (a prominent SF award). It was about 15,000 words long and complete rubbish. Heavily clichéd and desperately awful in every way. They probably didn’t get beyond the title.
It contained Enforcers (like Judge Dredd). Glass domes in an apocalyptic world (yes, really). I’m sitting here cringing as I am typing this. Not just the worst thing I’ve ever done. But possibly the worst thing ever done, by anyone!

The worst story ever
The worst story ever

5) Which book do you wish you had written and why?
I purchased my first and only audio-book about five years ago. I love Iain (M.) Banks as an author, but some of the character names and descriptions made the stories difficult to read. The book was called Surface Detail and it expanded on his books about a futuristic society where machines are godlike, but they mostly look after humanity. It reaches a point where our souls are stored in heaven, but then there is a hell. It is magically written, with brilliant narration from the actor. It has themes that span universes, as well as questioning life after death and how technology will play a role in this in the future. Which all seems like decades away to me. Amazing.

6) If you could write a sequel to a movie that doesn’t already have one how would it go?
Some things are so perfect that they shouldn’t ever be messed with. But part of me yearns to know what happens in the years after Pulp Fiction. Jules Winfield walking the earth, doing ‘Gods will’. What happens to Butch? Does Mia take up a dancing career? Do Honey Bunny and Pumpkin realise that they are the weak, and Jules was truly the tyranny of evil men? Just why is Winston Wolfe now doing TV and radio insurance adverts?

Pulp Fiction
One of your five-a-day?

7) If you could be on a writing panel with three other authors, who would they be?
Philip K. Dick as most of my favourite films have come from his stories.
Iain (M) Banks staggering imagination and versatility.
Iain Livingstone to say a massive, massive thank you for the Fighting Fantasy books.

This once inspired me and scared me in equal measure.
This once inspired me and scared me in equal measure.

8) You’re given a time travel device that allows only one time jump. What date do you go to?
I would go back to when I was born and reassure myself over some things.

9) What’s your biggest regret to date?
It is best not to dwell on these things. We are all a product of the things we’ve experienced. Having regrets is counter-productive, best to rectify any previous learning experiences by not doing them again and acting in a positive way.

10) If you could live in any fictional world (filmed or written) where would it be?
While I love the staggering visuals of Perdido Street Station, I’m not sure I’d like to live there. Iain Banks Culture books (if you avoid the wars), generally have humanity being looked after by machines who only want to keep us happy and contented. A life of mostly leisure time. That sounds good to me.

Depiction of Perdido Street Station. Oh, to see the curved bleached bones of the giant creature nestled in the streets of grime, effluent and alchemy – maybe I’ll pass this time.

11) What are your goals for 2015?

Bring FlashDogs vol 2 to successful publication. Grow the community. Plan FD vol 3. Maybe start writing a novel (got as far as a very vague idea and a couple of hundred words into a plan) – I rather like the way that Betsy Streeter has done Neptune Road instalments. Perhaps I’d like to look at publication in some more anthologies / magazines.

1) You are allowed to invite ten people to dinner. You can choose anyone from any point in time. Who do you choose and why?
2) Who is your favourite villain from a fictional book? Explain why.
3) Please pick a story from someone you know that you wish you had written. Provide a link (so we can enjoy it). Explain why you’ve chosen it.
4) Please pick a character from any story you have written and think about the actor/actress that you’d like to play them. Explain your choice.
5) Do you prefer print books or EBooks?
6) Name a writer that you admire that lacks the recognition they deserve
7) Please state your favourite first line, last line and mind-blowing line from a book.
8) Please re-write the ending to a film where the ending annoyed you
9) Remove a character and make a film or book better (you’re not allowed to pick Jar Jar Binks, far too obvious)
10) How much time do you spend a week on writing, reading and tweeting?
11) We catch up with you this time next year, this time in five years and ten years – tell us what you’ve been up to.

Tamara Shoemaker
Voima Oy (because we ALL want to know more)
Chris Milam


3 Replies to “Pulp Fiction pt2, Ornithology and a child nearly called Valentino”

  1. Awesome answers! I can’t believe it, but I forgot to do the eleven weird facts about myself. *slaps forehead* I don’t think there are eleven weird facts about me, and certainly there aren’t eleven weird facts about me that nobody has ever heard before… but it’s an idea for a future blog post! I really enjoyed this. Great choice of fictional world, and an excellent answer for the ‘which film sequel would you write’, and best of luck with your goals for 2015. 🙂

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