Friday, March 2, 2012

Paul Dennett - The Goalkeeper Part 1

Paul Dennett joins us today to share his book The Goalkeeper Part 1.

Where do you currently live?
Sydney, Australia

Tell us a little bit about your life.
I've worked in a normal job for a great company for eleven years. Recently they were kind enough to let me go part-time to have a shot at being an entrepreneur and I've just released my first book for sale on Kindle. My actual real dream is to become a sporting superstar but too much partying during my twenties - and a lack of any sporting talent - has prevented this from happening!

When did you first start writing?
When I was six.

What was your very first story about?
It was a recount of a day spent racing my plastic dinosaurs down a slippery dip. It was not picked up for publication.

Did you experience anything you’ve written yourself?
No - I have experienced the opposite of it though - my book deals with a successful sportsman.

Who are several of your greatest literary inspirations?
Douglas Adams and Irvine Welsh. Also, although he doesn't write novels, Bill Bryson.

What kind of education have you received, and how has that affected your writing?
A science degree. It taught me how to be succinct.

How much research time customarily goes into your projects?
Quite a lot. Because my work is aimed at improving people's vocabularies while being entertained, I spend a lot of time choosing which difficult words to weave in and making sure the meaning of the words is abundantly clear from context.

Who is your favorite literary character?
Bruce Robertson, from Irvine Welsh's novel, Filth. He is the most horrible, despicable, repugnant character imagineable. I'm not sure it is a good thing that I like him so much!

Who is your favorite character of your own creation?
Forbes Zanchester. After realising his dreams of becoming a successful soccer player are finished, he takes up goalkeeping and discovers he has prodigious talent.

If you were ever to write an autobiography, what would its title be?
'I'm amazed this has been published', the Paul Dennett story.

Tell us about your featured book.
The Goalkeeper Part 1 is a fun journey as Forbes discovers his stunning goalkeeping talent and starts to amaze people. But its main point is that every chapter the reader learns ten difficult words without really having to try.

Why did you write that?
Everyone says that the best way to learn new words is to be a voracious reader - you gradually encounter them and your subconscious works out what they mean. I thought, why not condense the process? Write a normal novel, but strategically add in lots of difficult words and make it as uncontrived and free flowing as possible. It's meant to be like a vitamin shot of words.

Is there anything special you would like your potential readers to know?
There are not actually all that many words separating an OK vocab from a great one. My hope is that my readers enjoy the story for its own sake, and marvel at how their subconscious just picks up the new words. And obviously if you have a big vocab it benefits you in so many ways.

Where is the one place you’ve traveled where you’ve felt most like you fit in?
London. It is 12,000 miles from Sydney, yet I instantly felt at home.

What activity or hobby, besides writing, do you find most enjoyable?
Bowling in cricket. It's a bit like pitching in baseball. When you deliver a ball that sends the stumps flying in all directions it is a stunning feeling.

What was your favorite childhood toy?
Big Ted, a small yellow teddy bear. If I was asked a question and didn't know the answer I would apparently proclaim, 'Big Ted doesn't know that.' Psychiatrists would probably have a field day with that.

What is your most valued personal possession in life? Who gave it to you?
My big television. I gave it to me.

If you lost the ability to see every color but one, which one would it be?

How do you treat people you’re not fond of?

What is hiding in your closet as we speak?
25 t shirts that I had printed with a catchy slogan on them that I've been too lazy and timid to try to sell.

What do you see as your greatest achievement?
Actually deciding to have a go at writing.

What, to you, is absolutely wrong?
1. Violence. 2. Illogical thinking - it amazes me how many people deny the moon landing yet believe in ghosts.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Whenever you use 'should' in a sentence, replace it with 'must'. For example, 'I should join a gym'. I almost never follow this advice though.

If you had to explain the concept of “love” to someone who’s never heard of it before, how would you?
Love is when you have feelings for someone else that are similar but stronger to the feelings you have for yourself.

What about “hate?”
Hate is an intense hostility. It is occasionally justified (for example I'd hate a person who deliberately burned down my house), but usually an indication of a lack of intelligence.

You’ve decided to buy an exotic pet, what do you go for?
A chimp. I'm fascinated by their intelligence.

What do you classify as an “Adventure?”
Doing something you've never done before that scares you - preferably in a good way.

If you could learn one new thing instantly, what would it be?
How to play tennis three times better than Federer. More realistically, how to speak French.

Finish this sentence. “I sometimes find it hard to…”

I sometimes find it hard to consistently back winners at the races.

Our thanks to Paul for stopping by to answer our questions. Find his book below with your eyes, then let your clicking finger guide you.

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