Today I have the honour to introduce David Prosser and his very entertaining “Batsetshire Diaries”, including an interview with his Lordship himself.
“My Barsetshire Diary (The Barsetshire Diaries Book 1)” by Lord David Prosser is a wonderful excursion into the (fictitious) world of Lord David and Lady Julia live a modern day life with their recently inherited title as Lord and Lady. Traditions, British class system and formality meet shopping trips, exercise machines and mundane tasks and issues.
The book is full of situational comedy, irony and great wit and most amusing characters. Told in diary style, small snippets and events illuminate the challenges when two different worlds meet and need to work out their differences. I enjoyed the book very much and am sure you will, too – especially if you like authors and characters such as Georgette Heyer, Anthony Trollope, Stephen Fry, Wooster and Jeeves, Mapp and Lucia etc. – to name a few. Written with fantastic use of the English language the book is a real treat. A fresh breath of air and a very rewarding read.
“The Queen’s Envoy (the Barsetshire Diaries Book 2) by Lord David Prosser are a great addition to the series. In this instalment
Lord David is asked to take over some diplomatic task, in the tradition of his predecessor. His mission takes him to the Middle East where his likeable and unassuming Lordship at first thinks he has failed his task.
This series has a beautiful feel, very witty but gentle, funny and full of great observational humour about human nature and the British, the diaries are a real treasure.
Lord David and Lady Julia live a modern day life with their recently inherited title as Lord and Lady and offer a great persepctive on the life of the gentry. Traditions, British class system and formality meet shopping trips, exercise machines and mundane tasks and issues. Written with fantastic use of the English language the book is a real treat. A fresh breath of air and a very rewarding read.
Interview with David:
Please tell us a little something about yourself as a person and an author:
I’m an ex -Local Government Officer retired on ill health grounds. As a person I’m quite shy though I do have a good sense of humour. As an author I’m more a bender of the truth. Always ready to exaggerate a situation to make it funny. Life should be funny where it can be.
What made you decide to be a writer? Have you always written?
I didn’t start writing until I was 60. A friend in America asked how my day was and I answered in the form of a diary entry from a slightly browbeaten husband and father. She loved it and asked for moe and the first book was born.
For the less educated amongst us, could you shed some light on Barethshire, Mr Trollop and your Lordship?
My friend, who is also a writer and editor compared my writing to Anthony Trollope and I thought maybe I could create the modern day Barsetshire . Angela Thirkell carried on from Trollope after a considerable gap, I carried on from her after the same gap. As for me, I decided to place myself there to narrate the story. The title is another issue. It’s an hereditory feudal title or Manorial title so strictly speaking I’m not entitled to the form of address ‘Your Lordship’. It’s not Lord David Prosser, it’s David Prosser, Lord of Bouldnor. However it would be very difficult to explain that in a book and to be honest I thought the title wouldn’t harm sales so I stuck to the traditional.
How do you come up with your ideas? Who or what inspires you?
Very much like you I watch people to find my characters. The storyline in the first book was based on real life incidents just taken to the N’th degree. The second book, The Queen’s Envoy which is in fact a prequel is all imaginary as I”ve never been to the places mentioned nor rescued damsels in distress.
You write both short blog posts and novels. How do you decide when to keep it short and when to draw the story out?
The writing stopped after my wife was diagnosed with a terminal illness. I’d had a blog in a small way before that but I concentrated more on that as time went on.Lady J had many friends out there that I was keeping in touch with any changes. I was also running a blog on behalf of the cat who couldn’t quite manage the keyboard. His blog eventually became the fourth book I wrote.
You’ve written great characters. Would you say you’re like any of them? Or, how do you create your characters? Did you have any actors or people in mind when writing your characters?
I’m very much like Lord David, the hero naturally. As with all the characters they’re based on observations of family, friends and perfect ( or imperfect) strangers who had characteristics I could use. The situations in the first book are just things that people face every day but in this case faced by a charming , urbane and very female ruled male.
Which book did you most enjoy writing?
The second Book, The Queen’s Envoy was the one I enjoyed most as I had to totally create the situations and then place them in foreign parts and try and get myself out from under without falling into the grasp of scheming females.
What is your writing environment like?
Small, cramped nd very untidy describes it best. I use the second bedroom ( box room) as my bedroom and as the computer room as I sleep very little. I found when my brother slept over I couldn’t put him in here as for some reason he wasn’t amenable to me tapping away at me emails at 3.00 am.
Did you have any say in your cover art? What do you think of it? Tell us about the artist.
The cover of the first book was done by my friend and editor for me. I really liked the pastoral scene. I’m ashamed to say I did the cover for the second book, The Queen’s Envoy, and then had a young artist called Sara Japanwalla do the cover of book 3, More Barsetshire Diary, based on cartoons she did to head each chapter in that book. It was a trial that didn’t really work. I take responsibility for the fourth book Memoirs of a Superior which was by Oscar the cat. The last book I also did the cover for but I’m actually proud of that one, Tall Animal Tales for Toddlers & Up, a book of sillly animal poems dedicated to my grandson Reuben.
How have you found the experience of self-publishing? What were your highs and lows? ;
I’m something of a technophobe so I found the actual formatting very conmfusing. The High, selling that very first book. The Low, actually paying the bribe to the buyer.
What do you like best about writing? What’s your least favourite thing?
The best thing about writing, being paid to think up lies. The least favourite, typing up.
What is your advice to new writers?
Don’t hesitate, but make sure you use a proofreader at least and an editor if possible before publishing. The competition is fierce and readers prefer a book without mistakes.
Who are your favourite authors?
Terry Pratchett, Harlen Coben, Sue Grafton, David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Tolkein.
Who are your favourite independent writers?
AC Flory, SJ Sprague, Candy Sorin Suciu, Candy Korman and just so many more who haven’t written enough to satisfy me yet.
What is your favourite book?
Without doubt Lord of the Rings.
What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?
The Bourne Betrayal by Eric Van Lustbader in paperback.
What is your life like outside of writing?
What life outside writing, or at least blogging and answering emails?
What makes you laugh?
My grandson’s laugh, a good joke. I don’t laugh at people falling, I cringe.
What (not who) would you like to take to a lonely island?
A full Kindle with a power source.
Who would you like to invite for dinner?
My friends in Australia. The people I’m least likely to ever meet.
What song would you pick to go with your book?
The Queen’s Envoy. Would be Search for the Hero inside Yourself., by M People.
How do you handle criticism of your work?
It depends. I accept valid criticism, we can’t please everyone. Trolls annoy me and I have actually answered one though I know one should rise above it.
Tell us one weird thing, one nice thing, and one fact about where you live.
Sorry, probably the most weird thing is that I live here. Nice is that I have some history around me with the ruins of Basingwerk Abbey and the fact, they became ruins when Henry VIII decided on the dissolution of the Monasteries.
What are you working on now?
Just the blog and some interviews though I’m being nagged to write again and to do another book of silly poetry.
Is there anything you would like us to know about yourself and your books?
Me, I’m a quiet chap with a firm belief in the benefit of hugs. See my Buthidar’s site.
My books, well you could read those to anyone as there’s no sex, violence or swearing- just fun.
Connect with David:
Amazon .com Author page http://goo.gl/XIMtUn
Amazon.co.uk Author page http://goo.gl/BBk5yk
Buthidar’s site http://lorddavidprosser1.wordpress.com/