Friday, August 24, 2018

The Benevolent Dictator by Tom Trott - Book Tour

The Benevolent Dictator

Ben longs to be prime minister one day. But with no political connections, he is about to crash out of a Masters degree with no future ahead. So when by chance he becomes fast friends with a young Arab prince, and is offered a job in his government, he jumps at the chance to get on the political ladder.

Amal dreads the throne. And with Ben’s help he wants to reform his country, steering it onto a path towards democracy. But with the king’s health failing, revolutionaries in the streets, and terrorism threatening everyone, the country is ready to tear itself apart.

Alone in a hostile land, Ben must help Amal weigh what is best against what is right, making decisions that will risk his country, his family, and his life.

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Author Interview

1.       What is the first book that made you want to be an author?
The Big Sleep. It was the first book I had read that played games with you. The narration was funny, it joked with you, it was sarcastic. I had never experienced that before, to feel the weight of personality through first-person narration to the point where it felt like they were sitting in the room with you just telling you the story. It was the first time I read a book and thought “I could do that”.
2.       How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
From planning to publication about thirteen months. It shouldn’t really take me that long but I have a day job and so have to snatch as many moments to write as I can (without becoming a stranger to my wife). My first book I wrote in only a couple of months, but it was an idea I had had for years and so there were no kinks to work out and no obstacles to run into.
3.       How do you select the names of your characters?
With the two principle characters of The Benevolent Dictator I actually used two different approaches. For the narrator, Ben Hollow, I recycled a name I had used in something unpublished. I loved the symbolism of the name Hollow, and how it suggested the idea of seeing the book through his eyes. For the title character, Amal, I trawled through Arabic names until I found one with a meaning I felt was appropriate, in this case “hope”. It’s actually a female name, so I had to explain that away in the book because I didn’t want to give up good symbolism. With the rest of the characters I used this approach and gave them names that either reflected how people saw them, or their true nature.

4.       If you were the last person on Earth, what would you do?
Probably amuse myself by snooping around other people’s houses and breaking into all the places you’re not supposed to go. All writers are naturally curious, and the freedom to explore other people’s lives would be too much to pass up.
5.       What are your top five favorite movies, any genre?
Rear Window (a perfect movie, my favourite). Die Hard (perfect in a different, more accidental way). Heat (again perfect, again in a different way). The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (close to my heart). Raiders of the Lost Ark (again perfect).
6.       Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
The hardest thing to do is just writing the whole book. So, just write the whole book. Whatever it is, finish it. Don’t worry if you think it’s terrible, deal with that afterwards. Write the whole book. Then you have something to work with. And if you publish it and it’s terrible you’ll do better next time. The best way to learn to write is to write, read, and re-write.
7.       What book do you wish you had written?
Rebecca. It’s perfect.
8.       Tell us 10 fun facts about yourself! :)
1.       I eat too many crisps (chips in American)
2.       I make an amazing pasta sauce
3.       I will probably never earn enough to own a house
4.       I have a drinks cabinet and love mixing cocktails
5.       I don’t follow any sports
6.       My wife is the only girlfriend I’ve ever had and we’ve been together since we were sixteen
7.       I find all animals adorable, even snakes and rats
8.       My favourite animal is the squirrel
9.       I can put my leg behind my head
10.   I suffer from eczema and am not ashamed of white flakes in my hair, it’s not my fault!


Author Bio – Tom Trott was born in Brighton. He first started writing at Junior School, where he and a group of friends devised and performed comedy plays for school assemblies, much to the amusement of their fellow pupils. Since leaving school and growing up to be a big boy, he has written a short comedy play that was performed at the Theatre Royal Brighton in May 2014 as part of the Brighton Festival; he has written Daye's Work, a television pilot for the local Brighton channel, and he has won the Empire Award (thriller category) in the 2015 New York Screenplay Contest. He is the proverbial Brighton rock, and currently lives in the city with his wife.


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