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Dead & Talking by Des Burkinshaw - Book Tour + Giveaway

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Dead & Talking

If a ghost appeared from nowhere, rescued you from suicide and then ordered you to start solving crimes to help dead people, what would you do? When it happens to Porter Norton, he just wants to put his head in his hands and have nothing to do with it. But now he has to atone for the family curse that has seen all the men die at their own hands for five generations. The Gliss, the sarcastic spirit that rescues him, says he can now and see and hear the Dead - if he’s close to their remains. Porter has to use his unwelcome gift to clear up past injustices. Or else. Forced to investigate the murder of a WW1 British Tommy executed for spying in 1917, he begins to suspect the case has links to his own family history. Along the way, Porter enlists the help of a bickering group of misfits, who struggle to stay involved - because only fools believe in the supernatural, don’t they? Full of pop culture references, banter and twists, the story takes us from present-day London and Flanders to scenes from World War 1. As Porter, The Gliss, and friends, get deeper into the explosive case, they discover their own lives and sanity are at stake. An evil from WW1 pursues them all.

Purchase Links:
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Author Q&A

1.       What is the first book that made you cry?
I’ve read thousands of books but the first proper novel I read was for English Literature classes at High School. It was Pride and Prejudice. When D’arcy and Lizzie get together at the end… I was 14, I had heaven only knows how many unrequited loves going on…it struck a chord. That’s actually gotten deeper over the years.
2.       How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
If I was free of every other pressure, 3-6 months including a good few drafts. But I’m not free of other pressures, being a filmmaker by living. This book was written over 18 months if you include the research. Like most first time novelists, I spent a lot of fiddle time, trying to make it perfect. I’m already working on another book as well as the follow up to Dead & Talking. Both will be finished much quicker than the first one.
3.       How do you select the names of your characters?
I also write scripts for children to act. I need to come up with dozens of new names per year. I love doing it. I just hear combinations of things. For example, we called a character Professor Geselteiger in one of our most recent films. I just made it up.
4.       What creature do you consider your "spirit animal" to be?
A dog. Fun-loving, loyal and more intelligent than most people realise. I hope.
5.       What are your top 5 favorite movies?
Once Upon a Time in America
Strictly Ballroom
Citizen Kane
It’s a Wonderful Life
Life of Brian
6.       If you were the last person on Earth, what would you do?
I’d find a home with a really good piano in it and scavenge for music. I’d have to find some library books and work out how to keep a generator going so I could still listen to recordings of people. Otherwise, I would definitely go mad.
7.       What fictional character would you want to be friends with in real life?
It would have to be Sherlock Holmes. I’ve been obsessed by Holmes since I was about 19. I would like to be John Watson number 2, attempting to get him to explain his thought processes a bit more. Watson is a great chronicler of Holmes’ stories, but he does let Sherlock off the hook too many times.
8.       Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Live a bit of life, meet hundreds of people, get into dangerous situations, write every day.
9.       What book do you wish you had written?
Virtually everything. You want me to be more specific though…ok I wish I had written anything by Harlan Coban. His big theme is loss and how to deal with it. There’s always someone or something missing at the heart of his books. It’s not a given he’ll find out what happened to them or that there will be some reconciliation. But you can’t help feeling sorry for his protagonist,
10.   Tell us 10 fun facts about yourself! :)
1.       I have 36 guitars – but they all do different things. I have quite a few keyboards as well.
2.       An armed bank robber shot at me when I was reporting a siege once.
3.       When I went to my first post mortem, I wasn’ t sick.
4.       I was one of the journalists who got to travel on the first ever Eurostar between London and Paris. The train broke down at Waterloo and we all got horribly drunk.
5.       I’ve played piano, side by side, with three of my biggest musical heroes, on their own pianos, in their home studios,  ELO’s Jeff Lynne, the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson and some bloke called Paul McCartney.
6.       One of my early stories played a part in bringing down John Major’s govt. I feel a bit bad about it now.
7.       I played with Chas and Dave in concert once – I said I wanted to write a feature about playing at the Hackney Empire, so they invited me to join them.
8.       I used to produce the BBC3 coverage of Glastonbury for a couple of years at the BBC.
9.       I had a massive row with George Michael (among others) when I was producing the ITV Chart Show. To be fair to me, I was only doing the right thing in the face of pressure from artists.
10.   As a student, I ran my own magazine on comedy and as a result got to spend a week in rehearsal of Black Adder the Third and even got a casting vote on one disputed line. 

Author Bio –
Born in the middle of the Summer of Love on a pre-fab council estate in Luton, teenage bitterness and a chance viewing of the Watergate movie, All the President’s Men, made him vow to become a journalist and bring down the government. 

First he had to pay for his journalism course, so he became a civil servant. Literally the day he had enough for his fees, he packed it in.
Twelve years on from watching the film, he was a journalist at The Times and had a big hand in bringing down John Major’s government. News ambitions sated, he packed that in too. 

Several years of working for Channel 4, ITV and the BBC as a senior producer saw him working across the world, but he eventually got fed up with asking bands how the new album was coming along, and packed it in. 

He set up his own production company magnificent! in 2002 and simultaneously worked on the BBC Live Events team for another 10 years. But then six years of work on the Olympics came along, so he packed the BBC in. Again. 

Des has jammed with many of his heroes from Paul McCartney to Brian Wilson, Queen to Nancy Sinatra. He has interviewed many A-listers, including David Bowie, Michael Caine, John Cleese and even Noam Chomsky. 

He has directed/produced a fairly long list of people – Muse, Coldplay, Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, produced BBC3’s Glastonbury coverage for a couple of years, made films about leprosy in India, comedy shorts with Miranda Hart and Lenny Henry and played guitar for Chas and Dave at the Hackney Empire. 

He has made 300+ short films for the Queen, MI5, the BBC, Sky, Discovery, EMI, the British Academy and dozens of authorities, charities and private sector firms. His most recent publication was a series of interviews with leading academics like Mary Beard on the state of the humanities which was published as a standalone magazine by the British Academy.

Fed up with travelling and determined to be a half-decent dad, he now works in London as often as he can. He runs the Young Directors Film School making movies with young people and is about to head up the Digital Film and Video MA at Tileyard. An avid musician and producer, he releases his third album as Romano Chorizo (he plays drums, bass, piano, guitar and really bad sax). 

He hates to be pigeon-holed, thinks creativity is a learned state of mind and wishes they would teach people memory and learning techniques at school. 

Dead & Talking is his first novel, the first in a series of Porter & The Gliss investigations.

Giveaway to Win 3 x Signed Copies of Dead & Talking (Open INT)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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