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DeadStar by Nick Griffiths - Book Tour

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 Book Blurb

What's it like to reach for the stars, but end up floating in a tin can?

Garth Tyson wanted to be the next David Bowie. He fell short. Waaaay short. Burnt out, he fled the stage at Glastonbury '85, having been pelted with mud, and was never seen again.

You're familiar with the stars of this era: the Adam Ants, Duran Durans and Depeche Modes - musicians who successfully navigated punk and New Wave to become icons.

Bet you've never heard of Garth Tyson - singer, brother, dreamer. Stallholder.

That's why we're here.

Decades after Garth's disappearance, former bandmates, friends, relatives, lovers, music-biz execs and two fans (you try finding more) reunite to tell Garth's compelling, tragicomic tale. Can any shed light on what really happened to him?

Not everyone appears willingly. Here's Garth's 80-year-old mother, Doreen Thyssen: 'I don't like people who dig dirt. Fuck off.' The charmer.

Loved Daisy Jones? Try this perfectly squalid British version.


Buy Links
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/DeadStar-Who-Hell-Garth-Tyson-ebook/dp/B09NGQM5MP

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/DeadStar-Who-Hell-Garth-Tyson-ebook/dp/B09NGQM5MP

 
Author Q&A
1. What would you consider to be your Kryptonite as an author?
I could be easily distracted in a vacuum. Stick something I have to finish in front of me, the next thing I know I’m at the sink washing clean dishes.

2. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Writing is all about practice: the more you write, the better you (should) get. So keep going!

3. What book do you feel is under-appreciated? How about overrated?
Under-appreciated? My back catalogue! A bookseller told me that Dalek I Loved You (my memoir about growing up in the Seventies loving Doctor Who) could have been the Nick Hornby of geekdom. It wasn’t to be. Overrated? Obviously Shakespeare isn’t overrated but I never got it. We were taught The Merchant of Venice at school, with all the enthusiasm of a salted slug. Will’s genius was never explained to me so all I saw was a load of anachronistic text that needed literal translation. I guess that’s a shame but I’ve managed to find alternatives.

4. Favorite childhood memory involving books?
I was an only child so my head was always in a book. I loved finding a character whose book turned out to be part of a series, as I’d then pile through that. Roughly in order: Richmal Crompton’s William books, Jennings, Willard Price’s Adventure books, the Moomins, Hardy Boys, Three Investigators, Ray Bradbury, Sven Hassel, Flashman… These fed my young head.

5. If you could dine with any literary character, who would it be and why?
Scrooge at Christmas, pre-ghosts. It’d be hilarious, winding him up. “Pull a cracker, Mr Scrooge?”

6. Did you want to be an author when you grew up?
No, like everyone else at the time, I wanted to be an astronaut. Only towards the end of my ceaselessly tedious degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering did my childhood love of books and words occur to me.

7. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Cynical, childish, tramp-like.

8. What’s one movie you like recommending to others?
Withnail & I. I’ve watched it at least 50 times. It is the quintessence of Englishness and utterly hilarious.

9. Have you ever met anyone famous?
I wrote features for the Radio Times for several years, having written for the music press, so I’ve met loads. Among the heroes I encountered, who did not disappoint: John Thaw, Tom Baker, David Bowie.

  

1. What is the first book that made you cry?
OMG. I will never, ever forget a book called Mattie, by… DW (GD?) Griffiths. (I’ve just googled it and it was GD – the cover of the book on Amazon is exactly the edition I had. He was no relative, I can assure you.) Anyway, it was about a family of hedgehogs and not terribly far into the book this vast farmer chops one in half with a shovel. I wept and wept and wept. I remember my Dad coming to my bedroom, asking what was the matter. Couldn’t read another page.

2. How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
Anything up to half a year. DeadStar was my quickest, at three months for the first draft (multiple successive drafts considerably up that figure). I fashion a chart to set myself daily targets and if I miss one, I’ll try to catch up the next day. It’s a great motivator.

3. How do you select the names of your characters?
I use – and highly recommend – the Scrivener software, which has a name generator. I also use name generators online. Occasionally, they’ll just come to me. I’ve thought of some pretty stupid ones in the past: Harrison Dextrose, Livingstone Quench. DeadStar was me veering away from that sort of thing.

4. If you were the last person on Earth, what would you do?
Cry.

5. What fictional character would you want to be friends with in real life?
They’re not book characters, but I desperately wanted to be mates with The Mighty Boosh. It looked soooo much fun.

6. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Keep writing. Pay heed to the changes made by editors – it’s the best way to learn.

7. What book do you wish you had written?
I wouldn’t mind being (a taller, less squeaky) David Sedaris.

8. What is your favorite genre to read?
These days I read only non-fiction, primarily music, but also about comedians – I’m halfway through an MA in Comedy Writing – mountaineers, historical London and the Middle Ages. (It’s a pretty strange mix when you write it down.)

  

1. When did you write your first book?
I started writing In the Footsteps of Harrison Dextrose so long ago that I can’t really remember exactly when I started it. I’d read a ton of Bill Bryson and thought I could probably write a funny travel book myself, however traveling fails to agree with me, so I had to make it all up. That book took years to write – contrary to the above – though with enormous gaps in between spurts of toil. I used to daydream about it one day being published – and then one day it was! No one bought it, which left the cake somewhat un-iced. I remember finding a signed copy in a charity shop in Walthamstow. The only copies I’d signed were to friends, at the book launch. Sadly I hadn’t dedicated it or I could have punched them on the nose.

2. What sparks your creativity/how do you get your ideas?
It took me ten years to come up with what I considered to be a decent book idea: the fictional oral music history of DeadStar. It occurred to me having finished Dylan Jones’ oral history of David Bowie: what if I made one up? It’s perfect for my writing style, as reading/writing lengthy descriptive passages bore me, and the interview-quotes style largely negates that. The ideas within DeadStar come gradually, I guess, and appear more readily as the characters build and become more real in your head. How would x react to y? If they’d most likely do one thing, I’ll occasionally switch to the complete opposite, to keep the reader guessing.

3. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
My hobbies, I guess, are reading, playing badminton, drinking cider and making my kids laugh. My absolute raison d’etre in writing is to make people laugh.

4. Do you listen to music when writing?
No. Never. I wish I could. I used to tell my parents that I revised for exams better with music in the background, which was a whopping great lie. I cannot focus if there are any distractions.

5. If you could have a dinner party with 3 other authors, who would they be?
David Sedaris, Tom Baker and Bruce Robinson. Oh man, you’ve made me wish it were possible.

6. If you had to pick a celebrity to cast for your main character, who would it be?
Weirdly, I’ve never thought about that. While I was writing DeadStar, Spinal Tap was in the back of my mind the whole time. I wanted to write a literary Spinal Tap, set during punk and New Wave: a Spinal Tap for the kids (who are now grandparents, but hey). So, who would play Garth Tyson? He’s a troubled, introverted, bright young bloke who comes alive onstage. I really don’t know. Surprise me.

7. If you could travel anywhere in the world to write, where would you go?
I am desperate to visit the Sichuan region of China, because I am addicted to their ultra-spicy cuisine (and fascinated by the country, though this isn’t a good time). I wouldn’t do much writing, because I’d be constantly visiting restaurants.

8. Do you have a favorite food/snack/drink when writing (or anytime)?
Endless cups of tea. You not only get the tea but also the benefit of being distracted by having to make it.

9. How do you choose your book covers?
DeadStar is my first self-published book; all the others had their covers presented to me fait accompli (more often than not, to my pleasant surprise). For DeadStar I chose a photograph that evoked twilight at a music festival, since Garth disappears after playing Glastonbury. I love the colours and the blurred imagery. Writing the blurb was another matter. Took almost as long as the bloody manuscript.

10. What’s one thing you’d like to say to your readers?
If you enjoy DeadStar please spread the word! Review, social media post, anything. Thank you!

 

Author Bio
Nick Griffiths first printed work was a review of The Shamen, in Sounds, dated November

1989. The once psychedelic band had gone house and he simply didn’t understand.

After Sounds – his music weekly of choice throughout his youth, so a dream come true – he

was headhunted for the launch of Select magazine, for whom he wrote reviews and

features, involving a brief but swoonsome meeting with his all-time hero, David Bowie.

David gently advised Nick to given Lodger another listen, so he did.

Moving on to women’s and computer games magazines by the mid-1990s, Nick settled

freelancing for the Radio Times and Daily Mail, reviewing TV shows and interviewing their

stars, too numerous to mention. He became Radio Times’ Doctor Who correspondent after

the show’s return in 2005, which led to him being commissioned by Gollancz/Orion to write

his first book, a memoir about growing up as a Doctor Who fan, titled Dalek I Loved You

(2007).

A Whovian travelogue, Who Goes There, followed, from Legend Press, who also published

Nick’s comic novels, In the Footsteps of Harrison Dextrose and Looking for Mrs Dextrose.

Having also written freelance for several of the national broadsheets, Nick quit journalism in

2011 to move from London to Cornwall (where his wife grew up), with his young family.

Since 2014 he has been running the vintage-lighting shop, Any Old Lights, in Fowey, but

really missed writing. Hence his first book in ten years: DeadStar.

DeadStar, a fictional music oral history, set during punk and New Wave, launches on 25

January 2022.


Follow him at:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nickgriffithsauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NickG_author

 


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2 Comments

Please try not to spam posts with the same comments over and over again. Authors like seeing thoughtful comments about their books, not the same old, "I like the cover" or "sounds good" comments. While that is nice, putting some real thought and effort in is appreciated. Thank you.