• Fiction Fans

Book Tour Q&A: Envy by Tim Beeden


Today we're taking part in the book tour organized by Escapist Book Tours for Envy by Tim Beeden! Continue reading for the book blurb and a Q&A with the author.

 
About the book

When Charlie Lightfoot plays his fiddle, people listen.


More importantly, they pay.


It could be that music is Charlie’s way out of a tough life on the Backstreets of Calver.


There are, however, plenty of people who are only too happy for Charlie to stay exactly where he is. Not only that, they’ll do whatever they can to keep him there.


But when Charlie decides to take his future in his own hands, he realises just how far-reaching the hands of others can be.


A story about always keeping your eye on someone else’s blessings.


“Envy is a Seven Deadly and Four novel set in and around the notorious city built on a hill – Calver. Once within the city’s great walls, you’ll encounter such luminaries as Auntie, Drunk Morgan, Mr Lunk, Blind Watch ‘em, as well as Charlie Lightfoot and his friends. Just remember to watch your step, keep your wits about and carry something pointy.”


The Seven Deadly and Four books have been described as “ideal for fans of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.”

 
On to the interview...!

Thank you so much for joining us for this short Q&A! Before we get going, please tell us a bit about yourself.

By day, I’m a teacher and have lived a varied life, had thirteen different jobs and will one day work out what I want to do (aside from living in a cabin in the woods of Denmark).

I’m married with one child and have a dog whose ears are too big and legs are too short.


We want to start things off by asking: what is a great book that you’ve read recently and why should we give it a go?

So many books to choose from! My last read was actually a listen. I’ve just finished the new Penguin audiobook version of Maskerade by Terry Pratchett. It’s a fantastic production of a brilliant book. Great for die-hard Pratchett fans but also a good one for those not too familiar with his works. You can’t go wrong with a spot of Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg.


Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of reading/writing? Do you care to elaborate?

I like to run, take part in martial arts and spend as much time as possible outdoors with my wife and son. Oh, and consume vast quantities of doughnuts. For the launch of Greed, I had a 12-inch book-doughnut (booknut) made. I ended up eating doughnut for breakfast for about a week. I regret nothing.


Tell us about your road to writing. What made you want to become an author?

I’ve always been an avid reader and very early on started writing. The idea that a thing in a writer’s head can, via the page, transform itself into something in another person’s head seems genuinely magical.


Writing is a hard and lonely affair in the best of circumstances. How do you achieve a good work/life/writing balance?

It’s hard. Especially when you’re self-published. There’s so much to do and, to be perfectly honest, it can feel like wading uphill through treacle. I was fortunate early on to recognize the need for setting out separate times for separate elements. Where possible, if I can grab between 30minutes to an hour a day, it’s possible to keep the ideas flowing.


Is this your first book? If so, what lessons have you learned from writing it? If not, what lessons did you learn from writing earlier books that you brought into this one?

Envy is my second book. I learned that it’s much easier to write a book if you sit your bum down every day (where possible) and just write the thing (and don’t spread it out over years as I did with my first, Greed). For that reason, Envy is a more complete story. Who’d have thought doing hard work produced results?


Do you usually write to background noise, music, etc. or do you prefer silence?

It varies. Sometimes silence is just what's needed. And with that comes the need to enjoy that silence in today's hectic world. Other times I'll go for some blues. I like older stuff (Leadbelly, Blind Lemon Jefferson etc).


What made you want to write in Fantasy? Do you write (or plan to write) in any other genres?

I’ve always enjoyed the fantasy genre but lean more towards the lighter side. One of my favourite films is The Princess Bride and, as a child, I desperately wanted to try and write my own version of The Princess Bride – a funny story with a human level underpinning everything.

As far as other genres go, I’ve started in on a new novel which would slot into the crime genre. It’s about a couple of private detectives named Barnham and Funk and I’m having great fun writing it.


What is one thing that you love about the current state of SFF and what is one thing that you wish you saw more of?

I love the quality of writing being produced in the indie/self-published SFF world. These writers are pushing boundaries, taking risks and most definitely not playing it safe. I’d love to see more people taking risks and challenging some of the tired old clichés of the genre. I’ve always liked the idea of pushing boundaries rather than simply adding to all that’s gone before.


Who are your favorite current writers and who are your greatest influences?

How long is a piece of string! That’s a huge question but I’ll do my best to be brief.

Current: Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Robert Crais, Don Winslow, S.A Cosby, Ronan Hession, Ben Myers, Jon McGregor, Josiah Bancroft, John Connolly, Haruki Murakami, and many, many more.

Influential: All of the above plus - John Steinbeck, Mark Twain, Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams.


What do you think characterizes your writing style?

Humour, human interaction and the fallibility of mankind.


Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Pantser to the extreme. Although, to use a response to this question I’ve used before, I love George R.R. Martin's term of 'gardener' (a plotter would be an 'architect'). I really like the idea of heading out onto the blank page and helping ideas grow. Which sounds terribly noble until you realise most of the time you can't find your spade.


What are your favorite types of characters?

Characters with some degree of humanity. And humour. Real life often involves humour, whether it’s slapstick, dark, cutting or just plain old uproarious.


How much of yourself do you write into your stories?

There’s obviously got to be a decent helping of me in there, it’s unavoidable. I can’t imagine a scenario where an author’s writing doesn’t contain any of themselves in there somewhere. That would seem unnatural to me. More to the point, my writing contains little bits of everyone I’ve ever met in one way or another. I think we absorb, sometimes without realizing, and then out it pours when needed.


For those who haven’t read Envy, give us the elevator pitch.

When Charlie Lightfoot plays his fiddle, people listen. More importantly, they pay. It could be that music is Charlie’s way out of a tough life on the Backstreets of Calver. There are, however, plenty of people who are only too happy for Charlie to stay exactly where he is. Not only that, they’ll do whatever they can to keep him there. But when Charlie decides to take his future in his own hands, he realises just how far-reaching the hands of others can be. A story about always keeping your eye on someone else’s blessings.


What do you think is the overarching theme?

The power of music, friendship and the destructive nature of ingrained privilege.


Were there any specific challenges with writing Envy? Or, did you find anything to be easier?

Envy was a much easier book to write than my first book, Greed. That’s because I wrote it from start to finish without any breaks. Greed, I wrote as a fun project over many years but struggled to pull it all together. Envy flew out!


If you had to do so in just one or two sentences, how would you describe the plot of Envy?

Boy learns the transformative power of music and sets out to fulfil his dreams. For various reasons, lots of people aren’t particularly happy about this.


They say to never judge a book by its cover and maybe that’s true in the philosophical sense, but it certainly happens with books. Can you tell us about the idea behind the cover of Envy?

This is where I get to wax lyrical about my art guy, Jack Staples. He’s amazing and totally responsible for the cover. I sent him an idea I had which consisted of one very poor drawing of a violin and he took that image (once he’d stopped laughing), wove his magic and the end result was amazing. Jack is an absolute legend in my mind!


Do you have a favorite quote from Envy that you can share with us?

I found this a tricky question to answer as I think there are quite a few. So I picked a random page and here’s the result:

“With that, Drunk Morgan let out a monstrous belch and stumbled out into the night. Within seconds of leaving there was the unmistakable sound of him falling over with a thud. “All is well, nothing is broken,” he shouted back. “Though I may have expelled more than just wind as I toppled. Things are looking a little squelchy in the undergarment department.”


What can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you?

I’ve got a crime book I’m currently working on outside of the Seven Deadly and Four world. It features a private detective duo named Barnham and Funk. Then it’s back to the Seven Deadly and Four world where it’s a book about Calver’s first female detective aiming to solve crimes no one wants her to. Bit of a crime theme of late!


Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for us! Do you have any parting thoughts or comments you’d like to leave for our readers?

Stretch yourself, read widely and always, always leave a review!

 
Where to buy a copy:

Amazon Universal Link: https://www.azonlinks.com/bc/2ZJPR

Website store: https://www.sevendeadlyandfour.com/shop