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Monday, 13 June 2016

ℚ Where's Sailor Jack? - John Uttley

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Where's Sailor Jack? (first published 20 March 2015; this second edition , John Uttley, 324 pages), a Family Saga.

"Bob's dad was in the navy and they had a budgie in the family, which they trained to say 'Where's Sailor Jack?'  Bob is the main character and says that this was part of his folklore.

The story is well written - quite pithy - and the author uses lines of songs of the era in the rhetoric.  And religion is woven all through the story in the way the people involved interpret  it - very well done.

It is a saga through two or three generations all living about and through each other.  More bonking going on that I can remember n my life and family and friends!

Although very sad towards the end, I did enjoy it very much."
 - Josie


Author Q&A | Synopsis | Trailer | Teaser | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops


A very warm welcome to John Uttley; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for Where's Sailor Jack?

"As I approach my later years, I wanted to convey the feeling that life sometimes seems to have made sense and sometimes hasn't; that sometimes the mental seems the reality but perhaps not most if the time; that just occasionally God seems to run the world but more often it's the devil in the driving seat.

That for me could best be done in a family saga."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"As much of me as can fit into a 300 page novel is in there.

There are two principal characters in the book, one who was meant to be more of a realist than I see myself, the other more a dreamer.  My wife reckons I'm the dreamer who wants to be the realist.

The novel uses my academic and professional expertise in physics, business and theology, but I hope lightly."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Where's Sailor Jack - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The books's title comes from a budgie owned by me father's parents during the war.  Dad was in the navy, and my grandparents had trained the bird to say "Where's Sailor Jack?".  Dad's been dead 18 years now, but I still ask that question.

I got the idea of a cover showing the budgie in a cage with something from the 1940's behind.  The wife of my developmental editor runs Green Door Designs.  She's Gracie Carver and she came up with the stunning design which everybody has loved.  The wallpaper has a forties feel to it and the red flower could be the Lancashire rose."
Why should we read Where's Sailor Jack and what sets it apart from the rest?
"Very few authors write nowadays about religion, business and science as part of normal thought processes in life, while I'm sure that to have a head occupied by them is very normal in all those who rise in the post-war meritocracy.

I like to think that the humorous and non-judgemental way I've done this is almost unique."
Can you tell us something quirky about Where's Sailor Jack, its story and characters?
"The most quirky thing in the book is probably to be found in the word games that take place between the first main character, Bob, and his former wife Jane, who will never quite fall out of love with each other.  And she'll never quite fall into love with him!"
Who would you recommend Where's Sailor Jack to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I think the book will appeal to all those baby boomers who rose with the meritocracy, and their older siblings.  It could also appeal to younger people who have parents or grandparents in that category.

Much of the action is set in Lancashire and that has appealed to folk from the county palatine who've read it, as it has to physicists, businessmen and one clergyman.

There is some sex but I think only the puritan would disapprove."
If you could / wished to turn Where's Sailor Jack  into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"The director, sadly now gone, would be Bill Naughton, who's Spring and Port Wine caught the north-west working-class perfectly. Ray Connolly of That'll be the Day etc would be a great screen writer. Albert Finney if ten years younger would have made a great Bob. I think Helena Bonham Carter, if her accent can get as far north as Cheshire, would be a terrific Jane."
What do you like to write and read about?   Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I have written a couple of short stories, one of which was published in the Sunday People's magazine. But the next major project will be another novel. I have always liked to read well written serious or humorous novels."
What is your writing process?
"Answering this previously, I've always said that it's getting the outline of a plot, thinking of the characters, then starting to write and letting the characters clothe themselves. After that they can start shifting the plot about a bit. But now I think I start with the mood I'm trying to create even before I think of plot line. I won't start writing though until I do have a plot outline that to me will make a story."
What is in store next?
" I do intend to write a new novel next year, which could be a midquel to 'Where's Sailor Jack?' I know the mood I'm in and the story line is forming."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"We have an old dog, now well into his fifteenth year.  A photo from his 14th birthday party is below."

Hello Timmy!  What a gorgeous gent :-)  Lots of head scratches to you!
Thank you for sharing Timmy with us, John.
We hope you are having a great tour!

Where's Sailor Jack?
Available NOW!

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