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Monday 17 October 2016

ℚ♫ Westmorland Alone: County Guides [3] - Ian Sansom

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Westmorland Alone (, Witness Impulse, 226 pages), a Mystery & Detective, book three of the County Guides series.

"In this entertaining whodunnit, Swanton Morley - aka the People's Professor - is continuing his idiosyncratic tour of 1930s England as he endeavours to compile a history of its various counties. [...] 
The book is [...] peopled with characterful individuals encountered by the trio encounter, including a young Westmorland Gazette reporter - described as 'a chap with a face like a butcher's boy'." - The Westmorland Gazette

"Beautifully crafted by Sansom, Professor Morely promises to become a little gem of English crime writing; sample him now"
- Daily Mail 

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to fellow Brit Ian Sansom; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

To begin, Ian Sansom has shared with us his music playlist for Westmorland Alone - enjoy!

What was the inspiration for Westmorland Alone?
"To quote Whitman,
Urge and urge and urge,  
Always the procreant urge of the world.’ 
Inspiration is everywhere. It’s not about the inspiration. It’s all about the work."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"‘Madame Bovary, c'est moi.’ It’s all me. And none of it is me. I am not a 1930s amateur detective autodidact. Or a Spanish Civil War veteran. Or a young woman trying to make her way in a hostile world. But then again, I am."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Westmorland Alone - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I wish I could say that I chose the concept for the cover. If only authors had such power! Indeed, I haven’t see the cover of the American edition. I hope it’s OK.

The cover art of the UK books - which is excellent - was designed in-house at the publishers by a wonderful woman called Jo Walker."
Why should we read Westmorland Alone and what sets it apart from the rest?
"One should read for pleasure - always for pleasure - so I suppose I hope that my books might provide some small pleasure. My grandfather used to say ‘We are here to amuse the others,’ though he never specified exactly how or why."
Can you tell us something quirky about Westmorland Alone, its story and characters?
"I’m rather wary of ‘quirky’ but I suppose some readers might not be aware that my protagonist Swanton Morley is named after a small village in Norfolk. Swanton Morley has two brothers - Swanton Novers and Swanton Abbott."
Who would you recommend Westmorland Alone to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I would recommend the book to all the mighty public. I have no particular audience in my mind: the audience is a phantasm, a fantasy.

My warning would be this: reading requires time and patience.

My disclaimer would be this: not all books are for everyone."
If you could / wished to turn Westmorland Alone and the County Guides series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Directors: Ida Lupino, Hitchcock, Truffaut, Billy Wilder, Andrei Tarkovsky, Sally Potter, Andrew Hulme, Daniel Wolfe, Yann Demange, Tom Browne, Corinna McFarlane, Joanna Hogg, Andrea Arnold.

Actors: Joan Bennett, Julianne Moore, Paul Scofield, Miles Teller, Ciáran Hinds.

Should I go on?"
Yes! Great list of masters!

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 no particular subject. I have never found my theme. I can only write about life as it seems to me."
What is your writing process?
"I read to write and write to read. Apart from that, there’s no clear or identifiable process. When I can, I write."
What is in store next?
"These books are part of a series, The County Guides - each book is set in one of England’s historic counties.

As every schoolboy knows, there are 39 English historic counties, but if you add London as a separate entity, and divided Yorkshire into the Ridings, and then add the bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey that gives you a total of about 44 - so there’ll be 43 or 44 books in total in the series.

If I continue to write 1 a year I’ll be about 90 by the time I finish."
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?
"I have no pet. Everything is special."

Westmorland Alone
Available NOW!

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