Tag Archives: novels

LESLEY LATTE BLOWS H** EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH STUART CAMPBELL

Stuart Campbell's student card. Cairo University 1973
Stuart Campbell’s student card. Cairo University 1973

I was browsing some tempting sausages at the charcuterie stall in Nouméa’s municipal market last week when to my astonishment I saw Sydney author Stuart Campbell at the coffee stand.

An appointment with the reclusive and publicity-shy Campbell is hard to get – an impromptu interview a virtual impossibility. I approached him and gave him my finely honed elevator pitch. My luck was in. Was it the sultry laid-back groove of New Caledonia? Or perhaps the large glass of Pernod on the counter?

“I’ve got ten minutes,” he said with that trademark suave elevation of the slightly grizzled but really incredibly sculpted masculine eyebrow

OM Freaking G, I thought! Two weeks out of on-line journalism school, and I’ve scored an exclusive with the author of An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity.

So tell me about your next book, I ventured.

Campbell nodded to the barman, who topped up the Pernod and brought another flask of water. Frankly, I don’t know how anybody can drink something that looks like what you spit out after you’ve cleaned your teeth, but old blokes seem to drink it all the time in France, or maybe they just look old because they drink so much of it and they’re, like, quite young really.

Anyway, I gather the new book is called Cairo Mon Amour. It’s set in Cairo in 1973 during a war, I think he said the Young Kipper? Not sure about that, but apparently he was a student in Cairo during that war and always meant to write a thriller about it. It’s coming out in July 2016.

At this point he asked me if I had an aspirin because he had an earache because he got some coral in his ears swimming and he’d gone deaf.

“Who do you say you write for?” he asked me.

“I’m an emerging social commentator and the roving correspondent for Charcuterie Monthly,” I responded.

“Didn’t you say The Guardian?”

“I might have done,” I confessed.

“Go back to your sausages,” he said.

Well, I don’t know about you, but his new book sounds like crap.

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** Lesley Latte reserves the right not to disclose h** gender

Buy Stuart Campbell’s books in paperback and ebook on Amazon by clicking on these title links:

An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity

The Play’s the Thing

Stuart Campbell’s covers are designed by Rachel Ainge .

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John MW Smith – a born story teller

After six months of reading and re-reading  British and American classic works*, I packed some carefully selected independent writers onto my battered Kindle for the summer break.

Englishman John MW Smith was a quirky surprise: A writer hard to categorise, he has a ripe sense of the bizarre and the storytelling knack of a barroom raconteur. He reminds me somewhat of my fellow Australian writer Robert Salisbury, whose work I describe as ‘Spike Milligan meets Don Quixote’.

My five-star  review of Smith’s An Unlawful Act in Libya can be found here. Strongly recommended.

 

*The three standouts were Hardy’s Jude the Obscure, Faulkner’s Soldier’s Pay, and Katherine Anne Porter’s Ship of Fools. I’m thinking of writing a novel that places the basic plot of Jude the Obscure in a future dystopia when western societies have largely forgotten how to do mathematics. Mad? Maybe.

And here’s a request: I saw the movie of Ship of Fools some time in the last century, around the time that Cuban heels were in fashion. Does anyone know where I can find a copy or a streaming source?

Buy Stuart Campbell’s books in paperback and ebook on Amazon by clicking on these title links:

An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity

The Play’s the Thing

Stuart Campbell’s covers are designed by Rachel Ainge .

Sarah Bourne launches ‘Two Lives’

mini book launch
Stuart Campbell missing Sarah Bourne’s book launch

Congratulations to my good friend Sarah Bourne on the recent Sydney launch of her novel Two Lives, available here. Unfortunately I couldn’t be at the launch because at the time I was fighting off the fans as I signed copies of one of my novels in San Francisco (well I signed four books at my wife’s aunt’s house), but you can read about Sarah’s event here, and you can read my review of her book here.

Being a fan of book launches, especially the well lubricated variety, I couldn’t resist including one in my novel An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity. Here it is, narrated by my character Fiona Salmon.

My time as a widowed gym-addicted police officer hadn’t left time for anyone outside professional contacts, let alone friends or casual acquaintances. But my author’s book launch crowd were a stratum of cathedral town society I’d never known existed: Earnest students – the kind who look like Che Guevara and Janis Joplin, whichever era they are born in; elderly amateur intellectuals – the women with close cropped hair and large red framed glasses, and the men with embroidered waistcoats and brown trainers; comfy young couples in conservative wear paired together like lovebirds; assorted old lecturers and young tutors from the university, looking harassed and twitchy from marking essays into the early hours; and the old codgers and their mates on the scrounge for a plastic cup of Rioja and as many cheese cubes as they could snaffle up. My author greeted them at the door and I milled around shaking hands and topping up the plastic cups. I couldn’t remember when I’d last spent time with forty or so people who demanded nothing of me.

My author had appointed a stand-up comic – a friend who didn’t expect a fee – to MC the event and launch the book. The comic rang a small bell and stood on a shelving stool.

“Fank you ladies and gentlemen. I note that all the wine has gone so you can fuck off ‘ome,” he said, and walked out of the door and into the street, at which a couple of Che Guevaras rushed outside, captured him and stood him back on the shelving stool. And that set the tone for the rest of the evening. The wine did indeed soon run out, but I gave two Janis Joplins fifty quid, and they came back with half a dozen bottles of something exiled from the New World. My author autographed and sold fifteen copies of the novel and listened philosophically as the old codgers lectured him on using the f-word on the first page.

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Buy Stuart Campbell’s books in paperback and ebook on Amazon by clicking on these title links:

An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity

The Play’s the Thing