Tom Clempson is the author of One Seriously Messed-Up Week: In The Otherwise Mundane And Uneventful Life Of Jack Samsonite which is the funniest book I've read this year! If you haven't read my review read it here.
Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today
Thank you for having me!
1. How does it feel to be a published author?
Unreal. Literally. I suppose, because at the time of this interview we’re still about 10 weeks away from publication, it won’t feel real until I am able to see it in shops. But even so, to know that people like you, who read and review books all the time, have read it and haven’t thrown it back in my face, fills me with such a sense of… I don’t even know! But it’s nice! It’s very nice. Everything is still sinking in. I’m still celebrating getting an agent and that happened about 2 years ago now!
2. Please could you sum up O.S.M.W.I.T.O.M.U.L.O.J.S. in one sentence?
Oh no, this is like a pitch! I’m no good at pitching my own stuff. I have a knack of making it sound superbly crap. But I’ll give it a shot…
When a very average teenage boy is faced with the prospect of writing an essay about himself, he decides it’s time to stop being average, (only he may have gone too far!).
How was that? I don’t think I really said anything that isn’t already in the title. The title says it all!
3. In all honesty, how much of the book is based on personal experience?
LOADS of it! I used my own school experiences as a template for Jack’s story. But those experiences are all ones that I think are fairly universal to teenage boys – growing pains (see first line of the book), girl trouble, bully trouble, fitting in… I think that quite a few people can relate to Jack, because we’ve all been in similar circumstances (well, to some degree. Maybe not quite to the same extent as Jack).
4. Who is your favourite character and why?
That crazy kid on the bus. He was just so fun to write. I could happily write a whole book just for him. I used to write emails to my friends in the voice of a slightly deranged person, and that’s where he came from. I daresay I freaked out quite a lot of people!.
5. Did you have a favourite teacher while you were at school?
I had a couple of favourites. My school was very similar to Jacks, so there were a lot of characters. My Yr 9 English teacher was a really inspiring guy. My art teachers were very cool too. None quite match up to the teachers in the book though.
6. Your book has been described as Adrian Mole meets The Inbetweeners, how does that make you feel?
It’s such a compliment to be compared to two creations that are so adored. I have no idea how accurate those comparisons are though, because my only memories of Adrian Mole are from my Mum reading it to me at quite a young age (I sincerely hope the material wasn’t THAT similar to mine! Unless my Mum edited her version?) and I’ve only ever seen about 20 minutes of The Inbetweeners. Yeah, it’s a HUGE compliment, but at the same time makes me realise that my work isn’t quite as original as I’d have hoped.
7. Are you working on anything else at the moment?
I am being very optimistic/presumptuous/foolish and am working on a follow-up to OSMUW. It’s a very different experience to writing the first one, because this time around I am aware that there is the possibility that other people might read it. First time round I was fairly certain no one was going to read it, which gave me a lot of freedom.
8.You may not believe it but...................
Oh, where to begin… Jack isn’t me! Ummm… nobody in the book is based upon any individual from real life (no one ever believes me!). I wrote to two agents, the first turned me down because they ‘don’t accept work by children’. My first draft only took 2 weeks to write. The original title for the book was only 3 words long! I’ll stop there.
Thank you so much for stopping by the blog to answer my questions, I think some of your answers were as funny as the book!
Thank you. It was a pleasure.
If you would like to learn more about Tom and his book please follow the links below:~