Welcome to the Wednesday edition of the Book Reading and Interview at the Cafe. My guest Matthew Drzymala recently joined the shelves of the bookstore and today he will be treating us to an excerpt from his short story The Bachelor.
N.B. This is an interactive interview and Matthew would love to answer your questions so please leave in the comments section of the post.
About Matthew Drzymala
Matthew Drzymala was born in Manchester in 1981 and started to write seriously in 2011 when he took part in NaNoWriMo. Since then he has relocated to Liverpool, where he lives with his fiancee, Elaine.Matthew attended creative writing classes in 2012 and 2013 and was nominated for an Adult Learner Award in 2014. He also runs the Laid-back Writers Group, which meets once a month at Central Library in Liverpool. This group is aimed at writers of any skill or experience, whether they be beginners or experienced, all are welcome.This group is a place where writers can come together and write at their own pace and to help kick-start those who want to write but can’t get past a first draft.
Matthew released his first works in 2013, the majority being stories in the Bumpkinton Tales series. Matthew’s first paperback was a collection of short stories and novella’s entitled The Bumpkinton Tales: Volume One.
Welcome to Bumpkinton! Come in, have a cup of tea and a scone, and lose yourself in five humorous tales from the village.
Follow Father Whitworth O’Grady as he chokes on a penny, Albert Scatterhorn as he becomes the grubbiest Father Christmas ever, and Amelia Goose as she feuds with… well, anybody. Plus a whole host of characters as they attend the village’s first Singles Night with a sex-crazed ladies’ man.
Jump in and find out more for yourself…
Matthew is going to be reading an extract from the third book in the series The Bachelor.
If there is one thing Fenton knows, it’s that he’s a ladies man. With a stylish suit, perfect hair and a seductive smile that can send women weak at the knees, he knows he’s got it all.
However, Fenton has a secret. He’s no longer single.
As the Bumpkinton Singles Night draws close, Fenton arrives in the village to woo the ladies. Even a secret lover won’t stop him from indulging in his favourite hobby, flirting, but how much can he get away with?
The Bachelor is the 2nd novella in the Bumpkinton series (3rd story) and is not a full length novel. The story is romantic comedy.
A review for The Bachelor
Yet another cracking story in the Bumpkinton series of novellas and short stories, and my favourite of all three. This one is not so much a whodunit as a “who is the mystery lady”. When vain, “man about town” ladies man Fenton visits his brother in Bumpkinton he is also meeting his secret lady friend. But who is she? We are given plenty of potential girlfriends from the female population of Bumpkinton, but we won’t find out her identity right until the end. And, there is something she doesn’t know – whilst in Bumpkinton, Fenton fully intends on attending the village Singles Night! We are then set up for a funny read which really made me giggle at times as I watched the entire village population of singletons try their hand at speed dating.
What I had come to expect from these reads though is that not everything will go according to plan – and whilst for some there will be a happy ending, there will definitely be disappointment for others. I am really enjoying this series of stories, which are full of colourful amusing characters in a wonderful location which is turning out not to be quite as “cosy” as it first appeared. A series of stories that are well worth a read, funny and amusing but always with a little bit of pathos tucked in there at the end.
Read all the reviews and buy The Bachelor: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bachelor-Book-Bumpkinton-Tales-ebook/dp/B00L5T9QH
You can read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Matthew-Drzymala/e/B00HGBB17W
Time to welcome Matthew to the hot seat and please leave your questions for him in the comment section of the post.
Please tell us about your chosen genre of books that you write and why?
I write humour, mostly. I like to think I have a good sense of it too. I don’t know. It’s just what comes naturally to me when I sit down to write. I can and have written darker stories, but I don’t enjoy writing those as much.
Even when I do, I tend to put in some comedy somewhere.
I’m not the greatest person with research, so I invented my own village, Bumpkinton, and most of my stories herald from there. They’re light, fun and, well, great! Haha!
Which author would you have to dinner, why and what questions would you ask them?
The late, great, Terry Pratchett. I love his work, especially his Discworld series. He was such a marvellous storyteller and weaver of worlds.
And the humour he put into his stories. So good, so me. It’s why I write humorous stories and one day I hope I can capture just 1% of this man’s genius into my own writing.
A man who is much missed by those whose lives he has touched.
Where would you like to be in 5 year’s time?
In 5 years I hope to have release a lot more stories, both in my Bumpkinton Tales but others too. I have a character for young readers which I will be getting stuck into that story once I’ve completed my forthcoming novel.
I also hope that I will be working as a freelance copywriter. I’m currently studying for a Diploma in Copywriting, and working for myself would be amazing.
You kick started your writing in 2011 by competing in NaNoWriMo which is an ambitious undertaking. Tell us about your experience and why you would recommend it to other writers?
For that month I wrote solidly and it helped my depression. For the first time in years I didn’t feel low, because I was writing non-stop every day.
That’s where I got the bug for writing and although looking at what I wrote then isn’t exactly my best work, it was a good grounding. I’d recommend it to anybody unsure if writing is for them. If you can come out of the other end of NaNoWriMo and still want to be a writer, you know it’s for you!
You run a writer’s group and for those who might not belong to one, what do you consider to be the top three benefits to a writer?
I love my writing group, it’s one of the best things I’ve done. It’s my group with my rules, hence I called it The Laid-back Writers Group.
I want everybody to enjoy their time at the group, under no pressure to read out at first. They can do it at their own pace, without having their work torn to shreds. It helps to:
- Build writers’ confidence
- Helps you find people with the same interest, and
- Makes them better writers.
Honestly, start a writing group. It’s brilliant!
Since beginning your diploma to become a freelance copyreader, have you found that your criticism of the books you read has been affected, and if so in what way?
Copywriting includes proofreading, but it’s something I can answer as an author. Since becoming an author I definitely read and watch things in a different way.
I look much more deeply into character, plot and storytelling. I haven’t done it on purpose, my brain just seems to click into what’s happening deep down in a book, TV show or film.
It’s helped me think about how I write my own books for sure.
Now Matthew will share his extract for his book reading.
This extract is round 270 words. I write a lot of dialogue based humour in my stories and it wasn’t easy to give you something that wasn’t just a lot of chatting. So I thought something that would be a bit more intriguing would work best.
This extract is from The Bachelor. A short story in my book: The Bumpkinton Tales: Volume One.
Whitworth stood in the amber glow of the streetlights by the rectory gate and waved to a number of villagers as they made their way in the direction of the local public house. He checked his watch and exhaled.
What is he up to? He thought to himself. Fenton had been gone for almost six hours. What if he’d found a tyre swing up by the River Eppforth, decided to have a go like old times and ended up drowning? Whitworth shook off such thoughts. He was panicking, but he couldn’t rule out some mischief making. There wasn’t enough to do in Bumpkinton to constitute a six-hour absence. The priest was about to give up and go back indoors when he saw a familiar figure emerging from Nest Lane. Whitworth stood up straight and tried to put an expression of annoyance upon his face.
“Have you got trapped wind, brother?” asked Fenton as he reached the gate.
“No, I have not,” snapped Whitworth. “Where the heck have you been?”
“Here and there.”
“For six hours?”
“I-I fell asleep,” Fenton floundered.
“I… oh shut up, brother. You’re very suspicious for a man of God.”
“Can you blame me? I thought you’d drowned in the River Eppforth.”
“Drowned? What an imagination you have,” said Fenton. He smoothed his hair and flashed a smile at Janet Dearlove who was making her way along the street. “So, are we going down the pub or what?”
“Yes. Come on,” said Whitworth as he looked at his brother tiredly.
He’s definitely up to something, the priest thought to himself as they set off towards The Ploughman’s Itch, but what?
Connect with Matthew Drzymala
My thanks to Matthew for taking part in the book reading and we both look forward to seeing your questions in the comments.. thanks Sally