Today I’m interviewing Geoff Le Pard (shown here with his dog Dog), who has a new book out called The Art of Spirit Capture. Geoff, occasionally called His Geoffleship, has a wonderfully funny and entertaining blog, TanGental (https://geofflepard.com), which is how I first got to know him. We met, finally, at a Blogger’s Bash in London a good many years ago, when he sported a pink beard.
Before writing, Geoff was a lawyer, ending up at the London Olympics. He started writing to entertain in 2006 and hasn’t left his keyboard since. When he’s not churning out novels he writes some maudlin self-indulgent poetry, short fiction and blogs. He writes in a range of genres so there is something for everyone. He also cooks with passion if not precision.
Geoff has written ten books, not counting The Art of Spirit Capture, which are as eclectic as the workings of his mind.
Just check these out to confirm my opinion:
My Father and Other Liars, a thriller set in the near future
Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, a coming of age story, the first in the Harry Spittle saga
The Last will of Sven Anderson is the secondi n the saga
Booms and Busts, the third. Not surprisingly, Harry Spittle is a lawyer, as Geoff was in his former life.
Life in a Grain of Sand, a 30 story anthology covering many genres
Salisbury Square, a dark thriller set in present day London
Buster & Moo about two couples and a dog whose ownership passes from one to the other
Life in a Flash, a set of super short fiction, flash and micro fiction
Apprenticed To My Mother, a descriptioin of the period in Geoff’s life after his father died when he thought he was to play the role of dutiful son
Life in a Conversation, an anthology of short and super short fiction that explores connections through humour, speech and everything besides
A sort of long introduction, so let’s get on to his latest, The Art of Spirit Capture. Here’s the blurb.
Jason Hales is at his lowest ebb: his brother is in a coma; his long-term partner has left him; he’s been sacked, and Christmas is around the corner to remind him how bad his life has become.
After receiving an unexpected call telling him he’s a beneficiary of his Great Aunt Heather’s estate, he visits the town he vaguely recalls from his childhood, where his great aunt lived. Wanting to find out more, he’s soon sucked into local politics revolving around his great uncle’s extraordinary glass ornaments, his ‘Captures’, and their future.
While trying to piece his life back together, he’ll have to confront a number of questions: What actually are these Captures, and what is the mystery of the old wartime huts where his uncle fashioned them? Why is his surly neighbor so antagonistic? Can he trust anyone, especially the local doctor Owen Marsh and Charlotte Taylor, once a childhood adversary, but now the lawyer dealing with the estate? His worries pile up, with his ex in trouble, his flat rendered uninhabitable and his brother’s condition worsening. Will Christmas bring him any joy?
Set in the Sussex countryside, this is a modern novel with mystery, romance, and magic at its core, as well as a smattering of hope, redemption, and good cooking.
We agreed to have lunch together at Suffolk Barns in the real Mendlesham, on which he based his fictitious community for his book. A wonderfully renovated 400-year-old, dog-friendly barn, it is known for its barbecue. He brought Dog with him, who stayed under the table but was rewarded for his good behavior with the occasional scrap of meat. The interview was remarkably short because of our devouring of the meal.
NG (between bites): How did you come to create the community for your new book?
GLP: Boy, do I struggle with settings. When I came to writing the novel I wanted to contrast my main protagonist, Jason’s London centric life with the rural isolation of where the spirit captures were made. I decided there was a better chance of creating a fictitious community in its relative isolation in this area – but based on Mendlesham, which sits a few miles to the east of the A23, where farmland becomes rolling in the lee of the South Downs. It was at the center of the affluent wool and wheat farms that surrounded the town for most of its history. The town comprises a mix of styles from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which still lends it a rustic charm. It has remained a secluded idyll, in part because of the booming growth of nearby Lewes. All I will say is the town itself is as much a character in the book as the people.
NG: Your books are an eclectic bunch. Why do you write in different genres?
GLP: I like to have something for everyone. Hopefully, I’ve accomplished that.
NG: Where do you get the inspiration for your different books?
GLP: As you know from my blog, I like to take long walks, sometimes with Dog. Here he bent under the table, patted Dog’s head and gave him a piece of meat. I’ve shared some of those walks on my blog, and things I see along the way can inspire me or give me an idea. I also take in a variety of sporting events. You never know what you might see. Tea or coffee?
So there you have it, an intro to Geoff’s new book, The Art of Spirit Capture.
You can find the book on Amazon:
along with his other books.