Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A visit with Lord David Prosser of The Queen's Envoy

I am truly blessed to be able to chat with one of the most witty and charming men in my acquaintance. Lord David Prosser is the author of The Queen’s Envoy, a charming and humorous story that kept me giggling long after I finished the book. Not only does this story ripple with humor, but the characters come to life as very human and very fallible individuals that you can easily relate to.
Collette: When did you start writing?

David: Probably about 59 years ago but whoever saw my writing on the wall didn't recognise my true genius then.  I started writing Books this year around my 60th birthday after someone liked a fake diary entry I did of my day. She wanted more and so I wrote the first book. Not to worry though, she's better now.

Collette: And where did you get your ideas?

David: Mainly from real situations that are easily exaggerated. I think people identify with situations they've found themselves in though I'm not sure many would own up to the toothpaste accident from Book 1.
Collette: Were you inspired by someone to write the genre you’re writing in?

David: I would have said no but I've been told I write in a Wodehouse vein and I always did like Jeeves and Wooster.

Collette: What is your writing process?

David: Pen to paper, paper to computer and then change things as I type up. I don't have set times as I never know when I'll be free so I write when the urge takes me and when I can.

Collette: How did you begin to collaborate with Ilil Arbel?

David: We had a mutual friend that I hadn't heard from in a while and I wanted to know if she knew where he was......probably hiding from me. We became friends and it was she that got the phony diary. As I had no experience and she persuaded me to write she became my editor as a penance.

Collette says: Hiding from you… penance? No way! I don’t believe a word of it. J

Collette: Do you write full-time now?

David: No. Unfortunately my wife is very ill and I don't have much time. With my own health issues I'm thinking of booking a parking bay at the hospital. Maybe I can sit there and write.
Collette: My thoughts are always with the lovely Lady Julia.

Collette: For those who don’t know much about The Queen’s Envoy, could you summarize it in a sentence or two?
David: A totally naive man is appointed as an unofficial envoy to HMG. Sent out to save his country from embarrassment with nothing more than a stiff upper lip can he avoid the clutches of the bad guys and the good girls who aim to divert him?

Collette: Very well put! I did so love the young beauties trying to seduce his innocence away from him, and Lady J’s stoic reminder that he’s one step above ‘oblivious’.

Collette: How did you come up with the idea of The Queen’s Envoy?
David: I had to produce a history from before Lord David gained the Title and I didn't think a job in Local Government was quite gripping enough.

Collette: How long did it take you to complete?

David: About 6 weeks in total but I had less time limitations then and bucket loads of enthusiasm.

Collette: Lord David goes from humble man to secret spy. Why do you think he maintains his innocence while he is thwarting assassins, blackmailers and financial gurus?
David: I think he's always been a little shy and certainly naive. He feels that it's luck that helps him solve all the problems so gives himself little credit.

Collette: Can you describe Lord David in a few sentences? What is he like? What does he want? Goals, strengths, weaknesses, etc.
David: I wonder which one you want? He's rather Edwardian in look and dress, mainly quietly spoken and tries to be a gentleman in every sense of the word. He wants world peace but is not so naive as to think it likely to happen. His goals are to keep his family safe and his strengths are that he will not be diverted from right as he believes in justice. His weaknesses are probably that he will not be diverted from right and he believes in the law rather than justice which don't always seem to be the same thing.

Collette says: That sums him up perfectly.
Collette: Sir Oscar plays a rather large role in keeping Lord David humble. Can you tell us a little bit about this star of the show?

David: Oscar is the unofficial alarm cat in the household who knows that only Lord David is daft enough to wake at the first mioaw, and if he doesn't then he will move at the second scratch or the third bite. Oscar has the usual high opinion of himself that cats have and he's now decided that the universe of the village revolves around him. He's actually 17 now and becoming much more of a house cat though he's never admit that in his blog.

Collette says: My favourite spot in the book was Lady J tossing Oscar at the postman. She seems like quite the lady! Can you tell us a little bit about Lord David’s better half?

David: Lady J is probably the only master Oscar recognises. She's a sweet natured person but tends to be much more practical than David so perhaps appears on occasion to be a little short with him. There's no doubt she loves him, but like most women likes to be the winner when it comes to a difference of opinion. She also has the knack for levitating his wallet out of his pocket without him noticing. Loves animals especially her horses and riding is the only thing that makes her get up early. Someone you'd always want on your side.

Collette: Lady J and Ysabel also prevent Lord David from becoming too egotistical. Why do you think that is?

David: I think they're just trying to show they retain the common touch and that the Title hasn't changed them though they accept the Title has given them certain privileges. They feel that people will lose respect if they act too high and mighty even though they have a position to maintain. David hasn't changed at all but they foist all their worries on to him rather than accept it may be them.
Collette: You based many characters on your real-life acquaintances. What sort of reception have you received from them?

David: I take the phone off the hook and tell them I'm the Butler and his Lordship is out. In reality no-one has minded so far though one person asked why I'd given her only one eye, and I didn't even remember I had. If I ever become a best seller I think I'll arrange guided tours round the local spots in books one and three.
Collette says: We shouldn’t forget Oscar’s lawsuit, right? I wonder if he will relent now that you are giving him his due J.

Collette: Are you still writing? If so, what will your future projects entail?

David: I have started book four but circumstances have brought it to a halt for now. This is a sequel to The Queen's Envoy, and I am offering friends the chance to appear in a chapter each based on their home town and using their own skills to help me solve a case.  I freely admit this is a device to boost sales as hopefully they'll all want copies for their families. I might even make double figures in sales like this.

Collette: Can you tell us a little bit about The Barsetshire Diaries?

David: This is an attempt to remind people of life in a small village and the eccentricities of those who live there. When Anthony Trollope wrote about Barsetshire it had the gentry and the towns and villages. Seventy years later Angela Thirkell updated the stories and continued along the same theme. Seventy years later I've tried to do the same but in a humerous way.

Collette: How often do you read?

David: I try to read for an hour before sleep each night. The longer I stay awake the longer I read so I'm on two books a day now.

Collette: What is your favorite genre to read?
David: Very difficult. I like books by John Grisham, Terry Pratchett, Dick Francis, Sue Grafton and Harlan Coben so it covers a lot of genres except romance because I can't afford the tissues.

Collette: Where can we find you online?
Blog: http://barsetshirediaries.wordpress.com

Website: http://lorddavidspage.weebly.com   includes Oscar's Blog
Facebook: David Michael Prosser and Author Lord David Prosser

Amazon:  Lord David Prosser http://www.amazon.com/Lord-David-Prosser/e/B004I7CFTU/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Amazon.uk: Lord David Prosser http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lord-David-Prosser/e/B004I7CFTU/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0 

Other:  The Red Room, Bookbuzzr.com, Authorsden.

Where is The Queen’s Envoy available for purchase? Lulu.com, Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, B & N

Collette: What formats are your books available in?
David: My Barsetshire Diary and The Queen's Envoy are in paperback and on Kindle. More Barsetshire Diary is paperback only at the moment.

Collette: Do you have a release date for your next book?

David: Not by a long chalk having done only a chapter and a half at the moment.

Collette: Every little bit helps. I wish you the best of luck with your future projects. If they are anything like The Queen’s Envoy, we are sure to enjoy. Thank you so much, David! I am so happy to have had this chat with you. What a hilarious story you have. A great read!

David: It's been a real pleasure Collette. Thank you for giving me so much leeway, it was fun.

Collette’s review:

If you are looking for a charming and entertaining read in which you will giggle your way through, then this book is it! From almost the very first page I was bubbling with laughter, and the trend continued to the end.

When a young government official, whose only concerns in the beginning stem from a minor motor vehicle accident and his wife's penchant for swiping his wallet, is suddenly the bearer of the title, Lord of Bouldnor, and pressed into Her Majesty's service, our small-village gentleman suddenly becomes an English hero. With characters such as wife Lady J and daughter Ysabel, who keep Lord David humble, and Oscar the cat, who reminds Lord David on multiple occasions just who is the boss in his family, Lord David fills his new role with the humility of a saint. Sent on various missions, Lord David swiftly and matter-of-factly saves the crown from financial ruin, blackmail, and diplomatic assassinations with the ease of a pro, only to return home to his loving wife and daughter and his eternal nemesis, Oscar, as though nothing ever happened.

With characters such as Dr. Jekyll and a cafe owner who inadvertently poisons him as well as a small village that spreads gossip via jungle drums, Lord David's story is entirely way too entertaining not to enjoy. Though not a fast-paced spy adventure, you will laugh your way through and love this humble James Bond with his self-deprecating humor and eager to please disposition. I highly recommend David and Ilil's story for a great laugh.


Chris Thrall said...

It sounds hilarious! The interview certainaly was! The modern-day Don Quixote!

Collette said...

So well put, Chris! And very true. I really enjoyed his book and can't wait to read more :)

Dr. Niamh Clune said...

I am about to read it...I can't wait!

Collette said...

Oh Niamh, you will love it. I am very eager to get to yours too. I can't wait :)

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful interview, witty, elegant, and well written. It does full justice to a book I highly recommend! I have read all three of Lord David's books, and anyone who appreciates great humor, style, and charm is sure to enjoy them. Don't miss!

Ilil Arbel

Bri said...

The question, "How often do you read?" had me laughing. Lord D is whimsical to say the least but he's also British (???) or from that strand, which kind of sums it up. The interview as a good read. Now I'm off to amazon to try and get a glimpse of his book.

Bri said...

Read what I could from amazon's, 'look inside' and bought the book.

Collette said...

Lil and Bri, it was truly a wonderful experience reading his story. I plan to complete all of them as I go. So glad you stopped in. Thank you!

Lord David Prosser said...

Everyone is extremely generous and I thank you all. I shall now have a problem leaving my room for a few days until my ego deflates. I shall bill you for the ruination of my carpets.

Collette said...

Behave David, Betty was a little concerned about the two of us on the same blog. ;)

Ilil, please pardon my typo!