The sincerest form of poetry by Geoff Le Pard.

Today I am delighted to have Author and friend Geoff Le Pard over for afternoon tea and a chat about his latest book. Which is full of delightful poetry!

Geoff, how are you, do sit down I have got everything ready for us. While you get comfy I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the book. I love the first half very much always a smile and a barb..The sonnets too very much to my liking, especially the two about the Vet, (I assume) Hand me down, and Loyalty, especially the last lines in both. Also the the guiding hand possibly about the textilist? Here have a cuppa just as you like it I think and tell me was I right? How’s that cake?

Geoff with Buster and Moo

 In fact, while hand me down is about Jenni, point of view of a shadow which came to me while doing a poetry prompt a couple of years ago.Originally it had me rhyming ‘shadow’ with ‘saddo’ which grated horribly so I’m pleased with the revision. I can spend hours getting nowhere, revising poetry, finding the right combination of… yes, another slice would be lovely… syllables, rhymes and stresses. Oddly, the thing I notice that most poets fail to appreciate is stress. They’ll nail a rhyme, ensure the right number of syllables but when you read it, the stress you place on the words makes it feel like a bad gear change. I wonder if they read the poem out loud or in their head. The imagination is too forgiving, I find.

On reflection Geoff I have to agree with you on that.

How much did your father’s poetry influence you? 

First, he spent so much time honing his work that I am constantly forcing myself to one more read through, to mimic him. Second, he loved finding humour in poetry and I think that can be my driving force. Third, we argued constantly, vigorously and with no holes barred. Thus if I write anything with a political or social angle it will almost certainly reflect my views and equally certainly be 180 degrees contrary to his. He didn’t hold back, he wasn’t shy of voicing his opinion and I often sanitise my attempts so as not to offend. That would have annoyed him mightily, so I try and fight the urge to hide. If you’ve a point to make, make it with conviction; if not, don’t make any point. That comes from him. Mostly though, he enjoyed the process, gained huge satisfaction from a job well done. I’ve learnt that, however hard it is – and it is hard – enjoy it. In a way dad only really expressed his true self, his deepest emotions, via poetry as seen in the love poems he wrote to mum and which he refused to let my brother and I see and which mum only shared after his death. I still think he would be mightily cheesed off and equally secretly pleased with her for doing that.

What made you decide to revamp some of best known poems from the BBC’s collection of British Poets?

Don’t worry about the crumbs, Ruby or Dog will pick them up , they are getting on well aren’t they.

Back to Dad, really. He loved Kipling’s poetry and many of his best efforts use the same rhyming scheme that Kipling favoured in some of his finest works. One day – I think I was walking with a couple of friends – I conjured up a couple  of lines of ‘If’ but rewritten to the discussion we were having. Again, memory suggests it was a new take on the couplet ‘if you fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run’. I got a laugh. Later I re-read the poem and some other changes, based on the current Zeitgeist occurred to me and off I went. Once I’d begun, it was a fairly natural progression to try it with others. The sharp eyed readers will see that with my re-imagining of ‘if’ I don’t keep the first line, whereas that became one of the criteria I tried to apply to my re-imaginings. Another cup? Thanks. I’ll have oat milk, as part of a new health kick.

Really, luckily have some oat milk in the fridge, I will just get it . Here you are, just a splash. Would you like another

Tell me why did you pick sonnets for the second half of your book? 

My whole love of writing began the summer after Dad died at a summer-school in Wiltshire. July 2006. A year later, at the self same summer-school I took a poetry appreciation course that looked at British poets from Chaucer G to Cope W. In amongst the many marvels were a variety of sonnets, from Shakespeare through Rossetti to Manley Hopkins. That week I wrote two, or at least the first drafts, of the sonnets that appear here  – the opening work on the frontispiece and what turned into ‘Only skin deep’ a re-imagined Shakespearean sonnet. After that, I spun out several, I entered a number into some on line magazines and had a few published or won or were placed in competitions. I adore the simplicity, the discipline and the history of the sonnet, hence it is my go to form of choice. Hmm, is that lemon drizzle? Oh al right, just a small slice. No, not that small….

Sorry is that better?

Tell me how different do you find the experience of writing poetry as compared to fiction or flash fiction? Do you find poetry a more difficult discipline to writing prose?

Oh my, chalk and cheese. Give me a word, a picture, a phrase, a theme, a genre and I’ll write you a piece of flash, a short story or a novel, often with the bizarrest, most unlikely take imaginable. But do the same with poetry and you may be lucky one in five times. I’ve tried committing to poetry prompts and sometimes that has led to something part way decent. But mostly it just grates. Poetry = emotion and that’s something I’ve taken from dad; without a core of emotion, of self it’s just clunky prose dressed up as something pretentious and clever sounding.

Can I get you a you anything else, Oh Look Ruby and dog are asleep out in the sun. Let’s have a look at my two choices from your book.

A Dog At Leisure

(Leisure, William Henry Davies)
What is this life, if full of care?
Go fetch my lead, don’t comb your hair.
Don’t give in to untimely sloth
I know what fun awaits us both.
Let’s try the park; we know it’s free,
Full of places for me to pee.
Squirrels anxious to play chase,
Friends who’ll let me lick their face.
Secret corners where I can poo
Long lost balls for me to chew.
Picnic scraps and chicken bones,
Stale crusts and broken scones.
These treats and many, many more
Are just beyond the bloody door.
So find your shoes, tie those laces
And I’ll take you now to wondrous places
Full of fun, grass and the freshest air
And while I play, you’ll stand and stare.

And the beautiful sonnet.

Hand -Me-Down

Still wet from the womb, she flapped a fat hand,
A mindless hello that captured my soul.
Older, unsteady, like a day old foal,
She gripped me so tight, determined to stand.
She didn’t let go till the first day at school;
Then she wept as I forced her fingers apart.
From that betrayal she developed her art;
Round her finger I’d twist: her so willing fool.
One day, so glorious, and, yes, there were tears
I released her hand as I gave her away.
I smiled her free, and felt no dismay
At the thought of that other hand itwrapped round hers.
But it’s only a loan, for when I come to my last
She’ll be holding my hand, as I let go life’s grasp.

********

Now for your Authors Bio and all your book details.

Geoff Le Pard started writing to entertain in 2006. He hasn’t left his keyboard since. When he’s not churning out novels he writes some maudlin self-indulgent poetry, short fiction and blogs at geofflepard.com. He walks the dog for mutual inspiration and most of his best ideas come out of these strolls. He also cooks with passion if not precision.

Geoff’s books

My Father and Other Liars is a thriller set in the near future and takes its heroes, Maurice and Lori-Ann on a helter-skelter chase across continents.

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle is a coming of age story. Set in 1976 the hero Harry Spittle is home from university for the holidays. He has three goals: to keep away from his family, earn money and hopefully have sex. Inevitably his summer turns out to be very different to that anticipated.

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

In this, the second book in the Harry Spittle Sagas, it’s 1981 and Harry is training to be a solicitor. His private life is a bit of a mess and he’s far from convinced the law is for him. Then an old acquaintance from his hotel days appears demanding Harry write his will. When he dies somewhat mysteriously a few days later and leaves Harry in charge of sorting out his affairs, Harry soon realises this will be no ordinary piece of work. After all, his now deceased client inherited a criminal empire and several people are very interested in what is to become of it.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

The third instalment of the Harry Spittle Sagas moves on the 1987. Harry is now a senior lawyer with a well-regarded City of London firm, aspiring to a partnership. However, one evening Harry finds the head of the Private Client department dead over his desk, in a very compromising situation. The senior partner offers to sort things out, to avoid Harry embarrassment but soon matters take a sinister turn and Harry is fighting for his career, his freedom and eventually his life as he wrestles with dilemma on dilemma. Will Harry save the day? Will he save himself? 

   

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Life in a Grain of Sand is a 30 story anthology covering many genres: fantasy, romance, humour, thriller, espionage, conspiracy theories, MG and indeed something for everyone. All the stories were written during Nano 2015 

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Salisbury Square is a dark thriller set in present day London where a homeless woman and a Polish man, escaping the police at home, form an unlikely alliance to save themselves. 

This is available here 

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Buster & Moo is about about two couples and the dog whose ownership passes from one to the other. When the couples meet, via the dog, the previously hidden cracks in their relationships surface and events begin to spiral out of control. If the relationships are to survive there is room for only one hero but who will that be?

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Life in a Flash is a set of super short fiction, flash and micro fiction that should keep you engaged and amused for ages 

Amazon.co.uk 

Amazon.com 

Smashwords

Apprenticed To My Mother describes the period after my father died when I thought I was to play the role of dutiful son, while Mum wanted a new, improved version of her husband – a sort of Desmond 2.0. We both had a lot to learn in those five years, with a lot of laughs and a few tears as we went.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Life in a Conversation is an anthology of short and super short fiction that explores connections through humour, speech and everything besides. If you enjoy the funny, the weird and the heart-rending then you’ll be sure to find something here.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

When Martin suggests to Pete and Chris that they spend a week walking, the Cotswolds Way, ostensibly it’s to help Chris overcome the loss of his wife, Diane. Each of them, though, has their own agenda and, as the week progresses, cracks in their friendship widen with unseen and horrifying consequences.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

The sincerest form of poetry.

Famous poets reimagined, sonnets of all kinds, this poerty selection has something for all tastes, from the funny, to the poignant to the thought-provoking and always written with love and passion.

 

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Geoff Le Pard’s Amazon Author Page

********

I can honestly say I have read all these books and enjoyed them greatly.

Thank for joining me today Geoff it was

To have you and Dog visit.

Geoff Le Pard is visiting my Blog.

Today it is

To welcome author extraordinare Geoff Le Pard. I am really excited to have Geoff here on my blog so we can discuss book two in the life of Harry Spittle.

We first met Harry in Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle.

Now Geoff I have read and loved this book but why don’t you give everyone the blurb.

It’s summer 1976 and hotter than Hades. Harry Spittle, nineteen, is home from university, aiming to earn some money to go on holiday and maybe get laid. He expects he will be bored rigid, but the appearance of an old family friend, Charlie Jepson, his psychopathic son, Claude, and predatory wife Monica changes that. As his parents’ marriage implodes, Harry’s problems mount; before he knows it he’s in debt up to his ears and dealing in drugs. Things go from bad to worse when he is stabbed. He needs money fast, but now his job is at risk, his sister is in trouble and he has discovered a family secret that could destroy all he holds dear. Will Harry have to join forces with the local criminal mastermind to survive the summer and save his family? Can he regain some credibility and self-respect? Most importantly will he finally get laid?

Dead Flies will be free from 30th October 2019 to 3rd November 2019

Pre order here

For our American friends here

You know Geoff I really enjoyed that book, it had me laughing out loud one minute and wandering just how anyone was going to survive , the next.

Now tell us Geoff what is the blurb on this second book

When Harry Spittle, nearly qualified as a solicitor, is approached to write a Will for old acquaintance Sven Andersen, he is somewhat surprised but rather pleased. That pleasure sours after he finds that the Will Sven actually signs is very different to the one he has drawn up, with Harry as the executor. Disappointment turns to horror when he discovers that Sven has been winding up his late father’s criminal empire and a number of not very nice people are interested in the Will’s contents.

If he is to remain in one piece, able to continue his career in the law and save his on-off relationship with his girlfriend Penny, who is unfortunately under suspicion of murder, he needs to find out what’s happened to the money and distribute it according to Sven’s wishes. The trouble is Sven has not only hidden the assets but also the identities of those who benefit. Harry will have to solve a fiendish puzzle Sven has left behind with the help of his sister Dina before his world comes crashing down. With so many people depending on him, Harry knows it’s time for him to grow up – it’s just that he really, really doesn’t want to.

Set in 1981 to the backdrop of punk, Thatcherite politics and an upcoming Royal wedding, this is a book for those who like their nostalgia served with a side of humour and a dash of optimism all wrapped up in a compelling mystery.

pre order here.

For our American friends here.

Right now we have wetted everyone’s appitetite for these first two books can I offer you some coffee and a

Okay Question Time.

1 Tell us Geoff what gave you the idea for the two books so far.

The first book Dead Flies had its genesis on a writing course where I needed to provide some 10,000 words for the start of a book. I decided I wanted to write a comic story and took as my inspiration my first summer holiday home from university. It was 1976 and I’d had a year at Bristol studying law. But actually I’d had a bloody good time. My formative years had been spent in a New Forest cottage in the middle of nowhere. When we moved there in 1969 it seemed quite idyllic. By the time I discovered girls and hormones it was bloody intolerable. My parents were lovely, kind and absurd but my lack of transport was a major inhibition to a happy life. So living in a vibrant city, albeit a terminally wet one was a joy. Image coming home for three and a half months ‘holiday’. Broke, trapped and undersexed… I still shudder. I found a job in a local hotel and… boy, was that like entering a parallel universe? And that was it. I had the setting – the New Forest. The year – 1976. And a hapless broke undersexed student desperate to spend time away from a stifling home life.

For book two I took my hero – Harry Spittle – and moved him forward like me. In 1981 I had finished my degree and was living in a flat in London just about to qualify as a solicitor. Once again I was broke, and working in a surreal hierarchical structure of the law firm in the West End of London. I had the year and the setting and the employment situation. All I needed was to take forward the characters and mess with their lives. Such fun!

Really how lucky were you to have your settings so firmly fixed in your mind

2 How much were the stories based on personal experience.

Partly as I said above. None of the characters are exact copies of the people I remember though, in this latest book, it is true there were three partners in the firm I worked in – a white male senior partner who never seemed entirely with it; an amazing woman partner who juggled her family with being one of the best general practice lawyers I’ve known and a young man who was quickly promoted and growing into the role rather painfully. But there the accuracies of their characters leaves us for the fantasy of the author’s imagination.

3 How much was garnered from your years as a solicitor.

In a lot of ways the way things were done in the law (maybe still) goes unquestioned – rather like some of the nonsense we see in Parliament right now: it’s all custom and practice which no one wants to change. But step away and ask yourself if this is how you’d design it if starting again and, well, if you suggested men in wigs and tights hitting gavels you’d be certified to spend time in the dribble tank, spit spot! In one scene we see Harry having to appear before a Master in the High Courts of Justice. If the courts you see on TV are the epitome of English (and let’s not forget Welsh) justice then the Masters’ rooms are the splenetic dustbins of the court system. I accept you need somewhere to deal with the minutiae of the litigation process but why give so much power to disillusioned sociopaths? The Masters were the puffer fish of the judiciary, poisonous and one of the redundant parts of the evolution of the Common Law system, like the appendix and just as unpleasant if they ever burst. Harry is terrified of the treatment to be handed out to him; I was as well. It is no exaggeration that it was like one of those Japanese games shows we used to see in the 1980s. Designed for no purpose that to humiliate and to engender a sort of institutionalised schadenfreude in all parties. But for my experiences there, I might have become a litigator. Fortunately sense prevailed. It is nearly 40 years since I was last in front of a Master and I still break out with a sort of emotional psoriasis at the memory. Maybe they’re better now; they bloody well should be.

Maybe Geoff as Honore De Balzac says

“Laws are spider webs through which the big flies pass and the little ones get caught.”

4 So Geoff where do you do most your writing.

A mix. A fair bit on the kitchen table or on my memory desk – one I inherited from my dad on which he wrote his poetry. This is when I’m writing in the early morning and late evening (I tend to write into the wee hours). If I write during the day (the afternoon, like now as I write this) I’m in one of three cafes in the South London area where I live. Earbuds in, the world going on around me I can bash out many words, edit in detail or just pick up ideas. Oh and eat cake…

5. So to my final question Geoff are there anymore Harry Spittle books in the pipeline

Indeed there are. The next adventure for Harry, Penny and others is called Booms and Busts and is set in 1987. Harry has moved to a city of London firm and is up for a partnership (still following my career and life path). He lives in South London (as I did). He cycles to work. I think this will be the best book so far. It’s jam packed with madcap characters (Dina, his sister now works for MI5 for instance! And his mother is a successful operator in the hospitality sector.) We have the Thatcherite boom, the AIDs crisis, the crash and storms of October that year. Oh and is Natalie dying? That will be on the shelves early next year.

After that we move on to 1997, a book set in the period from March 16th when John Major prorogued Parliament for a general election (sound familiar?) up to the Blair victory that May (so much for proroguing being a short period, huh!). Harry is working in a smart new building in the City of London for a major law firm, he is now up for management, he’s married with a family, trying to get to grip with his mobile phone and desktop computer and the difficulties of being a grown up, something he never thought would happen to him. Provisionally called ‘Things Never Change’ I will write the first words of this one on 1st November as part of Nano. If all goes according to plan this one will be published in the second half of next year.

After that…. Well there’s the millennium, the crash of 2008 or maybe he should go and work for the Olympics, or just retire… we’ll see.

Plenty of scope there then Geoff.

Now it’s time to fill in your author info Geoff.
Geoff Le Pard started writing to entertain in 2006. He hasn’t left his keyboard since. When he’s not churning out novels he writes some maudlin self-indulgent poetry, short fiction and blogs at geofflepard.com. He walks the dog for mutual inspiration and most of his best ideas come out of these strolls. He also cooks with passion if not precision.


Geoff Le Pard’s Amazon Author Page


My Father and Other Liars is a thriller set in the near future and takes its heroes, Maurice and Lori-Ann on a helter-skelter chase across continents.
Smashwords
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com


Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle is a coming of age story. Set in 1976 the hero Harry Spittle is home from university for the holidays. He has three goals: to keep away from his family, earn money and hopefully have sex. Inevitably his summer turns out to be very different to that anticipated.
Smashwords
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com

Life in a Grain of Sand is a 30 story anthology covering many genres: fantasy, romance, humour, thriller, espionage, conspiracy theories, MG and indeed something for everyone. All the stories were written during Nano 2015
Smashwords
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com


Salisbury Square is a dark thriller set in present day London where a homeless woman and a Polish man, escaping the police at home, form an unlikely alliance to save themselves.
This is available here
Smashwords
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com


Buster & Moo is about about two couples and the dog whose ownership passes from one to the other. When the couples meet, via the dog, the previously hidden cracks in their relationships surface and events begin to spiral out of control. If the relationships are to survive there is room for only one hero but who will that be?
Smashwords
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com


Life in a Flash is a set of super short fiction, flash and micro fiction that should keep you engaged and amused for ages
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com
Smashwords


Apprenticed To My Mother describes the period after my father died when I thought I was to play the role of dutiful son, while Mum wanted a new, improved version of her husband – a sort of Desmond 2.0. We both had a lot to learn in those five years, with a lot of laughs and a few tears as we went.
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com


Life in a Conversation is an anthology of short and super short fiction that explores connections through humour, speech and everything besides. If you enjoy the funny, the weird and the heart-rending then you’ll be sure to find something here.
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com


In this the second part of the Harry Spittle sagas, Harry in now working in London, as a nearly qualified solicitor when an old acquaintance, Sven Andersen asks him to make his Will. If that wasn’t surprising enough finding out that Sven had not only died but also left Harry to sort out the mess of Sven’s affairs (including unwidning the residue of Sven’s father’s criminal empire) are problems Harry could well do without. Set in 1981 amongst the tensions of Thatcherite politics, the peak of punk and an upcoming Royal Wedding the Last Will of Sven Andersen will intrigue and delight as well as make you wince and wonder.
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com

Another cup of tea Geoff, more cake? So all that is left for me to say is

I am so happy you visited today. Well everyone else what are you waiting for get ordering you will not be sorry.

Follow me on Twitter

Follow Us

Follow Us

Follow Us

Follow Us

France & Vincent

Writing Magic, Myth and Mystery

Sun in Gemini

SteveTanham - writing, mysticism, photography, poetry, friends

But I Smile Anyway...

Musings and memories, words and wisdom... of a working family woman

New2Writing

KL Caley - Novel Ideas

Hot Dogs and Marmalade

Salty like hot dogs (and tears). Sweet like marmalade (and life).

Two on a Rant

Rants, humor, sarcasm, and a haiku-like substance? It's hard to know what's going to come out of our minds next.

Ivor.Plumber/Poet

An Old Plumber, An Ex-Carer, An Amateur Poet, Words From The Heart

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

Marsha Ingrao - Always Write

Having fun, while encouraging, and promoting bloggers

Caramel

Learner at Love

Chel Owens

A Wife, My Verse, and Every Little Thing

Sacred SoulSongs

Sacred Paths and Detours

Mr. Ohh!'s Sideways View

For those of you who aren't me...and I've noticed a surprisingly large number of people who aren't.

The Small Dog

Life from the Tail End

USUAL MUTTWITS

DOG TAILS by ZoZo and Jools

kimbladeswriting

poetry and short stories

Ben Naga

Gifts from the Musey Lady and Me. "Laissez-moi vous raconter ma vraie histoire."

About the Jez of It

Poetry, stories and strange odds and ends from the desk of a writer

The Sound of One Hand Typing

Music, Musings, Memoir, and Madness

"LIFE" ( You like it, I love it! )

"LOVE"-Keeping it real, and keeping it simple!

Our Eyes Open

Come along on an adventure with us!

Diary of a Dublin Housewife

Diary of a Dublin Housewife

J-Dubs Grin and Bear It

As Always, More to Come

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Blog magazine for lovers of health, food, books, music, humour and life in general

Colline's Blog

a potpourri of thoughts and experiences

pensitivity101

An onion has many layers. So have I!

lynz real cooking

lynz real life

Darswords

Musings about Havenverse

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter

like mercury colliding...

...moments of unexpected clarity

G-Bears Blog

Real Life - Hard Facts !

All in a Day's Breath

Art, Love of Life, Philosophy, Writing, Spirituality

Kevin Parish

Poetry, lyrics and other words...