Monday, 19 January 2015

Q&A and giveaway with Ian Probert, author of Johnny Nothing

Today I am hosting a quick Q&A with Ian Probert, author of "Johnny Nothing." He is also generously giving away free copies of his book so straight to the giveaway:
To celebrate the paperback launch of Johnny Nothing we are offering a free Kindle copy of the book to the first 100 people who Tweet the following message:
@truth42 I'm reading Johnny Nothing by Ian Probert. #YA #Kindle #kidsbooks

The first ten readers who answer the following question will also receive a signed print of one of the book's illustrations.
Q: What is the tattoo on Ben's arm?
Send your answers to
Clue: Use the look inside feature at Amazon here:

A quick blurb: 

"Great new kids book alert! My two are in hysterics reading Johnny Nothing by Ian Probert (and I am too)." Jane Bruton, Editor of Grazia  
"Oh, Wow! Dark, sordid, grotesque and hilarious are only a few words I can conjure up to describe this hilarious book." Lizzie Baldwin, mylittlebookblog 
Critics are comparing Ian Probert to Roald Dahl. And Johnny Nothing we have a modern successor to Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. 
Johnny Nothing is best-selling author Ian Probert's first ever children's book - although adults are enjoying it too. The story of the poorest boy in the world and the nastiest mother in the universe, the book is earning rave reviews. Children and grown-ups are all laughing at this incredibly funny kids book.

Take a look for yourself:

And onto the Q&A:

Q: I read your book "Johnny Nothing" last year with my daughter who was seven at the time. (CLICK HERE for my original review). We both enjoyed the humour and the story which she still remembers much of. Please can you tell us about the book.
It’s the story of a poor abused boy whose uncle bequeaths £1 million to. Problem is, he's got the worst parents of all time. His mother steals the money and goes on a massive spending spree. The book is about how he manages to get the money back. I’m hoping that people of all ages will find it funny. But you never know. Humour is so subjective.
Q: Were you a little Johnny Nothing when you were a boy?
Well I probably was. I was born in Burnley, Lancashire. We were actually pretty poor. I can remember not getting much for Christmas and I can also remember my parents sometimes turning off the lights and the TV when what I assume to be a debt collector was knocking on the door. But it’s all relative isn’t it? What we consider to be poor is actually very wealthy indeed compared to other people in the world.
Q: The pictures from the book are full colour works of art that could be hung in a gallery. They really are quite something. What is the story behind those?
I ended up doing the pictures myself after my daughter declined. One of my former ambitions was to be an artist. I hope I can still draw a little. For whatever reason I decided that I would try to create the whole book on an iPad. The images, therefore, are completely digital, done on a third-generation iPad. To create then I used a Jot Touch pressure sensitive pen and a variety of apps, including Procreate, Art Rage and and various grunging software. It was all done in a tremendous rush. A labour of fear, you might say.
Q: Do you have any tips for aspiring young or old writers out there who want to follow in your footsteps in writing a great story and getting it out there?
Well I wouldn’t dream of trying to advise anyone. I still need all the advice that I can get! However, when I was a magazine editor I would always tell writers to keep it simple. Simple is probably my life ethic. I like to quote Picasso’s about painting with his stomach. That’s what I do. I write with my stomach. One of the best disciplines I had to do recently was to trim a 3,000 word article I had written for The Guardian into only 1,000 words. Doing this really makes you get rid of all the rubbish. The article was improved 1,000,000 per cent in doing so. So keep it simple. If a reader is aware that they are reading something you’re already failed as far as I’m concerned. 
So thank you Mr Ian Probert and check out his book and links below:

Twitter @truth42

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