It’s time to play Book Trivia! Periodically, we scour the Internet for interesting authors who would like to play Book Trivia with us. By answering our book trivia questions, we get to learn things about the author no one else knows! So, let’s get ready…let’s play…
Today our guest author is Tom Weston, author of the fantasy novel, First Night.
Originally from England, Tom now resides in Boston, Massachusetts; with extended spells in the UK and Luxembourg. Tom has a degree in Computer Science, and he claims to speak three languages: English, American, and Visual Basic. Before turning his hand to fiction, Tom had a successful career as the CEO of a consulting company, conference speaker, and writer of industry articles and business books.
His novel, First Night, introduced the unlikely heroines, Alex and Jackie, and the ghost of a 17th century Puritan named Sarah Pemberton. Tom has also written the screenplay, Fission, based on the true story of scientist, Lise Meitner, and the race for the atomic bomb, and which was named a finalist at the London Independent Film Festival.
Tom is currently working on the sequel to First Night, called the Elf of Luxembourg.
His web site is: www.tom-weston.com.
Thank you for playing Book Trivia with us, Tom! Here are your questions:
If Tom Hanks, in the movie Cast Away, unearthed a copy of First Night, how would that help Tom find a way off the island?
Well, he could build a Paper Mache raft, but I think it would be too small for both him and Wilson, or perhaps he could burn it to signal to a passing rescue ship.
On a less practical note, if he tried to learn something by reading the book, he would find that, “We are not so alone as we suppose,” to quote my ghost, Sarah Pemberton. Then he would take the book’s advice to “Be guided by the beacon bright.”’
Everyone knows rock star idol Brittany Spears is always in trouble with everything you can think of. In what way could your book help her and set her life back on track?
Well, the main characters from First Night are Alex and Jackie, two young blondes from California, who always manage to find trouble. So I don’t think that Britney would relate to them that much. But stereotypes are other people’s conceits, and Britney just may come to the conclusion that, no matter how dark things get, there is always a chance for redemption, for one more First Night.
You have a chance to appear on the hit talent show for authors, American Book Idol, with judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Kara DioGuardi determining whether your book will make it to Hollywood and become a big screenplay. What would impress them more – your book cover, an excerpt or your best review – and why?
These Judges have shown that they are not influenced by what other people may think, so I’d rule out the review, and you can’t judge a book by its cover. That would leave an extract. One chance to impress the Judges is what people on the show get anyway.
As there are also three Puritan judges in the book, who preside in an ethereal place called the Court of Spirits. I would go with an extract that includes them:
“Do you deny that you have used magic to circumvent the Natural Order?” asked the First Magistrate, turning harsh and reproachful.
“Do you deny that you have bought untold misery to your mother who loved you?” intimidated the Second Magistrate before Sarah had time to respond to the first accusation.
“Do you deny that you are a witch?” asked the Third Magistrate, in rapid succession.
“I do not know what a witch be,” screamed Sarah, wishing the Magistrates silent for a while, so she could think. The Magistrates, taken back by this outburst, did indeed fall quiet. Silence filled the air for a moment. Then the Second Magistrate leaned forward and put his chin on his clasped hands.
“Then how do you know that you are not one?” he said softly and smiled in triumph.
Hulk Hogan, the famous wrestler and star of his own reality show, has invited you and your book to appear on his show. One catch. You have to read a passage out of it to convince him you are star material. What part would you read?
Ooh, another extract. I’ll have to be careful not to give too much of the plot away. But the Hulk is a fighter. I think that he would be impressed with the never-say-die spirit (pun intended) shown by Jackie, so I would have her speak:
“I can’t imagine anyone not wanting to be alive, whatever the age. If I had been of your age, if I had lived in the seventeenth century, look at the things I would have missed. I would never have heard of Hobbits or Van Gogh. If I had lived in the Eighteen century, I would have been too soon for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. If I had lived before the twentieth century, I would have missed seeing the Marx Brothers and discovering Bob Marley – I would never have heard Oliver Hardy singing the Trail of the Lonesome Pine.” Jackie paused. She could have persisted for a while and cited example after example, but these names were meaningless to Sarah. Yet she knew one name which Sarah would recognize.
“And if I’d died yesterday I would have missed the chance to meet Sarah Pemberton,” added Jackie. “So maybe I don’t know what other things the human race will do in the next hundred years, or thousand, or a million, but I do know that I would want to be there to see it.
They’ve invented a board game using the theme of your book. What would the title of it be that would be different from your book and which retail store would they place it to make the most sales?
I think it would make a great board game; there are lots of Boston attractions to visit, and bits of trivia and information to collect along the way. I would call it, ‘Alex and Jackie’s Ghastly Adventure.’ And it would probably be sold from the tourist shops and hotel lobbies through out Boston.
The Arbor Day Foundation has decided to pick one tree in your honor because of your writing brilliance. What kind of tree is it and why did they choose that tree in relation to your book?
It would have to be an elm. In the book, I mention the Great Elm that once stood on Boston Common. In the American Revolution, it was known as the Liberty Tree, and they decorated it with lanterns. But before that, during the time of the Puritans, it was known as the hanging tree, where they used to execute witches and criminals.
President Barack Obama has become the author of several books and he has requested your presence at a special hush hush meeting to discuss ways to promote it. Through luck of the draw, you were chosen. What would be the first thing you would tell Barack?
Being elected President is easier than marketing a book.
Finally, you just got word that your book has received the 2009 NY Times Bestselling Book Award and you have to attend the ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan. Anyone who’s anyone will be there and it’s your shot for stardom. On stage, you must give an acceptance speech. What would you say and who would you thank?
I would use the opportunity to educate the world about the terrible plight of the California blonde, and call upon the Government to add them to the endangered species list, and to protect their natural habitat.
And I have way too many people to thank; we would still be there when the 2010 ceremony started. If anyone could invent a device which, no matter who I was actually thanking, automatically inserted the name of the listener, it would be a great help.
But I’d save my best thanks for last – for my wife, Leigh.