Sonntag, 9. September 2012

The Taylor Street Gang files, part 4. Peter Tapsell.

Next up to the plate, Pete Tapsell.
Pete's a tad too dour for Taylor, if you want my honest opinion, but have a read and make your own mind up.

Here's a blurb for his civil servant's manual, "You can't polish a Turd", written under the name George Fripley.

'You Can't Polish A Turd' is a book born of a lifetime - well, it felt like a lifetime - of experience working in and with bureaucracy.

Some might deem it cynical, others not cynical enough, but most will repeatedly nod their heads in profound recognition.

If you are already a bureaucrat, you may find it brings tears to your eyes - both of laughter and despair - and whatever your bureaucratic hue, public or corporate, it is probably the book you will wish you had read years ago, the one which would have saved you from committing all those silly, and sometimes fatal, transgressions against the bureaucratic code which are so easily made if you have pretensions to humanity, decency and indeed activity.

However, if you are only just stepping out onto the winding career path of a convicted bureaucrat, this is an absolute must-read that will guide you unfailingly to the very top of your profession so long as you implement its recommendations precisely and without moral weakness.

All in all, this is a fine companion piece to its corporate equivalents, Terry Farnsworth's 'On The Way Up' or Robert Townsend's 'Up The Organisation' - well, more like Terry's actually because its fundamental tenet is that optimism is futile, but that futility can be both entertaining and highly rewarding.

OK, let's get him in a headlock, knuckle his head and get some answers out of him!

1.) Tell us about yourself
I am a middle-aged bureaucrat who pays a mortgage but is a superhero by night - when I go out to sow the seeds of confusion and dischord among those intent on bringing common sense to life. I'm not sure that I'm needed though - people seem to manage this all by themselves.

2.) What genre do you specialise in?
So far I have dealt with satire and humour with the Civil Servant’s Manual and The Dregs of History but I am currently working on a novel, Barmia which, while having elements of satire in it, is more of a study of people and their interactions. This is a fantasy novel, so it is a whole new challenge.

3.) What's your inspiration.
Every day when I come to work I find new ideas springing to life in my head. Just watching people in their everyday lives is inspiration. I take a pen and notepad everywhere with me. You never know when inspiration will strike.

4.) Who is your favourite author, why and did he/she inspire you to write in any way?
I don’t have one favourite author, there are a few. These include Raymond Chandler, Terry Pratchett & Bill Bryson. Terry Pratchett has entertained me since my teens and continues to do so. I like his sense of humour, his biting satire, and his understanding of human beings and their prejudices. He also writes a great story. Raymond Chandler, in my opinion, set the standard for private eye novels and even though his books were written in the 1940s they still resonate today. I believe he is one of the classic writers and his descriptions of people and places, and especially his dialogue are second to none. And Bill Bryson, what can I say. As an ex-pat Pom living in Australia I found his Notes from a Small to be spot on in its assessment of my fellow countrymen (and women). His ability to weave history and humour into the travel narrative inspired me to try the same – it didn’t work! All these writers and a few more are bound to rubbed off on how I write.

5.) How do you feel about Taylor?
I have enjoyed being part of Taylor Street Books, and before that Night Publishing. So far I have had two books published and they will hopefully look favourably on my new work. I find the group of writers in Taylor Street to be friendly, helpful, and often very entertaining.

6.) What are your plans?
World domination via the internet…or if that doesn’t work I might open a nice bottle of wine or a few Theakston’s Old Peculiers instead, and watch the football or the cricket.

7.) Go for it, sell your work. (Links, reviews, what ever you want).
For all those who love a bit of humour, the Dregs of History website will educate you on people who have never been and did nothing  There are over 80 characters on the website, and hopefully I will get to the 100 mark. I have compiled 55 in the Dregs of History book published by Taylor Street. My favourite character? Perhaps Shit-faced Wilkins, Soporificus Pitt or Cynan the Mapmaker.
If any of you are struggling with the bureaucracy, then You Can’t Polish  A Turd (Civil Servant’s Manual) is what you need to read. It will demystify the un-demystifiable. Taylor Street can provide this for you at a very reasonable price.
On lighter note I am getting in touch with my lighter side at The Small Things blog – a site that details in short bites what makes life good!
Other sites in my rapidly expanding empire include  - where I shall be whining a lot, but also interviewing writers in the near future. – the site of my very own political party WARP (present membership  - 1).  I am currently interviewing for the position of El Presidente (all applicants are welcome, since none on my shortlist have applied) and working on walking a mile in everybody’s shoes. This may take some time.

What did I say?
The man is an intolerable misery guts... but he grows on you.

Thanks for reading peeps.
Reggie :-D

8 Kommentare:

Mike Church hat gesagt…

Good grief, Peter! How can you keep so many websites going?! I've really enjoyed the Dregs of History, and You Can't Polish a Turd sounds like a supremely entertaining read too.

Great interview. A few more questions for you:

-Do you play polo with Prince Charles?

-Did you read Down Under? How about The Lost Continent?

(I'm a huge BB fan, too!)

-Are there any buffalo in Australia?

R.R.Jones hat gesagt…

Mike, you ROCK dude.

George Fripley hat gesagt…

Hey Mike...not been invited to play polo with Prince Charles yet, but you never know...polo with Pippa Middleton might be better!

George Fripley hat gesagt…

Hey Mike...not been invited to play polo with Prince Charles yet, but you never know...polo with Pippa Middleton might be better!

I have read most Bill Bryson's books - including those two - but A Walk in the Woods in one of my favourites.

I believe there are buffalo in Oz...but not native to here!

And finally, in the words of General Dilligence Dumphuk (one of the dregs) I will achieve world domination by attacking from the front, directly uphill.

George Fripley hat gesagt…

Hi answer your questions in no particualr order

1) I believe that there are buffalo out here, although they aren't native.

2)I don;t play polo with Prince Charles, but I am open to a game with Pippa Middleton.

3)Yes read those books - also like A Walk in the Woods

4) I keep my website going using General Dilligence Dumphuk's (one of the dregs) motto - attack from the front, and uphill.

And cheers Reg for putting this up...much appreciated.

Also had a couple of issues with captcha stuff, but hopefully got through.

R.R.Jones hat gesagt…

No probs mate, thanks for answering the call :-)

Mike Church hat gesagt…

Peter, I'm really disappointed that you didn't answer my questions in order. It made me think, and I'm not used to that. Anyway, I'm meeting Pippa for lunch, so I'll put in a good word for you. For years I used to think "water polo" was toffs swimming around on their horses...

I bought it, Peter! I've always been meaning to read Raymond Chandler, so I just nipped over to Amazon to buy "The Long Goodbye".

Ha ha! Don't worry, I'll get your stuff too later :)

George Fripley hat gesagt…

I think you'll like Chandler Mike, my favourite is probably The High Window, but I found them all to be good.