Friday, 1 August 2014

Guest Post: J. Paul Henderson's Imaginary Bookshop

Today J. Paul Henderson has popped over to answer the Imaginary Bookshop questions as part of his Last Bus to Coffeeville blog tour.

I will be reviewing Last Bus to Coffeeville later this month.


1. What would be the name of your imaginary bookshop? The Trouser Press 

2. Where would your imaginary bookshop be located? Next door to a Bang & Olufsen dealership; we’d arrange things so that each store could get a 50% discount on any items bought from the other.

3. Would your bookshop have any special features? E.g. a performing stage; a cocktail bar, etc. A Passport Photo Booth – You can never find one when you need one.

4. What would make your bookshop different from all of the other ones? It would be on stilts and have no mobile phone reception. 

5. What sections would you have in your bookshop? And what sections would you ditch? I’d ditch the Mind Body & Spirit section, liberate the shelves of all celebrity autobiographies and then throw out the Booker Prize winners. I’d then divide the shop into Good Books and Bad Books, and probably make a living from selling the bad books.

6. Every bookshop needs a display table. Which books would you have on your display table? Why? Dictionaries – they’re overlooked and under-used; every person should own at least one.

7. If you could run only one author event, who would you have? You can pick a living or dead writer. What sort of event would they run? Richard Brautigan (deceased). A girlfriend once bought me a copy of Trout Fishing in America for Christmas. I thought the book was about trout fishing in America and so we broke up. It turned out to be the most unusual and enjoyable story I’d ever read; it started me reading fiction again and led me to believe that maybe one day I could write a book. The event would be fun, intimate, and eventually be broken up by the police.

8. A customer comes up to your till with a copy of your novel, Last Bus to Coffeeville and asks you to give them a reason on why they should buy it. What would you say? I’d say it had 383 pages and was therefore perfectly formed. It’s probably a Zen or feng shui thing; we’d probably know for sure if I hadn’t closed down the Mind Body & Spirit section.

9. What sort of cake would you offer when launching your book in your bookshop? Chocolate Cake: the king of calories and the queen of diabetes.


Author biography: J Paul Henderson was born and grew up in Bradford, West Yorkshire, gained a Master's degree in American Studies and travelled to Afghanistan. He worked in a foundry, as a bus conductor, trained as an accountant and then, when the opportunity to return to academia arose, left for Mississippi, returning four years later with a doctorate in 20thC US History and more knowledge of Darlington Hoopes than was arguably necessary. (Hoopes was a Pennsylvanian socialist and the last presidential candidate of the American Socialist Party). American History departments were either closing or contracting, so he opted for a career in publishing, most of which was spent selling textbooks, in one position or other, for John Wiley & Sons. He lives in a house in England, drives a car and owns a television set. And that's about it.


Last Bus to Coffeeville is available from your favourite bookshop. Last Bus to Coffeeville is also available as an Amazon Kindle ebook is currently 99 pence.


The next stop on the Last Bus to Coffeeville blog tour will be at Page to Stage on Monday 4th August. 

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