And since I am a doofus (I do like that word, even though it's so American!) I completely forgot to tell you a little about Andy the other day. I wanted the input of a male reader. Andy was born and brought up in Co. Durham in the NE of England. He now lives in Leicestershire working for the NHS to keep two cats in the manner to which they have become accustomed. Andy, I forgot to mention this, but I am allergic to cats and pretty terrified of them too!
Anyway, eyes down....
Do you remember what attracted you to Sign of the Times? What made you buy it? – It wasn’t a book that I’d normally buy. I suppose the bit that caught me was the concept of 12 characters based on 12 star signs. I also like reading about places, and the setting in Italy and Scotland, one of which I know fairly well and one I have never visited, I liked.
Many would assume that Sign of the Times is a chick-lit book. Do you think this is the case? Why/why not? – I wouldn’t describe it as chick-lit, no. Having said that, what actually is chick-lit? If it’s a book about women and relationships, then I suppose this has elements of this, but there’s more to it than that. Is it a book that has its main character as a woman? In that case that is a definition that covers so many other books. Aimed at female readership – again, shouldn’t really be limited in that way So chick-lit? No.
Who were your favourite male & female characters and why? - Favourite male character? I’d say Ben. I like the way he starts off in a place he’d frankly rather not be, but ends up happy. Female – I’d say Czeslawa. She is so different even from the diverse group of the rest of the cast, and the way her story develops across the book is a good one. But I couldn’t not mention Lucy…!
Which were your favourite scenes in the book and why? - The scene in the Aonach Inn. Apart from being in an area I do know, it’s one that’s told from a number of different angles in the story with a number of the central characters involved
What would you say to potential male readers about this book? (The majority of SOTT readers as far as I know are female, even though it wasn’t written expressly for women) – I’d say give it a go. It’s a story that has a number of elements, and the characters are well written and well described . The locations are also well described. I know some of the places, and I can recognise them from the book. The ones I don’t know I can now visualise
As you now know , there will be a sequel to Sign of the Times. Which characters would you like to see given more prominence in the sequel and why? Czeslawa her family and the business would be good to follow through, and I’d like to know what’s next for Lucy…see I’m back to her again!
Which element of Sign of the Times did you like best? Humour, pace, drama, relationships, or other? I’d say the changes of pace, the cliff-hangers at the end of sections, the unexpected, trying to see how it all comes together in the end, it didn’t all work out how you might think
Which sign are you and do you think you are similar in personality traits to the Sign of the Times character? I'm an Aries and there are some similarities. Impulsive, tick, competitive, tick, natural athlete…hmm…
Were there any particular locations in the novel which you particularly liked? Aonach Eagach and the area is part I do know, and I did enjoy reading about somewhere that doesn’t often get written about. The description of the Italian leg of the book was so well done I could feel like I’d like to go there as well
Is there anything that you feel strongly about that you would have liked to have turned out differently (careful of spoilers here!)? No not really. The final scene where things were tied together did its job and didn’t try to make all the connections. There’s always value on unanswered questions…
Sign of the Times can be bought from Amazon here - http://amzn.to/GKqZGd (UK) & http://amzn.to/IYN0Fc (US & other .com)
See you back here on Friday for not 1, not 2, but 3 book reviews.......the tension mounts!