Morning campers! How are you all today? Did your tent stay up overnight? Thinking of upgrading to a cruise? Well, whatever holiday floats your boat (apologises, apologises) you should definitely pack a copy of ‘U Got to Have U Some Fun’ by my guest author Andrew Harkless. Firstly, welcome Andrew.  So, to get the ball rolling please tell us a bit about yourself?

AH: I dropped out of Penn State University at the age of 20 with the deliberate, albeit unorthodox, intention to earn a more practical, street-smart degree studying the human condition through countless bartending positions and extensive travel. That path has been one of sparse means filled with challenging, often horrifying, periods of introspection and no holds barred character studies of everyone with whom I came in contact. From society’s upper echelon, to those whose resumes read like criminal rap sheets, no type of person was off limits. The ultimate goal: arm an innate imagination with enough real-life experiences to eventually be proficient in creating authentic, heartfelt, relatable characters to act out the scenes of my imagination through literary novels.

NF: Wow, that sounds hard work but rewarding. ‘U Got to Have U Some Fun’ is a great title for a book! Can you tell us about the inspiration behind it?

AH: I wanted to take an everyman character anyone could relate with on a sort of middle-aged, coming of age existential journey to discover his true potential.

NF: What a great premise for a book. I note that it’s set on a cruise ship, was this your first choice of setting?

AH: It was absolutely my first choice. While working a wide variety of bartending jobs over 25 years to research people so I could ultimately write novels like this one, I was a bartender for two different cruise lines—RCCL and Hawaiian. Setting this story up as a 7-day vacation aboard a cruise ship also allowed me to create a very interesting and realistic sub-plot pulling the curtain back on what really happens on cruise ships.

NF: I am sure there are many more stories to come from those times…. Can you share with us what inspires you to write?

AH: Everyone has a calling. I am an only child, never married nor had children. I am a natural observer who is quite analytical. I love working for myself. All these traits are conducive to creative writing. As a movie buff, my ultimate goal has always been to have something I write adapted for the big screen.

NF: I agree, I think writers are the best observers. I often think writers would make great spies for that very reason. When you write would you say you are a planner or a panster?

AH: A bit of both. I make a thin outline to start and then it grows and changes as I write

NF: Me too. I love watching a story unfold, there is something magical about uncovering a story for the first time.Which authors do you enjoy reading?

AH: All the classics; contemporary wise. I love John Irving, along with all the usual suspects like: Brown, Grisham, DeMille, Elmore Leonard.

NF: I’m with you on DeMille.Who would you say have been your biggest influences?

AH: I have the best parents. Without them, my dreams would have never had a chance. I used bartending for the past 27 years as my education and as a source of research to write great novels, so I would also say all the people I’ve met on that journey are content sources of influence. And last but not least, without my editor, publisher, business partner, and friend—Debra L Hartmann—this novel would probably never have come to life.

NF: Yes families are so important in shaping and supporting us. Where would we be without having someone fighting our corner? If you could time travel what one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

AH: Work hard and buy real estate or stock at a young age so you have the means to afford the luxury of pursuing your dreams later.

NF: Good advice Andrew, I wish I’d have done that… the buying real estate bit! So, what are you currently working on?

AH: A sort of anti-materialistic themed novel. The main character takes a vacation each year to live on the streets with the homeless.

NF: That sounds intriguing. An actor I know is trying to raise money via crowd funding to make a movie about homlessness, it’s a very emotive subject. Thanks so much for joining me today Andrew and I wish you all the best with ‘U Got to Have U Some Fun’ and here’s to all of your future writing adventures.

Just before you go can you answer these quick fire questions? It must be the first thing that pops into your head… OK… Ready…Set…Go..

Favourite type of food?

Pizza

Favourite movie?

Cool Hand Luke, Casablanca, Caddie Shack

Favourite book?

I have two: Canery Row by Steinbeck and Don’t Stop the Carnival by Herman Wouk

Favourite book character?

John Smith from U Got to Have U Some Fun

Red or yellow?

Yellow

Sweet or savoury?

Spicy

Beginning or End?

The present is a continual beginning.

Favourite city?

Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Land or sea?

Land by the sea.

Fact or fiction?

All fiction is fact.

About the Author

Andrew Harkless was born in Orange County, California in 1970, but raised in central Pennsylvania. He currently resides in coastal North Carolina. He has never married nor had children—life-lessons possibly still awaiting him down the road. Many typical luxuries were put on hold for devoting unbridled time to writing with the ultimate goal of becoming a successful literary author along the caliber of his idol, John Irving—inarguably one of the greatest contemporary American storytellers.

Andrew Harkless was born in Orange County, California in 1970, but raised in central Pennsylvania. He currently resides in coastal North Carolina. He has never married nor had children—life-lessons possibly still awaiting him down the road. Many typical luxuries were put on hold for devoting unbridled time to writing with the ultimate goal of becoming a successful literary author along the caliber of his idol, John Irving—inarguably one of the greatest contemporary American storytellers.

U Got to Have U Some Fun is available in both ebook & paperback  right here >>>                                   

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