03 Nov 2013

Andrew Lennon: A Life To Waste

3 Comments Book Reviews

18460861“A Life to Waste” by Andrew Lennon is an at times very creepy horror story that at several moments during the read had me at the proverbial edge of my seat. I am not usually a fan of the genre and read the book on the recommendation of a friend. 

Luckily I was far from disappointed.

We witness Dave wasting his life away after a car accident that ends his promising running career. Full of lethargy Dave begins a downward spiral of drinking and doing nothing.
Then some dreadful events in his apartment block bring terror to his life and he needs to come out of his self destructive cycle to save his own skin.

Lennon spends a great deal building up Dave and his background which pays of remarkably well when Dave is confronted with the sudden horror, the subtlety of which is brilliant by the way, as is the slow and gradual build up of the horrifying tension that spirals him into panic and paranoia. Dave is doubting his own sanity at times, probably as many of us would when experiencing what Dave goes through. 

However, I found that there is much more to this horror story than meets the eye. Dave is an interesting character in that he once had a perfect life that was taken away from him. We feel for him, despite some of his less likeable traits and actions. I would not classify this story as simple horror – even though it is pretty good at that part, no doubt.
No, I found the psychology of a failed or broken athlete and his late call to become responsible and turn his life around most rewarding as it adds depth to the story. I cannot say more without spoiling the book for you, only that there is a moral lesson in this book I would not have expected. To put the icing of the cake, the writing style, particularly at the beginning of the book, edges on literary realism, a brilliant tool in the portrayal of Dave’s broken life and a credit to the writer.

The book is well paced, gathering speed at the right time and keeping the momentum all the way to the dramatic end. With the ambiguity of Dave’s character the book was almost impossible to predict for this reader and so a compelling and very rewarding read. A lot of thought and work has gone into this short horror novel that I would highly recommend to fans of the genre and to those who won’t mind the horror but are interested in great psychological character development.

INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW:

First of all a very Happy Birthday Andrew. Thank you for honouring us with your presence on such a special day. Please tell us a little about yourself, as a writer and a person!
I am 28, I live with my wife and children. I work for my dads firm of accountants in Warrington.
I enjoy reading, writing, camping and spending time with my family.
What inspired you to write this story? What was your motivation?
I quit smoking and drinking and found that I had a lot of free time on my hands. I thought I would try and make that time productive so decided to write the book.
The book is very subtle in its horror. What is your favourite scary book?
My favourite scary book is “The Shining” I read this when I was younger and I was on holiday, staying in a hotel. I struggled to sleep after that!
Your book also touches on a few deeper issues, such as confidence, morals and physical ability. Was that accidental or part of the plan?
This was a part of the plan, I have encountered quite a few people in my life who have had drink/drug problems, and some that just don’t appreciate what they have around them. Hopefully when some of them read this book it will plant a little message for them.
How much of the stories was fixed before you started writing and how much changed during the process?
Pretty much the whole story was fixed before I started writing. I planned each chapter out, only about five lines on each, but enough to keep the idea of what I wanted to happen fresh in my head.
How did you have the inspiration for your story and your characters?
The story was planted when I hear people arguing, they argue all the time. I thought, one day they’re going to kill each other and no one will even go to check on them.
The characters are made from a combination of people I have met during my life, me included. I mixed them all together and that was the result.
Do you have a particular message you would like to convey?
Yeah, just try to appreciate the life you have. It may not be perfect, but if you work at it and try hard you can at least make it enjoyable for yourself and the people around you.
Which of your characters was most enjoyable to write?
He only had a very small part, but I think I enjoyed writing about Trevor the most. He reminded me of an old school friend so it brought back a lot of memories.
Who would play them in a film?
I think Kieffer Sutherland would be perfect for Dave.
Perhaps Dave Grohl for Trevor? Don’t know if he would like to act, but he looks the part.
Unsure on who to play the freak? Someone big and scary, maybe Kane from WWE?
Are you like any of the characters in the book?
I used to have a few of Dave’s characteristics, drinking, lazy etc. I like to think I have grown out of that now.
What is your life like? What do you do for pleasure and work when you are not writing?
My life is great, I am happily married. I work for my fathers firm of accountants for a living. Ideally I would like to write full time, but I think that is a long way off yet.
Who are your literary influences? What are your favourite books/ films/ albums?
Love Stephen King, books and movies, The Shining, Stand By Me (favourite film of all time), The Green Mile
I was reading “The Summer I Died” by Ryan C Thomas, when I actually felt inspired to go and write a book myself.
What are your views on ind7257030ependent publishing?
I think it’s brilliant. It gives the everyday writer a chance to get their stories out to the world. It doesn’t matter whether they are majorly successful or not, just that they had hundreds or thousands of people read their work, and hopefully enjoy it.
Can you recommend any indie books/ authors?
I can recommend pretty much any author in the ASMSG group. They are all very talented writers and quite a few have helped me out already.
Also, take a look at Calvin Wade, his novel “Forever Is Over” is one of the best books I’ve read in years. It was through his advice and help that I became self published.
What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?
What seems like never ending burping would probably be one of the oddest.
Best quality, I dunno. I never turn down a chance to help someone. Maybe that?
What are your favourite animal/ colour/ outdoor activity?
Dog, Blue, Barbeque.
What would you take to a remote island?
I suppose I should say my family, but only so they were stuck with me haha
Who would you like to invited for dinner and why?
Al Pacino, Stephen King, Samuel L Jackson, Adam Sandler and Russell Brand. I just think it would be an awesome crowd and a hilarious dinner.
What are you writing at the moment and where would we find out about your next projects?
I am in the middle of writing a book with I think will be called “October Murders”, it’s still a long way off yet. You can check out updates on me through Goodreads or through thewritersroom.co.uk
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written by
Christoph Fischer was born in Germany in 1970 as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ is his first published work. He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.
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3 Responses to “Andrew Lennon: A Life To Waste”

  1. Andrew Lennon says:

    I’m thrilled with this review and interview. Thank you very much for your time and efforty Christoph, it is very much appreciated.

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