A Quickie with Jon Teckman

Tell me about your latest book and why we should read it?

Ordinary Joe is the ideal read for anyone interested in Hollywood, extra-marital sex, Chinese food and accountancy.  And you can pick it up for just 99p on Kindle right now.

If someone was to write your life story what would the title be?

Ordinary Jon

What’s the strangest fan question or request you’ve received?

Not exactly a question or request (and I’m not sure she was much of a fan) but someone once posted on Facebook that she had used her signed copy of Ordinary Joe to help her with a bit of DIY.

If you could co-write with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be?

Joseph Heller.  He was a total genius who crafted every sentence into a mini-novel in its own right.

Tell me something nobody else knows about you (yet!).

On two separate occasions I have woken up in bed to find myself completely paralyzed.  The first time, it turned out I’d stuck my head to the pillow with chewing gum; the second, I had pulled both hamstrings breakdancing in the bar the night before.

Finally please recommend 3 books that you have recently read and tell me why you’ve chosen these.

Two Cousins of Azov by Andrea Bennett, a mystical, beautifully written folk tale about two elderly Russian cousins.

Sockpuppet by Matthew Blakstad, a really clever, intricate drama set in a near future world where our lives a totally controlled by digital media and over-zealous Government (at least, I think it is set in the future).

Stoner by John Williams, a very moving, sparsely written account of a man’s ordinary life and the impact he had on other people.  Not a lot of laughs, but a very well told story.

Who is Jon Teckman?

I was born in Northampton, England, in 1963 (in that brief golden era between the release of Please, Please Me and the assassination of JFK). After reading management at university, I joined the Civil Service, ending up in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport advising various Ministers on policy for the UK film industry. In 1998, I joined the British Film Institute as Deputy Director, and was promoted to Chief Executive Officer the following year. More recently I have worked at Ashridge Business School running leadership development programmes. I am on the Council of Management of the British Board of Film Classification and a member of BAFTA.

My experiences on the fringes of the film industry led directly to my writing Ordinary Joe which is about an accountant named Joe West who finds himself drawn into the crazy world of Hollywood after an illicit one-night stand with top actress, Olivia Finch. The novel moves from New York to London to Cannes to LA, all drawing on places I knew well in my film industry days. Sadly, however, the central story of this fringe character’s intimate liaison with a gorgeous superstar is pure invention!

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