Genetic engineering has accomplished many things, one of which has been to create the Super Spud! The humble potato elevated to new heights, creating the most flavoursome crisps ever known to humankind! But that's not all - A magical transformation occurs to all Super Spud crisps not eaten before their use-by date. They take on a life of their own. And so long as they remain undetected by humans, they enjoy life in their own Super Spud cities, take part in major Super Spud sporting events and even start the odd Super Spud war or two. Join Colin, Cougar, Hannibal Vector, Generals Rock, Jock and Strap and all the others in their rollicking adventures. You'll never look at a packet of crisps in the same way again! Fun, quirky and totally original.
Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi, I’m Michael Diack, 26 and from UK. I started writing during university and I’ve just released my debut novel, The Super Spud Trilogy, through a company called Pen Press. The book is released now as a paperback and e-book on Amazon. I enjoy music, playing squash, and sailing with my friends.
When did you begin writing?
I wrote the book at university when I was 19. I guess the target audience at the time of writing were fellow students with the same kind of humour as me. Initially, there were lots more sexual innuendos and some mild swearing, in time I took these out and tried to make the book much more approachable for all age groups. Now there are no swear words, the Super Spud equivalent version of sex is holding hands, and the graphic violence is comic in its depiction. My gut tells me the core target audience it will appeal to is still the student generation (18-22), and the best reviews have been from reviewers of this age range, but I honestly hope adults will find it enjoyable and younger readers, too. It came about after I remembered a short story I had written at primary school: Colin and Lucy are crisp packets who come to life after their use-by date and try to find the rubbish tip. At university, bored during a lecture on rocks, I remembered the story and the whole novel I finished in about a month. The book is 3 stories in one and is about magical potatoes, called Super Spuds, who once placed in crisp packets come alive if they are not eaten when their use-by date expires. The personality of the Super Spud is determined by their flavour: tuna flavours are smart, steak and spinach flavours strong, salt and vinegar flavours are arrogant. The book references many films and it is ultimately a tale of friendship, good versus evil and heroic acts of bravery.
Have you ever been discouraged in regard to your writing ability and if so, how did you get past it and move forward?
I guess the first time I got my novel back from my editor was quite a tough time. It was the first ever critique of my work and she held nothing back. However, I couldn’t be more grateful for her honesty and I believe that without her, the book would have been so much worse. I’ll never publish anything without an editor, not just because they proofread for you but also they pick up on plot lines and help to make it the more complete and professional package. She helped me to realise that it takes a courageous writer to make changes or omit large parts for the good of the whole story, no matter how important those parts or characters might have seemed to you when writing. With the criticism from reviewers I just swallow my pride and realise that to become a better writer, I need to listen to what they are saying and which areas need working on. I’m very grateful for honest reviews and will never be discouraged if someone didn’t like the book. It’s just not to everyone’s taste and that’s cool with me.
What's your favorite thing about writing?
I write because it is fun and it helps relieve stress. Writing a story and developing it from a few simple ideas is a very rewarding experience and especially reading positive reviews. I want others to be entertained and to be able to unwind with my writing and escape from the stress of real life.
What is something you've written that will never see the light of day?
I wrote a short story about Tiger Woods and the drama that unfolded when it was revealed he had an affair. Basically Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Thierry Henry and David Beckham are all, by night, elite assassins working for the Gillette Corporation (they were all sponsored by them in real life at one stage). After Tiger’s wife finds out about his affair she kills him and the Gillette Corporation takes things into their own hands for retribution and order Federer and Henry to hunt her down. It’s very rude and sexual and probably not to be read by anybody…
What is your writer food?
I usually buy a packet of Haribo Tangfastics and eat them all while writing. Although I wrote a book about crisps, I don’t actually eat them that much and I prefer sweets.
What inspires you to write?
Typing away, while listening to music is the ultimate escape for me. I don’t sit down and think of a story, it’s usually just there in my head, eating away and telling me to write something, be it a sentence or a few pages. I think it’s very important to continually keep writing no matter what form it takes – novels, short stories, poems or blogs.
How many books have you written and which is your favorite?
I published The Super Spud Trilogy (three books in one) in April 2012. I’m currently writing and have nearly finished The Super Spuds: Book 4, which I’ll aim to release around Christmas time this year. I have a collection of short stories and ideas for other novels but at the moment it’s just the two books I’m afraid. I learned a lot from the feedback and reviews of The Super Spud Trilogy and my favourite out of the two books is Book 4. It’s more character and plot focused and, hopefully, will be even better received than the first book by reviewers.
What are some of your favorite books?
The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, Orcs, Centurion, Steal you away, I’m not scared, Ring/Spiral/Loop trilogy, and Norwegian Wood.
What authors do you like to read?
I love Tolkien, he is my favourite author and his description of things is so clear and yet concise. With something as epic as The Hobbit, he managed to write it in a few hundred pages when other authors would have made it a long-winded 1,000 page marathon. I also enjoy Bret Easton Ellis, Niccolo Ammaniti, Simon Scarrow and Marcus Heitz. I’m open to most genres though and will give any book a chance.
Would you say you relate to any of your characters? If so, which one and why?
There are a lot of characters in the book, each adding their own uniqueness to the story. Out of all the characters, I’d say Cougar is most like me due to his cynical, dry sense of humour and his uselessness with romance. I didn’t model the characters on anyone I knew though, I’d never do that but I’d be lying if I said my own personality didn’t come out a little in at least some of the characters ( not the evil Super Spuds though!).
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