Welcome! Pull up a seat and enjoy a chat with Today’s Tease Teddie Dahlin
Your Name or Pen Name you use: Teddie Dahlin
Title of the book you are promoting: Access All Areas
Link to purchase your Book: You can see all my books here . http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=teddie%20dahlin%20
Genre: Crime Fiction Suspense, and a couple non-fiction
Welcome TD…I, LH have some questions for you 😉
LH: I wanted to be a ballerina, race car driver and a private detective when I was little. What did you want to be when you grew up?
TD: I had such a hard time deciding. I have a university degree in international marketing and economics. I worked for a bank for a while and decided it was boring, so started to study law at Oslo University whilst working as part time cabin crew for Scandinavian Airlines. Of course I never completed my law ambitions because again, I got bored. So I think I was mostly undecided, even as a child. Loved reading and writing though I never thought of it as a career. Authors seemed dull and boring people when I was younger.
LH: I didn’t really have a literary influence, I just decided one day to start writing. Who influenced you in your writing career?
TD: I’ve always written. I’m from Norway, and grew up in Yorkshire in the UK. I was 14 when we moved back to Norway and after a year of learning Norwegian, I found my English skills were slipping. So, I decided to write a diary in English. I still do. No one has really influenced me, but I do appreciate good literature, and before I started writing books myself, you would always find me with my nose in some crime fiction or other. Now I can’t read books whilst I’m writing myself because I find I tend to steal the writing style of the author I’m reading. Basically I haven’t read a book since I started three years ago.
LH: I self published all of my books and was then “discovered” by a publisher. Are you an Indie or published author?
TD: I never went down the self-publishing track. My first book A Vicious Love Story: Remembering the Real Sid Vicious was first picked up by one of the world’s largest publishers Random House in London. We were in talks for months and it was tiring dealing with a huge corporation. So when a small publishing house offered me a great deal I went for it, not really knowing what I was letting myself in for. It was a bad idea which I lived to regret, and I quickly signed with another publisher, New Haven Publishing Ltd UK last year and I’m still with them. It works well for me.
LH: As an Indie Author, I was hesitant about being with a publishing company. If you are an Indie author, would you like to be published by a traditional publisher and if so, why or why not?
TD: See above.
LH: This is easy for me…I’d invite Johnny Depp and I would not discuss movies! Who would you invite to dinner, living or dead, and what one topic would you NOT discuss with them?
TD: I would invite Sid Vicious and we would NOT talk about Nancy. He was my boyfriend briefly back in 1977.
LH: I personally think that there is way too much sex and violence everywhere in society these days and it’s everywhere but that Hollywood is one of the biggest contributors. Do you think that society as a whole is subjected to too much sex and violence and are you concerned about it? Ever feel conflicted and if so, why?
TD: Funny but I kept sex details out of my first book, and I actually got a bad review on Amazon for A Vicious Love Story from an American lady who wrote that there wasn’t enough sex in it. She sounded quite ‘put out’ that I hadn’t shared Sid’s size and stamina. I think that’s what the world has come to. People expect shocking sex scenes and violence for them to deem it interesting. Some sex and violence is fine, but for me in that first book it was personal and no way am I comfortable sharing sex. It’s easier, I think, when you write a fiction though. However I think children are being exposed to sex and violence at a much too early age. The internet is open to all sorts of things and parents need to be careful. Too much sex and violence just bores me.
LH: I’m a huge softy and by no means a beauty queen… lol but, I truly would want world peace in the blink of an eye if I could make it happen…If you could change one thing in the world, in the blink of an eye, what would it be?
TD: I would get rid of heavy drugs. Drugs have been the cause of so much misery for so many people down the years. Opium wars and heroin smuggling. I’ve lost so many friends to drugs. However having said that, I do appreciate that the need for painkillers was the first and foremost reason we have drugs, but they should have regulated the access to opium and heroin much earlier than Roosevelt finally did. Today we have drug barons making insane amounts of money on other people’s misery.
LH: With the traditional bookstore becoming obsolete and everyone turning to buying books online, I don’t buy the hype that “the cover is everything”. How important do you think book covers are now that almost all shopping is done online?
TD: Online shopping means that everything has changed. You have to know what you are looking for to find the book in the millions of titles available. So whereas a book cover previously was very important to catch the buyer’s eye, I think the blurb is much more important now and marketing. It’s the biggest challenge we have, getting the word out to the general public that there is a book and where they can go to find it. My books are available all over the world on thousands of booksellers’ sites online, but they still have to know my name – spell it correctly, or know the exact title to find it. So finding myself acting like a publicity whore to PR my books, these days. I might have to swing naked on a wrecking ball though, with my tongue hanging out to get noticed.
I took A Vicious Love Story to the Rebellion Punk Festival, where I’ve been a guest two years running, and sold 40 books in 20 minutes at the book signing. I was really pleased. And then I read that Katie Price (known for having huge boobs and being famous for being famous) had a book signing at a shopping centre in central London, and sold 900 books. The book wasn’t even written by her, but a ghost writer that she’d only approved! (Go figure… ) She turned up with her breasts on display in a tight fitting – practically a bathing suit, with huge swan feathers attached (the books title: Swan). I think I might have to invest in some feathers…
LH: I can remember wanting to write as a kid. I got a really late start! Have you always wanted to write and when did you start?
TD: Like I said earlier, I have always written, but never really thought about writing a book. In 1979, when Sid died, it was suggested by friends that I share my story. However I was 18 and scared stiff the press would find me. Losing Sid was still raw and it knocked me over. I put it away and didn’t cope well.
When I had my children, I wrote stories for them and tried to get one published, but this was around the time JK Rowling released Harry Potter and every Tom, Dick or Harry in the UK was writing children’s books, inspired by her success. I couldn’t even get anyone to read my book, let alone publish it.
In 2010 I was approached by the Norwegian author, Trygve Mathiesen, who had 13 books to his name at the time, and was writing a book about the Sex Pistols Scandinavian tour of 1977. A sort of ‘I Swear I Was There’ book about the social demographics of the tour. He had heard I was involved and wanted me to help. I wasn’t interested at first, but he gained my trust, and I told him a little about my involvement. It ended up with me writing a big chunk of his book, and the editor praised me on my writing, which gave me a lot of confidence. I couldn’t believe the interest when the book released in March 2011, titled Sex Pistols Exiled to Trondheim 1977. The press was after me, and there was a lot of fuss. I hadn’t really gone into great detail about what happened back then in Trygve’s book. I honestly didn’t think anyone would be interested. It surprised me and a friend urged me to tell my story saying ‘More people have walked on the surface of the moon, than been as close to the punk icon as I was, although for a very short time – a matter of days’. So, I wrote A Vicious Love Story which came out in 2012, trying to put some truth out there about Sid and breaking the lies that have been circulating about him for over three decades.
I didn’t want to just be ‘the girl who knew Sid and wrote a book about it’, so I had this idea that I’d do a book about another fucked up old rocker who died in murky circumstances, and whom I knew well, Gary Holton. He was a fantastic charismatic front for the proto-punk band Heavy Metal Kids in the seventies, but also played with Casino Steel, The Boys, in Holton/Steel in the early eighties and lived in Norway for a while. Gary went on to become the much-loved character, Wayne Norris, in the UK TV series Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. He died of a drug and alcohol overdose in 1985. I decided not to do a biography, and just get his old mates together to remember him. They shared funny stories about him. Like a documentary, if you like – talking heads. So Fast Living: Remembering the Real Gary Holton came out in August this year. The case into Gary’s death is still an open one, as he died under mysterious circumstances.
This in turn inspired me to write Access All Areas, which is out 1/11. I use the plot and autopsy report in Gary’s death and play around with it in this crime fiction. I’ve taken elements of contemporary news such as Yew Tree Police investigation and serious crime child abuse squad, and weaved it around the main characters, who are very controversial and funny, making it an easy read, at the same time as the shocking death of a bass player with a hugely successful band, and the rape of a 14 year old girl leads the mystery back over thirty years and gives the story the edge of disturbing reality.
LH: I love to see if I can see myself in a character. What interests you most about a story?
TD: It has to be believable. If I’m reading and one of the characters behave in a way I find strange, then I lose interest.
LH: For me, I just get hit with this whole movie in my head and start writing. How do you come up with your stories?
TD: My first two books are non-fiction, so can’t really do anything but keep to the whole truth as I see it. Access All Areas, however, wrote itself! I didn’t know where I was going with it when I started. I just sat down and it appeared. It just unfolded in front of me. Sometimes I’d be writing details that I didn’t know why I wrote them, but suddenly the reason became apparent as I got further into the story. I’m working on the next in the series and it’s happening again…
LH: I can’t tell you or I’d have to…lol Are you working on anything now?
TD: The second book in the crime fiction series is ¼ into it. I have a deadline at the beginning of 2014. It’s called Project Polina. The characters in Access All Areas are all in it. The main character, Charlie Hart, and her dysfunctional family suddenly find themselves involved in an international incident, when Charlie’s bodyguard boyfriend, Brody, gets the dubious job of protecting a Russian Oligarch’s spoilt daughter, Polina Averyanov, who aspires to be a pop star, relying heavily on enthusiasm, making up for lack of talent.. Her wealthy father has relocated to Chelsea in London, moving almost all his assets from Russia, without a second thought for his business partner. Boris Korzhakov, has since risen in the echelons of Russian Government to head the FCB, a fraction of the earlier KGB, and he is hell bent on getting his revenge. Brody brings Polina to Charlie’s house, when he needs a safe house. It all comes to a head when the house is surrounded by FCB agents and Polina has to go, or they all die. Mix in a blue haired Grandma who refuses to grow old gracefully and her punk band The Floozies, with Polinas unwelcome love for Brody that borders on obsession and you have your plot.
LH: I’m working on #6…5 are published and the last is due out this year… How many books have you written? How many have been published?
Three that are published now and the fourth to come over New Year:
A Vicious Love Story: Remembering the Real Sid Vicious
Fast Living: Remembering the Real Gary Holton
Access All Areas (Charlie Hart crime series)
Project Polina (Charlie Hart crime series) Out 2014
LH: I write for fun I don’t even dream of riches…Do you write for fun or money?
TD: My thing is that I can’t not write. It’s what I do these days. So I write because I love it – any financial gain is just the icing on the cake.
LH: Some of my family members had a bit of a problem with me writing my first book “A Beautiful Liar” because the character Maggie West is basically me…to a point 😉 They had a problem with the genre and me “putting it all out there” so to speak so I took a pen name. They eventually came around as I have never cared who knows who I am what I’ve done or what they think of me. I’ve never wanted to be famous, just infamous! What has been your biggest problem when it comes to family or friends when writing?
TD: Good question. My family had no idea I had friends in the music business. I wasn’t a groupie or anything; I just got to know people via Sid and Casino Steel mainly. So, when they learned I knew Sid Vicious and was writing about the first person I’d ever fallen in love with, they were quite shocked to say the least. You don’t really want to know your mothers had other boyfriends before dad, do you? J I think Sid’s media persona as the punk rock poster boy and the punk icon doesn’t sit well with people outside the international punk community (yes there is one). There have been so many lies written about him and he’s got this punk monster image that I wanted to show the world the real person behind the character of popular myth. I got the ‘groupie’ word thrown about. And I know some people in my family have had a huge problem dealing with that book. But the person who has the biggest problem, hasn’t even read the book. So like you I just think – sod ‘em! I do what I have to do, and if it’s not to someone’s liking – well that’s their problem. My closest family, however, have been very supportive, which is important to me. My children are teenagers and really proud of me. I think writing a high profile book and the media attention it means, got a little crazy in 2011, but since then it’s calmed down. The UK has woken to the fact that I exist so it might get crazy again, but we’ll handle it.
I also work as a freelance music journalist and cover some gigs and do interviews, and my children’s friends have been more impressed with that side of things, than them. They think it’s embarrassing when I’m off to cover a well know heavy metal band and get my photo with them backstage, or interview a well know rock star. They want me to tone it down and stay at home and behave myself. But they have come to see it as normal now. I’ve been good at keeping my children out of it.
LH: I have never experienced writers block…I have experienced writers “don’t want to”… Have you ever experienced writers block and if so, how did you overcome it?
TD: No, never. Non-fiction is easy as you just tell the reader what happen. The story is already there. And Access All Areas and Project Polina just rolled out of me. Writers block must be awful. I must admit that when I’m interviewing a band that I perhaps don’t really take to, it can get a bit difficult to find the enthusiasm to make a good article, and I struggle. But lately I’ve only done things I’m interested in and the editor has been good about that, so no block as yet.
LH: I get asked all the time “Do you have any advice for new writers?”… Do you?
TD: Ahhh jeez, don’t give up!! If you believe in your ability to write a good book, then that’s your destiny – just do it! If you can’t find a publisher or a literary agent (it’s like gold dust, believe me) then do it yourself. There are lots of self-publishing sites out there. Publish on Amazon kindle perhaps, and see what people make of your book. If you are good, then the word will spread, and you’ll get noticed. Beware the pitfalls of signing with publishers who try to rip you off. There are a lot of cowboys out there. Make sure you find a reputable publisher, they are about as rare as rocking-horse pooh though.
LH: I would not change one thing in my life as I would not be me if I did… If you could go back in time and change one thing in your life, what would it be?
TD: That’s easy. The one thing I regret the most in my life and that I would change is not getting into the band buss with Sid and going on the rest of the tour of Sweden with him. I was so in love I felt physically sick. Sid nagged me to get into the buss and just leave. But my mother had taken my passport and there was no way I could go back to London with him. I wouldn’t let him do any drugs around me and perhaps his life had been different if I’d just followed my instinct and gone.
LH: If I could go back in time and tell someone something, I’d go back and tell the founding fathers they were doing a few things wrong…If you could go back in time and tell someone something, who would you tell and what would you tell them?
TD: The US Marines in Hawaii, that Japan was hugely unimpressed with them. They didn’t see that one coming…
LH: I would freak out if someone contacted me and said they wanted to make one of my books or my series of book into a movie as I am really very shy in person and I’d probably go into hiding. I don’t think I could handle it. How would you handle it? Who would be the first person you told?
TD: I would handle that quite well I think. I would love it if someone wanted to make A Vicious Love Story into a film. I think it would work well, since it’s not the same old – same old story about Sid and Nancy. Access All Areas would work too, I think. Yeah…. Would love it if there was an interest in Hollywood-giggle. The first people I’d tell would be EVERYONE !!!
Thank you for that fun, personal and nerve touching interview TD…Now… for the fun stuff!
Favorite Beverage? A good Rose wine perhaps, with good food.
Exercise or Bubble Bath? Exercise: Sweaty Spinning class
Favorite Color? Turquoise
Take out or Dine in? Dine in
Camping or Hotel? Hotel ! Hate camping.
Sports or Chocolate? Sports
Dogs or Cats? Dogs
Favorite Food? I’m not a foody. I eat to live, not live to eat.
Favorite Song? Anything by ACDC these days. Although I’ve covering a gig by the Quireboys in a couple of weeks, so that might change.
Favorite Movie? I’m not really into going to the movies. I don’t really have an all time favorite.
Favorite Car? I drive a Range Rover, which I love.
Sex or Chocolate? (The answer “Both” is totally acceptable 😉 Cant eat chocolate so it has to be sex.
And now for the essay part of the interview 😉
LH: If you could go anywhere for a week, with anyone you wanted and no one would ever find out about it…where would you go, what would you do and who would you take?
TD: I would take George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Jason Stratham,….lets see who else… Brad Pit, and Billy Connolly to Virgin Boss, Richard Branson’s Necker Island retreat in the Caribbean for a week. Oh okay, Richard can tag along too. Imagine how entertaining it would be. And I’d be surrounded by with and beautiful guys….hmm. Knowing me, I’d just end up as one-of-the-boys.
Thank you for spending this time with us. Make sure to pick up your copy of Teddie Dahlin’s
Access All Areas