I’m proud to host this tour today! I’m reading Song in the Wrong Key by Simon Lipson, a wry look at one Englishman’s life.
Michael Kenton is a middle-aged man living in middle-class comfort with wife Lisa and daughters Millie and Katia. Drifting complacently towards retirement, Mike’s world is turned upside-down when he is thrown unexpectedly onto the career scrapheap.
While Lisa’s career sky-rockets, Mike slobs around in his track suit playing guitar, rekindling his teenage love affair with pop music. Knowing Lisa wouldn’t approve, he plots a secret ‘comeback’ at a grimy Crouch End bistro where music executive Ben, desperate and out of time, asks if he can enter one of Mike’s songs into the Eurovision Song Contest. With nothing to lose, Mike focuses on Eurovision but quickly finds himself staring down the barrel of low level fame. His crumbling marriage now page five news, he must choose between his musical dream and mending his broken family, a task complicated by the re-appearance of ex-love of his life Faye.
A laugh-out-loud comedy about love, family, friendship and Euro- tack by acclaimed stand-up and comedy writer Simon Lipson.
Simon Lipson was born in London and took a law degree at the LSE. After a spell as a lawyer, he co-founded legal recruitment company Lipson Lloyd-Jones in 1987. In 1993, Simon took his first tentative steps onto the comedy circuit and has since become an in-demand stand-up and impressionist across the UK, as well as a regular TV and radio performer/writer. His broadcasting credits include Week Ending, Dead Ringers, Loose Ends and Fordham & Lipson (co-wrote and performed own 4 part sketch series) on Radio 4; Interesting…Very Interesting and Simon Lipson’s Xmas Box on Radio 5 and And This Is Them on Radio 2. He is also an experienced voice artiste who has voiced hundreds of advertisements as well as cartoons and documentaries. His first novel, Losing It, a thriller, was published by Matador in 2008. Simon is a columnist for Gridlock Magazine (www.gridlockmagazine.com).His next novel, Standing Up, will be published by Lane & Hart in Autumn 2012.
Buy links – paperback and Kindle:
My show, The Accidental Impressionist, is on at the Camden Fringe 20 – 23 August @ 8pm. Everyone welcome! Details and tickets here: http://j.mp/JDPBnu
Chicklit, Manlit, romcom, women’s fiction. Aaargh! A PR asked me recently to classify Song In The Wrong Key and I struggled for specificity. For a start, by plumping for one, you necessarily exclude others, and I want my book to be as widely read as possible. I hope both men and women will find it enjoyable; it should appeal just as much to people aged 20 as folk in their dotage; it’s funny (I hope!) so will hopefully tickle those who like to laugh; and it’s romantic so might make you shed a tear or two. See? It’s for everyone!
The book is about a man whose life implodes when he loses his job; his marriage crumbles and his family life is jeopardised. Serendipitously, he is offered a late-in-life opportunity to revive the musical career he abandoned as a young man when he opted for something more sensible. It’s about family life, real people, relationships and redemption. And a few other themes besides. How the hell do you boil all that down to one simple classification? Well don’t ask me. In the end, I told the PR to label it ‘contemporary humorous fiction’. Only time will tell if that’s a horrible mistake.
It seems to me that specifying genres can be unhelpful to the aspiring author. And, for every major genre, there appear to be hundreds of sub-genres that merely complicate the issue further. I was hugely chuffed when Song In The Wrong Key – following a KDP promotion – hit number one in three Amazon charts. These were, in no particular order: Non-fiction > Arts & Entertainment > Music;Non-fiction > Self Help & How To Guides > Health, Mind & Body > Relationships;Humour > Love, Sex & Marriage.
Non-fiction?Self-help?Health?Where the hell did these come from?Humour, love, sex & marriage was the only one that applied in its entirety. The other two were partially or wholly inapplicable.As it turns out, each of these sub-genres run deep, so being at the top was a minor feather in my cap, regardless of the fact that my book didn’t belong there. But as a potential book buyer, I’d have been mildly cheesed off if I’d been looking for a how-to book about testicular self-examination and found a ‘humorous contemporary fiction’ book at the top of my search.
Anyway, here’s hoping everyone reads my book regardless of its classification. Then I can look forward to the film, TV serialisation and £12m three book deal. Sorry, maybe that falls under ‘fantasy.’