Powerful, challenging and very funny, Billionaires’ Banquet is an immorality tale for the 21st century.
About Ron Butlin
With an international reputation as a prize-winning novelist, RON BUTLIN is a former Edinburgh Makar / Poet Laureate. Now over to Ron –
Before becoming a writer, I was a pop-song lyricist (3 records and a brief appearance in a justly-neglected film. I was also a footman attending parties for the great and good, the rich and bad (see my forthcoming novel ‘Billionaire’s Banquet’), a barnacle-scraper on the Thames and a male model. My work has been widely translated, and ‘The Sound of My Voice’ has been twice been awarded a ‘Best Foreign Novel’ prize as well been made into a film, a rather short film.
I am a novelist, poet, children’s author, opera librettist, playwright – one of these, on a good day. I have been auctioned twice for charity, and put in a cage outside parliament for The Day of the Imprisoned Writer. All very character-building. I have given readings world-wide including at the House of Lords, John Knoz’s pulpit in St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, and an Arab tent in Bahrain.
I live in Edinburgh with my wife, the writer Regi Claire, and our dog (Note – Nessie, as she’s called in the book, features in my first novel for early teens, ‘Steve & FranDan Take on the World’ which is due out this spring. She is great fun on paper and in real life).
What is your favourite novel you have read?
There are so many. Almost any Dickens will always be a favourite.
If you could write a fan-fiction on anyone else’s work what would it be?
Ray Bradbury’s Short Stories.
If you could choose one actor to play the role of one of your characters who would it be and why?
No thoughts on this.
If you could choose one person to read on an audible book who would it be and why?
Where do you generally write your novels?
In an armchair, longhand. Preferably out of doors. Airports, planes, buses and trains are fine, too.
Who is generally the target audiences for your books?
Serious readers with a good sense of humour
How do you handle a bad review?
They always hurt. Best to forget them, if at all possible. The reviewer’ name is on a few paragraphs, yours is on a whole novel.
How do you handle a very good review?
Enjoy it and, if possible, write a thank you to the reviewer.
Have you ever decided to make someone into a villain in your book because of something they did to annoy you?
Not yet, but it’s a thought.
Have you ever taken something that has happened in your life whether it be good or bad and used that as the plot of a novel you have written?
Billionaires’ Banquet is loosely based on my long-ago 20s-something lifestyle.
If you could rank your books on what you think people should read first, what would it be?
Do you feel that your characters speak to you when you come up with a really good or interesting character?
Always, or else the characters are mere puppets.
You have options in publishing going self-published vs standard publishers. I am sure both have benefits. What did you start with? What do you prefer?
Several lifetimes ago I self-published my first poems. Now it is always standard publishers.
Do you do your own designs for the cover?
I am always ‘consulted’. A good publisher will listen to his author’s opinion. The cover is help to sell the book and sometimes
If you were given the opportunity is there any one cover that you would like to be redesigned?
One of the 5 publishers who have brought out my novel The Sound of My Voice over the years gave it the worst cover I have ever seen on any book anywhere. It was so embarrassing.