#BlogTour #GuestPost - We Have Lost The Chihuahuas by Paul Mathews

London, 2046. The British Republic has a new First Lady. She’s Californian, ‘in-your-face, for sure’ and she’s got big plans for a Buckingham Palace refurb. When her three Chihuahuas go missing, one man is determined to avoid getting dragged into it all. His name is Pond. Howie Pond – presidential spokesperson, retired secret agent and cat lover.

Meanwhile, Howie’s wife Britt is handed her first assignment as a National Security and Intelligence Service rookie – to solve the mystery of the missing canine trio.

Will Howie manage to slope off to the pub before he can be roped into help? Will Britt unmask the dognapper and grab the glory? Find out, in the latest, crazy comedy-thriller from dog-loving British author Paul Mathews.

It's real pleasure to welcome Paul Mathews to Hair Past A Freckle today. Many thanks to Paul and to Emma Mitchell for inviting me onto the blog tour for We Have Lost The Chihuahuas.

Paul has very kindly agreed to tell me a bit more about one of the characters in his book, presidential spokesman, Howie Pond.

Hi Paul, thanks for visiting Hair Past A Freckle on your blog tour, so when and how did you create Howie?

Presidential spokesman and wannabe secret agent Howie Pond was the first character I created, back in the summer of 2015, when I began planning the first book in my ‘We Have Lost’ series. I come from a Government media background, so it made sense for my leading male character to come from that world. It means I can use my insider’s knowledge of what it’s like to be in the middle of a major Government crisis or media storm, as well as my experience of surviving the rigours of London office (and pub!) life.
But Howie isn’t just a media mouthpiece. His love of James Bond films, cats and foods of all kinds, as well as his daydreams about the nature of the universe, give him a lot more depth.
I also threw in some habits and quirks from people I’d worked with, as well, so he’s very much based in reality.

Did you write the book to accommodate the character or the character to accommodate the book? 

Once I had my first book’s title, We Have Lost The President, I knew I needed someone like Howie to investigate the president’s disappearance. But I was free to create whatever kind of character I wanted. I thought it would be funnier for him to be someone who fancied themselves as a bit of a James Bond but wasn’t too keen on all the extra work. He all too easily gets distracted by pubs and snacks, and I think that makes his adventures a lot funnier.

What do you like most about him? 

Howie is a very funny guy. He doesn’t always mean to be. But his desperate efforts to avoid crises at work, slope off to the pub at any opportunity, daydream his days away, and his occasional grumpiness brought on by too much, or too little, food or alcohol, makes me laugh and, hopefully, my readers.

What do you like least about him?

Howie is like a best friend to me, so I couldn’t possibly highlight one of his bad points – such as not pulling his weight when it comes to household chores, drinking too much Guinness at lunchtimes on a workday or lacking enthusiasm when asked to help solve a crisis. That’s because these are all traits he shares with his creator!

Did your early readers/editorial team like him to start with or did you have to change him in any way?

Everyone who enjoys my books loves Howie and I‘ve never changed anything about him. He is an overworked, underappreciated, middle-aged guy just trying to do his job in a world of bungling and incompetence. As he and I the same age, and we worked in the UK civil service for many years, this is something I can relate to!

Does he have any similarities with anyone real?  

As I’ve mentioned above, there are bits of my character in Howie – but, in general, they are magnified for comedy purposes. I worked for a very laid-back chap for several years and elements of his character are also there. I’ve also based other characters on people I worked with. I don’t think my former work colleagues read any of my books, which is probably a good thing!

What are your plans for him?

Howie will star in book 5, We Have Lost The Plot, and stop there for now. After three years, I think we need a break from each other. However, I will leave open the possibility for further books in the series at a later date.
I’ll be starting work on a completely new comedy mystery series next year, set in modern-day US. It will star both American and British characters – all completely new.

Would you be friends in real life? 

Absolutely. We would spend most lunchtimes down the pub, talking about football, beer, or our cats.

Thank you so much Paul, I wish you every success with We Have Lost The Chihuahuas and good luck to Howie too!

We Have Lost The Chihuahuas will be published on 28th November 2017 and can be pre-ordered here. Don't forget to follow the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author

Paul Mathews is a quite funny British guy who's managed to escape his day job and is currently on the run as a comedy novelist. His sharp, satirical - often surreal - sense of humour draws on 20 years as a British Government press officer, during which time he encountered politicians, senior civil servants, HR managers, and lots of other people who really sucked at their jobs.
His popular 'We Have Lost' comedy-thriller series set in 2040s London, starring beleaguered presidential spokesman and wannabe secret agent Howie Pond, currently comprises four titles with more on the way. Paul has read all the books at least ten times and highly recommends them.
Make him happy by signing up for his 'Very Funny Newsletter' here. If you don't want to sign up for it, stay calm and do nothing.
Paul also owns a cat, Lulu, who works as his assistant. All fan mail to her, please.
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