Colin goes to Zobeland FAQs

The questions listed on this page have been submitted by visitors to this site and people who've read early drafts of Colin goes to Zobeland. Not all questions will find their way onto this page, but any that are asked frequently (there's a clue in the page title) are likely to end up here.

If you would like to submit a question please use the Alex Annesty contact page.

Why aren't there any major female characters in CGTZ?

There are, I promise. I've endeavoured to maintain a balance of male and female characters. It's just that the first couple of chapters have been taken up with Colin, Tonto and the experiences they have that form the core of the story. Lesley does feature in chapter 1 of course, although she hasn't done much other than make cheese and pickle sandwiches so far; there's plenty of time yet though.

Is Colin based on you?

Not really, but I suppose there must be bits of me in him. I do find myself seeing most of the story from Colin's point of view and I'm sure that results in some of my thoughts influencing the way he's written. Hopefully that's a good thing. The tricky bit is remembering that each character has his or her own personality and trying to avoid making them all think and act like Alex Annesty.

Do you hate draught bitter?

No, I'm very fond of it. The Grayson's bitter, served in the Eye, although fictitious, is based on the sort of poor to mediocre keg (and occasionally draught) beer served in many tied houses up to 1989. Of course, the British brewing industry was changed irrevocably from this point on, thanks to the Government's Supply of Beer (Tied Estate) Order 1989 and the Supply of Beer (Loan Ties, Licensed Premises and Wholesale Prices) Order 1989, but don't get me started. On a happier note, it was such bitter that led to my joyful discovery of the very real Worthington's White Shield in the early 1980s; I'm delighted to report that it's still available to this day.

What was your inspiration for CGTZ?

I didn't really have an inspiration; I just started writing whatever came into my head, without worrying if it made sense, or was plausible or not. That's still the way I write it, although it's not a method I've used before. It makes the whole writing process highly enjoyable, as I don't know what's going to happen next until I've written it.

What else have you written?

A variety of short stories, poetry, sketches and factual work. I had a sketch picked up by the BBC back in the 1980s (just the one), have researched and written factual material for This Day In Music since 2011 and my first factual book will be published by Red Planet in November 2017.

Is the sparrow a Zobelander spy?


Is Tonto a Zobelander?

You'll have to wait and see.

Are you Alex Annesty or Phil Chapman?

My factual writing is published under by real name, Phil Chapman. I came up with the name Alex Annesty for my other writing activities. There's a bit of background on this at the Alex Annesty website.

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