Friday, 6 January 2012

Author Post: Michael Gerard Bauer + GIVEAWAY!!

So this morning I reviewed the very funny Don't Call Me Ishmael by Michael Gerard Bauer and now I have the great pleasure of welcoming the author himself to Mel's Random Reviews. As it's the first week of a New Year, I thought I'd ask Michael to write something based on new starts or New Year/New School...

Hi everyone! It’s day 5 of my UK Blog Tour and I’m delighted to be here at Mels’ Random Reviews to tell you a bit about my book Don’t Call Me Ishmael. Mel’s given me the cryptic topic title of “New Year/New School” to work with. So here goes:

It can be a bit nerve-wracking being a new kid at a new school, right? Well two of the characters in my book Don’t Call Me Ishmael have vastly different experiences when they start off at St Daniels Boys School.

When my narrator Ishmael (bizarrely named by his parents after the narrator of Herman Melville’s classic whaling novel Moby Dick) commences his life at St Daniel’s in Grade 8, it doesn’t go that well.

On his first day Ishmael meets class bully Barry Bagsley. Barry is immediately impressed with Ishmael’s name.

“Ishmael? What kind of a wussy-crap name is that?”

As it turns out, Barry Bagsley is quite the wordsmith and it’s not long before he has very creatively transformed Ishmael’s name into various clever mutations such as Fishtail, Dishrail, Kisstail, Fishstale, Stalefish, Female and Email. There are others but maybe I shouldn’t mention them here.

Even Ishmael’s second name ‘Leseur’ isn’t immune from the Barry Bagsley extreme make-over. Pronounced ‘Le-sir’ it soon becomes Le-Sewer, Le-Spewer, Le Poo-er and finally … Manure!

Not a great start to a new school I think you’ll agree. It’s little wonder that Ishmael feels cursed by his name and blames all his problems on it. He even goes so far as to name a disease in his own honour. As you do.

“I’m fourteen years old and I have Ishmael Leseur’s Syndrome. There is no cure.”

According to Ishmael this syndrome is capable of turning an otherwise normal person into “a walking disaster area registering nine point nine on the open ended imbecile scale.” And I guess as the world’s only recorded sufferer, he should know.

But things are about to change drastically for Ishmael.

It’s the next new School Year. Grade Nine. A new boy arrives at St Daniel’s. The new boy is James Scobie. James is a short, slightly chubby, pale-skinned individual, with perfect hair, pink cheeks and a strange habit of twisting his mouth from one side of his face to the other. In Ishmael eyes, he’s the perfect target for bully Barry Bagsley.

Except …

James Scobie doesn’t act like a new boy. “His small dark eyes looked over the class as if we were all new kids and he was right at home where he’d always been.”

And it quickly becomes clear that Scobie has a not-so-secret but still very deadly weapon - his words – and they’re aimed squarely at Barry Bagsley.

“I’m sure you’re very tough and brave – after all you have to look at yourself in the mirror every day … and perhaps I should be afraid of you, because if it’s true as they stay and ‘a little knowledge is dangerous’, then I suppose you must be absolutely lethal. But I’m sorry, I’m just not. Afraid, that is.”

But how come new boy James Scobie isn’t afraid of Barry Bagsley when everyone else is? Well maybe I should let James tell you in his own words:

“Because I’m not afraid of anything.”

It seems that in the past the new boy has had a successful operation to remove a brain tumour but there was an unexpected side-effect. It also removed his ability to feel fear. Could that be true? One thing’s for sure, Barry Bagsley will definitely be putting James ‘No Fear’ Scobie to the test.

It’s a new school year and there’s a new boy at St Daniel’s. For Ishmael Leseur it’s going to be a year like no other.

If he survives it.

The man himself, Michael Gerard Bauer
Well I hope that gives you just a small taste of what to expect with Don’t Call Me Ishmael. Like I said at the start, it can be a bit nerve-wracking being a new kid at a new school and I guess in some ways I’m feeling a little bit like that, with me and my book being introduced to UK readers for the first time. But mostly, I’m just feeling very excited!

I hope that Don’t Call Me Ishmael will find a lot of new friends in the UK and that I can get the chance to meet you all - in a less virtual way - in the near future.
In the meantime I want to give a super-sized and heart felt thanks to Mel and to all the other bloggers for being so generous and for making the new kid feel so very welcome.


You can stalk Michael on his Facebook page here or on his blog here.

Thanks Michael - that was a great tease for the book! And thanks to the generosity of Templar I have one copy of Don't Call Me Ishmael to giveaway. At publishers request it's only open to those with a UK address, I'm afraid. All you need to do is fill in the form below! Open until Midnight 12th January - Good luck!


  1. Great post :)

    And good review of the book in the other post too, mel :)

  2. Oh this is a new one to me. Very fun post!

    Xpresso Reads