Tom Friday is a middle-aged photographer, and an ex-cocaine addict whose mind is playing tricks on him; he has begun to experience terrifying hallucinations. He tries to cope with these delusions while also trying to make sense of them, but Tom’s cocaine-hangover plummets him into a world riddled with murder, conspiracy, and espionage.
However, his alter-ego, that he becomes in his hallucinations, believes he has come up with a solution to the dire problems of the world, and unlike Tom, is willing to take the risks necessary to put things right, but his mind is as addled as Tom’s, and his plan is always a little out of focus.
Slowly, Tom, the photographer, begins to believe that his alter-ego (Joseph Miller, an MI6 agent) is reality, and that Tom is the hallucination, but how can he be sure what is real. He races against time to discover who he truly is, and what he must do to succeed and come out alive.
If The Bed Falls In by Paul Casselle is the first book in his Bedfellows thriller series. If The Bed Falls In is a chilling psychological thriller that attaches itself into your subconscious and refuses to leave. Paul Casselle is a story-teller who deftly weaves his tale into a thrill ride of a page turner. He creates multilevel characters that remain with the reader long after the book has been closed. His characters leap off the page and scream to be heard.
Casselle explores the realms of hallucinations and the idea of a person beginning to lose sight of reality, as well as the world of dirty government manipulation. The novel contains graphic scenes and strong language, but those elements add a realistic depth to the story. The atmosphere of the story would honestly be altered if those elements were withheld; the story would lose its intensity. Casselle perfected a realistic world that is unparalleled in other novels. The book starts out slow, but then as it progresses through background story it begins to pick up the pace. Casselle spends a good amount of time setting up the tone and atmosphere of the story through descriptions and dialogue. The descriptions are so vivid and detailed that the reader feels as if they are amidst the turmoil watching Tom struggle to find the fine line between reality and fantasy.
I would highly recommend this book, but keep in mind there are scenes with adult content some readers may find offensive. Anyone who enjoys a good psychological thriller would enjoy this book as well as anyone who likes a governmental conspiracy type of book; the magic is in the blending of the two genres. If The Bed Falls In: A Man in Two Minds; Are Either of Them His is a book that is difficult to put down.
Q – If The Bed Falls In is a psychological thriller about a man that suffers from hallucinations and dissociative identity disorder. What research did you do on psychological disorders to get the intricacies of the condition correct?
A – Years ago one would have to spend days in research at libraries and relevant institutions to get the information needed. Today we have the magic of the internet. I personally use a writing programme, Scrivener, that allows me to attach all my research and web pages right into my project.
I am also fortunate that one of my friend’s fathers, here in Spain, is a senior neurosurgeon.
Q – The two personalities in the story are competing; one a photographer and the other a secret agent. Why did you choose these two lifestyles to tell this story?
A – Tom is a depressed photographer, unhappy and stuck in a life he neither enjoys nor values. He longs for something else. And then Joseph turns up; a top MI6 assassin ready to challenge authority and change the world. Be careful what you wish for, Tom!
Q – In this book I felt that there was a lot of exploration on the realms of hallucinations and the idea of a person beginning to lose sight of reality. What interests you in the subject?
A – I have suffered, all my life, with an often debilitating depressive disorder. This together with my love of Quantum Physics and the nature of reality, has lead me to write many stories about the nature of reality from a physical and philosophical perspective. It bloody fascinates me!
The novel I have been working on for years, is a deep, dramatic investigation into the nature of reality. It started as an interesting short story, but is now a major novel called, Being. There is only one reason it is not available right now, I only have around twenty thousand words on paper.
It is a huge undertaking, and I chip away at it from time to time. If I manage to complete it, I think it will stand as my most accomplished work whatever I have done before or will do after it.
Q – While writing the two characters, Tom and Joseph, who were you rooting for? Was there a character you were hoping would prevail or come out as the ‘real’ person?
A – I can’t answer this question without spoiling the story. Tom is wonderfully complex and Joseph such a flawed hero. I love them both.
Q – What is the next book you are working on and when can you fans expect that book to come out?
A – If The Bed Falls In is the first in the Bedfellow thriller series. Book two is called, As Mad as Hell, and continues to uncover the power-crazed, greedy manipulations being enacted on all of us by the banking/world government cartel.
I am currently at thirty thousand words (just over a third of the book) and hope to complete it by the Spring/Summer this year (2016).
As with If The Bed Falls In and my debut novel, Conversations with Eric (a comic thriller for people who take their humour seriously!), As Mad as Hell will be available in both Kindle and paperback from Amazon.
Simon Leigh is your average, ordinary advertising sales rep, nothing like the “Mad Men” of legend. He’s a regular guy, the steady sort, very dependable. If he’d been a bit more ambitious, perhaps he wouldn’t have lost his job and his wife over the span of two months. Now living in a boarding house, with no job leads in sight, he feels like he’s lost everything. At least he still has his dog to talk to. Like most dogs, Eric’s conversational skills aren’t that great, but his voice comes through loud and clear. Simon needs to do something exciting. He needs to go chase tennis balls.
Opportunity knocks when Simon meets his new neighbor, Archie. He seems friendly, but there’s something not quite right about him. When Archie offers him the chance to make a lot of money doing something that’s not even remotely steady or dependable, let alone legal, it launches Simon into a bit more excitement than he bargained for. Simon blunders into a world of stolen cars, robbery, car chases, narrow getaways, murder, and corruption. Through it all, the only one he can trust is Eric.
If you enjoyed Guy Ritchie’s films Snatch, or Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, this is the book for you. Simon can’t catch a break for love or money, and his awkward, middle-class lifestyle could have never prepared him for a situation quite like this one. He is caught up in events both terrifying and absurd, and his old life is falling apart. Author Paul Casselle does a brilliant job with Simon’s character, playing his anxieties so perfectly that every reader will find something familiar there. Even when Simon attempts to do the right thing, his social ineptness, timing, and circumstance seem to work against him. Even Simon works against himself, sometimes acting against his own self-interest with hilariously cringe-worthy effects.
The supporting cast is also full of surprises. His other neighbor, Rebecca, seems like the candles-and-incense type, but like everyone in the book, she’s much more than she seems. She has a stronger stomach for violence than Simon, but for the most part, she could use some anger management courses. Archie bounces between a manic temper and everyone’s best buddy, hitting all points in between. His cohort Tommy Dragon looks like a tattooed gangster, but he’s got his own agenda. It’s clear why Simon prefers to confide in Eric than any of the “partners” involved in the scheme.
Conversations with Eric could easily be adapted as a screenplay for a successful film. It’s the kind of crime comedy that is filled with both nail-biting tension and awkward, sometimes absurd humor. Of course, this is a crime novel and the author doesn’t shy away from the violence and bloodshed of this illegal enterprise. I highly recommend this for fans of British comedy or the type of cringe comedy found in American TV shows like Curb your Enthusiasm.
Pages: 353 | ASIN: B00XRMZPCG
Q – Conversations with Eric is a crime comedy filled with tension and absurd humor. Simon blunders into a world of stolen cars, robbery, car chases, narrow getaways, murder, and corruption. What was your inspiration for the crime spree that Simon goes through?
A – I love ‘Road’ movies. They physically describe the journey the protagonist makes emotionally. There is a great example of this in Bob Gale’s (Back to the Future et al.) Interstate 60. I saw this film some time ago and wanted to write something using that structure. I love the episodic build-up that imperceptibly takes us on the arch of the characters in small, pithy chunks.
Q – Simon’s dog, Eric, is the only one that he can talk to. Even though Eric doesn’t have great conversational skills I felt that their relationship and conversations were still strong. Do you have your own dog?
A – Eric is real. He died a few months ago having been by my side for nearly fifteen years. Everyone that knew him agreed that he was not a dog; he was a very wise, funny and extraordinarily perceptive human inhabiting a Labrador’s body. My partner often commented that I never spoke to him as though he was a dog. I talked to him as if he were simply another person living in the house. What was so hard to understand? He was!
Q – The supporting characters in this novel, I felt, were intriguing and well developed. Who was your favorite character to write for?
A – I think that has to be Archie. He was such an easy man to write. He is so honestly dishonest. He calls a spade a spade. Every day I was writing the book, I looked forward to sitting down at my desk with Archie. He wrote himself. I never quite knew what he was going to do or say until he did it, right on the blank page, in front of me.
Q – I felt that you did a brilliant job with Simon’s character, playing his anxieties perfectly. He lost his job, wife and house, and seems to be barely keeping things together. What was your inspiration for Simon’s character?
A – Some authors refuse to admit that they are writing about themselves; some do nothing else. Simon was me in so many ways. I hope that I am less inept than him, but I am as lost and certainly as confused. The main difference between us is that Simon didn’t realize how much he was under-achieving in his life; I think I do. I have been searching all my life for a satisfying purpose. Maybe I have finally found it in writing? As I say in the dedication of my new thriller As Mad as Hell, ‘To my mother, who gave me my very first birthday present. I have been trying to find a use for it, my entire life’.
Nichole P from Georgia, USA
Paul Casselle 23rd February 2016
When it comes to making mistakes, I am a master. But it has been said that there is a difference between a mistake and an error. A mistake is when we either accidentally get it wrong or when, with hindsight, we can see we didn’t make the best choice.
Errors are a whole other kettle-o-fish. Errors, in this sense, are a failure to correct a mistake. Errors are about not taking responsibility for a mistake. It compounds the wrong we may have done and leads us down a dark path rather than carving a trail to something more caring and enlightening.
I once lived with a girlfriend who, one day, came upstairs to the spare bedroom where I was working, retrieved whatever she was looking for, then left the room. As she exited she turned the light off leaving me in the dark. By the time I had reacted she was halfway down the stairs. I called out to her.
“Hey! I’m in here!”
She called up the stairs.
But continued on her way. She had made a mistake, but by choosing not to rectify that mistake, and coming back upstairs to turn the light on, compounded it into an error. I use this story all the time to check out if I am taking responsibility for my mistakes, and doing all I can to rectify them, or am selfishly leaving people in the dark.
There is another way to look at errors. In animal behaviour there are two types of error; type 1 and type 2. A type 1 error is a false positive, and a type 2 error is a false negative.
Imagine you are a foraging animal in the jungle. You hear a rustle in the trees. Well, that might be a predator or it might simply be the wind. Your choice is now between type 1 or type 2. If you choose type 1; false positive, you are believing that the noise is simply the wind. But if you are wrong, you get eaten – game over. If you choose type 2; false negative, you believe a fierce lion is about to jump your bones, and you leave your yummy food to make a run for it. In this second case, at worst you have lost your lunch, but if you were right…you may have lost your lunch, but you have avoided becoming someone else’s midday snack.
Getting this right is obviously critical. Type 1 is very energy efficient, but you risk being eaten. Type 2 is much less frugal, but much safer.
I’ll leave you with a re-telling of a wonderful story from the late, great Max Miller. He tells of a farmer that needs to harvest his crop, and in spite all of his best efforts, his tractor has broken down. He knows that his neighbour has already harvested his crops so has a tractor lying idle. ‘Maybe,’ he thinks, ‘my neighbour will lend me his tractor.’
The farmer starts the long walk over to his neighbour’s farm. On the way he starts thinking.
“My neighbour’s a bit of a misery-guts. He’s always moaning about other people; how they don’t stand on their own two feet. How they always expect others to help them. And how proud he is of himself for taking care of things. How he talks of working hard to get a job done rather than sneaking off to the pub and simply hoping for some divine intervention.” He continues walking and thinking. “Self-righteous old bastard,” he thinks. “I suppose he’s going to judge me as someone that doesn’t take care of my tractor. Someone that lies in bed all day and leaves harvesting to the last moment!”
By the time he gets to the neighbouring farmer’s house he has worked himself up into a complete lather. He knocks on the door, and his neighbour answers with a big friendly smile on his face. Before the neighbour can say a single word, the first farmer screams.
“And you can stick your poxy tractor right up your arse!” and stomps away.
It’s all about choices. What will you choose today?
Paul Casselle 20th February 2016
There are many things that cause an uncomfortable knot in my stomach, but none more than injustice. I am not talking about the law, I am referring to people in privileged positions using their big guns to skew society’s choices for their own gain regardless of merit.
I am an independent novelist. This means that I write full-time, but do not have an agent or publisher. I write books, then let my readers judge how good they are. I strive to write the best novels I possibly can. Like thousands of other independent authors, I believe I have something interesting to say, and manage to say it in an entertaining and enlightening way.
Through the modern miracle of many online sites – mostly Amazon – we, independent writers, now have a marketplace, and the great thing about a marketplace is that anyone can set up a store and show their wares, equally. The market goers can peruse the stalls and choose of their own volition if they want what is on offer or not. That is as long as it is a free market; not skewed by powerful people with big sticks or big wallets.
For a number of years, it has been a popular belief that many aspects of society are becoming unfairly biased; Caucasians over Blacks, Heterosexuals over Homosexuals and Men over Women. Therefore, it is a logical corollary to create rules and laws to redress these inequities. But who has the objective view as to what this redress should be and how far it should go. And who believes they are clear enough to know what the correct status quo would look like?
I am not talking about nepotism or favouritism. If my dad was John Grisham I would be very happy to have his help getting my work recognised. Likewise favouritism; when I was an actor I often argued with fellow theatre people that if a director feels comfortable using the people he/she knows rather than taking a complete chance on someone totally unknown and untried, that is fine with me. The opposite of that situation would be my friend the director choosing some completely new actor over me, when both he/she and I agree that I would be perfect for the part.
The important thing is that we each have freedom of choice; that the market is open and free. Each of us has a right to make up our own minds. I believe it is wrong to legislate away or coerce other’s freedoms just because we think our opinion is the correct one. Or worse still to use a socially prominent and trusted position to cajole or enforce other people’s choices.
Just recently I noticed a new novel hitting the headlines. It is reported that this debut novel has had over 100,000 downloads on Kindle, has garnered (at the time of writing) 314 reviews on Amazon, and has been green-lighted for a movie. I can hear the jeers of ‘sour grapes’ loud and clear – thank you. If that was you I heard, I will take it on the nose. Damn right I would love to be that debut novelist! But allow me to dig a little deeper into this success.
All of the above happened in just nine days (at time of writing). Yes, just nine days. Furthermore, the 100,000 Kindle downloads are reported to have happened in just three days. I know successful writers that have been earning a good living from their books for a number of years that are still to reach 100,000 Kindle downloads on a single book.
It is simply not possible to achieve that many downloads in three days unless someone with powerful connections and a bottomless investment budget makes it so. Most of the positive reviews for this book simply talk about how good the book is, re-tell the plot or celebrate the author, but the critical reviews talk in depth about the unbelievable storyline, underdeveloped characters and how they feel they were hyped into choosing the book. It seems to me that if someone uses their industry position and large cash budget to promote a book, then they could make anything a best seller, even Dan Brown. There is no doubt that The Da Vinci Code is a fabulous story, but Mr Brown’s writing ability has made him a laughing stock, a very wealthy laughing stock – and good luck to him for that – but not a great writer. I apologise, but for me the greatness of a book should be the writing not how well marketeers can spin it to fool the public – Emperor’s New Clothes style – into making choices they would never had made in a free marketplace.
I am dedicated to writing the best books I can. I am one hundred percent behind individual, personal enterprise, and will support anyone who wants to bring their hard work to market. But more than anything, I will fight for your free choice to make your own decisions based on what you like and what you deem worthy of your money.