All Tied up with String ‘Sketch’ review written by Mandy Tyra


All Tied up with String is a collection of 14 personalized short stories that our noble and naughty Stuart ‘The King’ Keane is planning to release individually every few weeks or so with the full volume to be available in December of this year.
What a great idea for an author to pick a few of his readers and friends, ask them what they love or appreciate, then ruin it, heinously….with reckless abandon.
And Keane is beyond AMAZING with his short stories, I’ve read bunches of them and they are all A+.
He really only needs a few pages to create the biggest stories, full of ambiance, depth, development, emotion, and lotsa grossness. He’s good with the gross.Ok, so, Sketch is the first of the 14 custom-made tale, it’s about art/drawing and clocks in at about 27 pages, starring his friend Scott Beagle, aka Skoobs.

“The use of a pencil is the only way to make others understand the power of my imagination.”
Scott Beagle – parting words of….

Single dad Scott booked an appointment for him and his lovely daughter Verity to get their portrait drawn. His ex Jay swoops in unannounced the day before, adamant to change up the weekend visitation on him, therefor ruining the daddy daughter outing. Always one to make the most out of rotten situations, he decides to keep his appointment anyway, sans daughter. He figures, if the gal is good enough he’ll rescheduled another visit for the two of them. Tabitha is the artist’s name and she is drop dead gorgeous, aaand has a very unorthodox technique, one that Scott is more than willing to let her indulge in since she is just So Damn Alluring.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a drawing worth….Skoobs is gonna find out!

I will be receiving ARC copies of each of these stories as he finishes them and seeing as how I am now a review contributor for the book and interview blog, Roadie Notes, it sounded like a swell idea to broaden my horizons and do a little Q&A with all his victims to add to the blog.
HAAAA I feel like a field correspondent, braving unknown foreign terrain. Hopefully my subjects are not hostile. I repeat, NO hostiles, only banter battling allies here!!
Well, let’s just hope they all comply to my nosy demands. Lol

Sitting down over wine and Jaffa Cakes with Mr. Beagle (okay, okay, it was email, but I was sitting and there was wine), brings us to the British Inquisition portion of my review where I proceed to ask Skoobs a few hard hitting third degree burning questions.

1.) How do you know the author?
I’ve known Stuart from back in October 2012 through Xbox Live. We were both playing Resident Evil 5, a horror game believe it or not, where we found ourselves chatting away and to anyone that knows how painstakingly boring the multiplayer is for that game then they’ll understand why having someone to chat to is ideal. We discovered how alike we are in regards to media interests, sports and even down to our neighbouring hometowns. I’m a pretty good judge of character so I knew straight away we’d get on. Ever since then we’ve been in contact and hang out often, in fact as mushy as it may sound I’d consider him one of my best friends.

2.) What is your first and/or favorite Keane book?
The first book I read of his was actually the original draft to “the customer is…” He sent me a copy knowing I worked in a call centre once upon a time and asked what I thought. This story I could relate to in ways (more the beginning then the end, no spoilers.) which made it that little bit more gripping, and since then I knew he was onto a good thing.

3.) Tell me a little bit about the treasured topic you chose for Keane to utterly desecrate with little or no regard for?
I was asked for a topic that was personal to me, originally I said video games seeing as that’s the reason me and Stuart got to know each other in the first place however, I changed my mind and went for Art/Drawing. I’m a very creative person, with an imagination as vast as the sky itself and studied art at college so when I proposed it to Stuart he instantly took to the idea and advised me that he already had an idea he wanted to write for it in mind and thus Sketch was born.

4.) Are you equal parts disturbed and delighted with your tailor made tale?
If I was to tell you I had to stop reading at one point does that give you the kind of idea on how it made me feel? What readers won’t realise is how accurate a lot of this story actually is, from the clothes I wear, the town I walk in all the way to how the ex acts in the story is very on point. Therefore reading the story I instantly associated myself and could see myself in the book. It was almost like I could feel everything he was feeling making it that little bit more alarming when “things” started happening because it is so personal in ways, especially when he mentions my daughter. I’ve been pestering Stuart to write me into a story for years and to be honest with you, this is one heck of way to do it. So answer to your question is yes I am very delighted but on the same level very disturbed.

FANTASTIC, that was actually fun and not at all painful. Cheers to Scott for playing along, and for those very in depth answers, I very much appreciate it. 😀
Gained a bit more insight into our Keane in his native Keanedom habitat as well, which is always a royally grand bonus.

Next story up is called Cipher, its about video games and stars Jamie Stow. Due out the end of February!

So, I’ll be back. 😀

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