Author Interview with Paul Flanagan of Carving Up Riley


Paul Flanagan is the author of the 'Riley MacLeod Series'. The first book to the series is titled 'Carving Up Riley'.

The 'Riley MacLeod Series' is a clean comedy series that is written for families who enjoy a good laugh without vulgar or sexual content.

The main character is Riley MacLeod. Riley MacLeod lives in a quiet neighborhood in Vermont. Riley is married, has two daughters and writes movies for a living. Ah, a nice, peaceful life...right?

Riley is insane. He has an imagination and mouth that knows no bounds. He is always getting into trouble. He has a best friend who is almost as crazy as he is, an old man who lives across the street who wants him dead, and a wife who is two steps away from going insane—not to mention a crazed tom cat that is always ready to slice and dice poor Riley up.

What begins as a nice, romantic road trip from Vermont to Minnesota for Thanksgiving turns into a hilarious adventure filled with every kind of disaster a person can dream of. Riley is tied up by by his best friend, has his clothes stolen by the Cunningham Kid and his gang, gets shots at by a crazed tow truck driver, has his clothes stolen again, gets chased by a killer truck driver, sprayed with mace, attacked by two elderly criminals, tased by an insane cop—and all of this before he even reaches the Vermont state line.

No matter. Riley is determined to prove that he can overcome...well, kinda of. After finally making it to Minnesota he ends up in the hospital. But there's always a silver lining...Riley has to take a trip to California to meet his boss. Oh boy. Another road trip!

Author Interview

Question: What made you begin the 'Riley MacLeod Series'?

Answer: I love clean comedy and Riley is hilarious. He's a nincompoop who is always getting into trouble, but he's also a loving husband and dad who truly cares for his family. He's funny, clumsy, goofy and down right disastrous, but he's a good guy who just wants to make it through the day without ending up in the hospital. Riley is the type of guy you feel sorry for, love, cringe at and in the end...wonder how he's not locked up in a mental home. The 'Riley MacLeod Series' is perfect for anyone who loves clean comedy.

Question: Why do you write only clean comedy? Is there anything that a parent might be concerned with?

Answer: I love comedy but I hate comedy that a family can't sit down and watch together. Comedies that have vulgar and sexual content carry an awful stench to me. I love Jesus and want to honor G-D in all I do. Humor is important in life. Laughter is precious. Writing a clean comedy allows me to create books that a family can sit down and read and laugh at together.

Riley does get beat up by his wife, tied up by his best friend, shot at, chased, tased...and the old man who lives next door doesn't hesitate to lift his leg and fart. It's important to remember that the book is a clean comedy and the situations are comical. For instance: You laugh at the three stooges even though there is 'Comical Violence'. If you are reading a comedy you have to understand what comedy is. If you want to read a drama or mystery go read a drama or mystery. My books are rated PG.

Question: Tell us about the 'Riley MacLeod Series'? Why will the series appeal to people?

Answer: The 'Riley MacLeod Series' is a six book series. Each book is 40K words apiece (a fun and easy read). Each book is based on Riley MacLeod going on some type of crazy adventure. For instance, right now I'm working on 'A Riley MacLeod Christmas Carol'. The beginning of the book is absolutely hilarious. From book 1 to the last book in the series Riley is always getting into trouble one way or the other. But there is a child-like innocence to him that you root for. He's just a big kid trapped in an adult body. He manages to always somehow make it to the end of each book without ending up either dead or in a mental home. Each book is different, funny and filled with laughter that is good for the heart. Why will the series appeal to people? The series will appeal to people who simply want to laugh at a book that is aimed at creating clean laughter. Nothing more and nothing less.

Question: Are you a Christian? If so, does your Christian faith guide how you write?

Answer: I'm a Messianic Jew. My faith in Messiah Yeshua does guide how I write. I look at the world and see that children are being bombarded with filth and smut on a daily basis. I want to write clean comedies that prove it's alright to laugh at something that doesn't have vulgar or sexual content. We are to do what is right and good in the sight of G-D. Laughter is precious. But when laughter is tainted with sin it becomes lifeless. Laughter needs to be filled with life. Yeshua is Life.

Question: What do you do for a living?

Answer: I work as a ghostwriter. I love my job. The 'Riley MacLeod Series' is the first series I'm publishing under my own name. It's scary but exciting.

Question: What authors do you like?

Answer: I like non-fiction authors. Robert Fulghum and Lewis Grizzard are two that immediately come to mind. It's strange because I rarely read fictional books at this stage in my life. I read my Bible everyday and when I'm not reading my Bible or working, when I have some quiet time, I read non-fiction books.

Question: When did you begin writing books?

Answer: I began writing books when I was sixteen years old. I didn't have a desk. I used a Monopoly board to press down on. I remember writing one night and I scared myself. At that moment, I think, that's when I knew I wanted to be a writer. I began working as a ghostwriter in my early thirties. It's been a wonderful and amazing journey.

Question: What inspires you to write books?

Answer: I don't write books to become famous or rich. I write for the sake of writing. I write because I believe imagination is the most precious gift G-D has given us. In a world where everyone is trying to be 'Intellectuals', they are forgetting how to laugh and be a kid at heart. These people lock themselves in gray, stone rooms. When I write a book I'm free as the wind. I close my eyes and blast off into the universe with my imagination and see what planet I land on.

Question: What do you want people to walk away with after reading your series?

Answer: Simple: Laughter.

Question: You say Fred Rogers who is known as 'Mister Rogers' is an inspiration to you. Why?

Answer: Fred Rogers understood that children need to be children and that imagination is vital and beautiful as well as laughter. Life is hard enough—growing up is hard enough—without adding extra hardships. When I write a book I want the reader to go to their own 'Neighborhood of Make Believe' and leave the world for a little while. Fred Rogers is an inspiration to me because he created a simple show that still lives on in the hearts of people today. That's how I want my books to be. I want people to laugh.

Make sure to check out Carving Up Riley by Paul Flanagan on Amazon. The current price is $0.99 on Kindle and $5.99 on paperback. Also check out his clean comedy blog as well where he posts daily clean jokes.