Monday 10 December 2012


This week:

Meet YOSS NUTT, IT slave and general Sci-Fi fan with a mild fetish for tattoos...

What’s your connection to Terry?

I first met Terry whilst working in Cardiff. He quickly stood out as one of the most interesting people to chat with during those oasis moments of quiet in the office. His sense of humour and fondness for Sci-Fi notched him up as a kindred spirit.

How did you first find out about Kangazang?

I was honoured to be included in the few given a sneak preview and knew I had to have a copy of the full version before I finished reading the preview.

Did you read the book, and what were your thoughts? 

I have read both versions of the first book and the second book. I thoroughly enjoyed the style and the content, Terry has managed to encapsulate many facets of the childhoods of people ‘our’ age and interwoven it with a light hearted but compelling story and characters I came to care about. If I were to make a tick sheet for things to recommend a book for, Kangazang manages to tick all boxes other than the one for a long story arc over many books. But with number three in the ether that will hopefully be fulfilled at some point.

What kinds of books/TV/movies do you usually go for? 

Sci-Fi or Fantasy or Horror are my usual genres, either serious or humorous. My reading tends to be mostly Sci-Fi with the most recent books being from Isaac Asimov, Harry Harrison, Philip Jose Farmer, Fred Saberhagen, Orson Scott Card and Stephen King. For TV or Film, it is anything by Joss Whedon in both categories, True Blood, The Walking Dead, Battlestar Galactica. I can’t fail to mention a little saga by the name of Star Wars.

If you could cast some of the characters in a movie version, who would you pick? 

I find it hard to fault Terry’s ideal cast, but if I had to recast the only sure fire actors for me would be Rosie Marcel as Shelly, Marshall Lancaster as Kelvin, Alan Rickman as Lord Rancydd and  Martin Freeman as Jeff,

As it’s a proposed trilogy, what kind of ending would you like to see - happy, sad, open or a final end? 

I would like it to be a completion of the story arc in progress, but if any potential tangential stories were hinted at I would be quite happy.

Have you heard any of the Audiobook? 

I have the audiobook and it is a mighty fine experience. I had read the book a few times before listening to the audiobook so I had already made up my mind how the characters sound, but the voice work is fantastic.

Have you ever written a book or story? If you could, what would you write about? 

I have difficulty finishing writing my name, so no story writing from me.

Thursday 6 December 2012


This Week:

Meet ASH COLLINS, and find out how he created the fantastic illustrations as seen in the MAXIMUM GALACTIC TRUMPAGE card game…
Ash Collins is a 2D Animator/Illustrator, versed in the ‘occult’ (digital) arts, ‘dragged up in Wales and living in London with my fiancée, two small, destructive children  and a terrified cat’. He describes his work life as ‘doing some freelance here and there when I'm not wiping various foodstuffs off the furniture and/or walls’.

How and when did you first find out about Kangazang?

I was catching the train from Pontypridd to Cardiff with my fiancée every morning, and would often get on the same train as Mr. Cooper. It was upon those rain-sodden journeys that he imparted to us the details of this book he was writing...

What’s your connection to Terry?

I met Terry when I was studying animation at Glamorgan University; he was doing CG animation, a year ahead of me, so I just thought, ‘Oh, another CG animator…’  It wasn't long before I discovered that he was some kind of artist/animator/voice artist/rapper/prop maker/actor extraordinaire.  Talented git.  I live too far away to see him in person anymore, so I have to rely on the internet in order to harass and antagonise him.  (You know, as friends do, right?)

When you read Kangazang, what were your thoughts?

I read the book, and I thought, ‘this has everything I need’. (I.E: sci-fi and comedy). Being 'fortunate' enough to hail from the valleys, I got a big laugh out of the Welsh idiosyncrasies, as well as the little hat-tips to various bits of geek culture and pop culture throughout. It's full of memorable characters and dramatic moments, not to mention heart, and - importantly - laugh out loud slapstick. Well it's important to me!

Regarding books/TV/movie, what genres do you usually prefer?

Comedy. Sci-fi. That kind of thing. I generally need lots of guns and to be made to laugh like a maniac. You have a deep, romantic subplot? Get lost. But I ain't no stranger to classical literature. For reals.

If you found yourself responsible for casting some of the characters in a movie version, who would you pick?

That's a tough one; Terry already mentioned a few actors he had in mind when creating these characters, and he mentioned a lot more when we were discussing the art for the Maximum Galactic Trumpage cards, so I automatically think of those people now! (Jeff will always be Marc Warren in my mind, and Ray is naturally Bill Bailey).
The idea of Matt Berry as philandering Rev. Wilson really tickles me though, as well as Martine McCutcheon as the bald cockney queen Shelley.

As the trilogy draws to a close in the third book, what kind of ending would you like to see?

A happy one, innit? Jeff got off to a sad enough start, I think he needs a happy ending. And I don't have time for open endings - I get distracted so easily, and I don't need to be wandering around musing about a book's ending weeks after I've read it. Headache.
Then again, the books are so much fun, that paving the way for more could only be a good thing...

Have you heard any of the Audiobook?

I have not! I can't concentrate on being read to while I'm doing things, and if I'm sitting still, it's faster to read! Although I see that it's read by Doctor Who legend Colin Baker, so I may be persuaded yet...

If you were to write something, what would you write about?

I'm far too self-critical for that. Anything I write, I immediately declare plagiarised or trite and bin it. Because it is. Although if I could wrestle an original story onto paper, it would probably be about the things covered above (Comedy & Sci-Fi).  And even then it would probably turn out to be Kangazang. You know what? I think I'll leave this writing lark to the pros.

Wednesday 5 December 2012


This Week:

MEET Mark Dermul, possibly the most knowledgeable Star Wars expert in Europe, a whiskey collector and connoisseur, and founder of the immensely successful ‘Save The Lars Homestead’ Campaign (  Mark is a Belgian Star Wars fan from the very first time he saw the movie as a 7 year old in 1977. His work is autograph collecting and visiting worldwide Star Wars locations, while his hobby is in banking. Or is that the other way around? He’s not entirely sure…

How do you know Terry?

Terry and I first met in 2003 during my first ‘Trip to Tatooine’, an 8 day journey across the Tunisian landscape to locate the filming locations of our beloved Star Wars Saga. We’ve been friends ever since. Terry returned to Tunisia with me again in 2010 and finally joined me on our adventure to save the Lars Homestead in 2012.

When did you first hear about Kangazang?

During the 2010 trip, Terry used to read to us from his book, which was simply hilarious. I knew I had to get my hands on it as soon as I got back home.

Did you read the book?  What were your thoughts?

Is this a trick question? Of course I read it! More than once. Not only a funny story in its own right, but I love all the subtle references to other classic sci-fi movies. And Terry does have a way with words. The book has brought a smile to my face many times over. 

What kinds of books/TV/movies do you like?

I kinda like all sort of books, be it both fictional (mostly fantasy, sci-fi and political and espionage thrillers) or non-fiction. As far as movies go, the popular sagas come to mind like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Alien, Avengers, Lord of the Rings, but once I've had my fill of those, I do occasionally watch other kinds of movies too. Drama, comedy, you name it.

If you could cast some of the characters in a movie version of KANGAZANG!, who would you pick?

Let’s stick with the two leading roles, shall we? Jeff Spooner to be played by Simon Pegg and Ray Scump by Nick Frost. That would make me a happy man. But let’s not forget Terry himself. I find him to be funny and having the looks to play Jeff Spooner himself. This is not lip-service to my friend, mind you. I secretly believe that Terry had himself in mind when he wrote the book. Don’t tell him I said that, though.

How would you like to see the Kangazang trilogy end?

I think a final end would be best, but let’s make sure it’s hilarious, OK?  Shouldn't be too much of a problem for Terry, I suppose.

      Have you heard the Kangazang Audiobook?

I have thoroughly enjoyed the audiobook by Colin Baker. But I am more of a reader than a listener myself, I must admit. I prefer to use my own voices (in my head – you know what I mean). That is also why I prefer books to movies, usually.
      Have you ever written a book or story? If you could, what would you write about?

I’ve never written a story (well, I did write a few sci-fi shorts called Skyrack, but they were a pet project, nothing more), but I have published a few books about travelling to Tunisia, Norway and Italy’s Star Wars locations. But my talent is nothing compared to that of Terry’s (again, don’t tell him that, or he’ll never get off cloud nine again)!

Friday 16 November 2012


"...let’s talk about Kangazang. Written by Terry Cooper and published by indy Candy Jar, Kangazang is a simple story of one man’s journey to the stars. Published in 2010, it has garnered a sizable number of fans including one Colin Baker, who narrates the audiobook version here.

Now, Kangazang is necessarily going to be compared with The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy because it shares, at least in its early chapters, a great deal with the latter. A humorous SF tale of a human (pretty cordially) kidnapped from the Earth by a zany alien and taken to see the universe, during which he gets given a quest to find something pretty fundamental, there are obvious comparisons to be made.
And, to be fair, it may suffer in those comparisons. The humour is more down-to-Earth, if you’ll forgive the pun, than in Hitchhiker’s; less sophisticated and less, frankly, downright clever. But that’s not actually a criticism. The humour quotient is still very high, sometimes causing out-loud laughter – reveal of the meaning of the phrase ‘universal remote’ being one such.

And the writing... well, it’s better than Adams. There, I’ve said it – no, don’t go, hear me out. Honestly, if you read the novelisation of Hitchiker’s – the first one, the one culled from the radio series – it’s really not brilliantly written. Structure is clumsy, loads of exposition. It’s full of bloody brilliant ideas, sure – Adams was clearly a genius. Just, a genius who’d obviously never written a novel before. (Mind you, true to genius form, he’d got stuffing good at it only a couple of novels later.)

Kangazang, on the other hand, is written by someone who does know how to write – and that’s the difference. The narrative journey works well. Nothing jars. And the story is a good one. So the actual writing – more importantly, the listening – is a joy.

Add Mr Baker narrating, and an interesting style that adds sound effects and second voices to what would often be made as a single-voice reading, and the audiobook is a very entertaining listen. Well worth a punt."

Nic Ford, Starburst Magazine

Thursday 25 October 2012


This Week:
Meet TANIA VINCENT, and find out how she came up with the title ‘Marshmallow Penguin’ that ended up as the name of the eponymous spacecraft in the Kangazang books…
Tania Vincent is ‘a self confessed geek’ and computer animator from Wales, currently living in London. She is also a writer for Skwigly online animation magazine and describes herself as ‘slightly addicted to the cinema’.  

What’s your connection to Terry?

I met Terry while studying for my animation degree in Wales. Terry was famous on our course for his fantastic impressions so I introduced myself (mainly to get a photo taken with him as I’m sure he was going to be famous one day) and the rest is history.

How did you first find out about Kangazang?

I’m lucky enough to have been given a preview of Kangazang while Terry was writing the book. I have the honour of getting a mention in the book. I am the original ‘Marshmallow Penguin’. Although I am not a space ship made of hair, I penned the name ‘marshmallow penguin’ when I was younger - I was a big fan of ‘Button Moon’ (ITV preschool children’s programme 1980-1988)when I was little. One of my favourite episodes was when the postman delivered a family of penguins made of marshmallow. It became a pet name as a child and it just stuck. Unfortunately the VHS tape I had with this episode on it has been watched so many times it no longer works. Terry saw me use the name one day on my animations and asked if he could use it in his books. I was more than happy to help.

If you’d like to witness the genius of ‘Button Moon’ for yourself…
Button Moon: ‘A Hole In Blanket Sky’ Series 5,episode 1 (7th January 1986)

What kinds of books/TV/movies do you usually go for?

I am a bit of a movie/TV buff. Anything by ‘HBO’ normally grabs my attention. Homeland has recently taken over my evenings but ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, ‘Community’ and ‘30 Rock’ are probably the things I recommend the most to my friends and family. As genres go I am a huge Sci-Fi fan so Kangazang is right up my street. I love anything Douglas Adams, Isaac Asimov or Phillip K. Dick. Their short stories get your imagination working far beyond the story itself.

What are your thoughts about the Kangazang! book?

The book is fantastic. Terry has created a world that is charming and humorous. The characters are recognisable and you warm to them instantly. I am a huge fan of humourous Sci-Fi and this is easily up there with the best of them. I can’t wait for the third instalment.

If Kangazang was being made into a television show or movie, who would you like to see in the cast?

The way Terry has written the characters instantly makes them seem familiar. I would love to see Bill Bailey as Ray. Only Bill could portray such a brilliantly scatty man. I have to admit I can quite easily imagine this as a TV show so I have loads of people I’d love to see star in it. Richard Ayoade (from I.T crowd) would be great as Overlord Kelvin. If you could squeeze Alan Rickman in there somewhere too, I’d be happy.

As it’s a proposed trilogy, what kind of ending would you like to see - happy, sad, open or a final end?

I’d definitely like to see a happy but open ending. The galaxy is large after all.

Have you heard the Audio book version of Kangazang?

Colin Baker’s reading of Kangazang makes for fantastic listening when driving on long trips. It has kept my cousin, who is a huge Dr Who fan, enthralled for hours. We may have listened to it a few too many times.

Have you ever written a book or story? If you could, what would you write about?

I love to write. I write mainly as a hobby, so I carry a notebook around and jot down any idea that comes to me. I would love to write children’s books one day as well as comedy scripts. I have lots of ideas, but I just need to organise them all and get them out into the world. 

Thursday 6 September 2012


Candy Jar Books is proud to announce that two of its books have been nominated for a People's Book Prize!

Founded by best-selling author Dame Beryl Bainbridge, The People's Book Prize is a national competition aimed at finding, supporting and promoting new and undiscovered works: a truly democratic book prize with no panel of judges but decided exclusively by the public.
Kangazang! Star Stuff by Terry Cooper has been nominated in the Fiction category and One Woman's War by Eileen Younghusband has been nominated in the Non-Fiction category.

We need your votes! Please visit the People's Book Prize website to vote for Candy Jar's books:

Vote for Kangazang! Star Stuff
Vote for One Woman's War

Candy Jar Books

Tuesday 3 July 2012


Here's a treat for you – the entire first episode of Kangazang! the audio experience! Read and performed by the sixth Doctor Who, Colin Baker, it's 25 minutes of pure audio sci-fi fun and adventure!