Monday, 14 March 2011

Dancing By Myself: SIMON LELIC interviews SIMON LELIC

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Anonymous-9 wrote a story a while back called Hard Bite. It's now been turned into a novel which is working its way through the pipeline. Col Bury has offered us a review of the short story, published at Beat To A Pulp a while ago, in order to whet our appetites. It'll be worth adding the site to your favourites as I think there'll be more short story reviews to take a look at in the near future.

I'm also really pleased to be part of Patti Abbott's series How I Came To Write This Story . Finding out where stories come from is fascinating and I hope you find it so if you go for a visit. The story concerned is Into Thin Air which was brought to life on Friday last and it's one of the few whose provenance I can actually explain.

I used to write a lot more poetry than I do now. It was a way of putting down markers for my life as, for some reason, writing something around an experience is the best way for me to keep hold of it even if the actual moment or event only provides the seed. A poem or story is more evocative than a photo or my mind alone every single time. It was nice, therefore, to remember some happy times by writing for Pattinase.

Thanks to Patti for having me; I always feel like I've achieved something when I see something by me at a site like hers and it really helps to boost my writing energy levels when I do.

And for today's visitor at Sea Minor, the very entertaining Simon Lelic.

Welcome Simon.

I know you. You write novels. What was that book? Rapture. No. The Rupture. No. What was it?

Er, Rupture, actually. Just Rupture. I think a lot of people confuse it with The Rapture, by Liz Jensen, which was published around the same time and was actually a really great novel. Quite different from mine but brilliantly written and –

Oh. Maybe I don’t know you. So who are you?

I’m Simon. Simon Lelic. I wrote Rupture. Also, The Facility, which has just been published by –

The what? The Faculty?

No. Ha. You see, that’s another mistake people have been making. It’s my fault really. Rupture, you see, is set largely in a school but The Facility has nothing whatsoever to do with –

So what’s it about?

The Facility? It’s set in the near future. It’s about . . . Let’s see. It’s a dystopian story about a society obsessed with security at any cost. It follows four characters, mainly. There’s Arthur, a dentist, who finds himself imprisoned and isn’t told why. Then there’s Julia, his wife, and a journalist, Tom Clarke, who are trying to find him. And Henry Graves is the government official in charge of the prison: the facility, you see, which is where the book’s title –

Not that one. The other one. Ruptured.

Rupture, you mean.

That’s what I said.

Um, OK. Well, Rupture is about a school shooting. Bullying, too. There’s a teacher, Samuel, and he shoots and kills three children and a colleague, and Detective Inspector Lucia May is the young policewoman who’s trying to get to the bottom of why Samuel did what he –

Policewoman? So it’s crime then. I don’t like crime.

Well it’s not crime as such. I mean, it is, sort of, but –

Is it or isn’t it?

Um, well, it’s difficult to say. I didn’t start out with the intention of writing a crime novel but there is a crime, certainly, and there’s a detective inspector as the main character and if you go to your local bookshop you might actually find it in the crime section. Really, though, it’s more of a whydunnit than a –

It’s crime. It sounds like crime. I told you, I don’t like crime.

No. OK. Fair enough.

What about The Faculty?

The Facility. What about it?

Is that crime too?

No, actually. It’s more of a thriller, if anything. So quite different from Rupture, although the two books do share certain thematic –

A thriller? I like thrillers.

Oh good.

Some of them anyway. Not ones with crime in them. Where’s this booze then?

This what?

The booze. I was told there’d be booze.

I . . . I’m not sure. I could ask, if you like. That chap over there looks like he –

So when’s it out?

When’s what out?

This film or whatever. The Ruptured.

Rupture, you mean? Or The Facility? They’re books, actually, and they’re out now. Although there’s a production company working on an adaptation of The Rupture. I mean, Rupture. It’s quite exciting, really. I would have thought it would be a tricky novel to translate on to screen but they seem quite confident that –

So when’s it out?

When’s what out?

The film!

Oh. Sorry. Um, you never really know with these things. I mean, it could be this year or it could be in five years’ time because until they actually start filming you never really know whether –

He’s got some! Him, look!

Who? Where?

That guy! The guy with the tray. Follow me!

Um, I think I’m actually OK for now. But, no, OK, ow, I’ll come, ow, I’m coming, I said I’m –

Where is he? I saw him. Where’d he go? They said there’d be booze. I’m only here for the booze.

I know. You said. So I take it you’re not particularly interested in –

There! There he is!

I see him. Careful. Mind the –

Hey! You! Scuse me. Scuse me. Hey! You!

Um, sorry. Sorry, um. I’m just following my . . . Sorry. Excuse me. Excuse –

Two! I’ll take two. One for me and one for my friend here. What did you say your name was? Liz something, right?

What? No, my name’s . . . Liz. Yes, that’s right. Call me Liz. But, wow, look at the time, I really should be –

What are you talking about? You’re not going anywhere! Come on, Liz, grab yourself another drink. I’ve got my hands full already.

Yes, I can see that. But really, I –

So. Books, huh. My missus bought be one for Christmas and it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever read. You’d love it, I promise. It’s about this meerkat . . .

Pass me that drink.

Rupture is published by Picador and is available now in paperback. The Facility is out now in Mantle hardback. For more information about Simon Lelic, visit

1 comment:

  1. You have achieved something, Nigel. You are both loved and admired. They don't always go hand in hand.
    And RUPTURE looks fascinating. Bullying is such a problem for all of us. It cannot be tolerated.