Sunday 10 October 2010

Dancing With Myself: ALICE THOMPSON interviews ALICE THOMSPSON

I emailed Alice about doing an interview and mentioned to her that I'd be going to see her in Portobello at an event with the fantastic Allan Guthrie, Doug Johnstone and Caroline Dunford. Things were to be orchestrated by Mr Ian Rankin.

Because I didn't have a ticket, I got there really early. It was cold, but I had a copy of Savages in my pocket and the event turned out to be superb. Mr Rankin doing a top job and the guests all adding colours to the rainbow.

I knew Alice was going to be nice before I met her - she agreed to an interview here for a start.

She also used to be in a rather fabulous band called The Woodentops that I saw play many years ago in London.

When she arrived (and all I'd said to her was that I'd be in the hat and the shoes), she had the presence of mind to come over and introduce herself to me at the door; you can imagine how that helped me warm up.

Later we went for a coffee, me muscling in somehow into the merry band of authors and all positive images were confirmed. Isn't it nice when that happens.

Her rather fine book, The Existential Detective recently came out; if you need to get a copy, maybe you'd like to order one from your local library. Why not? Or put your hands in your pockets.

Anyway, here she goes.

How are you feeling? The Existential Detective came out in late June and it must have been a very intensive few months…

Delighted, but there’s always a bit of an anticlimax following a book coming out. After all the attention –ahhh… the fickleness of it all- you’re left on your own again with the next book to write.

But you had fantastic reviews, coverage etc –Ian Rankin called The Existential Detective a “haunting strange, Kafkaesque,poetic mystery” - you must be so happy.

You have no idea how grateful I am for those reviews.

So when you say it’s a bit of an anticlimax you sound like you’re feeling slightly sorry for yourself….

What a cheek!.

Sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you. I can tell that writing means a lot to you.

That’s uncanny. How did you guess?

I’m a writer too, actually.

You don’t look like a writer. You look too nice and cheerful. Are you working on something at the moment?

Yes, I’m writing a metaphysical horror story set on an island. It’s about the dangers of the imagination.

Amazing. That’s identical to the plot of my next novel!

Perhaps we should join forces?

Are you crazy? But thanks for the offer.

Well, good luck then. I hope it works out for you.

Good luck to you, too.

"The Existential Detective is unsettling, unsettlingly erotic, and somehow sadly beautiful. Thompson is fast becoming one of the most original and formidable writers in the English language today." Chris Dolan, the Herald


  1. This was like hearing Afternoon of a Faun on a piano in the distance. Briefly touched images drifting though my head. Sudden laughter: "you don't look like a writer . . ." I'm thinking the books is like this also I'll bet. Next weekend I'll find out. Cash money on the drumhead well spent.

  2. Oh, The Woodentops were good. Sounds like a writer worth checking out.