Tuesday 8 February 2011

Dancing With Myself_ MARCUS SEDGWICK interviews MARCUS SEDGWICK

Busy, busy times just now. Good times, mind.

Spinetingler are running a cracking series of interviews just now dealing with E-publishing from a writer's perspective. It's featured Lee Goldberg, Alla Guthrie, Dave Zeltserman, Chuck Wendig, Chris Holm and Tom Piccirilli so far. I'll be joining the list in the next day or so and, boy, do I feel blessed to be in that company.

Allan Guthrie also has an interview over at
You Would Say That Wouldn’t You where he teases us with what's around the corner without adding the who.

I'm indebted to Heath Lowrance for his review of
DIRTY OLD TOWN, as I am to Anthony Neil Smith and Donald Ray Pollock. Many thanks.

There's a nice story by
Christopher Rhatigan over at Thrillers Killers and Chillers if you have time and Beat To A Pulp's weekly punch will floor you as Richard Godwin climbs through the ropes. The story is Mercy Seat, a title that's also the name of one of my favourite Nick Cave songs. Way to go you two.

And now to today's dance.

It's a real honour to honour the Himalayan legend, Marcus Sedgwick.

Here he is:

1 - So, how does it feel to have won the Nobel Prize for literature? Again?

Are you sure about that..? Oh, wait a minute. This is one of those ask yourself the questions you'd really liked to be asked as an author thingies, isn't it? I haven't actually won, have I?

2 - That's right. Sorry. But this interview technique does have its compensations. Like, no one is going to ask where you get your ideas from, for a start. So are you happy to continue?

Yes. But that counts as one of the questions right?

3 - I suppose it does. I'll be more careful. So what is the question
you would most like to be asked?

Hang on a minute, if I tell you that, this will all just be getting mind-bendingly self-referential. I mean, you're already me, and you're supposed to know the answer to that question, aren't you?

4 - You're right. Again. Dammit. This is harder than I thought. I suppose the thing is that you're so used to hearing the same questions as a writer that it's hard to think of anything else. So why don't I frame it another way. What's going on in your head, right now?

I'm feeling confused. But I do have a sudden urge to talk about music.

5 - Why's that?

You should stop wasting questions, really you should. Well, it's because I love music, and I always have it playing when I write. I find it helps to have something that creates thesame mood your trying to put into whatever you're writing. That's important. After all,the reason anyone embarks on any creative endeavour, and the reason anyone gets anything out of experiencing that creation, is because of the exchange of emotion. That's what it's all about. And personally, I think music is a more directly powerful mechanism for doing this than any other art form.

6 - Really? You don't think writing can do it too?

Of course I do. I didn't say that. Please pay attention - I just said music can do it more directly. Books require a reader to do some more work, put some more effort in, but that in itself can be useful. Books and music are very different ways of conveying emotion, and the fact that the reader often builds much of a book from their own imagination is a fascinating thought and one that you can work with as a writer.

7 - So, if you could choose, would you rather have been a musician, or a composer, than a writer?

Probably, yes, but let me add right now that I am very lucky to have realised that I do have some creative outlet, and been able to do something about it too.

8 - I once heard it said that you used to herd goats on the lower slopes of the Himalayas, is that true?


9 - I read it on the internet. It seems hard to believe it was wrong.
Don't you use the internet a lot?

Yes, I certainly do. And I think it can be a wonderfully useful thing, it saves me lots of time as a writer, and the random walks you can take often lead to stumbling on new ideas. That being said, I think it's important to remember the world outside your shed, to meet people, to go for long walks, long drives, listen to live music, herd goats...

10 - I thought you didn't do that?

I don't, I was just giving an example of what you MIGHT do. Really, you know, you haven't been a very good interviewer. You know, maybe I might just go back to being interviewed by other people instead. Their questions are at least coherent. And you know, the reason you get asked the same questions all the time is because they are very
important questions. It's important to remember that, and treat even the most frequent question, such as "where do you get your ideas from?", with the respect it deserves - thereason it keeps on being asked, is because it is a very mysterious thing.


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