Sunday, 22 May 2011

Dancing With Myself: FRANK TALLIS interviews FRANK TALLIS

After posting Mr Lawrence Block's interview a couple of months ago, I got in touch with him to mention that I thought he should experiment with lowering the prices of his e-books.

Like as not, I had nothing to do with what he said at his Facebook page earlier this week:

'E-book price break! The following titles have been dropped in price and are now widely available for $3.99: April North, Campus Tramp, Candy, Carla, Community of Women, Gigolo Johnny Wells, Random Walk, The Specialists, and Such Men Are Dangerous. This is an experiment, so the price may go back up again. I'm just sayin'. . .'

By supporting this move, we'll be telling the publishers something about their previous e-book pricing and maybe show them a better way ahead. 

Apart from that we can pick up the work of one of the world's finest writers at a price that isn't painful.

They're not quite there yet at Amazon, so keep a look out for the titles.

The most excellent Pablo D'Stair novella This Letter To Norman Court which was brought to life here a short while ago reached Anthony Neil Smith's home yesterday.  It continues to impress and has a following that is growing.  Just a reminder that Mr Smith has Yellow Medicine and a host of other stories out there for the kindle.

Meanwhile, Dirty Old Town picked up its 400th sale yesterday and that made me very happy.  Thanks to anyone who has picked it up.  There's a week left in May and I'd like to remind you that any profits from May's sales will be heading for the Red Cross.

Coming to the end of it's Amazon life is the charity story Jack And The Giant.  For those of you who don't know, it was produced my a class of 6 year olds where I work and has been an invaluable experience for them.  Some of the kids rarely see beyond Tranent, so to get them communication with folk from the US and China has been amazing for them.  Thanks again there to Stephen Leather for his contribution, not only financial but with his setting up of a (now deleted thread on the board.

And if you feel like a laugh, you could look at yesterday's recording of me reading a fun story; it's not the story, sadly, that will make you laugh though.

Today's interview now.

Please offer a warm welcome to Frank Tallis.

Take it away Frank:

1. What do you expect from a novel?

Style, form and content.

2. What is on your desk when you write?

A small statuette of a gargoyle (from the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris) known as Le Stryge and a book of psychoanalytic case studies by Freud (once owned by Sigmund Freud).

3. What book would you take to your desert island - you already have the Bible and Shakespeare? (Can I have the Tao Te Ching instead of the Bible) Oh ... all right.

Remberance of Things Past by Marcel Proust. I've tried to read it several times but can only get half through volume one.

4. What is your favourite speech from Shakespeare?

Prospero: 'Our revels now are ended ... ' The greatest writer ever signing off (for all of us) Gets me every time.

5. Could God create a stone too heavy for him to lift - if he wanted?

This question is self contradictory and therefore does not qualify as a valid question.

6. What is the meaning of life?

We must assume that if there is a meaning, then it must - necessarily - be beyond human comprehension. It is probably better to accept this than to seek purpose in infantile anthropocentric ideas.

7. Do you believe in God?

It all seesm so unlikely .... but not impossible. The Aristotelian proof of a first cause still poses a problem for atheism (whatever Stephen Hawking says).

8. How many pizzas have you eaten this year?

About ten - three of which were in Rome.

9. Can you name a few books that you think deserve a wider readership?

The Lost Stradivarius by John Meade Falkner. The Glamour by Christopher Priest. Confessions of an English Opium Eater by Thomas de Quincey.

10. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Don't pay too much attention to any advice you are given.

11. Can a 10 question interview sometimes have 11 questions?

Yes. Particularly if the interviewer has a Zen mentality.

Death And The Maiden

Fatal Lies

Deadly Communion 

Darkness Rising

Sea Minor - Speaking of Freud, I'm convinced I created a new joke yesterday (It may not be so - I also had a dream that I'd found the perfect title for my novel.  It was Bury Me Deep).

Anyway, here goes.

Did you hear about Dave Gilmour dropping his plectrum?

It was a Floydian slip.


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