Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Blast(s) from the past

I spent 2006 interviewing authors who had books hitting the market and were thus on publicity junkets. A few of the interviews made it into the tiny publications I was writing for, but for the most part, they went unread, unnoticed, and unappreciated. But because the interviewees were so brilliant, I think it's high time I put the words out there so that anyone who cares can have a look-see. My interviews are not conventional--I don't just ask the boring, crappy questions--I like to just chat, feel 'em up (well, not really--there was no physical contact involved)

I lunched with Terry Brooks, Marian Keyes, Anne Perry, Mark Billingham, Steven Galloway (yeah, him again), Guy Gavriel Kay, Kevin Patterson, William Bell, and others. Note: I'm supposed to be unbiased, but Terry Brooks is my favorite. He was awesome. We had a delightful human conversation about everything from buying our children from gypsies, the evils of corn, and oh, yeah, some stuff about writing and the book he was promoting at the time, Armageddon's Children.

Tied for first fave is Marian Keyes, Irish writer--LOVE her!--she's had two more books come out since I interviewed her in Victoria, BC, for Anybody Out There? (This Charming Man in 2008, and The Brightest Star in the Sky in 2009). It's chick lit, not for everyone, but she's adorable. And oh so tiny! Dude, she wears a size 3 shoe! And, after our interview, she sent me a DVD of her favorite show: Father Ted. I kind of understood the British/Irish humor. Then again, I'm sorta dense. Humor for me means farting and Family Guy. Hey, I live with three boys.

Second fave: Mark Billingham. IF YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO SEE THIS GUY, you must. He's a horror writer--scary shit, seriously--but he was a stand-up comic in London for years and years, and the dude is effing hilarious, and his reading was like an excerpt from one of his stand-up shows. What a contrast. Billingham is a perfect coin: comedy on one side, tragedy on the other.

I will post these interviews, once a week or so, over the subsequent however many weeks until I run out of material. Perhaps one of these days, I will get enough guts to get in touch with the publicist again (I pissed her off when I was late for the most disastrous author interview I've ever done--Canadian writer, goes by the name McLean--let's just say I'm not a huge fan of vinyl or cafes and leave it at that...in my defense, however, I was given the name of the WRONG hotel, so, yeah, I was late!). Anyway, Generous Publicist Diva took me off her list. Then I did the Writer's Studio at SFU in '07, so I didn't have time to interview anyone, anyway. I was too busy spewing out crappy, shock-value fiction and avoiding submitting stuff to my critique group because I was afraid to hear their opinions. (I have a delicate ego.)

The weird thing is, when I was writing that crappy fiction in 2007, I never imagined I'd ever do anything fantasy. And the project I'm working on (Book One is done; Book Two is in progress) is, from a purist standpoint, classified as urban fantasy. (Just for the record: there are NO vampires, werewolves, fairies, shapeshifters, or new world orders. Just sayin'...) I didn't mean for that to happen; it sort of just did. Fast forward a few years--in listening to the interview recording with Terry Brooks, so much of what he said really makes much more sense to me now. I was an idiot, a rube, an un-initiate.  And he was remarkably patient with me.

Watch for Terry Brooks. He'll be first up. Coming soon to Planet Jenn. And he, and his amazing wife Judine, are definitely going to be invited to take their places in the Planet Jenn governing body, the Cool Kids' Cabinet. They're too bloody cool not to.

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