Why do all author interviews fail miseraby?

author-interview

In my view, because they tell you absolutely nothing about the author. Read one and you’ve read them all…

I’ve read literally hundreds of them over the decades. Without exception they follow an inevitable mind numbingly boring formulae.  I’m sorry, but the last thing I wish to know about is an author’s favourite book, or where they live and with whom. Or even what their latest book is all about and other entirely banal questions!!!

What I really want to know is how their mind works. Don’t you?

To begin to gain an insight into what makes any author tick, all you have to do is read their books for yourself. It couldn’t be simpler! Do that and there is no need for the totally redundant author interview.

Each and every single one of us reveals far more about ourselves in our storytelling than any damned interview ever will. You just have to have the intelligence to sift out the often unconsciously inserted clues which we leave about ourselves by the way we write the text. Believe it or not but actually reading our blog posts (not just liking them) will also help you to get to know something about us you never knew before as well.

Only a publicity seeker (you know the beast – those who refer to themselves as Author Bill or Belinda Smith across the entire social media system) will ever delude themselves into thinking that by having taken part in an author interview, that somehow or other, by osmosis their book sales will automatically increase. What total bunkum – they won’t!

Book sales still only occur after someone has actually bought and read your work, and told their friends about it. Granted, these days they may have been initially attracted to it by its often lurid cover and quite possibly, its range of good and bad reviews.

If you are a fellow writer, take my tip, get on with your writing and forget about participating in any interview until the questions on offer show a far higher degree of intelligence. As far as I can ascertain, the day when interviewers pluck up the courage to dare to break the mold and ask truly pertinent questions of their interviewees, is the day when hell will finally freeze over!

PS – As you will have gathered I have little time for time wasting foolishness in its many forms. Something else you’ve just learnt about me. 🙂

Creative writing courses are killing western literature, claims Nobel judge

I totally agree with what Horace says. How about you?

Creative writing courses are killing western literature, claims Nobel judge.

Poseurs

poseur

If there is one particular category within society whom I loath and despise, it is the poseur. The Oxford English Dictionary defines them thus:  Poseur. a person who behaves affectedly in order to impress others. It should also add that most poseurs think they are a cut above their fellows!

I cannot speak for nations other than my own, but for every poseur here in the UK, I guarantee you can find similar examples in your own lands. Just take a long hard look at your so-called leaders and other assorted self-important individuals within society. Most if not all within politics fall under the dictionary definition of the word.  Anyone who honestly believes that their elected member of parliament, irrespective of whether they are in government or in the opposition, are there for the good of the voters is seriously deluding themselves.

All politicians are nothing more than power hungry, social climbing, poseurs! Here in the UK, many of our social commentators also qualify.

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Ed Miliband (Labour), Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrat) and David Cameron (Conservative)

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13323-Will_Self_Reading_-1660-EditBesides politics, poseurs are to be found in many institutions. Here in the UK, the British Broacasting Corporation (BBC)  and our leading newspapers also have their fair share. For example, take the novelist and journalist William Woodward Self. To say that he believes his own PR would be a major understatement. Yes he is the author of nine novels, five collections of shorter fiction, three novellas and five collections of non-fiction writing. But does that give him the right to lord it over the nation – to talk down to us? OK, so he attended university gaining a Bachelor of Arts. So what? BA’s are ten a penny!

Yes he was the winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize in 1991, together with the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction in 1998 and the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize 2008.  Once again, so what? Does that make him superior in any way?

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My final example is Jeremy Dickson Paxman, the broadcaster, journalist and author – a man who despite his humble Yorkshire beginnings, gives the impression of someone born into the upper middle class. Until recently he ran a weekly television programme on the BBC where he mercilessly tore apart his guests. To say that Paxman is a thoroughly nasty piece of work would be putting it midly. Like Self, Paxman and the majority of our current crop of politicians all attended university and believe their own PR.

What really gets to me and countless others here in the UK is that these individuals all believe that they are somehow the country’s elite, superior to the ordinary man or woman on the streets. Most if not all of them are paid exhorbitant salaries, in Paxman’s case it fits into the seven figure bracket – not bad for a common or garden television commentator!

These are just a small sample of this country’s poseurs. There are many, many more out there…

 

Carnivores of the world unite

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Over the last few weeks here in the UK and in many other EU countries, the news media has been sensationalising the fact that most of the processed meat products available in our supermarkets contain horse meat.

Big deal – so what?

The French have been eating cheval since Adam was a cowboy. Personally I prefer it to beef simply because it’s much leaner, and by definition, far healthier to eat. Think of any cheap heat and eat dish containing meat products normally found in the freezers of your local supermarket, and the chances are that it contains anything but beef.

Why?

The answer is simplicity itself. For a supermarket chain to be able to offer you your favourite brand of Lasagne, Stroganov, Burgers, Sausage or anything else in the freezers containing processed meat at a price you can afford, sourcing cheaper raw products from further afield makes thorough economic sense.

Unless you are a fortunate member of the well paid one percent of the population, reality dictates that the rest of us are all reduced to buying budget food products rather than the more expensive ones, thanks to our various governments turning a blind eye when it comes to greedy investment bankers and other leeches.

When the news media latch onto something as trivial as this, all kinds of weirdoes come out of the woodwork claiming that anyone who eats meat are murderers. Sorry folks, but ever since our ancestors began roaming the wilds we have always been carnivores. If you simply cannot look that cow, pig, chicken, duck or horse in the eye before its killed, that’s your problem.

For all you others who are appalled at the thought of consuming horse, saying that you prefer to eat beef, mutton, poultry or pork products – what’s the difference? With the exception of chickens and other fowl specifically bred for the table, the rest are all living breathing quadrupeds you see grazing the fields of our countryside.

Stop being so two-faced and squeamish! If you are so concerned about it, use your commonsense and buy your meat products from your local butcher. Try actually cooking a meal for a change, rather than throwing a ready meal into the oven or microwave. You never know, you might actually enjoy the experience.

Personally, the only time I would be seriously worried is when human DNA is found in processed meat products in the future. We are being constantly reminded that the cost of housing, clothing and feeding our ever increasing prison populations needs to be reduced somehow.

Hannibal Lecter had a liking for Long Pig. I can just imagine him saying something like this when he invited you to dinner:

“Would anyone care for a second helping of murderer stew? It tastes just like lean pork. I find it particularly delicious garnished with Fava beans and accompanied by a glass of the finest Claret.”