THE NEXT BIG THING
Well the divine and incredibly talented Ruth Ramsden tagged me in this game, and once I answer the following questions I’ll tag another five authors.
I can’t even get my head around the idea of being ‘the next big thing’ although I love the idea of not needing a day job, not wasting valuable writing and creating time trying to tape together my leaking water pipes and not catching a bus home trying to pretend that the stink in the black plastic bag filled with the road kill I picked up doesn’t come from me.
Hey, I’d be able to write all day, pay for a plumber and whilst I’d still pick up road kill to make sculptures with, I’d have a driver to ferry me and my stinking find home!
1) What is the working title of your next book?
‘P is for Prostitution; A Modern Primer’
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
I’d just finished editing an anthology that I’d also conceived and introduced, ‘A Contemporary Western Book of the Dead’ and it got me thinking that my past was a graveyard in itself, filled with death in both the literal and figurative sense, that I felt needed acknowledging.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
Auto biography although I suspect that those close to me would prefer that it was listed under urban realist fiction and published under a pseudonym.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Odd question as most thespians nowadays are so airbrushed they are beyond human and my characters are human at their most vulnerable and flawed. I’d go for Noomi Rapace for myself when younger, and Kathy Burke in my later years. Other main characters could be played by Tom Hardy, Tom Waits, Hayley Joel Osmant, Gary Oldman and maybe Vanessa Redgrave and Julianne Moore for my grandmother and mother respectively.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A crazed section of smashed glass, each piece holding a random image of a personal experience in Australasia and Europe involving; trauma, drama, humour, drugs, brothels, rehabilitation centres and mental institutions….and the occasional world changing socio/ political event.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Mandrake of Oxford will be publishing it, although there has been interest shown from other publishers.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It took me four months or so to write the first draft, then I wrote and rewrote it several times over another four months and I’ll spend a month or so tweaking and editing.
‘Cain’s Book’, ‘The Basketball Diaries’, ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ all have a similarity in theme although most books concerning heavy drug use seem to be written by men. Not surprising really as the drug world is horribly misogynistic and male dominated.
I also suspect that most women who survive years of usage of A class drugs (and aren’t celebrities) carry a lot of shame about the places such a life can take you, and aren’t willing to talk openly about this, let alone write about it.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
A friend of mine suggested it after years of being entertained by my anecdotes, and when I finished editing ‘A Contemporary Western Book of the Dead’ and I heard that several ex lovers had died from complications arising from hep.c I decided it was time to acknowledge my past.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
It is also of interest on a social level with my seeing the opening of the first MacDonald’s in China (as well as a mass execution), partying with American troops on R and R in Hong Kong during the first Gulf War, experiences of archaic treatments in psychiatric wards, seeing Siouxse Sioux de-teething someone with her microphone, tales of drunken debauch on planes in the days when they had a smoking section…and much more.
Also the Primer will be illustrated by the multi talented Ruth Ramsden, who has intuited exactly the feel of the book, in wonderfully twisted visual form.
The authors I tag are…
Mark Ramsden is a star, pure and simple. Why he isn’t an incredibly rich author with his name on the tip of everyone’s tongue, I’ll never know; but perhaps that is still to come.
Mark is one of the most literate, intelligent, thought provoking and side splittingly funny writers I have read, and I read a LOT, and he is an incredible musician as well.
Mogg has published under various pseudomyns including Katon Shual and Chris Morgan with subjects ranging from ayurvedic medicine and Setian Magick to Tantra. He is also CEO of ‘new edge’ publisher Mandrake of Oxford. He has vision and inspires not just through his written work and publishing company but also through his open minded, creative vision.
Journalist, photographer, musician, artist and author of the wonderful biography of Marjorie Cameron, ‘Wormwood Star’, Spencer’s work is all around wonderful.
Matthew Levi Stevens
Matthew is a superb writer, researcher and book dealer at WhollyBooks. Interesting, innovative and passionate about what he creates, Matthew’s work is exciting and stimulating.
Joe Ambrose is a writer, filmmaker, musician and arts agitator. He is a true example of someone who has committed their life to creative expression of the highest and most insightful quality.