a) reveal eleven facts about myself
b) answer eleven questions from Martin
c) set eleven questions for eleven other people
So without further ado, eleven facts:
- Six days out of seven I will be wearing a Fred Perry polo shirt.
- As I type this I am listening to the song Wonderful Excuse by The Family Cat. I also own a cat called George (or as much as anyone ‘owns’ a cat, at any rate).
- I have never broken any bones. Well, not my own.
- I suffer frequently from déjà-vu.
- I once dressed as ‘boy from Kes’ for a film themed fancy dress party. This involved hasty manipulation of a rubber glove, some shoe-laces, and a kestrel I coloured in with felt-tips on some cardboard.
- I run the Headington Shark Appreciation Society (new members welcome).
- The first film I ever saw at the cinema was The Empire Strikes Back. It was a double-bill with the first film but my parents got the times wrong, so I saw them the wrong way round. I suspect this explains a lot.
- My favourite cocktail is a Whisky Sour.
- I am 89% sure that my life is not a Truman Show style hoax.
- I contend that the best album of the 90s is Giant Steps by The Boo Radleys.
- I suffer frequently from déjà-vu.
Martin's questions for me:
1. Do you write your first drafts by hand?
Yes I do. Writing by hand has lots of pluses (more speed, less distractions) and few negatives. I know some people would view having to type it up the first draft as a negative, but for me that's a plus too: it means going over every single line of prose again at least once.
2. Do you follow more than 10 blogs?
Yes - see sidebar >>>>>>>>
3. Do you play a musical instrument?
No. I'd love to be able to play guitar but I tried a few times as a teen, and good Christ I was bad. And not even bad in a sounds-cool-feedbacky kind of way, but just bad.
4. Given the choice, which opera would you attend?
Ummm, I know nothing about opera. Nothing. What was that one Mark Twain compared to an orphanage burning down? I'll go for that one.
5. e-book or paper book?
Both. I don't care if it's against the rules - both!
6. Do you use an electric blanket?
No. I don't know how to expand on that answer to make it vaguely interesting, sorry.
7. Do you write in cafes?
No, but I'd like to. Life isn't that luxurious at the moment.
8. Is there a film that has influenced you greatly?
The Empires Strikes Back - see above.
9. Do you keep a diary?
Not a personal one, but I do have a 'writing diary'. Like so much else in my life it is sporadic, partially illegible, and woefully behind schedule.
10. Which foodstuff do you like the least?
I had something in France - the name escapes me - I love most French food, including snails and the like, but this was vile. It stank to high heaven and ruined a perfectly good piece of fish beneath it. When we looked up the translation, it just said it was a dish consisting of 'innards stuffed with innards'.
11. Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what?
Yes, all the time unless I'm doing final editing of a story. Favourite artists include The Auteurs, Laura Marling, Bob Dylan, EMA, Pavement, Viva Voce, Radiohead...
And now, my eleven questions for eleven fine people:
Alan Ryker, Iain Rowan, Robert Dunbar, Cate Gardner, Dan Holloway, Colin Barnes, Victoria Hooper, Greg James, Anne Michaud, Luca Veste and Neil Schiller.
- Who’s the most underrated author out there that you know of?
- You need to pick one song to be used to torture unpleasant terrorist types, by playing it to them full volume 24/7. What do you pick?
- As a writer, what is your own personal definition of success?
- How do you like your steak?
- A genie grants you get an extra hour every day, meaning your days are 25 hours long. The condition is you must use this hour to take up a brand new hobby. What do you pick?
- What’s the most overrated piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?
- If you were in a band, what would your band name be?
- Oxford Commas – yes or no?
- What’s the most embarrassing typo or mistake you’ve ever found in your work after publication?
- Who’s your favourite Muppet?
- Will you write me a haiku?