Every Friday, the Author invites a celebrated guest to interview him about his work as he strives for literary success.
This week: Tom Daly talks books…
TD: Thank you for agreeing to this interview today Mark.
Author: Thank you Tom, always a pleasure.
TD: Can I just say before we start that you don’t look as fit as I’d expect for an author. You could do with some water-time.
Author: I didn’t realise authors had to be fit.
TD: Of course you do. Otherwise you’ll make a massive splash when you hit the water from ten metres. It’s all about entry.
Author: I’m an author, not a diver. Can we just get on with the interview please?
TD: You can be both, Mark. If you get yourself fit enough.
Author: That’s not really relevant. Time’s a bit short. We need to press on.
TD: If you don’t believe me, I’ll dive into that glass of water. I’ve written a book and I bet I don’t make a splash.
Author: I wouldn’t do that if I were you, Tom. And I don’t think having a biography counts as being an author?
TD: Biography?! Auto-fucking–biography you mean! I didn’t authorise that bloody Chas Newkey-Burden to write that crap. That’s why I wrote my own. You can see how angry I am on the front cover.
Author: Okay Tom, whatever. Calm down. Can I have the first question please?
TD: Right. But I’m fucking angry now. Just so you know. Okay…How are you finding the writing of book two now that it’s practically finished?
Author: Good question. I would have to say that the overall experience has been far more enjoyable than the first one. I’m probably going to finish it in the…Tom, what are you doing?
TD: I need to be up high. I get a bit dizzy on the floor. The crowds go mad for it.
Author: Talking to you while you’re up a ladder is distracting. Can we get back to the interview please?
TD: Sorry, Mark. You were rambling on about book two?
Author: Yes. Like I said to Mo earlier in the year, there are more pronounced themes coming through and because I know the characters very well, there’s more scope for dialogue and interactions. I’ve also introduced some strong female characters which has been a challenge. I didn’t want them to become just the love interest so I had to work hard at bringing out their strength but retaining their femininity. Tricky when you’re a bloke writing it. You worry a lot about getting it wrong. I do wish you’d come down from that ladder.
TD: I’m not sure what you’re on about Mark. Maybe you need a ghost-writer if you’re finding it all too difficult.
Author: That’s not going to work for me is it?
TD: As a writer myself, I find that works very well. You’re not really thinking this through. I’m trying to help you here but you seem intent on doing your own thing as usual. You need to get a ghost-writer and get diving. Works for me, Mark, that’s all I’m saying.
Author: Let’s get on. What’s your next question please?
TD: Are there any fruity bits in book two. I’m meeting the Prime Minister next month and she’s bound to ask.
Author: Actually, yes. But not a lot - and I’ve tried to…
TD: Sorry to interrupt you Mark, but you don’t need any of that sordid frightfulness to sell books. You may be making a big mistake there. You’d be better off with recipes in your books. Sex is so last year. It’s all about what’s trending. Trust me, I’m on top of all the trending stuff. Recipes, mate. That's what you want now.
Author: What are you doing up there?
TD: I’m getting changed. I feel the urge to dive. I can’t walk past a puddle without testing my splash. I just bought these today. What do you think, Mark?
Author: Will they cover everything? I think they’re a bit skimpy, Tom.
TD: They need to be. It’s all about your splash. You’ll see what I mean when I dive into that glass of water.
Author: I’m going to have to look the other way while you put those on. Do you think we could keep the interview moving please, time’s getting on a bit?
TD: If we must. But to be honest, I’ve lost interest in it. What do you want to talk about?
Author: You’re the interviewer, Tom. It’s down to you to pick the questions.
TD: Here’s a question for you then, Mark. Does my bum look big in these?
Author: That’s not the sort of question I had in mind.
TD: Okay then. What score will you give me if I dive into that glass of water from way up here?
Author: Tom, that’s probably impossible and certainly not advisable.
TD: Will you give me a perfect ten if I achieve the improbable?!
Author: I said “impossible” not “improbable”. There’s a difference for a reason.
TD: I dream of perfect tens. TENS! TENS! TENS! I believe I can fly…
Author: Tom! Put those goggles down…
Next week: Cressida Dick interrogates the author…