Every week the Author invites a celebrated guest to interview him about his work as he strives for literary success
This week: Her Majesty wants to know what one of her subjects is up to…
HM: Thank you for agreeing to this interview today, Subject.
Author: That’s okay Your Majesty, it’s an honour.
HM: Have you come far?
Author: No, I live here.
HM: Shall we drop the formalities? Why don’t you call me Ma’am and I’ll call you Subby?
Author: Subby, Ma’am?
HM: Yes, it’s what Phil calls all my Subjects. It’s okay, Phil’s not coming today. He’s retired. And he absolutely hates your work. You certainly won’t be getting a knighthood while he’s still around.
Author: That’s perfectly acceptable. Would you like a glass of water before we start?
HM: No thank you. I think it will be too difficult to drink through this beard.
Author: You can take it off now, Ma’am.
HM: Oh, I was just getting used to it. And it’s been such fun. And the nice man in shop sold me one of these. Do you know how they work?
Author: That’s a scratch card Ma’am.
HM: What do I do with it?
Author: I’ll show you at the end. Can we get moving with the interview please Your Majesty? The bus comes at quarter past the hour, on the hour out here.
HM: Yes, Phil will be wondering where I am. Okay, Subby. Off we go. I have to say before we start that one has been very amused by book two, Further Beyond the Pinkerton Road. Why do you think that is?
Author: Yes, I can understand that. I think it’s a reflection of the way it came together. The first book for anyone is incredibly hard. That is really the first test of whether you want to write more - let alone whether you can write. First books are years in the writing as the author finds their way. Because of the great response to Beyond the Pinkerton Road, I was able to know what resonates with people as well as find my own voice. This second book flows because I’ve learnt so much. And it’s easier to write for characters that grow with you.
HM: Yes, one was especially taken with Hutch. So is it finished now Subby?
Author: Yes. That’s taken six months. It’s with the editors and will be out shortly. I’m also looking for a designer to rework the covers for both books and I want it to be right. It will be published in June.
HM: As you know, I like all my Subbies to be successful. I am, after all, the Mother of the Nation. There was a lot of swearing in book one wasn’t there. A bit too much?
Author: I’ve toned it down and updated it. After re-reading it, I thought it was a bit…
HM: That’s not true is it?
Author: I'm sorry, Ma'am?
HM: I’ve spoken to your mother.
Author: Oh, I see.
HM: She wasn't very happy with all the swearing was she?
Author: Err…no, she wasn’t.
HM: If you listened more to us mothers, the whole nation would be better off. Now I counted the swear words with Theresa and the original manuscript of Beyond the Pinkerton Road contained 121 “fucks” and 6 “cunts”. I see that the latest update has just 54 “fucks” and 4 “cunts”. That’s a fuck-rate of 2,160:1 and a cunt-rate of 29,158:1. I hope you have improved this ratio in Further Beyond the Pinkerton Road.
Author: I haven’t counted. It’s not relevant. It’s all about…
HM: Don't lie to me, I'm your mother. I know what all my Subbies get up to. I'm going to ask you again and I want the truth…Have you counted the fucks and cunts?
Author: 7 fucks and 1 cunt.
HM: Which is?
Author: 15,386:1 and 107,704:1 respectively.
HM: You see? You can do it if you want to. You said that the second book is way better than the first one didn’t you? Look at me when I’m talking to you.
Author: Yes, ma’am.
HM: You see what’s happened here? By listening to us mothers, you’re better for it. The nation is better for it. Although what you did to that poor Bishop in Further Beyond the Pinkerton Road was a bit naughty wasn’t it. Especially in front of my little Aled Jones. Even Phil laughed. He’s not a great fan of religion as you know. Right my little Subby, that’s the end of the telling off. Now tell me what you’re working on next.
Author: It’s a short novel that has a theme of old age and how people can be discarded and made to feel irrelevant by modern society.
HM: I hope it’s been properly de-fucked and de-cunted? Old people get enough problems without being labelled as foul-mouthed. You’re doing it again - please look at me when I’m talking to you.
Author: There’s a bit. I’ll email you the ratio when I’ve finished.
HM: Good. Now…you were saying?
Author: Yes. I’ve started a new novel called The Boatman’s Dog. Its central theme is how we often discard the old and replace it with the new when we should be thinking about how they should be blended together. And that underneath every old person is a young person constantly straining to get out.
HM: I like the sound of that Subby. A sensible subject and without all that supernatural nonsense that Phil hates.
HM: Oh dear. Are you back onto that spooky stuff?
Author: Well there is a ghost in it. The dog from the title.
HM: Hmmm. I think we’d better call it a day Subby. My bus will be along shortly. How does my beard look?
Author: It’s fine Ma’am. Do you want me to help you with that scratch card?
HM: Oh yes, I’d completely forgotten about that. What do I do with it?
Author: Use this coin and just scratch off all the little boxes.
HM: This is such fun. Have I won anything? I’ve got £250, £500, £1000 and three that say £100,000. Is that any good?
Author: Err…No....You need to have all six the same…No, don’t sign it. I’ll take it from you and throw it away later. Which shop did you say you bought it from?
HM: Oh don’t worry, I’ll cut it up.
Author: Noooo!! Your Majesty, put those travel-scissors down…
Next week: Jeremy Corbyn leans a bit more to the left…