Some while back an interviewer asked me to tell her something I had never mentioned to anyone before. It’s not particularly revealing, but here are my answers;
1. I have never been to Pizza Hut, and have only drunk Coke Â or visited a McDonald’sÂ maybe twice in my life. Their burger was the most unbelievably horrible thing I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve eaten grasshoppers and maggots in the Far East (they were delicious).
2. I have not attended a single sporting event since school, and plan to keep it that way, although I did apply for some Olympics tickets (I didn’t get them). You have to manage your time in order to get things done, and this is one of the sacrifices. I did write a football story, though. Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?
3. I have a movie collection that runs into thousands of rare films, some of which have never been released. I have even more soundtracks. Baz Luhrmann gave me his temp score to ‘Strictly Ballroom’, and other directors burned copies of soundtracks for me that remain unreleased to this day.
4. I’m a fairly decent artist, and drew some of the background panels for John Bolton’s graphic novel ‘Menz Insana’. I plan to start drawing again soon.
5. I once left a job I loved because of homophobic bullying in the workplace. My then-partner was also forced out of his job, but won a lawsuit after his boss’s staff caught him ranting on about not employing ‘ugly girls and poofs’.
6. I give away the film rights of my short stories to any student who wishes to film them, on the sole condition that they send me a finished copy. To date, around a dozen have been made, and a couple won awards.
7. With the exceptions of ‘Red Bride’ and ‘Calabash’, every novel I’ve written has been optioned at one time or another as a movie. Number of films made from my work to date; 1. That was ‘Through The Eyes Of A Killer’.
8. I am notoriously careless about my own work. I hardly keep any of my own books, have never listened to the audio versions and read very few interviews. My job is to think forward, not look back.
9. I’m taller than most people expect. I don’t know why but it’s something they always comment on. Do people expect writers to be short?
10. I’m an embarrassingly slow reader, and the more I enjoy a book the slower I go. As a result I tend to read four books at once in a desperate attempt to finish them. I’ll happily tear up a book that’s lousy.
By the way, the interview ran with the headline ‘Short Story Writer Taller Than Expected.’