8Qs: Zach Weinersmith

Eight Questions is an occasional series of interviews that I’m including on the site. Being a naturally gifted (read: lazy) interviewer, I will be using the same eight questions in every interview.

This time, the questions are being answered by web cartoonist, Zach Weinersmith. Zach is perhaps best known for his award winning (and my own personal favourite) web comic, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, which has provided a slice of keenly observed humour daily since 2002. Welcome, Zach! Continue reading

The Colour Of Magic

There was a  management fad a while ago that I’m sure is still alive and well in some corner of Corporateville to provide new recruits to grad schemes with fashion advice. No doubt this was designed to curb the wave of bright young things coming into the office in un-ironed shirts or the kind of body-con dresses that can play havoc with the blood pressure of the senior partners. The good consultants went beyond the condescending (“Wear a suit. No, not one from Topshop”) and started to provide advice on what colours best matched your skin tone… although I distinctly remember seeing pretty much everyone from one intake rush out and by purple shirts and ties after one session so I guess even fashion consultants get lazy? Continue reading

It was about twelve years ago now

PepperMouseIt was about twelve years ago now.

I was sitting in the café of a train station in Bristol staring out the window, ignoring the scalding hot cup of tea on the counter in front of me. I was already twenty minutes late to meet someone in the car park. They’d sent me a text message to say they’d arrived, but I ignored it. I couldn’t leave yet.

I couldn’t leave because I’d been crying.  Continue reading

What is a genre?

The first decision I have to make when starting the preparations for a Novel In A Day event(A) is about what kind of story I want to tell: The original NiaD (2011’s The Dark) was a cross between a horror and a detective novel; The one after that (2012’s Lunar520) was a science fiction thriller; Last year’s effort (2013’s Made Man) was a mafia tale set in 1962 Las Vegas(B). I’m a big believer that the story comes first and everything else follows from that, but I’m equally conscious that there is a moral obligation on me to make sure each successive NiaD does something different; another gangster tale is (sadly) not an option(C).

Which got me thinking: Do I know what different genres there are out there? Do I even know what a genre is?  Continue reading

8Qs: Lee Child

Eight Questions is an occasional series of interviews that I’m including on the site. Being a naturally gifted (read: lazy) interviewer, I will be using the same eight questions in every interview.

This time, the questions are being answered by novelist, Lee Child. Previously a television director, union organizer, theater technician and law student, Lee was fired and on the dole when he hatched a harebrained scheme to write a bestselling novel, thus saving his family from ruin. Killing Floor went on to win worldwide acclaim. The hero of his series, Jack Reacher, besides being fictional, is a kind-hearted soul who allows Lee lots of spare time for reading, listening to music, and watching Yankees and Aston Villa games.

Lee was born in England but now lives in New York City and leaves the island of Manhattan only when required to by forces beyond his control.

Welcome, Lee!

Continue reading

8Qs: James R. Babb

Eight Questions is an occasional series of interviews that I’m including on the site. Being a naturally gifted (read: lazy) interviewer, I will be using the same eight questions in every interview.

This time, the questions are being answered by magazine editor, James R Babb. James has been the editor of Gray’s Sporting Journal for the past 17 years, which has been variously described as huntin’ and fishin’ for English Majors, and Field & Stream meets the New Yorker. Prior to that he spent 12 years as an acquiring editor at McGraw-Hill and The Lyons Press, and was a nautical- and outdoor-books advisor for W.W. Norton. He has written for Gray’s Sporting Journal, The Field, Big Sky Journal, Down East, and the New York Times, among others.

Welcome, James! Continue reading