Wednesday, July 21, 2010

An Interview with... Myself?

Allow me to introduce myselves: One is Nosey, the interviewer, the other is Bashful, the interviewee. Nosey will be attempting to garner as much information from Bashful, who in turn will be shying away from telling too many personal details.

Nosey: Welcome, Paul. I hope you're seated comfortably. Are you? Seated comfortably, I mean. Are you seated comfortably?
Bashful: Er... I suppose. Can I have tea?

Nosey: I ask the questions here! *sips from imaginary cup of tea* Now, tell me: what are you right now?
Bashful: You...can see me. Why would you ask that? *silence* Oh... right, no questions. Um, I'm listening to Elbow. The band...

Nosey: Good, you're learning to talk. Well done, there, Paul. Okay, let's get some info out of you. We'll start with the basics. Where do you go to college, and what do you study?
Bashful: I'd rather not tell the whole of the Internet where I study... it's a God college. Let's leave it at that. I study religion, obviously, and English. Like John Green did, though I didn't find that out until later. Also, I'm going to be a teacher when I'm done of the course. We're being taught about that, too.

Nosey: That doesn't sound like any college I've heard of. Where are all your friends?

Bashful: My secondary school friends are split up quite a bit, but the four I hung out with the most are all studying various things in one of Dublin's grander colleges. Aside from friends from work and choir and stuff like that, my friends are in the same college as me.

Nosey: No, I mean right now: where are your friends? *silence* Fine, we'll move on. Who's your best  friend? *evil grin*
Bashful: Er... I don't have a best friend.*silence* I have to answer, though, don't I? Dammit, no questions! Okay... okay.... um... er... okay, if I'm to go by a few different criteria: my best friend for talking to about anything is Liam, my best friend for being hyperactive and happy is Eileen, my best friend for completely unorganised days out is Eithne, my best friends for talking books are Jessica and Kevin-

Nosey: Cheater! It was only supposed to be one best friend.
Bashful: I don't have one best friend.

Nosey: I hate you right now. We'll move on, because you're a cheater. You're really going to be a teacher?
Bashful: That's the plan. Though, in saying that, I may pull a Roddy Doyle and go from teaching to writing full-time. I have plenty of ideas to keep me going for a while.

Nosey: Oh yeah, like what? *innocent*
Bashful: Well, you do make up half of this blog... You know, Meet Sam and it's possibly sequels, Dignity, Stepping Forward, Love is a Remarkably Destructive Bitch, The Great Leap, The Masked Expellator, The Jump and The Magical Emporium of Magical Things. To name the ones that come directly to mind... I figure that's enough to get started on.

Nosey: Well... *silence* You're weird! *laughs* When do you write? How much do you write a day? Have you written anything these past couple of days? Don't you read? Where do you get your ideas?
Bashful: *groans* I write when I'm not out or eating or sleeping, or otherwise preoccupied with things like chores or procrastination, or when I'm not extremely tired. Er... I write what I can in a day. If I'm getting really into a story, I'll try get 6,000 words done in a day. The most I've ever done is 9,385. Er... I finished a 15,000 word story on Tuesday afternoon, and since then... not really. But then, I read. So yes, take that! You would ask the most painful question in the universe. Not a question, just an observation. Um... I suppose I get my ideas from my own life. Okay, so some are reflections of other ideas: Meet Sam takes parts of my life, and others' around me, and throws them into the fray with the idea of a narrator in the head, as seen in Stranger Than Fiction, while a few of my more recently stories have been inspired by either actual events, speculation into actual events, hypothetical situations derived before actual events or morning madness.

Nosey: Morning... madness?
Bashful: Yeah, you know that experience of waking up bored and tired and hating the one who woke you up, and because it's too early to get up you stay in bed, and your imagination starts going wild, and you start worrying about things too much, and overthinking things, and then before you know it everything's gone a bit haywire, and you've overthought everything, and you've gotten a bit depressed, and you think of things like running away and suicide, and even though you don't fully understand why you've thought of them, and you don't even believe you're capable of them, you can't get rid of the ideas. That's morning madness.

Nosey: I see... And you think that'd sell?
Bashful: I never said it was supposed to sell. Sure, maybe a publisher will one-day be interesting in publishing these things, but for now they serve to do one thing: tell friends things about me that I can't say to their faces. Like, I can tell Liam anything... but sometimes I have to take the long route around it. By, you know, writing a book about it.

Nosey: Weirdo... That's a strange relationship you have with him. What's up with that?
Bashful: I knew you'd ask that... I just knew it! Well, if you must know, we made a deal not to bottle anything up. We've both been through a lot and it's not healthy for either of us to keep it a secret. Since we have a privacy thing going on, we can tell each other. That's why we're such good friends. That's how we know each other so well. And that's why I take the chance to talk to him whenever I can, just so it's not all the bad stuff coming out. I want life to be more than just our problems.

Nosey: You're boring me now. Enough about your friends and your books. What famous people have you met?
Bashful: That depends on what you define as famous. I've met Roddy Doyle once. And Dermot Bolger. Both came to my school. And Patricia Scanlan gave me her mobile number when I met her. Yes, her mobile number. Also, Darren Shan knows my name by now, because I've met him four times. And I met Bertie Ahern at work, because were the first shop he visited for his first ever book signing. Ever. As a result of that, I said a few words to Jackie Lavin, who was at the signing, but not too much. Online - if that counts - I've spoken to Charlie McDonnell, Alex Day, Stephen Byrne and Kristina Horner from YouTube, Rebecca Woodhead from Twitter, and spoken to a number of authors, including the very cool Barry Hutchison and Jeremy C Shipp.

Nosey: And how many times have you left home for a holiday, or whatever?
Bashful: Hmm... I've lost count of how many times I've been to Lanzarote - 7, I think - but I've also been to Portugal, Menorca and, twice, Barcelona. In Ireland, Connemara and Tipperary. If you include day-trips without my family, Offaly. Other than that... nope, nothing else.

Nosey: Sounds... interesting... Where do you plan on going?
Bashful: Well, depsite what Alaska Young says about plans, I hope to go to Edinburgh, London, New York, various places around Ireland, as many places as possible on college trips, and possible Toronto, but that's a long story that hasn't been entirely thought out or explained to relevant people yet. I've a trip to Galway next year, anyway, for Drama.

Nosey: Drama? You're a Drama Geek?!
Bashful: Not a geek, no. Well, the rest of the people aren't geeks... But yes, I do Drama at college. It's fun, but I suck.

Nosey: I'm not that interested to be honest... Want to get married and have children?
Bashful: I would consider it, though it'd have to be in that order, and maybe only be one child. It all depends on the girl, I suppose. And the first child. *shudders*

Nosey: I can see you're getting uncomfortable. Perfect. What's your biggest fear?
Bashful: Heh? Um... okay... Fear isn't much of an issue for me, I suppose. I don't like being alone at the wrong times. And I don't like insects crawling all over me, but that's because I've heard of times when people have eggs planted in them, and then the eggs hatch, and... *shudders* And I had a weird dream about spiders, dozens of them, exploding out a strawberry. Big, chunky spiders. And I thought: I don't like strawberries, but in the dream I was about to eat one. I was about to eat spiders! And eh... aside from that... I think I'm always worried about hurting someone. Just, in general, like.

Nosey: Is this because of-
Bashful: Yes! Exactly because of that.

Nosey: Well... okay, I think we have everything we need to blackmail you. We'll be in touch when we feel like probing your mind again to try and uncover some secrets.
Bashful: Wait, what?

Nosey: I'll ask the questions around here!


This was written as part of Challenge 3 of Summer of Writing for the Literary Den. I hope you enjoyed it! (Please don't blackmail me...)

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