Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Quickfire Questions with... Mike Bollen + PRIZE DRAW!



Michael Bollen's hilarious SF satire, Earth Inc, was released by Picnic Publishing last year. Mike lives in Brighton and as well as writing novels and having a real job in a library, he is also half of the satirical cut-and-paste band Cassetteboy.




We have a signed copy of EARTH INC. to give away! All you have to do to enter the competition is leave a comment below. The Strictly Writers are not allowed to win, but everyone else's name will go into a hat and we'll announce the winner on Sunday.






The first story/poem I remember writing was ...
about a hunter called Peter. All my stories at primary school featured main characters called Peter. I’ve always hated thinking up names, so I guess that’s why. It wasn’t always appropriate though – Peter the Pirate, Peter the Pharaoh, and on one occasion an exotic Martian invader called Peter.

My family think my writing is ...
good, but not necessarily aimed at them. I think they’re excellent judges, on both points.

The best thing about writing novels is ...
finishing writing novels. Or that moment when, having written yourself into a corner, and having stared exasperatedly at that corner for days on end, you realise how to write yourself an escape hatch.

The worst thing about writing novels is ...
everything else.

Longhand first or computer? ...
Longhand. The major advantage is that pads of paper don’t have distracting internet access. Or Solitaire.

When I run out of ideas I ...
walk away from my pad and don’t turn round and come back until I’ve had an idea. This method is quite expensive on shoes leather, but it does keep you fit.

Ideas come to me when ....
I’m in the bath and I can’t write them down or when I’m just about to fall asleep. Convenient eh?

My advice to new writers would be ...
it’s harder than you think. Even if you think it’s really quite hard.

Three authors (dead or alive) I'd like to invite to dinner are ...
PG Wodehouse, Kurt Vonnegut and Dan Brown. Dan Brown is paying, he’s not allowed to say anything.

My favourite writing clothes are ...
When I’m stuck I sometimes put on a stupid hat, just to lighten the mood.

My favourite writing snack is ...
organic grapes and fat-free barley clusters. Or very occasionally some chocolate. Oh, alright then, just chocolate, always chocolate. I’ve eaten a Ritter Sport in the time it’s taken to answer this question.

The best book I've read during the last three months is ...
Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan. It’s a gripping detective story with a really simple sci-fi idea at its heart.

10 comments:

Geraldine Ryan said...

This made me laugh out loud, Mike! Really enjoyed your post, particularly the honesty of it!

CarolineG said...

I've also LOL-ed several times here, Mike. This really makes me want to read your book!

Signed: Someone who definitely isn't CarolineG.

Gillian McDade said...

Great answers - love the one about the Peters!
Will check out your book!

Caroline Rance said...

Great answers, Mike!

I've read the book and it's really, really funny, so everyone enter the draw and then if you don't win, go and buy it anyway.

Samantha Tonge said...

Great answers!

Nearly deleted you when i read your snack though, until you admitted chocolate - i mean really, how can anything organic or fat-free be inspiring?:)

Fionnuala Kearney said...

Loved your answers Mike. Always admire someone writing in longhand as I find it impossible and much prefer to think into a laptop! Will check out your book and imagine the chocolate you consumed while filling pads to get there.

Julie P said...

Excellent post, Mike. I'm always fascinated by other writers and what they get up to. I agree, writing is harder than you think! If only those non writers, who snort with derision when you tell them you write, and claim they would write, if only they had the time, would actually sit down and try it - that would wipe the sneer off their face, eh?!

Karen said...

Loved the Dan Brown comment - and the chocolate one. Very funny :o)

I also like the idea of walking your way into an idea!

danny.marsh said...

I don't even want the book.

Gary Wilson said...

Liked the comment on the 'escape hatch'.

Book will be going on my wish-list.