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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Never interview a comedy writer and expect serious answers!

Boring Author Interviews Revisited
Craig Zerf
What’s so great about your crap book? (Don't want the boring details, a couple of lines is suffice!)
It’s shorter than the bible, cheaper than the Mona Lisa and funnier than the plague. 

What do you really think about erotica? Is it the low of the lows for writers?
I believe that perversion is simply another art form, albeit stickier than most. Surely no writer can sink lower than copywriting for a multinational?

Amazon.com | Amazon.UK
You're (so far) the second to say that in these interviews, and it's not something I've thought about until now, but I think you're right.

If you didn’t have your book professionally edited: What made you think you’re so perfect that you didn’t need to pay a professional?
Paid a pro!

Yawn, so basically you're the same as all the rest of the authors on Amazon and you’re the Next Best Thing. I don’t think so. Come on, tell me why should I spend time reading YOUR book over more well-received authors?
Unlike most books available on Amazon – mine has been completely re-mastered in full 2D. It contains a cast of thousands and no expense has been spared. Must have done something right as it was voted Best Read by BBC Radio 4!

Is there an author who inspires (perspires) you? Do you think you write better than them?
Is your aim to out-sell them?

Richard Bach…he wrote Jonathan Livingstone Seagull back in the 70’s. I mean…it’s like 10 pages long and it sold over 40 million copies. Genius – lazy and wealthy. I’d love to outsell him.

In the writing world, have you ever regretted anything i.e written your own review (or written a bad review on a competitor's novel), argued on-line, copied someone else's idea?
Pretended that I was R.R. Martin at a recent book fair. Wasn’t a problem until he actually arrived.
OMG! Bet that was awkward.

What qualifications do you have for writing in your genre? Many authors use their qualifications to show off their so-called talents i.e. crime writers are often coppers (police, for the non-Brits present) and the book becomes boringly technical. How have you managed to keep your knowledge low key? Or haven’t you bothered?
I drink whisky well. Very well. In fact, some would say that I have a gift. This can be seen in most of my writing…do I see that as showing off? No, probably not.

If I were to read your book would I have to scroll through lots of acknowledgements saying how wonderful your book is before I got to the meat of a story?
I put all the acknowledgements at the back where they should be.

What part of the world do you come from? What do you think of your government?

Originally from South Africa but now I live in England. It is no secret that the South African government both blows and sucks mightily.

If your book is set outside England would I understand your jargon? I mean, fanny means lady front parts NOT backside, car hood is a car bonnet--everyone knows that, right? Are British Englishisms/Americanisms/Australianisms etc important in your book? It's all about identity, isn't it?
My books are set both in a mystical middle-earth type environment as well as current day earth. I make liberal use of Englishisms/Americanisms/Australianisms/Malopropisms and even solipsisms (although not so much of that last one).
Why that shitty title? Did you run out of ideas?
I built the title first and then I knew that the story would follow.

Your titles are, er, interesting. Plob? Really? I blame the whiskey.

If you were me (you know, perfect) and knew nothing about a person and you were told to interview them, what’s the one question you would ask? (answer it).
Q: If cloning were possible, how many versions of me would you invite to your perfect dinner party?
A: Huh?
Two. Then I'd pour a single whiskey, hand you both two loaded guns and leave the room, locking the door on the way out. You'd be sure to shoot one another to get to the whiskey. Perfect.

How long did it take you to complete your book (from idea to publication)? If it took under a year to write: It didn’t take you long to write so does that mean it is poorly researched, edited and written on a whim? If it took over a year to write: Does that mean this book is boringly long and laborious to read?

Writing started on my book many, many years before I was even born. Some might consider this over-researched…others may simply view it as an example of Divine Providence.
You began in the womb. Now, that's talent!

Do you have any bad habits, or stupid rituals you HAVE to do in order to write?
When opening my first bottle of the day I always throw away the top. This prevents me from wimping out and drinking anything less than necessary.

Authors are usually labelled as ‘dreamers’ and ‘loners’. Have you been labelled as such? And what implications do you think that has on a writer?

Mark Twain once said, “Be good and you will be lonely.”
I am never good – thus, I am never lonely.

What do you think of social media (pick one answer):
1. Somewhere to advertise my book.
2. Somewhere to interact with other writers.
3. Somewhere to find information.
4. All of the above.

1, 2 and 3…but never 4.

Does ‘being a writer’ make you feel like an outsider with normal, everyday people such as your family and friends?
My family do not know that I am a writer. I tell them that I play the piano in a ‘House of ill repute.’ As for friends…well, I make up new ones every day.
Describe your perfect death (in case I have to kill you)?
I am happy with any death…as long as it doesn’t involve a ferret, a tub of axel grease and four pounds of English cheddar.

Give me the first, middle and end line in your book.

  1. Plob
  2. Horgy stood up in front of the gathering. ‘Good people, I give you, Munge and Peasants Vegetable Industries.’
  3. With a stomach that felt full of lead and a heart that flopped in his chest like a stranded goldfish, Plob lurched nervously on down to meet with Death.
Craig Zerf, sober? No? Thought not...

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