Today, it is my honour to host a blog interview with fellow Brightonian, Cally Taylor, author of Heaven Can Wait. I have, unfortunately, never met Cally and can only put this down to her canny ability to hide in shop doorways every time she spots a small, bald geezer in a hat. (I wear the hat to hide my halo.)
As I am near the end of the line of her interviewers – my fault as I was late in responding – I decided all the relevant questions would have been answered and what was needed were truly incisive, Paxman type questions that would get to the heart of Cally the woman. So, employing the old ruse of an imaginary dinner party, I planted my barbs:
Your publishers hold a dinner party and invite Eddie Izzard, Zadie Smith, Ewan McGregor, Joanne Murray, Pierce Brosnan and Ian McEwan. Being in charge of the seating arrangements, who do you seat where? Of real interest, of course, is the question of who you seat on either side of you. (Remember, Eddie is wearing much sexier shoes than you.)
Oooh, brilliant question. I’ll add here that I’m glad you told me that Joanne Murray is actually JK Rowling because I was looking at that name thinking, huh who’s that? Okay, so back to the question – as there’s seven of us I think I’d sit at the head of the table so I could look at everyone. I’d have JK Rowling on my right so I could chew her ear off over dinner (not literally obviously) and I’d have Ewan McGregor to my left so I could gaze at him. Next to Ewan I’d put Pierce so they could talk acting and Eddie Izzard would sit next to Pierce. Next to JK I’d put Ian McEwan and Zadie Smith. Basically I’d have actors and comedians on my left and writers on my right. How’s that for organised!
You may replace one person; who goes and who is the lucky person to be invited?
I’d replace Zadie Smith as I haven’t actually managed to finish any of her books yet so that could make for an embarrassing conversation. I’d replace her with Margaret Atwood, who I LOVE, instead!
You have to select the menu; what do you choose for each course?
Oooh gosh – this is where I show my ignorance about fine dining so my answers are going to be a bit vague I’m afraid. I’ve got a bit addicted to Masterchef Professional recently and frequently see dishes that make me think ‘yum’ but can never remember the name of them!
For starter we’d have something involving prawns and crab and maybe a bit of chilli. For main course we’d have something yummy with lamb and there would be a chocolaty dessert to finish up (I’m easily pleased).
You must begin the evening by asking each of your guests one question; what is it?
JK Rowling – When your Harry Potter books became international bestsellers it felt like the whole world was speculating about what would happen in the final book. With such a weight of expectation on your shoulders how did you manage to write it without having a nervous breakdown?
Pierce Brosnan – Do you regret singing in Mamma Mia?
Ewan McGregor – If your wife learnt how to ride a motorbike and wanted to join you on your round the world adventures with Charlie Boorman would you be pleased or would you secretly be gutted?
Ian McEwan - I really enjoyed your novel ‘Enduring Love’. What did you think of the film adaptation?
Eddie Izzard - What joke do you wish you’d written?
Margaret Atwood – If someone told you that all copies of your novels had to be destroyed and erased from public consciousness except one, which one would you save? Why?
At some point, someone starts on a serious topic - apart from books and writing, what would hold your attention: their eyes, the cut of their trousers, high heels, or the topic? If the latter, what?
If someone started talking (or ranting) on a topic it would be their passion that transfixed me as I’m interested in what makes people tick. How long I’d listen would depend on the topic and whether I felt I could join in the discussion. I got into quite a deep conversation about religion at a party last night so maybe that as a topic.
Your favourite person present suddenly turns and asks, "Is it true you used to have dreadlocks and nose ring and double jointed toes, and actually SOLD your Blue Peter badge?" Do you confess or deny?
I confess, of course! And then I’d think, wow, Margaret Atwood has visited the ’25 things about me’ section of my website!
Later in the evening, you actually wrestle Eddie for his shoes. What sort of shoes would reduce you to such an embarrassing state?
I’m not much of a shoe fan as a) I’m a size eight shoe and b) I’m tall enough already without wearing high heels, but whenever I see a celeb wearing these Christian Louboutin shoes I do make a little “Oooh” noise.
Eventually, after a glass too many, you ask a really naff question of one of the company - the kind that wakes you up in a cold sweat asking yourself, 'Did I really say that?'. What is that question and to whom is it addressed?
If I was drunk I’d probably ask Pierce Brosnan to say “I’m Bond, James Bond” and then instantly regret it!