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An interview with myself about my first book.

I try to take a do it yourself attitude with my life and I don't see why I should only get interviewed if someone else wants to do an interview.  Therefore I sat down with myself recently and asked myself a few questions about my debut collection of poems, stories and illustrations soon to be published by Burning Eye Books "In Heaven the Onions Make You Laugh".


Q.  So Rob, what made you want to write a book about the Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney?  I didn't even know you were that into football.

A. What?  It isn't about Wayne Rooney.

Q. Ok no need to shout. Next question.  How many pages are there in your book and did you take your favourite number into account when thinking about how many pages to put in?

A. No. What? What are you doing? Who wrote these questions?

Q. Next question.  If you saw your own book in a second hand shop would you buy it?

A. No. Look can't you ask me something about the book that might help me sell it?

Q. What like?

A. Like "how long ago was the oldest poem written that appears in the book?

Q. Probably about five years ago I think,  that was when I started keeping the things I had written.  Everything else got thrown away.

A. This is meant to be the answer.

Q. I will continue with the questions thanks.  Do you have a place in mind where you would like people to read your book when/if they buy it?

A. Well ideally they would read it when they are reading the news on BBC1.  I would like to see Fiona Bruce reading it out on the news. She has a nice face and voice. It is a winning combination.  Neither are too distracting, her face goes with her voice. 

Q. Did you see it that time when Fiona Bruce did the Weather Forecast and the Weather girl read the news?  They swapped places but the weather girl kept standing up and saying things like "and murder will be widespread across the south tonight with slight outbreaks of love" she kept doing things with her arms like when was doing the weather.  Fiona Bruce just sat in a chair in front of the weather graphics and wasn't that good.

A. No I didn't see it.

Q. What do you mean? OK look this interview isn't going at all well, why don't you tell me a bit about the book.  Where did you get the idea for the title 'In Heaven the Onions Make You Laugh'?

A. I have always liked the idea of Heaven and Hell.  Two places that are full of people.  It's weird, how can it be Heaven if there are other people there? Also how can it be Hell if there are other people there?  I have got two bags already packed under my bed, one for if I go to Heaven and one for if I get sent to Hell.  I haven't got much in the Heaven bag really, a tube of Salt and Vinegar Pringles and all the Curb your Enthusiasm DVDs.  The Hell bag is full of plain crisps, free newspapers and knives.  So to answer your question the title came from me crying when I was cutting up some oninions and thinking... oh wait that was a good typo. Oninions. It's like the layers of an onion. You've got to peel off the onins of onininininions.  Like the word queue because of the ueue forming a queue behind the q... the title came from me crying when I was cutting up some oninions and thinking "if I was in Heaven I would be laughing now," but the thing was I started laughing when I had that idea so... no this can't be Heaven, there are too many pigeons with bad feet.

Q. What made you want to write a book?

A. I didn't want to write a book to start with, I wanted to write something down that I had an idea for.  I kept writing these things down and they came together over a number of years to make this book.  It's a collection of pieces of paper with writing and pictures stuck together down one side with a cover. I guess that is what a book is.  Magazines are floppy books, or are they big paperback books? I don't know. I wanted to make this thing because nobody has ever written a book by me before, and nobody is going to write a book by me any time soon.  If you want to hold a book that you have written you have to write it.  Unless you are a footballer, or another type of famous person, then you can get somebody to write a book by you for you.  Jack White said "we just want to create things that we want to see exist" and I guess that's how I feel about this book.  I hope that doesn't make this "vanity publishing" like they were talking about on Peep Show.  I don't think it is.  If I was the only person to have my book I would be happy with that. As long as I have got it that's ok.  It's my favourite book.  If your own book isn't your favourite book you have written the wrong book. It's like your own body not being your favourite body, and I'm not saying I love my body I am saying I like my hand because I can use my hand and I can't use your hand.  For me it is like cooking, I want to cook myself a really nice meal and eat it and enjoy it.  If someone is sat across the table and says "what's that you've made? It smells really nice."  I would say "Oh do you want some? I will go and make you some". In this case I would give them a book.

Q. Is there anything in the book about Aliens?

A. No.

Q. Don't you think that would help reach out to a Sci Fi audience?

A. Yes.

Q. Then why didn't you write anything about aliens?

A  Mainly because I have never had an idea about an alien.

Q. Why not? Don't you think that the fact that there are people getting paid to look for aliens is incredible?

A. Next question.


A. No.

Q. Aliens.

A. Is that it? Are you done? Why are you painting your face green?

Q. Aliens.

a. That's oil paint you know.  That isn't going to come off that easily. You are going to have to clean your face with something that is going to sting your eyes.

Q. Pass me the red.

A. No

Q. Pass me the red.

A. Get off me you are getting paint on my jumper.


A. You are a man with oil paint on his face... who is now eating a Twix.  Where did you get that?

Q. From the kitchen

A. This is not an answer.

Q. Whm id pudling veh bvuk?

A. I can't understand you with your mouth full.

Q. Sorry. Who is publishing the book?

A. A publishing house called Burning Eye Books.

Q. Do they have a website?

A. Yes it is

Q. Do you want a cup of tea?

A. Yes please.

Q. So do I, can you use the kettle this time? Last time you just ran the hot tap for ages, filled up a cup, then put a teabag in.

A. That is how I make tea.

Q. You don't use the hot tap to make tea. The hot water from the tap is not for drinking.  There is stuff in it that makes it bad.

A. What like?

Q. I don't know, whatever makes it hot. The hot contaminates it. Cold is pure. Hot is polluted.

A. Polluted with heat?

Q. Yes. Heat pollution.  We should do this again sometime.

A. You are covered in green paint.

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