I’ve been a writer for most of my life - my fiction includes Here Today, Closing and Daddy’s Girls, all of which were published by the previous editor of newbooks, Elsbeth Lindner, when she was an editor at Methuen. My nonfiction includes the forthcoming Teach Yourself: Write Short Stories and Get Them Published (Hodder, November 2011), and interviews for newbooks.
High points of being a newbooks interviewer:
• discovering how people who consistently write bestselling and/or award-winning books manage it (clue: they work hard)
• finding treasure in a well-known author’s less well-known backlist
• thinking up questions that will get them to provide astonishing and previously undreamed-of revelations about themselves and their work.
And low ones:
• publicists who are only too pleased to set up the interview, but will they send the book? They will, but it will take three weeks. Yes, they know the interview is in two weeks, but the books are in the warehouse and that’s how long it takes to get them out.
• thinking you’ve extracted a unique and telling quote from someone, only to find that it’s all over the internet - they say that to everybody
• and an author who very kindly kicked off the interview by praising my books - only to make clear later that they were confusing me with someone else.