Monday, 16 June 2014

My first interview as a writer. (Kind of...)

Hello future me

This week I have decided to try something new.  Last week my 10 year old daughter came home from school with some homework, the topic, 'Interview someone'.  They were given a list of questions to ask and told that they could interview anyone, about anything.  I'll be honest I was well chuffed when she asked to interview me, but I wasn't sure how I could help, I'm just her Dad, what interesting things did I know about that would help in her homework.  So when I asked her why me, after all she has a great gran who lived through two World Wars, surely she would be more interesting then me, my daughter simply said...

'You're writing a book and I was wondering how you do it and why?'

Jeez, the things kids say.  So yesterday afternoon, we sat in the front room, my daughter with a writing pad and the better part of a dozen question, me with sweat on my brow and a glass of water, and we started the interview. 

So below is the interview that my daughter did with me.  If nothing else, it will prove to my daughters teachers that she did her homework, just in case she losses it on her way to school.

Interviewer - Amber
Interviewee - Me (Daddy)

Amber

So Daddy, thank you for helping me with my homework.  I have been asked to interview someone and I have decided that I would like to interview you and the reason why you are writing a book.  So my first question is why are you writing a book?
Me

Well Amber, firstly thank you for choosing me to interview, and to answer your question, writing is something I have always wanted to do and I am now at a stage in my life where I feel I am ready to give it a go.
Amber

That is very interesting.  So what's your book about?
Me

I would like to think that my book is about people and whether they are capable of making the right decisions when the time comes.  Good and bad choices are something that everyone has to make every day, the secret is to know which is which and what you should do when faced with a choice like that.
Amber

So it's like when Mummy asks me if I want a piece of fruit or a biscuit for a snack.  I know I should have the fruit, but I always want the biscuit.
Me

LOL.  Yes sweetheart, I suppose you could say that, but it's also more than that.  Sometimes the choices we are given can have a big effect on ourselves or those around us, and quite a lot of the time you find that it's up to you to figure out which is the right one.
Amber

So why is writing a book the right decision for you?
Me

I don't know that it is the right decision, all I can tell you is that at the moment it is something I believe I should do.  Besides, it beats watching some of the rubbish on the TV.
Amber

The 'Amazing World of Gumball' isn't rubbish, we both like watching that.  And I love 'Frozen', that's not rubbish either.
Me

No, I agree they are both worth watching, but there is more to life than TV.  It's a big world out there kiddo, you have to try and experience as much as you can, whilst you can, and for me writing a book is one of those experiences.
Amber

Okay.  My next question.  Is writing a book easy?
Me

Now that is a good question.  I think I will have to say no, no it isn't easy, but it is good fun.
Amber

So why do it if it isn't easy?
Me

Why not?  Why do you play with the toys you play with?  Why do you have the friends you have?  Sometimes things are difficult and you can choose to not do them, or you can challenge yourself to do it, so that when you have finished you can say 'Hey, look what I've done.'  And then sometimes it has to be done because someone tells you too.  But I'm doing it because I enjoy it, it is hard at times, and sometimes I want to give up, but I don't, because I would feel like I'm letting myself, you, your sister and your Mummy down and that's the last thing I want to do.
Amber

You could never let us down Daddy.  So do you have any advice for anyone who wants to write a book?
Me

Yes. Read, read and then read some more and then write, about anything, whatever comes into your head.  I believe that everyone has a story to tell, it can be about anything, ponies, sweets, monsters or princesses.  You could write about a princess that lives in a marshmallow tower and is waiting for her prince to rescue her, but there's a booger monster that makes it difficult to get to her.  It's up to you to decide how the princess got in to that tower, or why she's there.  Why is the booger monster a booger monster, and why has he trapped the princess.
Amber

Eew.  Daddy, a booger monster, that's disgusting.
Me

I'm sorry, but I bet you could write a very cool story using what I have just said.  I think the best advice I could give anyone when it comes to writing is simply write and see what happens.
Amber

I'll try that after this interview.  I've almost finished, I only have a couple of questions left.  My next question is this.  What do you hope will happen when you have finished writing your book?
Me

I hope someone will read it and like it.  I don't think I can really ask for anymore than that.
Amber

Well when you've finished it, I'll read it, and I know I'll love it.
Me

Thank you Amber, that's all I could hope for.
Amber

Last question Daddy and then I'm going to write that story about the booger monster.  Okay, in one sentence can you tell we what it is like to be a writer.
Me

I'll try, but that's a difficult question.  Firstly I don't think I am a writer, not yet, but I can tell you what I think it's like to want to be a writer.  It's hard work, but it's also rewarding.  I get to imagine a story and then it's my job to try and make it interesting and good enough so that when I put it on paper someone will want to read it.   I haven't got to that stage just yet, but I'm hoping one day that will come.
Amber

Well I'm sure that your book will be brilliant Daddy and I can't wait until I am old enough to read it.  That's the end of the interview Daddy.  Thank you for answering my question and helping me with my homework.  I hope your book, when you've finished, is really good and that lots of people want to read it.
Me

I hope so too sweetheart.  Thank you for interviewing me today Amber.
Amber

Your welcome.  And Daddy, I love you.
Me

I love you too kiddo.
----------------------------------------------------
 
 
I think the reason why I have written this in my journal today is for two reasons.  Firstly, and foremost, it's a moment that I shared with my eldest daughter that I don't want to forget.  I believe that yesterday I saw a glimpse of the woman she's going to be and it may sound cheesy but I was so proud of her and grateful for sharing her world with me,
 
Secondly, sometimes it takes a child to simplify things.  As an adult it is in my nature to over think things, especially when it comes to my writing.  Questions plague me constantly. 
 
Is it good enough?
Will someone like it?
Will an agent like it?
Is it a best seller?
The list is endless...
 
And yesterday, thanks to my daughter, I learnt that writing isn't all about what happens when you've finished, yes it plays a big part of it, but the bottom line, for me anyway, is I just want to enjoy writing a story where I have managed to put everything I can be on to a page in the hope that one day others will read and hopefully enjoy it.
 
Kids.  I couldn't live without mine.  Thank you Amber for reminding me why it is I started writing in the first place.  Will I ever write a book that one day will be read by others?  Will I be able to make a living from writing?  Who knows, and right now, who cares.  I write because it helps me, if what I write can help someone else, then bonus, but there's a lot of stuff to do before I reach that point and maybe I should stop thinking about it like that.  Hell, if what I read on the interweb is to be believed I may as well buy a lottery ticket for all the good it will do, but that doesn't stop me from doing it.
 
By the way, the story of the Princess and the Booger Monster was excellent. 
 
That's it for now, look after yourself people, but above all, Stay cool.
 
Pip  x