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The Brentford Mercury

The S.F.X. Interview

The full text of an interview from SFX magazine

by M.J. 'Simo' Simpson



M What about something on the radio? Your books are very dialogue-heavy.

R Thatís a good idea. Again, itís very difficult. There isnít a lot of space on radio, because itíll be Radio 4, and on Radio 4 they repeat everything. They only have half a weekís programmes. They donít make very much. They really donít. Not in the way of plays and things. They make far less than they should. And thereís a backlog, goes back years. If you wrote a play, itíd be two years or something. All I can do is what I do for a living, which is to write books, and hope that one day somebody will go Ping! I got near with Joe Dante. Joe Dante was going to buy Armageddon. A fax came from Renfield Productions. He was going to buy Armageddon, and do you know why he couldnítí? because the Presley Foundatian refused to allow Elvis Presley to be used in that context.

M Hang on, hang on, hang on. I have ... reviews of worse things. I have a magazine at home with a review of a video called The Fucking Elvises.

R Thatíll have been done without permission!

M ĎSee so-and-so take nine hot loads of Elvis cumí or something. Now, thatís not been authorised.

R Whatís the one with the sky-diving Elvises?

M Viva Las Vegas? Something like that. Nicholas Cage was in it.

R Obviously in Hollywood, with Mr Gremlins, they said no.

M ĎWe wonít let him go through time with a sprout.í What is it with sprouts anyway?

R You donít think theyíre for eating, do youí? You donít have this misapprehension that people are supposed to eat them? You can commune with them. You can invite them into your home. Have you ever tasted one? Itís like eating a friend. Cannibalism, eating them. Do you like themí?

M With a bit of turkey, and plenty of gravy.

R I canít stand the sight of them. People used to put them in my pockets for a gag, because they knew Iíd put my hand in and go ĎBlurgh-agh!í

M Well, if you hate them so much, why do you write about them?

R Iíve got a soft spot for them. A certain affection. You donít actually have to like something to write about it.

M When I was reading The Most Amazing Man Who Ever Lived, thereís a bit in there where itís extremely obvious that you had just acquired The Wordsworth Dictionary Of Sex.

R (Collapses in giggles.) Isnít it a killer? You canít find those words anywhere else! When those books all came out at £1.99 I bought the lot. Theyíre killers, arenít they?

M When I read that bit I thought ĎThereís only one book that has these words in.í

R Nobody has a dictionary where you can find them anywhere else. Perhaps we ought to put a little asterisk, put the name of it in at the bottom. I donít buy fiction, but I do buy all this stuff. Thereís a book of euphemisms, Iíve been trying to find a way of using that. Textbooks are just full of joy. Theyíre full of wonderful information about weird shit. Itís magic. Use them whenever you can.

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