Five Facetious Questions:
1. So you’re a published author, almost a minor celebrity and for some reason you’ve been let into a party full of ‘A-listers’ – what do you do?
I would ask them what it was like being on a reality television program.
2. Every writer spends at least one afternoon going from bookshop to bookshop making sure his or her latest book is facing out and neatly arranged. How far have you gone to draw attention to your own books in a shop?
I’m hacking into the Booktopia mainframe as we speak to do the same thing, digitally.
3. Some write because they feel compelled to, some are Artists and do it for the Muse, some do it for the cash (one buck twenty a book) and some do it because they think it makes them more attractive to the opposite sex – why do you do write? (NB: don’t say -‘cause I can’t sing, tap or paint!)
I write because the voices in my head become socially acceptable if they’re wearing quotation marks.
4. Have you ever come to the end of writing a particularly fine paragraph, paused momentarily, chuffed with your own genius, only to find you’ve been sitting at the computer nude or with your dress half-way over your head or shaving cream on your face or toilet paper sticking out the back of your undies or paused to find that you’re singing We are the Champions at the top of your voice, having exchanged the words ‘we are’ for ‘I am’ and dropping an ‘s’?
YES! All of the above! No really, ALL of the above! Except I try not to shave in a dress, it’s not gender compliant.
I don’t know who Rodin is. And is ‘thinker’ a euphemism? Either way, how did Rodin go to the toilet if there was already a thinker on it? Did Rodin not suffer performance anxiety? Was Rodin married? How did his wife feel about him sharing a toilet? I imagine she would have been fine if it was at a music festival portaloo and shove came to push, but in the privacy of their own home, would it not be awkward?
In all seriousness though, if I’ve had more than a whiff of a half-strength soy latte in the last week I usually wake up at about 3.30am with some crazy plan, which I then write down on my iPhone, before going back to sleep and realising at midday the next day that quitting my day job to make tomato relish full time probably isn’t the smartest idea.
Matt, thank you for playing.
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.