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An interview with Mrs Sunday Writer

December 13, 2009

A few weeks ago I handed over this column to my wife, to let other NaNo widows know how to cope with the trials and tribulations of November. After last week’s heavy-handed hints for Christmas gifts, this week you get to hear more from the person who takes secret note of gift lists, and provides coffee and back rubs in November…

Image used with kind permission, © 2009 Julia Anderson.

Paul has admitted to not being as well read as people might expect. Is there a book that Paul hasn’t read yet that really surprises you?
Julia: Until 3 weeks ago I would have said Brave New World. (Paul: I finished it at the start of the month) So now it would have to be The Lord of the Rings. He’s read The Hobbit, he loved the movies, but he hasn’t attempted to read the original novels.

Is there any book that Paul has read that really surprises you?
J: The Little Prince. And not just the fact that he’s read it, but how much he loves it as an adult. Even nigel molesworth thinks The Little Prince is “uterly wet and a weed”

Is there anything that you wish Paul would write more about?
J: Me!
P: Even though most characters in my stories suffer horrible misfortune and brutal deaths?

And is there anything that you wish Paul would write less about?
J: Women who aren’t me!
P: Duly noted…

Out of everything you’ve read, what is your favourite story by Paul?
J: The Christmas story he wrote and recorded a couple of years ago about the demon in the church. I’m still freaked out by his story set on the London Underground, so I can’t really call that a favourite!
P: The Long Watch Christmas story is still available as a podcast. The Tube story is currently unavailable, as I’m revising that for future use…

Who is your favourite character from Paul’s stories?
J: It has to be Gideon, because he’s Paul, but Paul with more confidence in himself, a side I’d like to see more of.

And is there a genre you’d like to see Paul tackle?
J: Poetry. For someone so good with words, he has so much trouble expressing himself in things like cards and notes, so I think poetry would challenge him and help him grow.
P: I have made a promise to write a sonnet in time for a certain someone’s birthday in 2010…

And now for some fun. On Julia’s hen night she was challenged to a Mr & Mrs style game to see how well she knew her husband to be. So let’s see how well she knows her writer…

Who is Paul’s favourite writer?
J: Probably HP Lovecraft, with Alexandre Dumas as second, if he ever gets round to actually reading him!
P: As much as I enjoy Lovecraft, and love the Lovecraftian Mythos, Edgar Allan Poe just edges out Lovecraft as my favourite writer. Poe could do it all: mystery, horror, satire, poetry, science, short stories, novellas—he was a genius.

When Paul was 11, he wrote a story for a school assignment about a ninja fighting what?
(a) Pirates
(b) Demons

J: He went to a Catholic school, so demons would be more his thing.
P: Then, as now, I am a little obsessional about the dark things of the night. The story was about a ninja with a magical sword, who had to travel into the underworld to reclaim the jewel that should be on the hilt of the sword, fighting demons along the way. It was, as you might imagine, awful…

Which Doctor Who episode left Paul breathless and wishing he could have written something that good?
J: Blink. Definitely Blink. It left me behind the sofa!
P: Stephen Moffat’s incredible standalone episode Blink. One of the genuinely terrifying episodes of the new Doctor Who series, and still in my opinion the best.

Julia is a lecturer, gardener, PhD student, and long-suffering wife of a writer. She lives in the West of London with one writer, 100 plants, and soon to be two leopard geckos
2 Comments
  1. December 13, 2009 4:57 am

    I can’t believe I forgot about Poe! I must have got fixated on the fact that one of the leopard geckos is going to be named Hastur after a Lovecraftian god…

  2. December 13, 2009 5:21 am

    what a wonderful insight into Pauls world. Thank you both for being honest and so upfront about things. I am now convinced that Paul is every bit as charming in ‘real life’ as he comes across as through his writing.

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