An Interview with Ben Myers
Ben Myers’s second novel, Richard, is a illusory comment of a life and successive disappearance of Richey Edwards, ex-guitarist and lyricist for a rope Manic Street Preachers. It was published in a UK by Picador in October, 2010. It’s delicately researched, darkly humorous and cleverly written. It’s not odd to hear someone contend something to a outcome of, “There’s no such thing as a good stone and hurl novel” — a subsequent time we hear someone contend this, indicate them towards this book.
A song journalist, essayist, and poet, Myers has created biographies of bands like Green Day, Muse, and The Clash, and is a author of a prior novel, The Book of Fuck. He lives in England.
Hi Ben, how’s things? Are we happy with a approach a announcement of Richard has left so far? Is it how we illusory it would be?
Hi Chris, things are good. Yes, I’m happy with how a book has been received. Reactions have ranged from one impassioned to another — from readers and reviewers — and we am utterly gratified there has been no center ground. Publishing a book is a bizarre process. There are lots of opposing emotions: pride, embarrassment, horror, joy, doubt, anxiety, blankness, etc.
Okay, can we describe:
a) A impulse of fun re: Richard?
I’ve never told anyone this before, yet many months before a book was even published, Brad Pitt’s prolongation association in Los Angeles got in hold to ask a duplicate with a perspective to bettering it into a film. That wasn’t a impulse of fun yet — some-more one of mirth. Imagine a Hollywood chronicle of a unequivocally Welsh story… well, it’s unthinkable, isn’t it?
b) A impulse of fear re: Richard?
There were some typing errors that slipped underneath a radar and onto a page. That was frustrating.
c) The best thing we can suspect function re: your essay career?
we get to write any day during a moment, and infrequently eat food, so as prolonged as that continues I’ll be happy. we only wish to keep essay forever, basically.
d) The misfortune thing we can suspect function re: your essay career?
That’s easy: carrying to stop essay and get a full-time job, or my arms descending off.
Without giving too many away, a structure of Richard is engaging and — in my opinion — unequivocally satisfying. Was a structure of a novel something we knew we wanted to do from a start, or was it only something that came naturally as we were essay it?
we motionless on a structure right from a start, that was a bit of depart as we routinely only start essay and see what happens (and that’s accurately since we have a raise of unpublished novels — see below). we knew we wanted a twin account using via yet removing it filigree together coherently was a challenge.
How prolonged did it take we to write?
The initial breeze took 6 months of researching, essay — and infrequently clear to people — all day, any day. And meditative too: I’d contend that meditative about essay yet typing a singular word can be critical too. Then over a march of another 6 to 9 months it went by a array of edits between my editor during Picador and myself.
Did we have any arrange of daily rituals or constants or anything?
we took adult running, actually. we used to splash clever coffee and write all day, afterwards run spin an abandoned, disproportionate Victorian cemetery, infrequently in a snow, infrequently in a mud. we stopped using when we finished a book yet we travel a lot — a few miles a day — and find that a repeated suit is utterly good for clearing a head. we listened to a lot of Krautrock — Can, Neu!, etc. — too while essay a book, that has many a same effect. we also listened to a lot of late ’80s/early ’90s indie music, as that is a universe in that a book is set. And, yes, we listened to utterly a lot of a Manic Street Preachers. Probably too much, in fact.
Did we find a significant basement limiting or helpful?
It was always going to be a fact-based novel, so a significant aspects were easier to write as they indeed happened and have been good documented in magazines, TV clips, and anecdotally, too. It was a some-more talented elements that were harder to write since we was forced to make some utterly immeasurable assumptions about a mindset of Richey Edwards.
What greeting have Manic Street Preachers fans had towards a book? Have we had any bizarre instances of fan mail/hate mail, or people entrance adult to we in person? we theory what I’m observant is, “Are they mental?”
Manic Street Preachers fans are positively committed, consistent and ardent — and that translates in several ways. we get sent some unequivocally poetic messages from people who found something they favourite about a book — and we have had utterly a lot of people thanking me for essay about subjects such as masculine anorexia, depression, etc. I’ve also review some flattering disastrous things too. All points are valid. The many ban reviews of a book seemed online while we was still essay it; they are rather reduction valid. Are Manics fans mental? No, we don’t consider so. Or if they are, they sojourn unequivocally articulate.
we know you’re utterly prolific. How many novels have we created in total? And can we contend a small about any one?
Here is a brief relapse of how and since we have scarcely sent myself violent and/or broke on a series of occasions:
Steady Diet Of Nothing (1999, unpublished)
“Student with christ formidable gathers followers, manipulates their emotions, embarks on teenager terrorism campaign.”
Siren City Soundtrack (2000, unpublished)
Loosely-linked ultra-short stories created while drunk. Beyond that we don’t remember what this was indeed about.
The Book Of Fuck (written 2000, published UK 2004 / Italy 2005)
“Hapless song publisher travels by a London song underworld and to Los Angeles to talk a semi-mythical rock-star-in-hiding.”
(Interlude: a series of non-fiction books and some communication chapbooks created and published between 2003 and 2006. About 4 or five, we think)
The Missing Kidney (2005, unpublished)
“Recollections of an youth medical mishap trigger some complicated day literary epiphanies.” Essentially a diary of “where my conduct was at” in 2005.
I, Axl (An American Dream) (2007, published as a blog)
The story of Axl Rose, a LA song stage of a 1980s and his extended exile, told exclusively by poetry.
Dreams of Luminous Lines (2008, unpublished)
“Two friends spin 30 and try to cope with life by unresolved around riverbanks, ponds, canals, and waterways of Britain, not throwing fish and ruminating on life. Arrests and injuries occur, yet so do adore affairs and ‘insight.’”
Richard (published 2010)
“The life and disappearance of Richey Edwards.”
— /—- (2009, work in progress)
— / — / — / — / — / —- / — /—— (2010-2011, work in progress)
Can we consider of any other good stone and hurl novels?
Kill Your Friends by John Niven is a good stone ‘n’ hurl novel. Absolute Beginners by Colin MacInnes, also. The best stone ‘n’ hurl novels substantially don’t indeed underline bands though, yet are some-more about a suggestion of it, so in a approach some of Knut Hamsun’s characters are stone ‘n’ roll, or Henry Miller’s pithy passionate shenanigans, or a ancient Chinese producer Li Po, who used to get dipsomaniac on hillsides and try and locate a moon in his hands. He was stone ‘n’ roll. we consider a thing about “rock ‘n’ roll” is we only can’t take it seriously. You can pledge that any rope or chairman who considers themselves that these days is anything but. It seems to only meant wearing a bullet belt and removing unequivocally drunk, when unequivocally it should about freedom, non-conformity, anti-establishment attitudes, acts of sedition, a violation down of racial/sexual boundaries, a consistent risk of gibe and — maybe many importantly — individuality. As a sorrow happy black man, Little Richard was unequivocally stone ‘n’ roll, yet it seems that a genre was fast co-opted by America to sell a dream of itself abroad, alongside Levis, burgers, cars, etc. A useful sales too, basically. Nowadays it seems as incomprehensible a tenure as “punk” or “alternative” or “RB.” we wish we don’t sound sour or sentimental observant this, as I’m unequivocally not. It’s only a approach things go, isn’t it? Whatever happens subsequent will substantially be some-more exciting. we seem to have digressed somewhat. Sorry about that.
No worries, Ben. Okay, one final question: What is something that no one has asked we in an email talk that we would like many to be asked in an email talk like this?
we always wanted to be asked “What is something that no one has asked we in an email talk that we would like many to be asked in an email talk like this?” So we suspect a dream has only been fulfilled. Or maybe, “Do we trust that when we die a earthy form passes over into a devout realm, place or height giveaway of a constraints of ‘matter’, before afterwards going by something of a re-birth of sorts, presumably heading to reincarnation as an choice species, plant or gas?”, to that we would substantially have to reply, “I wouldn’t know about any of that.”