Now, to make us all feel better about the terrible weather, here is an interview with the lovely Matt Haig. His novel 'The Humans' was published a couple of weeks ago by Canongate. Here's what Jeanette Winterson had to say about it: 'Matt Haig uses words like a tin-opener. We are the tin.' She speaks the truth. It's a fantastic book. I devoured it on a couple of train journeys.
Here's the blurb:
One wet Friday evening, Professor Andrew Martin of Cambridge University solves the world's greatest mathematical riddle. Then he disappears.
When he is found walking naked along the motorway, Professor Martin seems different. Besides the lack of clothes, he now finds normal life pointless. His loving wife and teenage son seem repulsive to him. In fact, he hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton. And he's a dog.
It's a wonderful book. Everyone who replies to this blog post by Sunday 2nd June will have their name put into a hat. The name pulled out of that hat will win a copy of The Humans. The giveaway is open worldwide.
So... pull up a seat!
So... pull up a seat!
Hi Matt! Welcome.
You say that The Humans is the book you're most proud of writing. Why?
It felt different, writing this book. It sort of came with its own energy. It feels the most me, out of everything I've written. I just went where I wanted to go and didn't care if that included frowned upon things - romantic comedy, sentimentality, science-fiction and even a bit of self-help.
How long did it take you to write?
Thirteen years, in that I first had the idea thirteen years ago. But it took me a long, long time to gain the confidence I needed. The actual writing of it took only a few months. It was very fast.
You must have looked at the human race from some very strange angles when writing this book. What do you think humans do too much of? What don't we do enough of? Did you make some self discoveries along the way?
I think we do too much worrying over the small things. I think we need to be a bit more philosophical. We're also very good at seeing the differences between each other, and our fears lead us to a whirlpool of regrets.
(Jen: Everyone should take a look at this, by the way
How do you think your writing has evolved over the years?
I have got slightly more optimistic. Some would say more sentimental. I think I have got braver. I used to be a bit more self-consciously 'literary'. I now try and forget all that stuff and just tell a story. I'm not scared of telling jokes either, these days.
What are the most important things about the publishing world that you didn't know when you started out, but found out along the way?
There is a London bias. No-one will admit this, but it is inevitable. If you live in London and are out-and-about at the right parties, and know the right people, favours inevitably happen. That's not cynicism, it's just the way it is.
What parts of your writing career, so far, have you enjoyed the most?
The writing, when it is going well, is the best thing about this job. When it is going badly, or not at all, then it is the worst. Other than that meeting readers who have, in whatever way, been affected by what I've written.
What are your plans for the future?
I have been asked to write the screenplay for The Humans, so that is my immediate plan. I have also written a book for teenagers called The Echo Boy, that should be out next year. Oh, and a HOLIDAY.
I think that a holiday sounds like a splendid idea! Best of luck with The Humans, Matt!
Everyone who replies to this blog post by Sunday 2nd June will have their name put into a hat. The name pulled out of that hat will win a copy of The Humans. The Giveaway is open worldwide.