It’s time for the next King’s CROWNing Authors (Cajoling Random Observations Now) interview. Please welcome, Jonathan Eyers.
1. Why are snowflakes unique? (answer must contain a word with no vowels)
How about a whole answer with no vowels? Shy sky-nymphs fly by – why pry?
2. Have you ever chewed a pencil?
I have a couple of chewed pencils, so I hope it was me that chewed them… Though I should have learnt my lesson about not putting writing implements in my mouth during a German exam when I was 14. I was thoughtfully sucking on my biro and got a mouthful of ink. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a mouthful of biro ink, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It is extremely bitter and has an instant anaesthetic effect, numbing the tongue. I spent the next ten minutes surreptitiously spitting into a tissue (good job I had one, wasn’t it?) because I couldn’t leave the exam. I only got a C in the end. I’ll just blame the ink-in-mouth incident.
3. What is your favourite writing utensil?
Parker fountain pens. I write all first drafts by hand in the same exercise books I’ve been using for over a decade (250 words per page, 12,000 words per book…). Fountain pens just flow across the page without needing any pressure applied. Writing with biros for a couple of hours leaves me with a cramped claw instead of a useable hand, which is no good for opening chocolate bars, wielding a sword or rescuing cats from trees (I only do one of these things on an average writing day). Plus fountain pen ink doesn’t taste as bad as biro ink…
4. What do you do when not writing?
I eat chocolate bars and worry about what I wrote five minutes ago/this morning/last weekend. Seriously, though, I think it’s important to get some distance from it. I actually became a lot more productive once I stopped being a student/unemployed and got a day job to distract me from hours spent pondering over the next sentence. Plus I work in publishing, so get paid to sniff the freshly printed pages of new books hot off the press. And you can’t beat that.
Last year. It didn’t come true. It was probably just an aeroplane.
6. Have you ever done an Oliver Twist?
Asked for more? Yes. Picked a pocket or two? No. Or is Oliver Twist rhyming slang? Something to do with my fist, or making a list?
7. I drop kicked a book once because it scared the ***** outta me. You?
Yes. But it was an ebook. I can’t read ebooks any more (you can probably work out why).
8. I want more pictures in books, can you make that happen?
Well, I work in publishing, so I could make it happen. But I think somebody would notice. I completely agree, however. I recommend The Imaginary by A F Harrold for a modern children’s novel where illustrations really enhance the text. A great YA novel that makes good use of graphical elements is The Private Blog of Joe Cowley by Ben Davis.
9. OK, name your writing drink of choice, is it a hot cuppa, soda, sour cream…
Very strictly nothing at all. When I have a drink in front of me I become an inveterate but oblivious sipper. This leads to all-too-frequent trips to a room where no writing ever gets done. Or, if it’s been red wine I’ve been sipping, all-too-frequent trips on the way to the room where no writing ever gets done.
10. Please write a question for me.
If it became the law that on a specific day each year (let’s say 11th March) you had to give a book to the person you despise the most, which one would you give them?
Ah, good question. I would give them The Boy in The Stripped Pyjamas and smile sweetly and say, ‘This is just a little kids book. The movies is fierce bad altogether but this is a cute little kiddy book. You should read it.’
You see, Jonathan, that was the book that I once drop kicked. I had to read it as part of my postgrad and the lecturer lied and sang of it’s kid book sweet status. I scared me and left me with wounds so dire that I kicked it across the room, limped away and ugly cried. I did finish it. And that was the start of me realising the power of telling a HUGE story in a tiny way.
About Jonathan Eyers
Jonathan Eyers does not like writing about himself in the third person, but apart from that he was born in Essex, England, and studied English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. He currently works as an Assistant Editor for a major independent publisher and lives in Highgate, North London.
He is represented by the Darley Anderson Literacy Agency.
Read more like this – Lu Hersey