Hauling Like A Brooligan

Stephen Gallagher

Johnny Hollywood, the Commentary

You may be curious as to why I appear to have a habit of interviewing myself, so the previous post could benefit from some explanation.

The first Johnny Hollywood entry came about as a result of a freelance journalist contacting me through my publisher to request an interview for a well-known magazine. I said okay, he sent me a list of his questions, and I imagine I must have put in an hour, maybe two, drafting the kind of responses I’d be happy to live with.

I never got to see the piece he wrote, but I gather that he’d canvassed about a dozen different writers with the same list of questions. From all the responses he cherry-picked selective quotes. Which is… well, it’s not illegitimate. I’m not even saying it’s wrong.

But I reckon it’s pushing it, a bit.

Rather than see the words wasted, I shunted them onto the blog. A few weeks ago another interview request showed up in my mailbox. I didn’t know the sender but she has a site for aspiring writers, from which it’s obvious that she’s sincere. Now, I never want to forget that my roots are in fandom – old-school fandom, the kind where the convention book rooms were huge and the screening programs tiny, of zines and apas that were often the nursery slopes for the next generation of pros. I’m conscious of my debt to the Bob Shaws and Rob Holdstocks of that world, so I try to behave as I think they would.

Well, as soon as I got a spare hour I fired off my responses, and despite a follow-up query it’s been radio silence ever since. So I chopped out some early-career stuff you may have read before, and onto the blog it went.

So here’s the outcome of that. In setting up a website and later a blog I made myself accessible, but maybe the internet now makes it too easy to get hold of people and some boundaries are called for. So if you want to ask me anything, ask me here, where it’s personal.

But if you’re setting out with Google and a list of boilerplate questions, looking to drum up some content from someone whose work you’ve never even read, from now on I’m gonna have to pass.

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One response to “Johnny Hollywood, the Commentary”

  1. Thanks Steve – fascinating and enlightening . . and it was only a short throw beyond December08 !
    I had a feeling you were JH.