in conversation with
This letter was received at the Whispers of Wickedness office, marked for the attention of the sites non-fiction editor:-
Dear Mr Tennant,
Liza Granville is currently recovering in a private clinic. In spite of severe injuries received when falling onto the dessert trolley, she is courageously adamant that her commitments be honoured and has asked me to listen to the taped interview with Mr Deadwood and attempt to set it down on paper. Some of the dialogue, particularly towards the end of the conversation, proved difficult to transcribe. I hope it means something to you.
As Ms Granvilles literary agent, I have the pleasure of enclosing the invoice for her fee plus expenses. The bill for medical costs will be forwarded under separate cover. Please note that my terms are 28 days.
Quentin Cyff-Gwawd, BA (Hons.) Aberystwyth.
Accompanying the letter was the following transcribed conversation:-
LG: This is Liza Granville reporting from the Savoir Faire in London. First, my thanks to Peter Tennant whose generosity has made an interview with the author Steve Redwood in such illustrious surroundings possible. Sitting here, beneath the potted psalms, listening to the orchestra tuning up, I am, I confess, a little nervous. Am I over-dressed? Am I under-dressed? Is my lipstick too red? Are my heels too high? Is the cantilevered effect of my new steel-under-wired brassiere too extreme? Mr Redwood is an extremely handsome man of the world. I have studied his devil-may-care good looks on the Prime site for countless hours, noting that the panel to the right of his photograph bears the question: See something you like? Yes! I exclaim, misting the monitor with my warm breath, Yes! And yes! And yes! It is my hope, dear reader, that this will be a meeting of minds as well as er as well.
Four oclock. He is a little late. The waiter hovers. I flick through Who Needs Cleopatra? Outside the sun beats down upon the crowded pavements. The hoi polloi go about their business. A ragged vagabond presses his bulbous nose against the window. I shield my face with the book.
There is a shuffling behind me. I glance over my shoulder to see a disreputable creature of the type only London can breed. I shudder. He sticks out his trembling hand. The smell! Anxious to be rid of him before the magnificent Mr Redwood appears--first appearances matter so much, Im sure you will agree-- I press a fiver into the vagrants outstretched palm. He hurriedly pockets it. And sticks his hand under my nose again.
LG: Go away. Shoo. Get out of it. Piss off!
OAF: But sme. Redwood.
LG: No. No. No(gasp). Such disappointment can hardly be borne. Please take your feet off the table. Please put your shoes back on.
SR: Wheres the grub? You promised me a good feed. Camarero!
LG: Please dont spit.
SR: Petes paying. Lets have two of everything on the menu.
LG: Lapsang souchong for me, please and
SR: Beer. What? What? I didnt come all the way from Madrid for blummin tea. (Pause. Cough.) Thats a very nice blouse-top thingey youre wearing, Lydia
SR: Not much material gone into that. No wonder they make so much money, these fashion types. Good job its a warm day.
LG: (coldly) Were here to talk about your latest book Who Needs Cleopatra?
SR: Ah-ha-ha! Grub. Blimey, the sandwiches are a bit small. Same again, camarero. Nice of them to take the crusts off though, seeing as Im temporarily dentally challenged.
LG: What? Ugh. Oh, please, please, dont wipe your nose on the tablecloth.
SR: Come on, wench, eat something. Youre going to need to keep your energy levels up.
SR: Pté de foie gras, yum. Twenty-three, twenty-four.delicious. Arent you.?
LG:(very coldly) Im vegan. Now about your book - you must be delighted with your sales figures. Forty-three thousand copies, I think you said. Frankly, I'm surprised. Curing the Pig has sold forty-three thousand and one, and that was published nearly a year ago.
SR: Geese are vegan, too. A bit wouldn't hurt. Here--have a bite of mine. Ah, go on, go on, go on.
LG: Do geese have teeth?
SR: Eh, what?
LG: Call the waiter. There seems to be a large yellow molar embedded in the pté.
SR: Oh drat, thats the penultimate one.
LG: Please stop doing that. Please put it away. People are looking.
SR: Let them look. Smy toof. Look a tit if want to. These éclairs are nice oops sorry, did that land on you? Now, Curing the Pig ? Whats that? Ham?
LG: (in icy tones) Shall we discuss your work? I am quite anxious to get this over with. Now Mr Redwood, what was it that motivated you to become a writer.
SR: Women. Dont need teeth for these meringues either. Ernest Hemmingway--you know Ern?--told me women cant resist a writer.
LG: I see. And what was the first thing you wrote?
SR: No problem getting laid if youre (hic) writer.
LG: Right. (sigh). Now to get back to your work, I have noticed in your writing that your female characters are either sweet and vapid or thoroughly bad. There seems to be little middle ground. Why is this?
SR: I hope thats all real and not silicone.
SR: Booked a room, have you?
SR: Because I havent got all the time in the world to sort you and your misandry out, you know, Lizzie. My services are in great demand.
LG: (very emphatically) I think you must be labouring under a misconception, Mister Redwood. We are here to discuss your second novel, Who Needs Cleopatra?
SR: What for?
LG: You have a moderately interested readership, I understand. Shall we continue? Since youre evading the issue of female characterisation--and please note that MY female characters are without exception strong and feisty--can we perhaps explore the issues around declarations of love in your novels. There is a certain duplication STOP THAT! HOW DARE YOU?
SR: Not silicone. Thats something, I suppose.
LG: You touch me again and youll never write another word.
SR: Huh huh huh huh. Now you know you want. AW! That was my last tooth. What dyou want to do that for? Bloody women. Bloody hormones. Bloody moon phases. Calm down, Lizzie, Lydia, Lulu, whatever your name is.
LG: Touch my knee, would you, pervert? I warned you. Take that and that and
CRASH SQUEAL SMASH
Steve Redwood is a writer who needs no introduction and so didnt receive one, but for those who want to check that the facts are, indeed, as bad as they remember, his bio and recent photograph can be found here.
The photograph referred to in the text of this interview was taken some thirty years previously and probably of somebody else, so demands for Ms Granvilles optician to be struck off are unwarranted.
And weve been assured by the management of the Savoir Faire that absolutely none of their clientele asked to have what Liza was having.
For information on Who Needs Cleopatra? by Steve Redwood, go here.
And information on Liza Granvilles Curing the Pig can be found here.
Both titles are reviewed in Whispers very own Reviews Section, along with other work by Steve Redwood, but Im tired of doing links so youll have to find them for yourself.
Return to Whispers interview archive