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Audience With Novelist Joseph D'Lacey
Actually, may be worth reading our second interview first if you're not familiar with his work and want some background. I found this audio interview on a forgotten dictaphone and decided to transcribe it here - looking back on it, I think we were both on hallucinogenics at the time.
Zeke Iddon, Professional Awesome Dude or Whatever: In your Stephen King-endorsed novel Meat, the main message we take away from it is that itís okay to persecute against vegetarians. However, which do you think would win in a fight, broccoli or cauliflower?
Joseph D'Lacey, Professional Horror Writer: Broccoli.
JDL: Itís greener.
But cauliflowers have really good defences, the leaves are super tough.
JDL: Well, it depends onÖ nah, Iím going for broccoli. Itís a stiffer vegetable.
Have you ever had that tender leaf stuff, the purple-sprouting broccoli? Itís really tasty.
Oh yeah, itís great. But thatís never going to beat a cauliflower.
No, never. Well, maybe
if it ganged up with a leek, it could possiÖ
Fair enough. Let's put the joking aside and getting back to the book Ė without giving too much away, another main theme of Meat is that all ginger people are ruthless tyrants. But who would win in a fight, the ginger kid from Harry Potter, orÖ how about Frodo Baggins?
JDL: The ginger kid from Harry Potter.
ĎCause heís chubbier?
JDL: ĎCause heís cheekier. Cheeky people tend to fight better, I find. They donít mind fighting dirty.
But he doesnít have a ring, though. He doesnít have The One Ring.
JDL: He doesnít, but thenÖ whatís Frodo going to do with The One Ring anyway? Heís only going to make himself invisible. The second he reappears, heís going to get his head kicked in <laughs>
In the book, one of the main protagonists, John Collins (not to be confused with Joan Collins, as I kept reading it), somehow manages to live off nothing but fresh air and sunshine. Iíve been trying this diet for the last twenty-four hours, and it doesnít appear to be working. Which do you think is better, the Collins or the Atkins?
JDL: <laughs> Iíve got to say the Collins! Iíve tried it myself, youíve got to have the right attitude. The Atkins diet is alright, but if you know what youíre doing with the Collins diet, youíll flourish!
I heard Gillian McKeith is an advocate.
JDL: <chuckles> Is that right?
So, the setting for the novel, Abyrne, is a desolate town with little aesthetic beauty on the inside and not a great deal of worth surrounding it. With that in mind, which is worse? Abyrne, or Southend-on-Sea, Essex?
JDL: <pauses for though> Iíve never been to Southend-on-Sea.
Mmm, donít. What about Swindon?
JDL: Never been to Swindon!
JDL: Iíve been to Plymouth!
Okay! So, which is worse: Abyrne or Plymouth?
I think Iíd prefer....
JDL: I think Iíd prefer to live in Abyrne, purely because Iím moreÖ familiar with it.
Great answer. Now, the book is endorsed by Stephen King. But which would you rather have Ė a quote from him on the cover of your next book, or a quote from you on the cover of his next book?
JDL: I think Iíve got to go for the second one, obviously. Thatís a mark of true success!
Does Stephen King even have quotes on his book covers? I donít think he needs to, does he?
JDL: I donít know, actually. But youíre right, he doesnít need to, does he? He speaks for himself.
On the subject of book covers, youíve been touring with fellow Bloody Books debut author Bill Hussey, author of Through a Glass, Darkly. Which one of you guys has the better book cover artwork?
JDL: <bursts into hysterics> Iíd quite like to answer this seriously, if I can?
Go for it!
JDL: I think the cover for Meat polarised readers. Or potential readers. I think people who saw it thought it was going to be a sort of extreme slash-fest, and didnít read it on that basis. Billís cover is much more subtle, much more inviting. So in a way, as much as I like the cover for Meat, I do thinkÖ yeah, I do think Billís might be a better cover.
Heís got spooky crows on his book.
JDL: Yeah, and fading parchment, which is always good.
Would you change the cover of Meat, knowing what you know now?
JDL: The only thing Iíd change about it would be to make it less shiny. Iíd have the main part in a rusted, matt texture and have the hook shiny.
The tag lines have had a lot of response, too.
JDL: I think, again, that people feel the book is going to be something in particular and donít read it on that basis, which is a shame. But then again, weíre learning as we go along. Hopefully weíll be a bit more subtle next time.
Bloody Books have really been behind the novel all the way.
JDL: Oh yeah, superb. I mean, I couldnít have asked for a better publisher to get me started. But Iíve been waiting a long time to get started, so itís all been worth it.
And the next book?
JDL: Bill Husseyís book, The Absence, and mine The Garbage Man are coming out on the same day, April 2nd. We havenít come up with a launch stunt yet, but Iím sure we will.
Well, if you can top the meat wagon, thatíll be awesome.
JDL: Iím not sure if weíll be able to do that, but weíll certainly try!