Richard Glover - author of Flesh Wounds
Photo: Marco del Grande
Tell us about your book – what inspired you to write it?
Flesh Wounds is really a long debate about how to deal with the experience of having dodgy parents. Some pop psychology says that you can’t hold them at arm’s length; that you must “resolve things” with your parents before they die. That may sound sensible, but not all parents are designed for this purpose; some are inadequate to that project. Most of all, I hope this is a defiant account of how not everyone is crushed by their early experiences.
Even though I tell my own eccentric stories in Flesh Wounds, the book seems to immediately take people for a journey into their own story. One reader emailed me just a few days ago talking about how the book had caused her to “cut away some bandages that had been there a long time”. She said there was “much blood and much healing”. I’m not sure that was the response I planned, but I’m delighted to hear that it’s working that way for at least some readers.
Which author/s or book/s have had the biggest influence on your work?
Good comic writing often lulls the reader into thinking the sentence is headed in one direction, before delivering a sudden switch of direction, hopefully tumbling the reader into laughter. I won’t claim to be adept at the trick myself, but I have certainly marinated myself in the work of people who are: PG Wodehouse, Alan Coren, Bill Bryson, Tina Fey and so on.
Do you have a message for aspiring writers?
The old Mark Twain advice is pretty good: 'bottom to chair'. Also not to be worried about exploring quite odd things about your own psyche or that of others. You’d be surprised how even the wildest of confessions will be greeted with a snort of recognition by many thousands of seemingly normal people.
How and where do you write?
I know Hunter S Thompson and PJ O’Rourke have had success with “late-at-night-and-on-drugs”, but most writers I know tend more to the “up-early-and-three-cups-of-tea.”
Do you have a lucky writing charm?
My muse, which of course is just another word for a person’s “writer muscles” which, built up over time, can sometimes come to your rescue in a quite surprising way.
Can you tell us what you are working on now?
Right now, I’m working on getting over the publication of Flesh Wounds!