Thursday, May 28, 2009


I first made acquaintance with Stuart Neville through the blogosphere community that frequents Jason Evans's Clarity of Night flash fiction contests, before he even landed his agent.  I've enjoyed being one of the groupies, cheering as Stuart humbly recounted tales about landing Nat Sobel as an agent, finalizing the publishing deals, getting celebrity (and non) feedback for his debut novel The Twelve, and caving to peer pressure to join Facebook.   

(Okay, okay, and I admit: I totally have a crush on him.  Fear not.  My thinking he's a dreamy Irish hunk had no impact on my journalistic integrity - these 7SS being so serious and all.)

Step #1

  • stout or lager? Lager - can't stand stout.
  • Bransford or Moonrat? Oh, don't make me choose! Um, Moonrat, but only because I've met her in person and she took me to a karaoke party.
  • David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar? Roth, of course.
  • coffee or tea? Tea - can't stand coffee.
  • celebrity crush: Just one? Any female news reader - Fiona Bruce from the BBC News, for instance. Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls. Jenna Fischer from The Office. Oh, and Cindy Pon, now that she's all famous.
  • a phrase you use often: "Sorry I'm so late," usually followed by a poorly thought-out excuse.
  • music you write by: All sorts, but recently it's been Mutter, and album by German industrial metal band Rammstein.
Step #2
TELL US about any of your weird writing habits or idiosyncracies. (ie, What’s one “thing” you need to write, the thing without which the creative juices would cease to flow?)
I need a guitar to hand at all times so I can noodle on it while I think. It's kind of like how people will doodle with a pen and paper.

Step #3
TEACH US one or two of your favorite vocabulary words.
Pishmire, which is a local expression for someone grumpy or miserable. It's come from an old word for piss ant. That's about as clean a word as I can think of for now...

Step #4
  • The last book I finished reading was BLOOD'S A ROVER by James Ellroy.
  • I gave it 5 stars.
  • One word to describe it is surprising.
(in fact, dear readers, you can find Stuart's review of that book here.)

Step #5
QUESTION: What was the most difficult part of The Twelve’s journey to publication?
Being on tenterhooks for what seemed like forever as it was doing the rounds at the UK publishers. You hear of book deals being struck in minutes, but my auction seemed to go on for weeks.

Step #6
QUESTION: What has surprised you most about the publishing process itself?
How eagle-eyed my editor at Harvill Secker, Briony Everroad, is. Her eye for detail is staggering. And also how generous people in the writing community are, from struggling hopefuls to big-name best selling authors.

Step #7
GIVE US THE SCOOP. Tell us something about yourself that’s exclusive to In Search of Giants (ie, has never been publicized in print or podcast interviews.)
I, a fully grown man, can't ride a bike. And I don't mean a motorcycle, I mean a bicycle with pedals.

Obviously I was hoping that Stuart's "scoop" was that he was naming a character in his next book after me, but, whatever.  Thanks for letting me interview you, Stuart!


  1. Stuart I was seventeen before I learnt to ride a bike too. I never had one as a kid. I saved up and bought that one just before leaving for university in Galway. I can't tell you the number of times I came off it. Some of them I was sober.

  2. Hi Stuart,

    If it makes you feel any better, I'm a grown woman and I can't ride a bike either. Maybe we can form our own club?

  3. I've got Stuart's novel on pre-order and am really looking forward to it.

    There seems to be a universal sense he's got a lucrative career ahead of him.

  4. LOL--Stout all the way, down with lager!

  5. What? You can't ride a bike? My daughter has a tricycle she isn't using anymore if you care to borrow... ;o)

    Stuart - I gotta tease you now because once you are a big celebrity author, you probably won't tolerate teasing by the wee folk! ;o)

  6. I taught two kids to ride bikes. I'll teach you, too.

  7. I love 7SS (not so much the lady who writes it. :D :D Okay that was a joke... a bad one... am so sorry!)

    Stuart - All the very best with your novel. Looking at the ladies fighting to teach you to ride a bike, I am planning to forget how to ride. :D

    @ Janey & Ello: Lol! :)

  8. Aniket, c'mere, let me hit you over the head really really hard to incur bike-riding amnesia...I'm thinking, though, that teaching Stuart to ride a bike is a euphemism...*ahem*...OR I've just spent too long with Stephen's family jewels yesterday.

  9. it says "page not found" grrrrr...

  10. Aniket, I FBed you the link - but trying again -

  11. Thanks for letting me lower the tone in your corner of the interwebs, Aerin! And I will only rider a bike if I can have stabilisers.

  12. Squee for Rammstein! Zwitter is one of my favourite songs ever. (Although I have learned to not look up translations of their lyrics, because whoa. Creepier than undead cockroaches.)

  13. Stuart, I'm honored.

    I can't ride a bike either, FYI.

  14. Moonie - you can ride Angus' old trike - I'm sure Stuart won't mind sharing.

  15. Oh, for Fiona Bruce to evidence a sigh o'er the land to become my grave.

  16. omg, i'm stuart's crush. among hundreds of other women, apparently. ;*) haha! still so honored! tho still not quite famous, alas. loved this interview. both stuart and aerin rock! =D



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