Saturday 21 July 2018

Blindboy Boatclub on writing stories, his plastic bag persona and an unusual lawnmower ambition


Blindboy Boatclub
Blindboy Boatclub
Kim Bielenberg

Kim Bielenberg

Satirist Blindboy Boatclub on writing stories, his plastic-bag persona and an unusual lawnmower ambition.

Why do you maintain the Blindboy Boatclub persona with the plastic bag?

So I can go into Aldi and buy toilet roll, while also having half a million online followers and a book that sold loads and has my image on the front.

Will you ever give it up?

No, this is me for life.

Who gave you encouragement to write The Gospel According to Blindboy?

Conor Nagle, commissioning editor of Gill books. I had received many book offers in the past, but I wasn't comfortable with the creative freedom on offer. Conor offered me a blank canvas. This freedom really shows in the book, and I have a piece of work that I'm thrilled with.

Had you ever written stories before?

I'm 17 years writing, usually music or television scripts. The leap to literature wasn't particularly difficult - I found my background in screenwriting to be pure helpful.

Who are your own favourite authors?

Flann O'Brien, because he's a mad bastard. James Joyce, because of his gorgeous use of language and internal rhyming. Also Chuck Palahniuk, because he will run with a seemingly impossible idea and turn it into relatable words.

Have you experienced some of the mental-health issues you describe in the book, such as the panic attacks?

Yes, absolutely. I use an on-the- body technique while writing. If I step in dog shit, get a panic attack, burn my hand on a cooker hob, I write down exactly what that feels like. To capture the words and free associative images that my mind conjures up in that precise moment of stress. I then mine these experiences to create empathy on the page.

If you weren't a satirist what would you be?

A lawnmower with a load of human testicles hanging off it.

There must be a show in that.

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