Sunday, 24 March 2013

I was a Guest of Saturday Live on BBC Radio 4

Will Hadcroft, BBC Radio 4, Siam Williams, Richard Cole, Saturday Live.

Above from left to right: Guests Richard and Alison Warden, presenter Sian Williams and myself.
In the foreground presenter Richard Coles and author Mark Haddon.
Photo copyright Theresa Cutts

On Saturday 23 March, I was the guest of Sian Williams and Richard Coles on the BBC Radio Four programme Saturday Live.

The main guest was author Mark Haddon, author of the international bestseller The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. He has had his book transformed into a stunning new stage play at London's West End.

Alison and Richard Warden were also guests. They told the heart warming story of how they met when they were children, married as adults, ran highly successful businesses, grew apart, divorced, married other people, before finally finding one another again in later life and falling in love and marrying one another a second time.

The character Christopher in Mark Haddon's Curious Incident is similar to a textbook case of a youngster grappling with Asperger's syndrome, and in one edition of the book was publicised as such. Saturday Live had invited me on to represent a real life person who has the condition, so I imagined that I would follow him, be interviewed for about ten minutes, and then be booted off. But, in the end, I remained for the whole 90 minutes and was allowed to contribute to the rest of the show.

Sian and Richard were lovely, and told me that they'd had a tremendous response via email and text, but because we'd all got so engrossed in our discussion on the programme, there was no time to read any of them out or take a phone call or two.

Before I arrived at Broadcasting House, I thought I would find Mr Haddon in particular intimidating, but he turned out to be completely charming, even saying that he intended to read John Christopher's Tripods trilogy, buy the BBC TV series adaptation on DVD, and download Leonard Cohen's First We Take Manhattan because of my enthusiasm for them!

This time round, I thank producer Debbie Sheringham for inviting me on, and my PR Theresa Cutts for representing me.

The entire programme is available on the BBC's Listen Again service. Please click on this link and then click on Listen Now:

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Discussing my novel "The Blueprint"

"Change the blueprint and you change the world."

I'd always wanted to write a teen novel set in a nightmare parody of school life that also passed comment on the whole world system, its origins, what's wrong with it, and how it needs to be changed before humanity cascades into the impending avalanche of self-destruction.

I was keen, too, to do something like the allegorical 1960s TV series The Prisoner.

The concept for The Blueprint was devised by me in 1996, but I didn't publish it as a novel until February 2012.

In the above video, I discuss with Theresa Cutts the themes of the novel and the impact it has had on some of its readers.