David Henry Sterry

Author, book doctor, raker of muck

David Henry Sterry

Tag: Irvine Welsh

Irvine Welsh Talks to The Book Doctors on Huffington Post About Writing, America, Rejection and the ‘Sex Lives of Siamese Twins’

To read on Hoff Po click here.

Well, he’s at it again. Yes, Irvine Welsh has produced another wild tale full of maniacal madness. The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins. Naturally it’s got Siamese twins sexing it up and being surgically sawn in half. Murder, envy, fat chicks, lunatic kidnappers, media feeding frenzy, dildos pumping away like there’s no tomorrow . But this book is very different. First of all, it’s set in sun-splashed Miami, where Mr Welsh currently has one of his residences. It’s also written from the perspective of two women. And two women who couldn’t be much different from each other. I must confess I loved this book. I devoured it in a weekend, like a junkie binging on China white. You know, the good shit. And this book really actually changed my life. I became horrified by how much empty-calories I was shoving down my pie hole and I’ve been working out like a psycho-trainer was screaming in my ear about how I had to feel the burn. So I thought I would pick the brain of Mr Welsh and figure out how, & why, he did it.

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The Book Doctors: What inspired you to write a book that is so incredibly different from the dark, beer-stained, junky-filled landscape of Scotland that made you famous?

Irvine Welch: Miami – a different world altogether from Scotland, a much more visual, body-obsessed culture. I’ve a place there and I’m in the town often.

TBD: Many successful writers seem to write the same book over and over and over. But this book is so far removed from what your fans are used to. Did you think about that in terms of the Irvine Welsh brand? Do you feel pressure, either from yourself, or from your publisher, to just stick with what you already know works?

IW: I don’t think so. I love writing about where I come from, but you also need to step outside your comfort zone from time to time. Unless you are doing genre fiction and are more conscious of deliberate brand building, you can only really write the book you write. I have a blank page and that’s a great luxury. I don’t need to start the first sentence with ‘Harry Potter said…’ or ‘Inspector Rebus rose early…’ and that’s a luxury. I can bring back Begbie or Juice Terry, but only if they are the right tools for the job. In this case they weren’t, so I created Lucy and Lena to tell the story.

TBD: Was it difficult to write in the voice of 2 women who are American & so removed from the dialect of your home turf? What are the methods you used to capture these voices?

IW: The biggest problem isn’t so much the language and dialect. I’m quite tuned into that through living in the States and being married to an American. The toughest thing is the cultural references, all the TV shows etc, that inform conversations. I had to make sure a lot of American friends saw early drafts.

TBD: The main character in the story seemed to me to bear a striking resemblance to Frank Begbie, the notoriously violent psychopath in Trainspotting. Except for the fact that she’s a bisexual body trainer who (mostly) disdains alcohol. What draws you to these extreme characters and how do you manage to get into their heads so successfully?

IW: I like uncompromising characters. They are tough to deal with in real life, but great fun in fiction. With a character who is ‘out there’ you can literally have them do anything. That’s a blessing for a writer

TBD: I don’t want to spoil the plot, but there’s such a fantastic switch, actually several of them, toward the end of your book. Do you outline where your story is going? How do go about constructing plot?

IW: I tend to let the plot come from the characters. Sometimes I might have a vague idea of where I want to go, but I like to throw away my GPS and give them the wheel. “Take me to Miami…or anywhere else interesting” is my only instruction.

TBD: How is it that you’ve managed to get away without ever using quotation marks?

IW: I hate quotation marks. I read a Roddy Doyle novel years ago when I was starting out – The Commitments-  and his use of the dash seemed to convey the urgency of the characters better. So it’s Roddy’s fault!

TBD: I was fascinated by the theme of numbers. Did you do a lot of research for this book?

IW: Numbers and stats are huge in America. Especially sports. The idea of measurement is ubiquitous. I did a fair bit f research, but not as much as might be imagined. I suppose watching sports and reality TV is research…

TBD: When I am in Europe, the only fat people I seem to see are American tourists. This is of course one of the big themes of your new book. Why do you think Americans are so fat?

IW: The rest of the world is catching up! But consumerist culture is huge in America, as is fast food. You put those two together and you are heading for lardland.

TBD: Have you ever had a book rejected?

IW: Yes, I wrote a terrible ‘experimental’ novel for my third book. My editor said something along the lines of ‘this is shit. You’re just trying to show off. Go and write the book you really want to write.’ So I binned it and came back with Marabou Stork Nightmares, which is a book I’m very proud of.

TBD: Do you have any tips for writers who want to you explore the dark parts of human nature that would seem, at first blush, to be difficult to sell to the mainstream of the book world?

IW: If you think about the market you are in a very different game. Write what you want to write; work out how it sell it when it’s done.

Irvine Welsh is the author of Trainspotting, Ecstasy, Glue, Porno, Filth, Marabou Stork Nightmares, The Acid House, Skagboys, and, most recently, The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins. He currently lives in Chicago, IL.

Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry are co-founders of The Book Doctors, a company that has helped countless authors get their books published. They are also co-authors of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published: How To Write It, Sell It, and Market It… Successfully (Workman, 2010). They are also book editors, and between them they have authored 25 books, and appeared on National Public Radio, the London Times, and the front cover of the Sunday New York Times Book Review.

 

Irvine Welsh on Scagboys, Elitism, Writing, Drugs & Scottish Football

The Book Doctors, book editors and friends to writers everywhere,  & David Henry Sterry, interview Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting & Skagboys, on Huffington Post http://huff.to/135K8zB

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Huffington Post Glorious World Cup Predictions from David Henry Sterry

http://huff.to/dfh9Ul

Huffington Post Glorious World Cup Piece

thanks once again to be Huffington Post for giving us so much welcome love.

http://huff.to/9YWZ8S

The Glorious World Cup presents: American Soccer Fanatic on Reuters

we’re all very excited to be on one of the great new services in the world today. Thank you Reuters.

http://blogs.reuters.com/soccer/

Birthday Boy Gets Severe World Cup Fever, Sex Worker Literati at Bowery Poetry Club & Essential Guide to Getting Published


Today is my birthday. I’m going to have very good pancakes and go see Henri Carter Bresson photographs and then some kind of spectacular meal and see some kind of spectacular theater. As I look back on May and forward to June there’s been so much done yet so much to do that my head spins. We finally got to the top of the mountain of The Essential Guide to Publishing a Book. The book is now in the hands of our incredibly excellent copy editor at Workman. It was a long excruciating climb through massive blizzards temperature dropping way below zero no sleep migraine clusterfuck headaches the closer we got to the less oxygen there was our Sherpas fled, and of course we’re hauling it 2 ½ year-old with us. Sadly, we lost a man. Milo didn’t make it this time. But he gave it his all, 110%, right til the very end. Given the proper burial and if there’s any justice, he’s up in Cat Heaven chasing that wind my, basking in the sun, frolicking in fields of catnip. But luckily, we have an incredible team at Workman, and we are planning a spectacular tour of these great United States, helping writers get well published.

The Glorious World Cup: A Fanatic’s Guide, kicked off, and the team has had a very bright beginning, lots of thrusting offense, some brave defending, and massive amounts of daily grinding. My partner in crime, San Francisco literary legend Alan Black, has been hacking and slashing all over the soccer blogosphere and set up a bunch of kick ass events in the Bay Area. Meanwhile, in my hometown of Montclair New Jersey, at my way awesome local book emporium Watchung Bookstore, we had a rocking soccer event as well. And here’s the beauty of both my new hometown and doing events at your local independent bookstore. I just happened to run into an expatriate Englishman who just happened to be purchasing a book. Turns out he works for Reuters, the international news service. Turns out he was looking for an American perspective on the world cup. I sent him something. He told me I needed to dial it back by approximately 42%. I did. And there it is, alive and kicking. We also had a piece of Arielle-related good fortune. She hooked us up with National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition. They asked us if we would like to be interviewed about the World Cup. We said yes. So on Thursday, through the miracle of modern technology, will be interviewed from Washington DC, with Alan in Berkeley, Ca, and myself in Montclair, NJ. I also put up a series of predictions for the World Cup which are extremely fanatical. The response has been amazing. I’ve been called everything from a fag to a genius, and I’ve made a new friend from Uruguay. And there it is, that’s the beauty of the beautiful game. So were going to San Francisco to do a bunch of soccer events. The big day is June 6. Three events I’m very excited about.

Major changes afoot with the Sex Worker Literati. We decided to move the show uptown. And by uptown, I mean the Bowery. Tres excited about our 1 year anniversary show at the legendary and absolutely fabulous Bowery Poetry Club. I just couldn’t think of a better place. Although I loved Happy Ending, it was just so tiny, and there was no stage. Now, the gloves are off. Throbbing music, wild stories of sex & $ from hard working hos, hustlers, call girls & rent boys, bumping burlesque, ribald questions and answers, I’m slightly dizzy with the possibilities. My most excellent new friend Zoe Hansen will be my cohost with the most. We’ll be taking the summer off, and having our 1 year anniversary extrvanganza in September. Details to follow. Audacia Ray will be continuing at Happy Ending Lounge, with a show entitled The Red Umbrella Project: http://www.redumbrellaproject.com/. This Thursday, totally psyched about my last Sex Worker Literati at Happy Ending: Passing and Coming Out, with amazing guests, Cameron were, Randy Newton, Sarah Jenny, and special guests from RentBoy.com, which has been much in the news recently due to some crazy political sex shenanigans.

Also, there’s a very cool event on Saturday, June 6, Sex Worker Cabaret. I had to drop out of the lineup, because of the events in San Francisco. But it’s a great great lineup, and I’m sad I won’t be part of it. http://www.sexworkercabaret.com/

Sex Worker Literati:
Thursday, June 3, 7:30 PM, 302 Broome St., New York City
Hos, Hooker, Call Girls and Rent Boys: http://bit.ly/afCbkh
Sex Worker Literati Facebook: http://bit.ly/a9HBw1

The Glorious World Cup:
Thursday, June 3, 7 PM, Green Apples Books, 506 Clement St., San Francisco (I will not be at this event, I will be doing a Sex Worker Literati that Happy Ending in New York City)
Saturday, June 5, 10 AM, NPR’s West Coast Live, Ferry Building, Embarcadero, SF
Saturday, June 5, 3 PM, Borders Books, 400 Post St., SF: http://bit.ly/bkTDrl
Saturday, June 5, 8 PM, Edinburgh Castle Pub, 950 Geary St., SF: http://bit.ly/9nF45r

(A goal will be built, and the public is welcome to take your best shot and try to beat yours truly, who will be manning the goal and talking a lot of smack)

The Glorious World Cup: http://bit.ly/ahXLPi
The Glorious World Cup Facebook in Korea: http://bit.ly/9WnpwC

Huffington Post piece: American Manhood from Mickey Mantle to Landon Manchild Donovan, and Why America Can When the World Cup: http://huff.to/c4OEri

Digital Sports Daily piece: http://bit.ly/cd9IE8

Largeheartedboy: http://bit.ly/cvnlLe

Glorious World Cup Predictions
Group A: http://bit.ly/b9DGs
Group B: http://bit.ly/ba99lC

Group C: http://bit.ly/bcqBFJ
Group D: http://bit.ly/bHMxnO

Group E: http://bit.ly/9Oy2sT
Group F: http://bit.ly/cn4xsW

Group H: http://bit.ly/bHKcPQ
Group G: http://bit.ly/b3wXnE

Final: http://bit.ly/949YrC

BEA pictures: http://bit.ly/ansbev
Olive: http://bit.ly/cyy4oH, http://bit.ly/9x0VCE, http://bit.ly/bLfwb4

The Glorious World Cup Presents: An America Soccer Fanatic’s Predictions for South Africa 2010 : Group H

GROUP H: YES: Spain & Chile NO: Honduras, Switzerland

Spain is in theory the #1 team in the world. They are the odds-on favorite to win the World Cup. They have an absolutely gorgeous goalscoring machine in Fernando Torres. His cheeks are so rosy and his eyelashes are so long, he looks like a cheesecake pinup model. And he can flat out play. They have a bad boy defender was perhaps the worst haircut at this edition of the World Cup, Carlos Puyol. “Tarzan” from Barcelona sports a ‘do that equal parts Conan the Barbarian, Prince Valiant, and trailer trash mullet. Many are predicting Spain are the will go all the way. I am not. While they have the capability of playing better than anyone, they have deep insecurities regarding their own national identity. They see themselves as the inferior cousins of Europe, and in the end they will fold like a house of cards, while falling apart like a cheap suit. Chile will make it through to the next round if for no other reason than their coach’s nickname is “The Madman”. Switzerland is much like a clock when it comes to soccer. They’re not fast, they’re not slow, they just keep on ticking. The good news is, they don’t allow very many goals. The bad news is, they almost score even less. Honduras? They have two chances of making it through to the next round. Slim and none.

The Glorious World Cup: A Fanatics Guide is, pound for pound, the funniest book about World Cup 2010 on the market today.

http://www.amazon.com/Glorious-World-Cup-Fanatics-Guide/dp/0451230205

The Glorious World Cup Presents: An America Soccer Fanatic’s Predictions for South Africa 2010 : Group F

GROUP F: YES: Italy & Paraguay NO: New Zealand, Slovakia
The last time we saw Italy at the World Cup Final, they were saying rude things about people’s sisters, getting head butted, and dancing gleefully with the trophy. They are back with much of the same crew intact. They still have that mad handsome dashing cat between the posts, Gianluigi Buffon. If he's not the best goalkeeper in the world, he's certainly on the short list. But they're old and they're slow and Gatusso, the barking dog, is getting long in tooth, his bark becoming increasingly worse than his bite. Yes, they will get through this round, if for no other reason than Buffon is no buffoon. But will they be the first repeat winners since Brazil almost half a century ago? I don't think so. No, make that, absolutely not. New Zealand? I just don't see it team named after a fruit, even a fruit as adorable as a kiwi, making it through. Slovakia? They got to South Africa courtesy of a Polish own goal, so I believe they are doomed. Paraguay’s best player has a world-class name, Roque Santa Cruz. The fact that they hacked their way out of the jungles of South America, (good preparation for success in almost any field) I believe they will make it through to the next round.

The Glorious World Cup: A Fanatics Guide is, pound for pound, the funniest book about World Cup 2010 on the market today.

http://www.amazon.com/Glorious-World-Cup-Fanatics-Guide/dp/0451230205

The Glorious World Cup Presents: An America Soccer Fanatic’s Predictions for South Africa 2010 : Group D

GROUP D: YES: Serbia & Ghana NO: Australia & Germany
If Group G is the Group of Death, Group D is the Group of Do Not Resuscitate. A crazy melting pot of bizarre juxtapositions, these surreal pairings are just one of the reasons I love the World Cup above all other sporting events. Germany is, well, Germany. It doesn't really matter how much they suck leading up to the World Cup. They still have Thomas "Der Hammer” Hitzlberger, and all that maniacal Mercedes-Benz precision. But without Michael Ballack, their cultured, stylish, stiletto-sharp midfield maestro, they can't make it to the Finals. The Socceroos? How do you not love a country who calls their team that? And Australia has some playaz: Lucas Neill, a very handsome fellow you'd never want to meet in a dark alley in. Ghana is a fierce beast. Led by one of my favorite players on the planet, Michael "The Bison" Essien, the Black Stars are a dark horse capable of laying a righteous beat down on anyone. Serbia has been through so many brutal wars they can take anything you have to dish out and just stare back without blinking or batting an eye or a lash. They have a great hardman was a great hardman name: Vidic. Vidic the Impaler. Vidic the Slayer. Vidic the Vicious. They have a deep squad full of hard-working technicians of the highest caliber. I would not want to face them. Very tough group, I'm going way out on a limb here and picking Serbia and Ghana, but I don't feel good about it.

The Glorious World Cup: A Fanatics Guide is, pound for pound, the funniest book about World Cup 2010 on the market today.

http://www.amazon.com/Glorious-World-Cup-Fanatics-Guide/dp/0451230205

The Glorious World Cup Presents: An America Soccer Fanatic’s Predictions for South Africa 2010 : Group C

GROUP C: YES: USA & England NO: Algeria & Slovenia
June 12, 2010. USA versus England, the imperialist colonizers who taxed us with no representation. 60 years to the day after the greatest American sports upset you never heard of. 1950, World Cup, Brazil, long before information could fly around the world at the speed of light, a ragtag group of plucky, scruffy unknowns went up against England, the self-proclaimed "greatest soccer team in the world". No one gave uber-underdog Americans a ghost of a chance against the pampered, privileged, pedigreed professionals. How little the world has changed. England boasts a cavalcade of superstar millionaires with beautiful wives and girlfriends, some of whom their own teammates have sex with on the sly (giving the phrase, "I got your back," a whole new meaning). US is a 66-1 longshot. But mark my words and mark them well, if the holy triumvirate of T-Ho, the fiercely mighty Tim Howard, Clint Eastwood Dempsey, and Landon Manchild Donovan are all healthy, they will smack England down, just as they did 60 years ago. Algeria? Slovenia? Thank you for coming to the dance, better luck next time. And don't think this draw is an accident. The powers that be, and all their money, desperately want America and England to: a) play each other in their debuts with galatic ratings off the charts; 2) make it through to the next round against some weak-ass opponents. All due respect to Alvenia and Slogeria. In fact, there's A LOT riding on the US hosting the World Cup in the near future. Don't be surprised to see self-confessed soccer fanatic President Barack Obama give some serious face time to South Africa this summer.

The Glorious World Cup: A Fanatics Guide is, pound for pound, the funniest book about World Cup 2010 on the market today.

http://www.amazon.com/Glorious-World-Cup-Fanatics-Guide/dp/0451230205

Glorious World Cup Prediction Group A: Mexico, Uruguay, France, South Africa

Hundreds of millions of humans will soon gather in bars, barns, parks, taverns, caverns, caravans, caves and bunkers, some crossing vast deserts just to find a radio so they can listen to a sporting extravaganza that’ll be bigger than the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, NBA Finals and will at the Ohio 200 of them “World” Series all rolled into one. It’s humanity’s biggest pilgrimage: the World Cup. The pot’s been simmering for four years, and it’s finally coming to a boil. 204 teams played 848 matches and scored 2,337 goals, battling hammer and tong, tooth and nail for the right to become one of the chosen 32 nations who gets a chance to bring home both the bacon and the gory. June 11, 2010, strap it on and strap him yourself in, as the mother of all sporting events crashlands for the first time in history on the mother of all continents. Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for, live from a Jo’berg, it’s, World Cup 2010 South Africaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
The World Cup is a month long marathon disguised as a series of furious sprints. Lemme break it down fa ya. Group Stage: 8 groups of 4 teams. Everybody plays 3 games. Top 2 go teams through. Elimination Stage: win and live to fight another day; lose & it’s instant extermination.

GROUP A: YES: France & South Africa NO: Mexico & Uruguay
Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I’m picking South Africa make it through to the round of 16. Bafana Bafana, Zulu for “the Boys”, has a world-class forward in double-somersaulting Stephen Pienaar, and a hulking, humongous, yet surpisingly skillful shaved-bald defender in Matthew Booth, who looks shockingly like a huge Q-tip. Plus they will have the maniacal sound of 1 billion vuvuzelas, their ear-bleedingly loud local noisemakers, trumpeting their every triumph. Plus this is a nation that overcame hatred and pain in part through the beautiful game. Call me a bitter cynic, but I’m also picking France to advance. After the galling display of Gallic dishonor in the infamous Hand of Henry cheating scandal, they’ve come to represent the way the world is now. Turns out cheating is, after all, the best way to win. If you don’t believe me, go ask Goldman Sachs. Mexico? Having watched the fiery Mexicans go cold in the hot spotlight so many times over the decades, I believe our neighbors to the south are a taco short of a Combo Platter. Uruguay? Too much bad karma. Their legacy of World Cup brutality is well documented, most famously in the person of José Batista, ejected 53 seconds into a 1986 game for chopping a Scotsman in half.

Huffington Post: American Manhood, from Mantle to Manchild Donovan & Why America Can Win World Cup 2010

Thanks once again to the Huffington Post for giving me some love. Nice to see World Cup fever is spreading.

http://huff.to/c4OEri

The Glorious World Cup

To buy the book click here.

glorious world cup_If a guide book was a riot, then this is it. The Glorious World Cup is a smash and grab read with propellant laughs, and wicked satire. Expect some crunching tackles on the establishment with profiles on hooligans, World Cup villains and serious national grudges. Stuffed with country and player profiles, bags of footie history, and all you need to know about South Africa. Shooting on target are contributors Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting, best-selling author Po Bronson, and the world’s best soccer writer, Simon Kuper. This is the rebel guide for the soccer masses and the fanatic. Score one.

Now you know…

*1 million condoms have recently been shipped to South Africa.

*USA v England on June 12, the second day of the tournament, around the 60th anniversary of one of the World Cup’s most famous matches – USA’s shock 1-0  victory over England in the 1950 tournament in Brazil.

*The first recorded soccer game in America took place at Plymouth Rock on what is now known as Thanksgiving.  They used a pumpkin for a ball.

*Henry Kissinger is soccer mad. Kobe Bryant too.

Welcome to the club.

The Glorious World Cup getting a very nice shout out from Washington Post: Original article.

From Library Journal:

A fun yet informative guide to the World Cup, this inexpensive volume provides group match ups, player and country profiles, trivia, and brief histories to cups of the past. Generously illustrated, the book is ideal for reading on your flight to observe the World Cup firsthand-or for browsing between television viewings….a useful guide to casual or serious soccer fan.

 

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