Good Reading : September 2016
ME MY SHELF I GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU GOOD READING SEPTEMBER 2016 14 Do you still read to your daughter? I have always read to my daughter and I always will. It’s a really fun thing to do together. We sit in our chair and I read and she reads and we laugh and make sound effects, I tell her to stop wriggling, she ignores me, we eat some biscuits, read some more, laugh a bit more and then eventually the wr iggling gets too much and we both go off and do something else. Did your daughter help you road-test your book? Not really. I did read some bits to her, but she wasn’t all that interested. She likes the fact that I have written a book but she’s not that keen on the actual book. She’s only young, so perhaps she’ll eventually read and enjoy it. Maybe she won’t. I won’t take it personally. Why is humour in so important in kids’ books? Because humour is subversive. Kids are always being bossed around by adults. I think humour in kid’s book allows them a chance to laugh at adults and feel like they have a modicum of power and control – at least while they are reading the book. How would you prefer kids to read – printed book, e-reader or tablet? I’m just happy to see kids reading. Whatever way they do it is fine by me. What do you remember of your first stand-up comedy gig? It was at a pub in Wellington, New Zealand. I played some songs and told what I thought were jokes. A guy stood up and yelled out ‘You’re crap! Get off.’ Then he threw an empty jug of beer at me. It could only get better from thereon in. Who have been some of your favourite characters to play? When I was at university I was in a live sketch comedy show where I played a condom in an opera about a sewage plant. I felt I got that pretty much right. I once played the Pope. That was fun. Do you turn down your pages to mark your place or do you write in your books? No! I never turn down pages or write in my books. If you do either of those things we can’t be friends. If given the opportunity to have a dinner party and invite six people – either alive now or reanimated from the mouldering corners of history – who would your guests be? I find dinner parties very hard work. I worry over who to invite, I worry over what I am going to cook, I worry that the house isn’t clean enough. I worry about everything. Generally I start drinking wine when I begin cooking and continue to drink throughout the entire process of cooking and preparing to receive guests. By the time the first person arrives I am drunk. I then realise I have forgotten to buy one essential ingredient. I hand a glass of wine to my guest and nip out to the shop to get whatever it is I need. I get halfway to the shop and forget why I left the house. I go back home. Drink some more. Order pizza and then fall asleep on the couch. That’s a normal dinner party. Can you imagine how drunk I’d get if I knew Charles Dickens or Joan of Arc were coming over? I will decline your lovely offer of imagining who I’d have over and just have dinner by myself. Charlie and the War Against the Grannies by Alan Brough is published by Pan, rrp $14.99.