12 thoughts on “Interview with David Mitchell”

  1. Good inter­view, Ian. I share you admir­a­tion (coupled with a jot of jeal­ousy and resent­ment) for Mr Mitchell. ‘Hemingway’ as a verb. Like it.

    One ques­tion: why do you describe Black Swan Green as ‘a series of con­nec­ted stor­ies’, rather than a nov­el? Sure, it’s epis­od­ic, but the parts have more of a clear con­nec­tion than those in Ghostwritten or Cloud Atlas.

  2. Thanks, Tim. Yes, Mr Mitchell is almost too good as a writer — and such a nice chap that it seems to make the whole thing worse. For the record, I myself do start my writ­ing days at 11 am with a glass of wine…

    About BSG, I’m not sure I’d say it was one or the oth­er (I can’t remem­ber my exact words), but David (you know, m’mate Dave) did write BSG so that each chapter would work as a stan­dalone story, and though there are cer­tainly ref­er­ents to earli­er mater­i­al in later epis­odes, they could prob­ably work as a col­lec­tion of shorts. But it’s cer­tainly a nov­el too, if that makes sense.

  3. You know, this was EXACTLY how The Bat Segundo Show star­ted. It was all a shame­lessly sol­ipsist­ic pre­text to inter­view David Mitchell. And I felt almost EXACTLY the same way! Of course, the more you do this, the bet­ter you get.

    Good on you for tak­ing ini­ti­at­ive. Next thing you know, you’ll have 100 pod­casts that you’re host­ing on your site and thou­sands of listen­ers.

  4. Thanks for your com­ment, Ed. Your inter­views with David served as last-minute revi­sion and are, of course, far more pro­fes­sion­al than mine. Enjoyed the David Lynch pod­cast too — wow, that guy loves TM.

  5. Hi, Ian.

    Belatedly (as is usu­al with me) well done. I’ll be listen­ing to this some time soon.

  6. I am in awe of the Dame Edna of the blo­go­sphere in action.

    Just kid­ding. Really inter­est­ing to read. Agree with the Douglas Adams thing-I’ve only read the first book, when I was about eight­een, but com­pletely had the impres­sion that there was a writer over­see­ing everything, which for some read­ers is maybe the attrac­tion, but it put me off. Also, I didn’t really laugh.

    Like you music­al intro and outro. Very pro­fes­sion­ally done as well, you are a born interview–I think you should do more of them.

  7. Thanks, pos­sum — I mean ‘Neil’.

    I’m bra­cing myself for a law­suit from Apple Corps…

  8. Who did you con­tact to set up the inter­view? You men­tioned pub­li­cist, but can I get a name and email? I’m work­ing on a school pro­ject about David Mitchell and would like to con­tact him as well. Thanks!

  9. Good stuff Ian, really enjoyed this. Shame he was ill, I could have listen­ing to him talk for anoth­er hour! Very heart­en­ing when he says “your book will look after you”, in ref­er­ence to your con­cern about lift­ing stuff from oth­er writers.

  10. Thanks, Alex. Yes, I find myself think­ing “David knows best” when wor­ry­ing about the Philip K Dick influ­ences in my cur­rent book…

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