Steve ‘Glass-half-full’ Stack has a blog over here in which he talks about wonderful, life-affirming things. You know, like when the people in the queue at a supermarket let you go through first because you have fewer items to buy. Rainbows. Certain TV shows. Steve’s book It is Just You, Everything’s not Shit is published by those crazy cats over at the Friday Project and would probably make an ideal Xmas present (i.e. it’s guaranteed to raise a smile, probably an easy read, and could be given to someone who doesn’t necessarily want a novel or an in-depth non-fiction tome). Steve will even write you a custom message and send a copy to you directly if you use the form on the right hand side of his website.
Steve is doing a virtual book tour, and I asked him to swing by.
What does your book say on the topic of Good Things that ‘Raindrops on Roses’ from the Sound of Music doesn’t? And will you be bringing out a CD?
I think it is fair to say that my signing voice will not be troubling the contestants of How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria. Correction, it would probably trouble them quite a bit if they heard it. So no, I won’t be bringing out a CD, but thanks for asking.
I guess the book isn’t too far removed from the song though, it is essentially a list of some of my favourite things mixed in with some silly, inspirational and wonderful entries. But my book is better as it includes Play Doh, Patrick Moore playing the xylophone and bacon sandwiches and I am pretty sure the song forgot those.
The title of your book — It is you, everything’s not shit — is mildly arresting in a ooh-he-used-a-swear kind-of-way. Did you have any discussions with your publisher about whether the naughty bit should be written ‘sh*t’? How will Waterstone’s cope? With stickers, Peril-Sensitive Sunglasses?
As mine is a response to a series of books that already had the word ‘shit’ in the title we didn’t really give it much thought. It hasn’t proven to be a problem with retailers, the book is in Asda for goodness sake, but it does seem to have kept me off Blue Peter. So far.
I have been doing some radio interviews which have been amusing. BBC Radio Bristol called the book It Is Just You, Everything’s Not Poo for the duration. Others have said ‘rubbish’ or ‘bad’, whereas in Europe they just said ‘shit’. That new TV station from Al Gore bleeped it out (you can see the feature here). The London Paper printed the title as Sh*t but then printed the jacket in full. I am thinking of writing an article on how different media approached the word.
As a fiction author, I’d be tempted to use all this as research and come up with a Hornby-esque top-ten-sporting novel about a manchild who obsesses about the late seventies and early eighties. Were you tempted?
No, because Nick Hornby has already done that. More than once.
Presumably, some ‘not shit’ things were more difficult to come up with than others…what is your favourite discovery?
I enjoyed discovering www.aquarterof.com as they sent me a big box of sweets. Lovely people. Salt of the earth. Interviewing Oliver Postgate was a real delight.
Thanks to Steve for this. Check out this review, as mentioned above: