Is it just me? Or you?

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:

Author: Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

One thought on “Is it just me? Or you?”

  1. Thanks so much for giv­ing this to me for Christmas. I thor­oughly enjoyed it when I could prise it out of the hands of oth­er fam­ily mem­bers!

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