Scottish Book Special

STUART DAVID used to be in Belle & Sebastian but left to form Looper and write books. LUKE SUTHERLAND used to be in Long Fin Killie but left to form Bows and write books. Thoroughly modern writers, we met

them on the thoroughly modern internet. liiterView: Brian Donaldson Luke Sutherland Photograph: Craig Sanders

you‘ve created is like. If you've read sliiierieun PUT/Ir) you iiiiglii ask yourself if Bret liaston lillis was inspired by (ienesis. Whitney Houston and Huey Lewis. while writing. l’d argue iliat. given the carnage contained within those pages. one would have to conclude. yes. he was. Not that I’m likening (ilen (‘ampbell to any oi those 80s greats. This time round I kept coming back to (jaiiger (among Glasgow's finest. once-tipon-a-timel. Arvo Part. Joy Division and Sister Sledge.

SD Remember ‘Rhinestone (‘owboy“.’ That was the first song I ever liked I think. for myself. I was live. I tried to get my dad to tape it off. 79),; ()f The Pops with a tape recorder. then I made him buy my mum the album for Christmas. even though she had no interest in him. I haven‘t listened to him much since. btit this guy I was writing my book about is a big fun. So I did the research. I like his version of Randy Newman's ‘Marie‘. TL Any thoughts on the future of publishing: e- books/putting out books on the net a la Stephen King?

SD It was through putting my first book on the web that it found a publisher. And I printed and sold a few other books I‘d written on there. I buy a lot of books through the internet. especially from which is great for out-of-print books. The internet‘s just generally good for anything that‘s hard to find. I got that Stephen King one too. It‘s good.

LS You read Stephen King‘s episodic e-book'.’ Didn’t he take the hull‘ and snatch it back off the web because people were downloading without paying for the pleasure?

SD I think it only got to part six then he took it off because too many people had done like me. I got one tip on him though and didn‘t read the last part he pill on. I downloaded it though. And didn‘t pay for it.

TL What was the first book you read?

SD Probably I’d/nous I‘TH’ I think. btit I didn't read much when l was young. Just annuals mostly. The first book I read and enjoyed was (‘ulelier In The Rye when l was fifteen. Then Money by Martin Amis straight after.

LS Think mine might have been linid Blyton too. Does The ll’i's/ii'iig ('liui'r ring any bells'.’ Does Noddy count'.’ I feel kind of soiled now. As you can imagine. way back then. I missed all the colonial tinder/overiones. Shame that a dame of the empire should get my first blood. I think The Hobbit was the first book to knock my socks off. More recently it was Janice Galloway‘s collection of short stories. b’lood. l was on my way to a lecture at (ilasgow University with five minutes to kill and I popped into the bookshop and flicked through a copy. Three pages long. the story love In A (‘hanging linvironment'

absolutely llooi'ed me. The prose was so poetic and siiitiotis. I found it impossible to resist. The only other artiorm to have hit me so hard so quickly was music (see above). I spent the rest ot~ the day in a daze. Ten years on. I‘m still feeling a little light- headed. ls there any book/story that's had that kind of' effect on you‘.’

SD 1 think ('uii'lier In The Rye was like that for me. It still is. Sometimes I see it in someone‘s house or in a shop and I read the first few sentences then I have to read the whole thing again. I‘ve read it eight times now.

TL And the last book you read?

SD The Bomb Party by Graham Greene. But I'd read it before.

LS Rodinsky‘s Room by Rachel Lichtenstein and Iain Sinclair.

TL Most over-hyped book ever?

SD I don‘t think books get hyped enough. Any of them. There was some fuss about that Martin Aiiiis book. btit mostly ‘catise of. the advance. And it was a tiny advance for someone so far along in their career: £500.000. At the same time. RliM got 880000.000 for an advance.

LS I‘d have to go for any of Jamie ()Iiver‘s Naked ('lief' stuff. He was SO not naked. and all the recipes I tried died. deflated or dried tip.

SO I think I agree with you about The Naked (‘lie/I I don‘t trust the naked chel‘. Too much hair going on there. in an 80s kind of‘ way. And I think there‘s a bit of' a Nigel Kennedy thing going on there too. He can‘t be a geezer and a virtuoso chef. He‘s taking one of them. I don't know too much about him. but someone tried to explain it to me. They said he grew tip in a pub and learned to cook there. That sounds a bit Nigel Kennedy too. And his scooter. That‘s all wrong. I‘ve got a scooter and my hair is always fucked. He‘s got a scooter and his hair is always botil‘f‘ant. How does that work'.’ That can‘t be done. And you‘re right. He's never naked. But I‘m glad about that.

'Being such a solitary occupahon,l sometimes find writing literally i’naddening.‘


The Peacock Manifesto by Stuart David is published by |.M.P. Fiction on Mon 16 Apr priced £7.99; Sweetmeat by Luke Sutherland is published by Doubleday in Aug priced £9.99.


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