Kal Bonner Interview
Posted on 22 September 2009. © Copyright 2004-2024 WriteWords
WriteWords talks to Kal Bonner, aka WW member BESTSELLER
Tell us all about your writing background- what you’ve written, what you’re currently working on
I basically write comedy, which is ironic really as generally I'm a miserable sod. My first novel, 'Climbing A Ladder Backwards' was published earlier this year. I'm hoping the next one will cause a bidding war, but fear that George Bush may come out of hiding, once he hears the word 'war' and want to join in. I'm stockpiling shoes, just in case.
I also write for the screen and radio - the 'Whale in the Room' goes into production this month for Resonance FM. Rather disappointingly Johnny Depp refused to take part due to my insistence on reviving the casting couch for auditions.
I'm currently editing one book and working on the sequel to 'Climbing A Ladder Backwards'.
Other work besides writing; ie. Editing, dramaturgy, tutoring, and how it works/worked for/against your own writing
I'm unable to participate in tutoring, due to my allergy to leather elbow patches and chalk. My sole occupation is writing, which is why I invariably have bailiffs trying to repossess things. Actually, that's not strictly true - they never get past the electrified fence.
How did you start writing?
The writing malarkey started with music magazines, when I lived in Liverpool - interviewing and reviewing bands and fairly exciting stuff like that. Then I moved to Jersey and it stopped, until about five years ago, when I faxed in my resignation whilst under the influence of madness, and it all started again from there.
I wrote my first book in long hand and figured that if I didn't have a second I'd go back to my regular job - but I did and I didn't.
Who are your favourite writers and why?
I'd say that my greatest influences are probably Groucho Marx, Oscar Wilde, Dorothy Parker and Hunter S Thompson. I'm also a great admirer of Matt Groening and his team. I also don't mind a bit of Dickens now and then - but who doesn't? The key to my heart is humour, razor sharp wit and dialogue that could fell Goliath in one breath.
How did you get your first agent/ commission/publication? Can you tell us about the process/journey?
I did what every writer has to do (unless they're famous/infamous) and submitted.I swotted up on various agencies that handled my genre and Curtis Brown stood out from day one. I then proceeded to bombard them on a regular basis, until my agent took pity on me and rescued me from the slushpile. Once she ascertained that I was fairly harmless and almost of sound mind, she signed me up.
What's the worst thing about writing?
I've just discovered that the worst thing about writing, is trying to answer a question about the worst thing about writing. Apart from being Liverpool FC's masseur, it has to be the best job in the world.
And the best?
The absolute best thing is being able to reach people. It's amazing to think that words come out of your head, into the laptop, out again as a body of work, and into someone else's head. It's like having sex, without having to worry if you've had your bikini line waxed. In other words - it's liberating.
Tell us what kind of responses you get from audiences\ readers.
I've had a fantastic response to the first book. As I write comedy, it's generally a good sign when someone says it made them laugh. I've also been told by readers that they relate to my characters and really feel as if they know them, or someone like them. This is also a good sign and makes all those hours of people watching worthwhile. I hasten to add that 'people watching' is not to be confused with Peeping Tom - that case was never proven.
Of course, good feedback has a mighty uplifting influence on my writing and helps keep me going. Getting a good review from Scott Pack was also a bonus.
Comments by other Members