Monday, October 22, 2007


Are you one of those people who hates the sound of their own voice?

No? Well, I am. I listen to my outgoing message on the answering machine and think 'who's that arrogant twat?' I catch myself mid-conversation and wonder why people are still around listening to this boring, monotone idiot rambling on about trivia. I listen to other, more interesting people giving witty and amusing talks and wish I could sound like them. My voice is, to me, a painful experience best avoided.

All of which I explained to Angie when she first approached me with an invitation to record an interview for her fascinating In for Questioning series. I couldn't quite understand why she wanted to talk to little old me, either, but somehow she persuaded me to participate. The result, should you be interested in hearing my dull, monotone idiot voice scrabbling for sensible answers to intelligent questions, is now up for all the world to hear.

And do you know what? It's really quite good. I don't know what magic pixie dust Angie sprinkled on the tape, but after a few minutes I don't sound all that bad. If you don't listen to the actual content of what I'm saying, that is. In particular, I managed to mispronounce Sandra's surname, even though I knew damn well how it should have been said. Call it first-interview nerves, or just being an idiot.

I also noticed, second time around, a couple of references to 'Farm Staff.' This sounds almost Wignallesque in its upper-class dismissal of servants. I should explain that I live and work on a research farm, formerly a governement agency, now run by a private company. When I started here, there were about thirty staff in all, comprised of research scientists, technicians, consultants, administrators and, of course, five farm workers who looked after the hundred-strong pedigree herd of Welsh Black cattle and three thousand or so sheep. Terms such as 'technical staff' and 'admin staff' don't sound so doffed-cap and yes m'lud as 'farm staff,' but that is what they've always been referred to. The company has shrunk considerably since then, and the old demarcations no longer exist - how else would the IT guy end up collecting sheep poop? But the farm workers are still referred to as 'farm staff.' Go figure - there's no disrespect intended; I know how hard those guys work, and in all conditions.

I must apologise to Mr Stuart as well, for suggesting that he is in any way responsible for my bad behaviour. Well, maybe he is a bit.

But most of all, I'd like to say a big thanks to Angie, both for interviewing me (and not deciding to bin the thing once it was done) and for all the other interviews she's done for the site. You should listen to them all, really, there's some fascinating insights by very talented and interesting people up there.

But listen to mine first. That way I stand a small chance of not sounding like a complete twit.

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Blogger angie said...

You were great & the interview was lots of fun. Keeping my fingers crossed for NATURAL CAUSES to get a book deal, stat, 'cause I really wanna read it.

October 22, 2007 12:48 pm  
Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

I wouldn't apologize for blaming Stuart if I were you. He is a corrupting influence, and the whole crime fiction community knows it already.

October 22, 2007 4:20 pm  
Anonymous norby said...

James it was a great interview. And yeah, we all know about Stuart.

October 22, 2007 9:22 pm  
Blogger Randy Johnson said...

Great interview. Looking forward to you finding a publisher. Both genres are favorites of mine.

October 23, 2007 12:22 pm  
Blogger Trace said...

WOW! Can't wait to listen. I'm off to work now but I'll give a listen later.

And you're a cutie, James! What a handsome fella.

October 24, 2007 1:25 pm  
Blogger JamesO said...

Angie - thanks, you were a great interviewer (except for the bit about shepherdesses).

Sandra - the problem is, Stuart might let on who corrupted him in the first place.

norby, Randy, Trace - thanks guys. I feel kind of wierd and 'celebrity'. I just hope the reality TV people don't come calling;}#

October 24, 2007 6:29 pm  
Blogger highlandwriter said...

Great Interview! Nice to put a voice to the blog, what all. Best to you and the Horse Doctor..and your writerly pal, Mr. McBride.

October 26, 2007 2:56 am  

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