Episode 80 - DBC Pierre: Part 1


Part one of DBC Pierre's interview chat with This Writing Life podcast starts in media res. With a fan blowing our hair in attractive fashion (apologies for the whoosh behind the voices), we talked on a lovely summer's day at a London hotel. Pierre was in town to launch his new book, Release the Bats, an exuberant, personal and inspiring writing guide, with hints of memoir. A call-to-pen with hints about his colourful life.

As the tape tolls, we are talking about talking about Will Carruthers' memoir, Playing the Bass with Three Hands: Pierre was to appear at an event with the former Spiritualized bassist that evening. After some meditation on the hotter aspects of being a bass player (some caution is advised), we meander via music, the composition of Pierre's Man Booker winning Vernon God Little, and Pierre: the frustrated rock star. From here we saunter to:

  • Pierre's own music taste
  • why Pierre doesn't listen to music: 'The music provides a soundtrack that makes the writing better than it is'
  • why Pierre writes throughout the night
  • Pierre's routine for writing Vernon God Little
  • 'You can go crazy at night and let yourself fly'
  • losing the plot and creating a plot: Pierre, licence and liminal spaces
  • writing vs editing
  • to plan or not to plan, that is the question...
  • non-fiction vs fiction
  • why write Release the Bats?
  • Pierre on creative writing courses

Part 2 of 4 to follow.