By Charlie Williams.
1) We have had three books published with you as the main character and narrator and me as the writer. The first one (Deadfolk) sold OK, but the numbers got progressively bad for the other two (Fags and Lager, King of the Road). Because of that, they won’t publish this fourth one we have written, Wrongun. Why won’t you accept that?
What’s this “we” bollocks? Who tells the fucking stories here, me or you? That’s right, it’s me. All you do is the fucking typing. Sooner you accept that and stop pretending you’re a fucking writer, the happier for all concerned. Regarding this thing about not enough people buying them other ones, everyone knows that’s a conspiracy. I have been identified as an agitator by the powers that fucking be. With me, you’re looking at a person with a gift for moving the common people, for getting their hackles up and leading them into violent confrontation against injustice. Once, right, this posh bloke tried opening a fancy place just along from Hoppers, trying to make out theirs was the classier establishment and even daring to charge over a quid a pint more. It was a blatant attempt to compete with us, Hoppers being a historical venue around here and deserving of better treatment. So I sprayed on their wall that he was a paedo. Ah, you should have seen the violent confrontations that ensued. Fucking beautiful.
2) There has been some film and TV interest in these books over the years. Why has none of that come to fruition?
Oh here we go, the fucking sob story about no one giving enough of a shite about your work to turn it into summat proper like a film. I fucking told you, mate – these are my stories and I get the yay or nay over how they get made. None of the film blokes who have come along so far – not one of the fuckers – has said the magic word, far as I’m concerned. The moment someone comes along with a film camera, a wodge of notes and Bruce Willis, I’ll think about it.
3) Do you think the books would have sold more if there had been a TV series or film?
What the fuck is it with you and this TV shite? I told you – the magic word is Bruce Willis, and he ain’t done TV since that one with the theme tune where they go “Someone by night…” It was shite anyhow, but the point is he’s too big for TV these days, meaning he can’t play me on it. At a stretch – a fucking massive stretch, mind – I might think about Lewis Collins out of The Professionals.
4) OK, I just thought the other books had been largely ignored by the book-buying public because they didn’t have any media profile. They got great reviews, from people such as Matthew Lewin in the Guardian, who said of King of the Road, “this is gloriously funny stuff and so original that other writers must be gnashing their–”
Would you finally shut the fuck up about people gnashing their bastard teeth? All you ever do is go on about that fucking review, and the one from the Times where he says “great mystery”, but he don’t actually mean the book is a great mystery, more like it’s a great fucking mystery why some cunt like you gets to write about someone like me – a VIP and all-round community pillar. Reviews of books don’t count for shite, my friend. What counts for shite is people actually reading the fucking things, going in a bookshop and buying em and learning all about the shite I done, and the interesting things I got to say.
5) Alright, alright, so… why didn’t people do that? Why did so few people buy and read King of the Road that we’re now reduced to launching a Facebook campaign to try and get the 100,000 followers we need to get Wrongun published?
Reduced? Who’s fucking reduced? Maybe you are, you fucking wimp. Me, I’m walking tall (about six-four in my boots, seventeen and half stone, built like Ivan Drago out of Rocky IV but resembling Clint Eastwood facially). This Facebook wossname ain’t about trying to reach 100,000 (which will be a piece of fucking piss, by the way), it’s about getting out there and showing folks what they been missing by not reading my books and the things I got to say. They don’t know me, so none of ‘em know how clever and hard and handsome I am. And shall I tell you who’s fucking fault that is? It’s your, you fucking twat, for not letting me do all the talking in the first place. Every time one of my books came out, you done all the talky bits and interviews and public appearance wossnames. That is where you fucked up. It’s me you wants out there, not you. I am the brains of this operation, and also the brawn, sex appeal, charisma and all-round person of big bollocks. You… you’re just the fucking typist.
5b) Look, firstly, 100,000 followers is not going to be a piece of piss. Right now we are exactly 99,870 short of that. It’s going to be impossible! And do you know something else? I don’t need this. Without me you wouldn’t even exist. It’s me who put you where you are now, and I can out you back down to.
Whassat? You saying summat? Sorry mate, I weren’t listening. I was looking at that blank sheet of paper in front of you, and the pen you got poised there, ready to write some words. Where do them words come from, clever fucking clogs who reckons he can do hard sums? Fuck your sums, who’s the one with the stories? Who’s the cunt who won’t go away, who always comes up with summat else to write, even when they turn you down and refuse to publish the last fucking thing? It’s yours fucking truly, mate. I am that cunt. And I always will be that cunt… even when you go behind my back and write a book without me in it, like you done last year. I ain’t forgot about that, by the fucking way.
Charlie Williams “wrote” Deadfolk (2004), Fags and Lager (2005) and King of the Road (2006), all published by Serpent’s Tail… as is Stairway to Hell (2009, and minus Royston Blake). Join the FREE THE MANGEL ONE campaign.
First posted: Tuesday, March 30th, 2010.