“One day, someone on the other end of the phone won’t be lovely. On that day I will break with tradition and refuse to name them as such.”
I said that back in July.
I haven’t done a #PhonePhill since July because of school holidays and actual holidays and deadlines and spending most of my free time swapping my daughter’s bedroom and my office around*. It’s not that there’s a shortage of lovely people in the world I want to talk to (although the list is open if anyone fancies a natter), it’s more that I temporarily ran out of nattering time.
But I’m back. With a bang.
Well, maybe not a bang. More of a continuous exchange of reasonably volumed telecommunication signals. This week’s #PhonePhill is William Gallagher and he was …
Lovely. Super double-plus extra lovely, in fact.
To be honest, I’m not sure why I led with that quote or why I felt the need to quote myself. I’m fairly certain only an imbecile would quote me.
We were on the phone for a mammoth two and a half hours, nattering on about … well, pretty much everything really. The first half an hour or so was me trying to convince him I was being honest about the nature of the Secret Writing Island and how it works. For some reason William demanded a lot of detail before accepting I wasn’t spinning a yarn … considering the context (which I’m not going into here) I consider that a compliment.
After that we covered Doctor Who (he’s written some, I haven’t), Blake’s 7 (he has a teleport bracelet, I don’t), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (neither of us are particularly fussed about it), the Midlands (we’ve both lived there, he still does), New York vs. London (we both prefer New York but aren’t really sure why), fuel economy vs. train tickets (it’s complicated and depressing), technology (he prefers iOS, I prefer Android … both are amazing and frustrating in different ways at different times and for different reasons) and how an actor’s delivery of a line can make or break a scene.
This one I find endlessly fascinating. My favourite example is from this scene:
“Is it still raining? I hadn’t noticed.”
Terrible, terrible line which almost completely derails the entire film (which I think is otherwise fantastic).
Except … is it a terrible line? Or is it just delivered wrong? I’m certain I’ve read somewhere† that line was meant to be sarcastic. Run it back through your mind, imagine it not as a breathless, yet cheesy, declaration of love … imagine it as a being actually quite funny. How much better is that scene?
Now think about Queenie:
Miranda Richardson’s delivery is extraordinary. Continuously. In a exceptionally well-written sitcom performed by a uniformly amazing cast, she stands out as an absolute genius. A genius among geniuses, I guess … but her performance lifts that role to incredible heights.
As much as we like to think good writing makes good drama, it’s nothing unless it’s performed well.
Or at least I think so anyway. I am frequently wrong about such things.
William, for example, asserts I’m completely and utterly wrong about my dislike for one of the four modern Doctor Who actors. I’m just wrong, apparently.
Adding to that, William also thinks I’m wrong about believing only an imbecile would quote me (because he has and he clearly isn’t one). He’s so convinced of my wrongness in this regard that he’s written an entire book just about me:
Okay, so it’s not just about me. Other bloggers are available and quoted/interviewed at great length … but surely the likes of Jason Arnopp, Katherine D’Souza or Diane Leigh can’t possibly hold a candle to my magnificence?
Oh … apparently they can.
Well, that’s a blow.
Presumably they can also spell magnificence without resorting to spell-check.
This is the official blurb for William’s book:
Everybody tells you that you must have a website and you must have a blog but nobody tells you how – or why. In this book you will learn the key steps to creating your blog but, more importantly, what you can use one for and how it will become an important part of your creative work.
BBC writer William Gallagher shows you how to write a blog that people will read – and then how to keep on writing new entries. See how to write fast blogs and more considered ones. How to make a blog that works for you because it works for your readers.
The good news is it’s available right now on Amazon.
The better news is there’s a far cheaper PDF version here.
The bestest news is you can get a whopping 40% discount off the PDF version if you use the code: JAMAISVU
£3 for a book which features me? How can you not want that? Go on, treat yourself.
And while you’re treating yourself, why not treat me to the sound of your voice? I’d love to hear from you, no matter who you are or what you do. You don’t have to be a writer or even in the entertainment industry. You could be a plumber or a mystery shopper or a retrophrenologist …. I really don’t care, I just want to have a bit of a chat.
If you’re at a loose end and not sure what to do, buy William Gallagher’s book. If you’re still at a loose end after that, why not email me and arrange a time to #PhonePhill?
Come on, let’s have a chat.
* My office is now much smaller … but much cooler. I’ll show it off properly when it’s finished.
† As certain as I am I’ve said all this before.