20 Random Questions is a feature on Sisterspooky that will show you a different side to authors you may already know and introduce new ones. I ask 20 very Random Questions and they answer them. Simple as that. The idea was inspired from a mixture of things in my head and a random question asked by Jim over at YA Contemporary
Today, Joe Craig, is stepping up to the blog podium to take on the 20 Random Questions!
If you were ruler of the world what laws would you make?
-A new calendar: ten months of 5 weeks each, then a 15 day ‘interscotia’ after Christmas leading up to New Year. This way, the 1st of every month is always a Monday. So there’s no more confusion about which day of the week a certain date might be. It’ll be consistent. And the interscotia will be a big international holiday. Everybody gets their birthday off work.
-I’d like to phase out religion. Without suppressing existing religious practice and belief, but through education that instils faith in rational enquiry. It’ll take a generation or two, but it’s possible and it’s for the best. That’ll obviously include phasing out faith schools. Intermingling of everybody.
-Open up all the borders. No more whining about immigration anywhere. Anybody can live anywhere in the world they want to live.
-If the value of a photograph has anything to do with a person IN the photograph, then the copyright of that photo belongs to the person in it, not the photographer. This might seem trivial compared to the others, but it should instantly get rid of paparazzi. A sub-clause of this law: no photoshopping or digital manipulation of images of the human body in any publications that might be seen by anyone under 18.
-New animal welfare laws. Treat those chickens nicely, people. Free-range only.
-Huge investment & research into lab-created meat. We’re going to solve the hunger problem and the environmental strain of cattle at the same time.
-As your new ruler, I’m going to come down particularly hard on any prejudice or discrimination of any kind. That includes any based on race, gender and sexual orientation. It’s way past the point that we should have got rid of all of that.
If you were a super hero what powers would you have? Limit to three powers!
Flight, foresight and patience.
What's your favourite cheese and why?
Fourme D’Ambert or a very aged Comté. There is no ‘why’ with cheese. It just is.
If you were an animal what would you be and why?
Monkey. One of the ones with a prehensile tail. Or something that flies. Maybe a dragon. Can I be a dragon? A golden one. Thanks.
If you could ask your future self one question what would it be?
Is it worth it?
What do you think the greatest invention has been?
Apart from cheese? Probably… writing.
What’s your favourite type of Pie?
Pear & chocolate torte. Does that count as a pie? If not, then beef and stilton.
If you could steal one thing without consequence what would it be and why?
The moon. Or the Antarctic. Yeah, probably the Antarctic. More useful than the Moon. Although now I think about it, why not just steal all the land in the world? Yeah, I’d do that.
Who's your favourite Villain and why?
Rev Harry Powell from The Night of the Hunter. Or any character played by Barbara Stanwyck. Ooh, maybe Dr Zeus from Planet of the Apes.
Hard to point to exactly why. I think it’s about quiet power. No great drama or showing off, just intense and determined focus.
Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
-I always mark the top right corner of any piece of paper I write on.
-I won’t allow any object to be placed on top of any book I’ve written or manuscript I’m working on.
That’s it. I used to have a lot of cricket-related superstitions but I gradually cured myself of all of them. I’m now blissfully superstition-free.
If you had a warning label, what would yours say and why?
What's your preferred playing piece in monopoly and why?
I used to love Monopoly. (I was also unbeatable at it but I don’t think that’s the only reason I loved it – I don’t have to win at games to love them. I enjoy playing almost anything and don’t care whether I win or lose). But in the last few years it’s become clear to me what a dreadful boardgame Monopoly is. There are so many amazing boardgames out there now, most of them invented in the last ten years or so. There is no reason for anybody to ever play Monopoly again. Here are some games that are better than Monopoly, off the top of my head:
Ticket to Ride
Having said that, if I’m forced to play Monopoly, it had better be Muppet Monopoly, in which case my preferred playing piece would probably be Kermit or Gonzo.
What was the last thing you ate?
Who would you want to be trapped on a desert island with? Pick no more than five people!
I’m quite happy by myself but if I have to have anybody with me, I’d like 4 beautiful and obedient survival experts and a chef, please. Thanks.
What song would you say best sums you up?
Smack Dab In The Middle, as performed by Ray Charles
What was your first job?
My first and only job was working in HMV at Brent Cross shopping centre. I was an excellent salesman but a terrible, terrible employee.
What's the scariest thing you've ever done?
It’s a toss-up between electrocuting myself and falling off a moving bus. Neither was particularly terrifying at the time, but either could have killed me.
What's the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
-What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?-Write as if you were dying.
-Apply the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.-Lunch, lunch, lunch - OK. Now you’re ready.
-"If one wants to be a respectable philosopher, one should get up in the mornings and do some work." (Philippa Foot, 'Virtues and Vices')-What you leave out is as important as what you leave in.-"If you've got a beginning, but don't yet have an end, then you're mistaken. You don't have the right beginning." (Alexander Mackendrick)-"There are two types of people in the world: those with loaded guns, and those who dig. You dig." (from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)-If you're riding ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and again to make sure it's still there.-"And shall I die - and this unconquered?" (from 'Tamburlaine' by Christopher Marlowe)-"I don't want something realistic - I want something believable." (Chuck Jones)-"Economy is key, brevity takes time, excellence means perseverance." (Robert McKee)-"I never wanted to be famous. I only wanted to be great." (Ray Charles)-"All stories begin the same way: when a brilliant writer, with a clear vision, sits down to work and starts to write." (Uma Thurman, The Oscars, 2006)-"How do you come up with ideas?" … "By sheer perseverance to the point of madness." (Charlie Chaplin)-"Don't let the critic become bigger than the creator." (Randy Newman)-"Try to get the idea out of your head that any one person can 'make' you. Only you can make you. And no one is going to do for you anything that you can't do better for yourself, given the time." (Nerissa Nields, songwriter)-"You can work at whatever you want to as long as you do it as well as you can and clean up afterwards and you're at the table at mealtime and in bed at bed time... If you have an impulse to do something you're not sure is right, go ahead and do it. Take a chance. Chances are, if you don't you'll regret it - unless you break the rules about mealtime or bedtime, in which case you'll sure as hell regret it." (Harpo Marx)-"Anybody who mistreats a pet or breaks a pool cue is docked a month's pay." (also Harpo Marx)-"People who like quotations love meaningless generalizations" (Graham Greene)-"If anything is possible, then nothing is interesting." (H.G. Wells)-"I'm not really a proud person. But from my professional experience, I have always appreciated my continuous will to search. This has made my work live and I have sometimes found something... It is always better to find and take a risk than give up from the very beginning." (Ennio Morricone)-No amount of genius can withstand a preoccupation with detail.