Today, we continue our chat with Martyn Bedford. Here, we focus on Martyn the person and the writer. Find out what the question he's never been asked before is!
How did you become an author?
Martyn: I was writing fiction when I was at school. I started writing stories and chapters of novels when I was about thirteen, fourteen, fifteen. I went into journalism initially – you can’t really get a job as ‘an author’. I carried on writing in my twenties and early thirties. I’d got about forty rejection slips from agents. Then I went and did an MA Creative Writing course at East Anglia and started working a a novel that did get published. I didn’t actually get published until I was about thirty-six.
Martyn: I teach at Leeds Trinity University College. I’ve got a module that I enjoy called Life Writing where people write autobiography in the first semester and then they write Biography. The students seem to particularly like the autobiographical element – I don’t know if that says something about undergraduates that they like writing about themselves. They find the Biography a bit more of a stretch.
Did you get scared when you were writing Flip (because we did in a couple of places)?
Martyn: Not really because as the writer I know what’s coming. Fear is a tension thing that comes with not knowing what’s coming next. But you were meant to be at some points! Although there were some bits where I got a bit upset.
If you were Alex in Philip/Flip’s body, what food would you struggle to eat for breakfast?
Martyn: I wouldn’t object to the croissants in the way that he does – I wouldn’t mind those. I’d eat pretty much anything. I’m not that fussy about food. But I’m not keen on savoury food for breakfast, like kedgeree. Or kippers.
Being weird about what I eat at breakfast, I’ll try that one morning at home and see what happens!
What kind of key ring do you have?
Martyn: In an interview there’s always a question you’ve never been asked before – and this one’s it! I’ve got Simply the Best Dad – which is true actually, I’m sure your dad’s very good, but I’m the best dad. And the Tesco’s clubcard.