Finally – and a bit later than scheduled – Ed Spencer’s The People’s Republic of Absurdia is here!

In lieu of this, here’s the final part of our Halton Pickles meets… Ed Spencer interview…

HP: What political persuasion are you?

ES: LSD – Liberal, Social Democrat.

HP: Motto/mantra?

ES: I’ve got a few actually.

If I die at 75 and it’s not painful, I’ll take that as a victory.

Why not treat it as a joke? (Henry Miller)

It’s a waste of time in that anything’s a waste of time. You’ll never get there and you’re already there.

There are many schools of thought. But it’s easy to kid yourself.

If I get through today without kicking someone in the fucking face it will be a miracle. (That was a text from my mate Owen, severely hungover, given his young daughter to look after at 7am, with said daughter puking on his cheek within ten seconds of him holding her)

HP: What does the soul look like?

I imagine the soul would look like an oyster if it was pulled out. French oysters look like Brie.

HP: If you could only have one art form (Music, literature, art, theatre or film) what would you choose?

ES: Gotta be music. Although I’m a writer and venerate the novel and novelists, music is the most versatile. It can be enjoyed alone or with friends at festivals, gigs, parties, bbqs, etc, and can be the focus or the background. Every other artform requires undivided attention and is generally a solo event – which is fine, brilliant, I mean reading a good book is one of life’s best things, but with music you can be on a journey (actually, not metaphorically), working, wherever, whatever. Music fits. It is also the most immediately visceral, a mainline into your soul & heart.

HP: Are you musical?

ES: Not really, no. I strum a guitar badly.

HP: What are your top five bands/musicians of all time?

ES: Oh fuck. Erm. Nirvana, Blur, Joy Division, The Velvet Underground and then there’s about thirty all vying for a place. Led Zepellin, Smashing Pumpkins, Hefner, Black Angels, Stone Roses. Fuck I don’t know.

HP: Your favourite five writers of all time?

ES: John Fante, David Foster Wallace, George Orwell, Charles Bukowski, Phillip K Dick. But Candide by Voltaire is my favourite book.

HP: What is the greatest joy of writing for you?

When you’re right in the zone and it’s just flowing out of you. It really is the best feeling in the world – apart from the obvious.

HP: What are some of your favourite lines from books?

ES: ‘(I needed to get home to) figure the losses, figure the gains’ – from On the Road (Jack Kerouac)

‘If freedom is saying somewhere cos it’s cheap and foreign then I’ve had a gut full of freedom’ – from The Rum Diaries (Hunter S. Thompson)

‘Every blessing ignored becomes a curse’ – from Eleven Minutes (Paolo Coelho). This is also the book that made me realise writing a book was doable.

HP: What’s next?

ES: Well happily SFB are gonna publish my first short story anthology (unless I get a better offer!) – The Last Thing Anyone Needs Is A Dribbling Crisis (And Other Small Talk). I’m also writing my second novel – but that’s a way away from being finished, so we’ll cross the publication bridge when we come to it.

HP: Can you tell us what it’s about?

ES: It’s basically a black comedy about a man suffering from inertia who commits a murder by accident, and finds it therapeutic. As he goes on a killing spree the reader realises his actions have a cosmic relevance.

Ed Spencer’s debut novel The People’s Republic of Absurdia is out today on Sigmund Fraud Books – paperback or ebook –

Available elsewhere too. Enjoy – we did!

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