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Small talk with Young Bond author Charlie Higson

04-Oct-2008 • Young Bond

Charlie Higson co-wrote and starred in the TV comedy The Fast Show (1994-2000) with Paul Whitehouse. Higson has also published four novels, including Getting Rid of Mister Kitchen (1997), and five instalments of his Young Bond series for teenagers about James Bond’s school days at Eton. Higson lives in north London with his wife and three children - reports the FT.

When did you know you were going to be a writer?

When I was a kid I used to write children’s stories, fantasy novels and sci-fi while I was supposed to be doing my homework.

What stimulates the writer in you?

The thought that through writing I can create anything. It’s a form of magic. It’s the male riposte to the female ability to create children.

What would you do if you gave up writing?

Some acting, some gardening. I can’t imagine it. Being a writer isn’t really much of a life but I’d feel lost without it.

What are you like to live with?

I’m fairly placid but I can be uncommunicative. I can become wrapped up in my work and be antisocial.

When do you feel most free?

When I’ve dropped my youngest boy at school and it’s sunny and I have a clear day of writing ahead of me, with no meetings or phone calls.

What would you change about yourself?

I would be less shy and more socially confident. I wish I didn’t like writing so much as I’d like to get out more.

What is the last thing you read that made you laugh out loud?

A book of Charlie Brooker’s Guardian columns.

What would a novel about your life be called?

What a Boring Man. It’s the characters that get to have the exciting times – as a writer you don’t have the fun.

What does it mean to be a writer?

It means you’re reliant on your own brain entirely and there’s no one else around to help you.

What advice would you give to a budding author?

Go away and do something else. Us writers don’t need the competition. But if you do want to write, go and get a life so you’ve got something to write about.

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