I’ve been promoting my new book, Melt It! The Book of the Iceman. It’s an extended interview with comedian and performance artist Anthony Irvine.
I’ve come to love Anthony. He’s a brilliant, funny, humble person. Together we’re like Ed Wood and Bella Lugosi: a hopeless young fool and a hopeless older fool united by optimism (or perhaps delusion).
Anyway, we did an interview with our friend John Fleming for his blog. It was all clicking along rather nicely and I was explaining how the book happened:
We spent a day together at Battersea Arts Centre and we ended up with a 15,000 word interview with no waffle […] I approached some publishers and they all told me to get fucked. But then Chris from Go Faster Stripe saved the day. He’s got the right audience for it. Thousands of people with an interest in niche or fringe comedy and a lot of them know of The Iceman and want answers.
And then, suddenly, the Iceman says:
Rob was very good at glueing it all – freezing it all – together. He is hard-working; he’s a grafter; he works fast.
Naturally, I was appalled. Why was my new creative partner suddenly insulting me?
I think I said, “don’t tell people that! It took ages to establish my idler-wastrel persona!” but that didn’t make the cut.
Alas, I can see how Anthony came to this conclusion. I did work unusually hard on this book. Quickly too. The vision for it was so powerful in my mind that I just had to get it all out before something got in the way. (See my thoughts on “the right kind of work” re: Tove Janson).
I’m very proud of this unlikely project. As I say in the interview:
There’s not a single regret in it […] When I look at my other books, there’s always some weird phrasing or something I wish I’d done differently. This is just a perfect book.
Our book is not a New Escapologist project but the Iceman has certainly lived an unusual outsiderish life. He’s certainly never been motivated by money or the other usual expectations. He was even a circus clown for a while. He’s a great case study for anyone wanting to live differently. It’s also just quite funny.* (*Afterword by Stewart Lee!)