All Interviews Should Be Playboy
I mentioned my new interviewing gig the other day on here. I just wanted to get back to it, probably, one last time. This last bit will really explain why I like interviews so much.
I read Playboy for the articles. There, the truth is out. I am that one guy. Get the sniggering out of the way and now listen.
Have you ever read an interview by Playboy? They’re phenomenal. They cover absolutely everything and they go for pages. You read one of those bad boys and it’s like reading a good short story. The way they conduct an interview, the way the creators relax in their capable charms, makes me want to be a better interviewer.
I read a stack of my news online. I get the real news, life events there, and I get my entertainment news there because it is far more comprehensive. Most publications don’t cover good writer interviews anymore. I don’t check Playboy, so I have no idea who they’re interviewing these days, and I don’t get anything like GQ either, and sadly Fangoria just costs way too much for me to invest anymore. I loved the salad days of Fango where each issue was almost guaranteed to have an interview with either John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, or John Landis. That was how a mag was supposed to present itself.
I can’t afford the magazines anymore, they’re around $10 a pop, each month. Even my Empire Magazine subscription is ending and I am not sure if I will renew it, which is so immensely sad for me. I love my creator interviews, I love a behind the scenes look into the mind, the process, the thoughts, the beginnings, middles, and ends. I like to get into my writer’s headspace and have a looooong look around.
And I can do that online, mostly. If there’s a site you want then chances are it’s out there if you look hard enough and in the right seedy corners. If there’s an interview you want to read then you can most likely track it down be it current or four years prior. The footnotes on Wikipedia are a great source of links for fantastic interviews.
This morning I read a great interview of Joe Hill by Powell’s Books. It was comprehensive and long and it kept me engaged all morning while I wrote over a k of words on my novel. I remember the Cormac McCarthy interview with the Wall Street Journal doing the rounds a few months ago and I loved that too.
In Playboy, the ultimate interview was that of Stephen King. The dude bared his soul in that chat and it’s something that can suffer repeated readings. I am such a nerd that I do read interviews over again later on. I read all those 80′s Fango mags so many times they were falling apart. That’s why I know so much awesome trivia about 80′s horror films. Before the internet could tell you ten different ways that Sam Rockwell got his start in Clownhouse, I was there.
Yet I tangent again, the point is. I like me a nice comprehensive interview that covers a lot of space. If an interview, with someone I like or respect, goes for five pages on the internet then I’m excited. I don’t want the chat to end. If the scroll bar on the right is nice and small then that’s all the better. It means I’m getting more and I always find I want more of interviews. Much like author’s forewards and notes, I like hearing the author’s voice. I find a good author has a good voice that is instantly readable and enjoyable. Stephen King was certainly the first person to show me that the man behind the curtain was just as much fun as the crazy things he controlled.
So that’s the sort of interview I want to do. A sprawling epic that isn’t for the light of heart. I want to know backgrounds, favourites, thoughts during creation and after it is birthed into the world. I love the process and want to know all about it.
I also know this stems from the desire to one day be interviewed too. Stephen King put it perfectly, in his Playboy interview, that he used to lie in bed as a struggling author and dream of being interviewed by Playboy. He’s pose the questions himself and answer them in his head. That was how he knew he would have made it, when he was on the pages between some titties. King then passed that trait onto his main character in ‘salem’s Lot. And I myself have now picked it up; I would love to be interviewed by Playboy. I nice big sit down over a meal and drinks and really chew the fat.
At the moment, that ain’t happening, but I can be the interviewer, and as such I want to give my guests as much rope as possible. It’s the only way you’ll ever get anything of meaning because with enough rope there’s always a risk, and a payoff that’s worth it.