Book Promo Video – Interview with Author Chris Keil about his latest novel ‘Flirting at the Funeral’


[music] Cillian Press Presents a cillian press production as part of it’s author interview
series featuring a new novel by Chris
Keil ‘Flirting at the Funeral’ What was your inspiration for
Flirting at the Funeral? Chris Keil. Author of Flirting
at the Funeral I wanted to write a book about
film making partly because I know a certain
amount of people who are
involved in the movies but also because I tend to think
quite visually when I’m writing it’s as though I’m seeing what
I’m writing on a cinema screen so the world of the movies
seemed rather a good background
for a book then the immediate trigger was
seeing a group of film students
shooting a scene in which a girl in a red dress
was standing in the rain that really was the seed from
which the book grew Both Liminal and Flirting at the
Funeral make references to the
Mediterranean region. As an
author, what draws you there? I’m drawn to the South for the
same reason that millions of
people are for the sensuality of life, for
the fabulous surface glitter,
for the heat and the light for the perfumed air
and the smell of herbs that thing that hits you when
you get off the aeroplane But there is something more both in Liminal and in Flirting
at the Funeral what I wanted was intensity but
not necessarily clarity because they’re not the same
thing so I think in that intense
experience of life that you get
in Southern Europe there is a hallucinatory
quality, a sense that there’s a mystery that isn’t
properly understood Do you have any writing rituals
or favourite places to work? My first answer is that in order
to write you have to find an
empty space in your head and
that’s where you write, that’s
what you write in But, it’s fantastic if that
internal empty space is mirrored and reflected in real
world a place that has a door that you
can open, go through and shut
behind you and I’ve been very lucky in that
friends and family have leant me wonderful places
to work over a number of years and in particular one in London
and one in Dieppe, in Normandy. For me that’s the perfect
writing environment You’re alone but not isolated You work all day, nobody
interrupts you and in the evening you are
surrounded by people, you wonder out and you have a
pint in London or pastis in
Dieppe and you simply lean back and
watch the World go by With Flirting at the Funeral in
mind, do you have any literary
influences? I could write you a list of my
ten favourite authors on a
Monday and I would write another list of
ten authors on a Tuesday but what I can say is that while
I was writing Flirting at the
Funeral there were three books that came
to mind quite often The first of these was Giorgio
Bassani’s wonderful novel The Garden of the Finzi-Continis which is a story about regret,
and about loss and lost
opportunities and above all, about being not
quite brave enough The Second is The Great Gatsby just, if for nothing else, for
the beautiful, luminous musicality
of Fitzgerald’s prose. And the Third, maybe the most
important is Emile Zola’s ‘Nana’ Nana is a story about a
courtesan, in Paris in the 1860s and it has this wonderfully
vivid, intense atmosphere of
contrast between wealth and squalor,
between glamour and disease and I think it’s a story for our
time in a way that it was unimaginable in the optimistic
days of 20 or 30 years ago. Are you working on anything
presently? I’m working on a novel which is
based on the life of the Roman
poet Ovid but I’ve brought it into the
present day Ovid was the most successful
poet of his generation he wrote glittering erotic
satires he mixed with the elites of
Roman society – he was a
superstar and then for reasons which have
been lost to history he fell out of favour and he was
banished to a place called Thomas on the black sea on the
very edge of the Roman empire a place where he quite famously
said ‘beyond here lies nothing’ so I’m going to write a modern
version of his story and I’ve been thinking that I might
call it ‘Vodka, depression and
temazepam’ but I might settle for a more
upbeat title Special Thanks to: Author Chris Keil Production assistance team Music by Stuart McCallum ‘dR Doctor’ performed by Stuart
McCallum from the Album
Distilled (2011) Filmed in SirGaerfyrddin, Wales
2012 Copyright 2012 by Cillian Press
Limited. All rights reserved …somehow is revealed in that
brightness in that light, erm in
the way that it isn’t blah blah blah [laughing] …which is simply an empty
space in your head. But what is
much [pause].. better [laughing even loader] [music] [quotes] ‘this is urbane, serious, but
also seriously entertaining
writing.. a sophisticated, deeply mature
work’ – producer, editor and writer
Jon Gower ‘a philisophical novel in the
best sense, beatifully written as if GM Hopkins had turned to
prose and lived to see the modern age’ – author Ben Shephard AVAILABLE NOW Amazon…The Book
Depository…Waterstones [music] [music]

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