Does he not have a knighthood yet? Why not? Stop spending so much time on the royal wedding and credit this guy! I went to one of his readings recientemente and I am just in so much awe. I'd heard of his involvement with The League of Gentlemen but I ain't such a big fan of that, having never watched any more than sketches on '50 Best BritComs' or some such facile count downwards programme. No, when his name popped up on the Edge Hill University website, other bells were ringing in my head. Where do I know that name from? I've still not really found out but, knowing that The League is a stupendously dark comedy, I figured that I could learn a lot from the guy. Learn I did!
He read 'Come April' from his collection of short stories The Cranes That Build the Cranes. The story is ostensibly about an estranged mother who works in a massage parlour and gives the best blowjobs to her clients there. These blowjobs are so good, she is visited by monks who want to achieve spiritual enlightenment through said act. This was a revelation: so much comedy in a piece so thought-provoking and deep. It reminded me of a 5 minute film script I wrote last year called 'An Institution' where a man in a failing marriage pays to see his own wife at one of these massage parlours. He politely listened to me telling him that as he signed my book, good to see some humility from one so talented!
His Q&A session was also a great help. He divulged the benefits of writing regular - an hour a day at least - not giving up on a story you're struggling to conclude/move forward with and not restricting yourself according to what you think other people think is acceptable.
I'm adding someone new to the living legends list.