Thursday, 8 December 2011

PUSH-UPS: Sandy MacNair

At Pulp Pusher we are big Irvine Welsh fans, so we were curious about a new book by Scottish publisher Black & White written by an old pal of the man himself. Sandy MacNair was kind enough to answer a few questions about Carspotting ... and the man himself.

So, what you pushing right now?
Carspotting: The Real Adventures of Irvine Welsh

What’s the hook?
Pretty much does what it says on the tin. Do Irvine’s novels reflect in any way the lifestyle he pursued as a younger man, and the radge characters eh encountered along the way? Frighteningly, the answer has to be ‘yes’.

And why’s that floating your boat?
Unfortunately I was a participant in many of the ghastly escapes recounted therein.

When did you turn to crime?
In a real life sense? Years ago. In a literary sense? I don’t really think Carspotting could be classified as a ‘crime’ book – although elements within Lothian Borders and the London Metropolitan constabulary with long memories may beg to differ. I do however have a bona-fide completed crime caper under consideration by Black & White Publishing at the moment.

Hardboiled or Noir, classic or contemporary?
The rubbish detective anti-hero in the aforementioned certainly reminds himself as ‘hardboiled’. Mind you, he is totally delusional. As for Carspotting, it’s either contemporary or contemptible, I can’t decide which. Probably the latter.

And, what’s blown you away lately?
Richard Grant’s Ghost Riders: Travels with American Nomads. I wanted to hop on a lonesome Freight Train before the end of the first chapter. Also Magnus Mills’ Three To See The King. Quietly hilarious in a slightly sinister way.

See any books as movies waiting to happen?
Carspotting of course, to be directed by Terry Gilliam. Johnny Depp to play myself, someone fat, ugly and camp to play Irvine. Doesn't really matter who, Christopher Biggins perhaps.

Mainstream or indie - paper or digital?
Quill pens on parchment – I’m an old-fashioned technologically impotent luddite.

Shout us a website worth visiting …

Finally, tell us any old shit about yourself …
Workshy long-haired layabout covered in tattoos seeks spiritual enlightenment through psychedelic rock n’ roll and pints of Deuchars. As well as The Smoking Detective’s Casebook (see above) I also have a completed true-life travelogue Do Armed Robbers Really Want Our Tulip Postcards? logged with Black & White. Have recently started work ina fourth book which seems to be turning into a sort of “my shit jobs so far…”

And, the trailer ...

The deal ...

Having Irvine Welsh as one of your best mates was not without its problems. Sandy Macnair and Irvine Welsh were friends long before fame and fortune arrived by train, and their adventures and Welsh's novels have obvious parallels.

Their adventures were certainly extraordinary. Irvine Welsh was always the instigator, the free spirit who would act on a whim and deal with the consequences later. Sandy Macnair was his loyal wing man, there to enjoy the ride and to help pick up the pieces when things, as they usually did, went wrong.

In Carspotting, Sandy Macnair now presents an affectionate portrayal of their adventures together and the highs and lows of the rollercoaster ride that was their twenties. As well as a highly entertaining read, Sandy also reveals nuggets that will fascinate all Irvine Welsh fans, like the real role model for Begbie, the true Gorgie/Dalry Oyster Bar, the real location of various scenes from Trainspotting and the story behind Marabou Stork Nightmares that none of the critics spotted. Which makes this a fascinating and entertaining account of one of our best-loved authors.

CARSPOTTING is available from Black & White publishing at a special online price of £6.70.