I’m a big fan of Neil Slorance’s bittersweet sketches… wait… I told you this already, didn’t I? I have the original of the “take off your headphones” artwork on my desk, even though it’s a motto I rarely live by. So when I heard that he had written a book with pal and songwriter Campbell “Shambles” Miller, who I have also written plenty about – well, I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to enjoy a little preview of the delightful How To Be A Ghost.
Sadly I’ll be in Aberdeen on Sunday so won’t be able to make their launch event at The Lifecraft, DeCourcey’s Arcade, but the boys were good enough to answer some questions anyway.
Is this the first time the two of you have worked together?
CAMPBELL MILLER: It’s the first time we’ve worked on something like this together, but we’ve collaborated on various things over the years.
NEIL SLORANCE: We wrote a 4 chord song when we were 16.
How long did it take to put the book together?
CM: Longer than you’d expect! From coming up with the story, to rewriting said story, deciding on artwork, etc, it was probably around a year. What a fun year it’s been, eh Neil?
NS: It was! Basically about a year ago I had the idea of what you’d get up to if you were a ghost. I had a rough layout for a story but with most things I produce it looked like a 4 year old did it, thankfully Campbell came to the rescue and worked his witty magic as well as making it quite funny.
What sort of audience do you envisage for the book?
CM: Well, we kind of describe it as a kid’s book for grown-ups but it’s suitable for bigger kids too. Generally anyone who fancies a sweet wee story about a ghost.
What do you think would be the coolest thing about being a ghost?
CM: Being able to infiltrate high security buildings and find out government secrets!
NS: Being invisible.
CM: That one is kind of in my answer, y’know.
Who would you most like to hang out with in a bar in the afterlife?
CM: I’d like to think I’d bend Shakespeare’s ear or just listen to Oscar Wilde being terribly witty, but chances are I’d head straight for John Belushi to see if I could talk him into a Blues Brothers duet after a few drinks.
NS: In all seriousness I just like listening to people talk. If I can find a bar where writers and great thinkers of any level are having an in depth discussion or just a blether I’d love nothing more than just to sit and soak it in.
CM: How come you don’t just like listening to me talk?
What are you planning for the launch party?
NS: Well! We’ve ordered some amazing cupcakes! We’ll also have wine and juice and if all goes to plan there will be a live reading/drawing.
CM: I’d like to really stress the “if all goes to plan” part. I’ll do my best not to turn it into a massive game of hangman, but it’s pretty tempting.
What’s the next project in the “pipe” (hee!) for [their project’s ‘label’] Pipe Down?
CM: The next book I guess! We’ve got a few ideas, so once things have settled down after the launch one of us will probably start hassling the other about it.
NS: It’s going to be about a robot!
And do you have anything else you would like to pimp while you’re here?
CM: I’ve got gigs coming up, in particular my show in George Square for Glasgow Loves Christmas It’s on the 15th of December and I’ll even sing a wee Christmas song. For everything else, including free downloads and for buying my EP, check out shamblesmiller.wordpress.com.
NS: I’ll be appearing at Made in the Shade in the Lighthouse Gallery on December 10th with lots of new pictures and drawings! Also stop by my blog at neilslorance.com. I also draw a webcomic which you can see at jonbotvsmartha.com
BUY: Etsy (NB: Orders will not ship until Monday, 5th December)