Five Questions for Simon Rich by Nikesh Shukla

26 August 2014

Ahead of his performance at Book Slam in September, we chatted to Simon Rich about being spoiled, being awesome and being funny.

If you came to see Simon Rich last time he was at Book Slam, you'll probably remember this...

If you've read this short story or this short story recently, you've probably laughed your butt off and wondered where can you see the phenom who wrote the words in person... Clue: He's at Book Slam, along with Mark Watson, on 3rd September.

We emailed him some questions. He wrote some answers. Here's how it went down...

On a scale of 1-10, how much of a spoiled brat were you and can you illustrate this with an example?

10 out of 10. I was so coddled by my parents that I believed until the age of 12 that I would someday be an NBA basketball player.

What is the main difference between writing a sketch and writing a short story?

Actors. If you write a mediocre sketch, a talented cast can salvage it through sheer force of will. With a short story, you're on your own (unless you've got a top-notch illustrator).

Who are the greats - the funniest short story writers you've read?

TC Boyle, PG Wodehouse, Roald Dahl, Shirley Jackson, Woody Allen.

Will there be another novel from you?

Yes, definitely! Some of my favorite humour writers were primarily novelists (Douglas Adams, Evelyn Waugh, Stanley Elkin, F. Scott Fitzgerald). These days, though, I'm focusing on stories. It's hard to give up the freedom of writing different characters each month.

Why, when you appear in your stories, do you make yourself such an arsehole!? We've spoken on the phone. You're lovely!

Thank you!

'Spoiled Brats' by Simon Rich is out in September 2014. See him at Book Slam with tickets you bought here

About Nikesh Shukla

Nikesh is Book Slam family. The author of 'Coconut Unlimited', shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award in 2010, and (with Kieran Yates), the non-fiction essay, 'Generation Vexed', he also writes for TV and presents the excellent Subaltern Podcast. He is the founder, host, all round supremo of Book Slam Bristol.