The Questionless Books Interview: National Post Books Editor Mark Medley
In The Questionless Books Interview, I get a whole bunch of books people (from authors to editors to publishers to sales/publicity/production people, booksellers, designers, librarians, readers, etc) to "answer" a series of unspoken "questions". The results highlight a delightful mix of the opportunities and challenges facing our sector: from doom and gloom to sunshine and rainbows, and every irony in between.
Mark Medley is the National Post’s Books Editor.
I am ... Mark Medley.
I am known to ... write about books.
I do this in order to ... pay the rent.
I do this because ... I love it. And to pay the rent.
I do this when I ... get up in the morning until I pass out at night.
The way I do this is ... by reading a book, then writing some semi-intelligent questions, then interviewing the writer, then transcribing our interview, then writing a snappy lede, then finishing the article, then sending it to my editor, then waiting for it to run in the paper, then bemoaning the fact no one read what I wrote, then thinking about going to law school, then realizing I have the best job in the world, then starting a new book.
At his/her core, a Writer is ... anyone who strings a sentence together.
As opposed to an Author, who is ... someone who managed to get a book deal.
A Writer is responsible for ... him or herself.
As opposed to an Author, who is responsible for ... the reader.
At its core, Publishing is about ... money. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
As opposed to Editing, which is about ... craft. And there’s nothing wrong with that, either.
A publisher should always ... pay for drinks.
As opposed to an editor, who should always ... accept said drinks.
A Manuscript that’s ready to be read by others is ... in need of an agent.
As opposed to a Book that’s ready to be read by others, which is ... in need of an editor.
A manuscript should always ... undergo one more edit.
As opposed to a Book, which should always ... have a different cover than the one the publisher chose.
At its core, Bookselling is ... gossip.
As opposed to Book Marketing, which is ... unnecessary.
The smallest unit of narrative is .... silence.
The biggest reason to anticipate the future is ... the number of fantastic writers this country is producing.
The biggest reason to be scared of the future is ... that not enough of them will be able to afford to do it.
In the future we will all ... download books directly into our brains.
At his/her core, a Reader is ... curious.
However, the ideal Reader is ... you.