m-y-alamM Y Alam wrote a series of articles for the Route newspaper, which were published in 2000-2001 and have now been anthologized in an e-book Apocalypse Not Just Now. Here he answers some questions about the writing process.

Q: The articles featured in this collection were written three or four years ago. How do you feel when you look back on them now?

A: In some ways, I miss writing that kind of stuff. The articles, and more importantly the organ in which they appeared, did give me something to focus on; something to write for. So I miss that because it means I don’t feel the pressure to produce that sort of work so much these days. It’s not just about a utilitarian, productive streak in me, as it were, though. Those articles were quite important and still are, I think. They’re all critical of something and maybe that’s all people like me ever do: just bitch on about stuff without ever really coming up with anything useful. Still, someone’s got to bitch about whatever’s wrong in the world, right?

I actually remember, quite vividly, writing some of them. Most of them came quite easy – all I needed, usually, was to pick something that was fucking with me and off I’d go, on a slow boat to Rantchester. I like that about them. I imagine they come across like grumpy old man stories but I can live with that. The Jobseeker one and the Jerry Springer brought a smile when I looked¬†over them the other day. The ‘riots’ piece and the Satpal Ram one were just itching to be written and pretty much wrote themselves. The ‘creative’ pieces I find very amusing for personal/private reasons. In one case, there was a preview of a section for my then upcoming second novel, Kilo. By the time that went press, that section (and most of the book as well as the characters within it) had changed beyond all recognition. Well, I think that’s funny.

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