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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 92.8.31.251
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 12:13 pm:   

Here is an email correspondence, starting with the approach a person made to me. Was I wrong to be so brusque? Tell me the truth! To spare any embarrassment I've removed any details that would identify the correspondent.


Hi Ramsay Campbell,
I hope this email finds you well.
I am writing as I am a fan of your work.
I also run an interview blog site at [deleted]
As such I'd like to do an email-based interview with you.
I look forward to your response.


Me:

Dear [deleted]:

I'm a bit disconcerted that you begin my misspelling my name. What have you read of mine?


The response:

Hi Ramsey,

My apologises for misspelling your name. Please chalk it up to late-night bottle feeds with my new-born son. I meant no disrespect.

Thanks also for this opportunity to do an interview with you.

Below are the list of questions. Please let me know if you wish me to omit anything or to make some changes before I post it on my blog site.



1. What attracts you to writing horror?

2. How did you get your start as a writer?

3. How have you kept horror fresh and exciting in your novels?

4. What do you think makes your novels stand out from other horror novels?

5. Whatís coming up next?

6. Is there a particular charity you would like to bring to my readersí attention?



Once I hear from you I will provide you with a direct link to the interview, once I post it on my site.

Also this question is purely from me to you;

How do I go about asking for your autograph?

Thanks again for this. It means a lot to me.

Kind regards,

[deleted]


Me:

Don't worry, but these questions seem very generalised, and you don't say what of mine you've read.

Sincerely -

Ramsey Campbell


The response:

Hi Ramsey,
To be honest Iíve heard of you but Iíve never read any of your work.
And judging from the tone of your emails Iím glad.
All the best,
[deleted].


Me:

I do apologise.

With my best wishes-

Ramsey


The end.
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 92.8.31.251
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 12:25 pm:   

To be fair, I've now had this:

Thank you for your good graces.
I apologise also for the tone of my last email.
Kindest regards,
[deleted].
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.9.232.89
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 12:30 pm:   

>>>Was I wrong to be so brusque?

No, you weren't. In fact, I'm not sure you were even brusque. If you're going to give someone a bit of time - and interviews always take time - you should at least expect a little respect: ie, the person getting your name right.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 12:46 pm:   

The person also lied - they introduce themselves as a fan of your work, then later go on toa dmit that they've read none of it.

Seems rather moronic to me.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.9.232.89
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 12:49 pm:   

And tried to get a free autograph. Why would someone who isn't a fan want an autograph?

www.ebay.com
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.157.23.99
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 12:53 pm:   

Just someone with problems. I'd actually get back to them and ask what their purpose was, start from the beginning again - in a nice way.
New babies can affect your mental stability/communication skills.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.9.232.89
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 01:00 pm:   

>>>Just someone with problems.

Haven't we all? Doesn't excuse rudeness.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 01:03 pm:   

The person came across as a bit presumptious and rather cheeky so I feel you were right to be suspicious, Ramsey. I'm sure your instinct for spotting chancers must be honed to a fine degree after decades of experience in the business. And your suspicions were confirmed when the person went on to admit they had lied about being a fan - as Zed states.

Hopefully this individual will have learnt an important lesson in respect and manners from the incident.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 01:12 pm:   

Having been around the autograph-collecting world for a while, I can say that, unfortunately, that's a standard way of trying to get an autograph when you have no idea who the person really is and don't know their work at all (which I don't do, of course, I only go for autographs which mean something to me, ie. I really *am* a fan of that person!). I know a lot of autograph-hunters who simply send a bog-standard letter to someone asking for an autograph - and obviously this person has added the incentive (to them) of doing an interview with you too.

In his/her favour though (sorry, Ramsey, but you asked for honest answers) I can see some things from their perspective too. If someone fancies doing interviews (something I enjoy doing myself) but has only just started, they might not have much idea how to go about it.

How did I learn how to interview? (not that I consider myself to be much good at it) I read other interviews to see how they did it, and that made me realise that you needed to know about your interviewee before developing the questions specifically for them. Sadly, there are so many bad interviews on the internet nowadays that someone looking at these wouldn't learn much from them.

I hope, if he/she really *does* want to interview people, that they can learn how to do it properly.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 01:16 pm:   

Oh and yes, as Gary says, getting free autographs from people whose work means absolutely nothing to you can be a nice little earner on eBay for people who do that.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.157.23.99
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 01:22 pm:   

I couldn't see it as being that massive an earner (sorry Ramsey!) when you can just send a book to the person. The person sounds young and naive and odd. They sound about 12. Also, they didn't sound that rude to me, and if anything spent more time trying not to be than being it. They patched things up, remember, so let's focus on that.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.86.43
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 01:51 pm:   

It occurs to me that we've seen a democratisation of everything except power and money. If you want to call it X-Factor. There's a lack of appreciation for the, a lack of perspective on how wide the spectra of talent and intelligence really are.

This would be fine if it just meant that people made their own art blishfully ignorant of how bad it was, but it also means that what's truly good goes unappreciated and unacknowledged.

There is a measured phenomenon called the idiot effect, wherein people of lower intelligence overestimate their IQ and people with high underestimate it. Basically, the stupider you are the less you realise it.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.86.43
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 01:52 pm:   

God, I really should read my own post before posting it. Sorry for the word salad. Call it The Idiot Effect.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.9.232.89
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 02:18 pm:   

Tony, it isn't always necessary to be contrarian about these matters. We can see both sides of it.
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 92.9.247.101
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 02:58 pm:   

"I couldn't see it as being that massive an earner (sorry Ramsey!) when you can just send a book to the person."

No, you can't. See my FAQs (which you'll see I ask folk to read before emailing me).
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.46.23
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 03:09 pm:   

I think he was damned rude. Is there any more previouis thing we possess than our time? Yet some people are happy to squander others. In this case the rudeness seems to come from oafishness rather than malice, but still...
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.46.23
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 03:11 pm:   

ack, "previouis" [sic] should read "precious".

I'm tired. It's been a long life.
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 92.9.247.101
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 03:14 pm:   

Most of my time is previous, so maybe your keyboard was right...
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.9.232.89
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 03:17 pm:   

:-)
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 03:39 pm:   

I'd have no patience for this guy, whatever his age. He's rude and pushy, but above all, dishonest. And then he gets all pissed and petulant the moment someone politely pushes him on the obvious question (what has he read of Ramsey's?). He's a troll trying to get traffic up on his site, and deserves no sympathy whatsoever. Just my humble opinion....
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.9.232.89
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 03:54 pm:   

Ooh, sexist. Could be a woman.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 04:00 pm:   

Then she's what we call in America a c***.
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Simon Bestwick (Simon_b)
Username: Simon_b

Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 86.24.166.73
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 06:03 pm:   

Proto- re the 'Idiot Effect'- is that the same as the Dunning-Kruger Effect?
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.108.86
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 07:18 pm:   

That's the chappie.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 2.24.29.87
Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 09:07 am:   

Proto, you don't need to apologise for the word salad. Only for its Wetherspoon's referent.
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Mbfg (Mbfg)
Username: Mbfg

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 212.219.63.204
Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 09:15 am:   

Dear Ramsey

I don't think you were rude or difficult. It is only polite to do a little research on someone you don't know if you're approaching them for an interview. Your response was direct and clear. If he is serious about an interview etc, he will approach you again no doubt.

Regrds
Terry
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 11:32 am:   

Interesting, Joel. The first term being?
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 01:14 pm:   

The one where you get to know everyone and do as little work as possible.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 147.252.230.148
Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 01:17 pm:   

"Proto, you don't need to apologise for the word salad. Only for its Wetherspoon's referent."

I think we both know what's really going on here, Joel.

(Aside: *desperate clueless look*)
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 147.252.230.148
Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 01:18 pm:   

Is it something to do with toffees?
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 03:31 pm:   

An inspired fantasist paraphrasing Freud through one of his characters:

"The mind makes us do funny things. Some of them seem completely reasonless, wrong, insane. But the cornerstone of the work we're doing is this: there's a chain of solid, unassailable logic in the things we do [I would also say in the inferences we make]. Dig deep enough and you find cause and effect [rather than faith] clearly in this field as you do in any other. I said logic, mind; I didn't say "correctness" or "rightness" or "justice" or anything of the sort. Logic and truth [read Science and truth] are two very different things, but they often look the same to the mind that's performing the logic." - Guess who?

Now compare Darwin to Dawkins... and let's talk anew.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.232.199.129
Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 05:54 pm:   

Has this thread gone in a completely different direction again - or is it just me suddenly unable to comprehend what's going on?
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.66.23.11
Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 06:06 pm:   

Keep up woman.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 06:41 pm:   

Unapologetically, because it's so tasty:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/tomato-and-zucchini-melange/
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.142.199.223
Posted on Friday, February 24, 2012 - 12:05 pm:   

I'm not being contraryian - I just like/love weird, stupid people.
I once emailed Capote's biographer to tell him how beautiful the book was. I'd read maybe a paragraph. But it was beautiful paragraph and the author was old, so I thought I'd better tell him fast.
Anyway - do you really *need* to read a whole book to love it? Can we not love a distant village for the sight of its spires?
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 92.8.16.127
Posted on Friday, February 24, 2012 - 12:10 pm:   

Not quite the same thing as my experience, Tony. I'd happily be praised for a paragraph - sometimes I think that's as much as some of my tales offer of worth.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.142.199.223
Posted on Friday, February 24, 2012 - 12:17 pm:   

No way Ramsey - a dip into your work is like thought for the day, a poem. I still remember lines of your work. 'He sometimes thought that the song (from Watership Down) was one of the most beautiful things he'd heard' (I might be misquoting a bit!) - I don't know why, but that comes into my mind very often. To chance on such a line in a whole book is enough for me, and you have given us more than enough.
We forget who you are and what you've given us here sometimes. Thanks, Ramsey.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, February 24, 2012 - 12:24 pm:   

I have 'The Darkest Part Of The Woods' all lined up for when I finish 'Arthur Gordon Pym', Tony. From the hints and recommendations I've picked up it's the one I've most looked forward to since 'The House On Nazareth Hill'. As much as I love and admire Ramsey's non-supernatural novels, particularly 'Silent Children' [film it someone, please!], it's when he turns his hand to the weird and the Lovecraftian that I get most enraptured with his work. No one else comes close.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Friday, February 24, 2012 - 01:22 pm:   

You won't be disappointed, Stevie.

I didn't realise Ramsey (or one of his characters) was impressed by 'Bright Eyes'. It is rather splendid, and provides the film's outstanding passage (in the film sense, not the burrow sense). The Manic Street Preachers put a passionate cover version on the B-side of 'A Design For Life'.

Is the emerging rabbit theme of this thread a sign of the arrival of spring? There's a link to the new Paul Finch anthology flagged on another thread, but you may have to wait to find out why.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Friday, February 24, 2012 - 01:27 pm:   

Actually you won't.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.142.199.223
Posted on Friday, February 24, 2012 - 01:28 pm:   

I love the song, too.
Thing is, the character might have been referring to a song in the book, a poem. I'm not sure - it was just the sentiment that affected me really.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, February 24, 2012 - 02:55 pm:   

I have it on 'Lipstick Traces', Joel, the finest B-sides compilation in my entire CD collection, and I have quite a few. Best band of the 90s without question. I fucking love the Manics!
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 61.216.202.184
Posted on Friday, February 24, 2012 - 03:14 pm:   

The Manics have done some good cover versions over the years - 'Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head', 'Rock 'n' Roll Music', 'Can't Take My Eyes off You', 'Velocity Girl', 'The Drowners', 'We are All Bourgeois Now', 'Suicide is Painless', to name a few. Not all of them have worked so well, unfortunately - the cover of 'Train in Vain' is nowhere near as good as the original.

Stevie, I agree they were probably the best band around in the 90s, along with Massive Attack. They are still making great records now - Journal for Plague Lovers and Postcards From a Young Man are both excellent (in different ways).
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, February 24, 2012 - 03:41 pm:   

I agree, Huw. They never lost it and are still as impassioned artists today as they ever were. But back in the 90s they were an incendiary bomb boot in the balls to the rapidly homogenising musical establishment. I've seen them live numerous times over the years and they mean every fucking word! Great guys.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.66.23.11
Posted on Friday, February 24, 2012 - 05:47 pm:   

They did the impossible and made Rhianna's Umbrella into a good song...
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.180.123.7
Posted on Friday, February 24, 2012 - 07:58 pm:   

...ella, ella, ella...
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John Forth (John)
Username: John

Registered: 05-2008
Posted From: 82.24.1.217
Posted on Friday, February 24, 2012 - 08:59 pm:   

I thought it was a pretty decent pop song already.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.142.128.232
Posted on Saturday, February 25, 2012 - 02:42 pm:   

Oh, it drove me nuts that song! That and Coldplay's Para para para song drive me crazy.
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Stephen Theaker (Stephen_theaker)
Username: Stephen_theaker

Registered: 12-2009
Posted From: 77.98.13.43
Posted on Saturday, February 25, 2012 - 06:46 pm:   

Not a surprise to read on the guy's blog that he's had quite a few negative responses...

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