Tell us a little about the origins of Burrito Deluxe?
It goes back a long, long, way, to the last years of the twentieth century, in fact. I was on this desolate beach in Mexico. Beach of the Dead. Under the influence of the sacred drug - Peyote - when the idea of Cosmic Realism came to me.
Cosmic Realism is the ability to tell a story that is so far-fetched and obviously not based in any sort of reality, but which the reader accepts as the TRUTH. I didn’t know what it meant then or even how to do it. I also decided to fictionalise my entire life, from cradle to grave. True story novels. But to make them interesting you need to add Cosmic Realism . . . not be confused with Magical Realism . . .
And then there was that Mexico Trip. So many things happened, and they happened fast, and I knew I'd write about those events, I just didn't realise that another 19 years would roll on by before the book saw the light of day. And then there was the main character based on someone who was now one of "Britain's Most Wanted" and who the book is dedicated to. And I can't neglect to mention, Stupid the talking cat!
Have you listened to a lot of audio books?
No, only a few. I have to admit that I still prefer to read a book. Maybe when I'm older and I've lost my vision or something, audio books will become a preference.
We've heard a rumour that Burrito Deluxe has a sequel pending. Any truth in this?
A sequel to Burrito? Don't you mean sequels Amigo? Burrito Deluxe is the 2nd in a series of seven books that all link one to the other. I've more or less fictionalised my entire life.I call it the Ridgwell Saga. Chronologically the books are as follows:
1 Portrait of the Artist as a Young Workingman
2 Burrito Deluxe
3 The Cross
4 Last Days of the Cross
5. Buddha Bar
6 Civil Service
7 Enchanted Isles
The latest novel - Enchanted Isles - is more Scottish based, and people I've encountered in my many years living across the border, appear as characters in this book. And the character Ronnie from Burrito, makes a welcome re-appearance. Civil Service is a London novel, although Edinburgh features towards the end of the narrative.
How did you enjoy the recording process?
I didn't. I have yet to record anything, and I'm hoping they get an actor to read the book.
You live near Edinburgh. How was your Festival this year? Is there anything in it you look forward to?
Ah ha well, you know, the Edinburgh Festival is degenerate and depraved. It's carnage and chaos on the streets of Auld Reekie and subsequently, not wanting to have my life taken away from me or lose my sense of humour, I steer well clear...
And how about Scotland in general, would you advise other people to move north of the border?
No way, no, no and then no again! It's too crowded, there's little space, the housing is too expensive, prostitution and drugs are rife. If anyone is thinking of relocating to the land of Robert the Bruce, my advice would be to think long and hard, and then drop the idea.
Anyway, when they gain independence in the next referendum, word on the political vine, is that the SNP are going to build a massive wall, even bigger than Trump's one, so that no more English people are allowed in.
However, anyone who arrived before the wall is built, will be granted an amnesty, so I'm alright Jock!