Andrew Mueller, author of It’s Too Late To Die Young Now
Tell us about your latest creation…
It’s called “It’s Too Late To Die Young Now”. It’s a memoir, both bemused and grateful, of my late teens and early twenties, which I got to spend being a rock journalist. It’s also an acknowledgement, roughly equal parts mournful and gloating, that there’s now very little opportunity for people to mis-spend their youths in the same way.
Where are you from / where do you call home?
I was born in Wagga Wagga and grew up in various parts of Australia, and have spent most of my adult life in London or hotels.
When you were a kid, what did you want to become? An author?
When I was a kid, I wanted to play for Geelong, and would assuredly have done so had my
ambitions not been cruelly thwarted by a complete lack of athletic ability. Writing was very much a fallback option.
I’m roughly equally partial to all three of my books – the other two, “I Wouldn’t Start From Here” and “Rock & Hard Places”, are available in all good stores, etc. But I’m possibly quietly proudest of the racket I’ve raised with my band, The Blazing Zoos, and of “The North Sea Scrolls”, an album I made last year with Luke Haines and Cathal Coughlan – two of my favourite songwriters.
Describe your writing environment to us – your writing room, desk, etc.; is it ordered or chaotic?
I do most of my writing at the dining table in the sunroom of my house in London – the designated office upstairs has become mostly a repository for unsold copies of The Blazing Zoos’ tremendous debut album, “I’ll Leave Quietly”. So I’ve a pleasant view of the garden, which is somewhat incongruously dominated by a vast wattle tree, and in which woodpeckers, magpies, finches, starlings, frogs, squirrels and foxes caper distractingly.
When you’re not writing, who/what do you like to read?
I generally favour non-fiction. According to my agent, I’m literally the only person in the world who buys anthologies of journalism.
What was the defining book(s) of your childhood/schooling?
Ach, too many. But I think in terms of properly setting me off in the direction I went, I have to acknowledge the journalism of P.J. O’Rourke and the “Flashman” series by George MacDonald Fraser, both of which I first found towards the end of my teens. This book, however, is substantially the story of how my life was changed by reading Melody Maker, the British music weekly I went
on to work for.
If you were a literary character, who would you be?
Flashman, on the strict understanding that there is no Hell.
Apart from books, what do you do in your spare time (surprise us!)?
I play guitar and sing in a country band. Although this won’t surprise you, as I’ve already said so.
What is your favourite food and favourite drink?
Respectively, steak and red wine.
Who is your hero? Why?
I never know what to say to this. There are plenty of people who do stuff I admire, but the uncritical worship of human beings
never works out well, at a micro or macro level, for the reverent or the revered.
Crystal ball time – what is the biggest challenge for the future of books and reading?
The fact that technology has made it possible for people to steal things without retribution. The internet has enabled us to learn a
great deal, but it has taught no lesson more starkly than how many people are willing to shoplift if they think they’ll get away with it.
Website URL: www.andrewmueller.net
Twitter URL: @andrew_mueller