TCT’s Hollywood Interview #26

…with Rory Stamp

The Cartesian Theatre now welcomes guests from around the worldosphere, with an invitation to tell us all about themselves – in 25 words or less. Okay, okay, it’s not as bad as all that: they get 25 words per answer. They can wax lyrical if they want, but beware: I edit with an axe…


This week, let’s give a big hand to Rory Stamp, a horrific dairy bigot, bad poet and, er, massive-selling children’s author.

Hi, Rory, tell us “all” about yourself.

I am a writer and editor – currently with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, the charity that saves lives at sea. I dislike Stilton cheese.

What? You freak. What is the most inspirational thing you’ve ever read – and why?

Dominic by William Steig (who also wrote Shrek), because… it’s a simple but beautifully written set of scenes powerful enough to make you believe in karma, despite life’s unfairness.

Shrek was a book? What was your first published work?

I guess a poem in an anthology that no-one bought, called Rare Window. It was pretty bad, looking back. Not as bad as Stilton though.

Leave the cheese out of it. What is the best thing you’ve never had published?

A screenplay about a kid who’s brilliant with tech but is fought over by gangs, security agencies and his family. Should be a book.

What are you most proud of – in your life, not just your writing?

My daughters. They make me feel lucky, proud, and brave. I’d do anything for them, including eating Stilton.

IYou— look, just tell us about your latest work – novel, short story, shopping list, whatever.

A personalisable Christmas book for children called The Big Christmas Rescue, a tie-in for the RNLI. It’s sold over 17,000 copies the last I heard.

Wow, that’s about… five hundred times more than all my books put together! So, pitch us your unwritten masterpiece – you’re in the Hollywood elevator now…

Soldier starts new life in country, becomes postman and Mountain Rescue volunteer, finds corrupt officials and gangsters, uncovers them, rescues hostages, saves day.

If only one person was to ever read your work – who would you want it to be?

Keith Richards – because I just like the idea of him reading my stuff … saying my sentences in his head with his perma-stoned drawl and random chuckle. Brilliant.

What are your plans for the future – all of it?

To look back knowing my words impacted lives. Even if it’s just proving Stilton is “off” cheese that we’re conned into treating as a delicacy.

In spite of his despicable anti-blue cheese stance, my thanks to Rory for not buckling under the pressure! You can find out more about Rory on Twitter where he goes by @LifeboatRory, and maybe he’ll come back again one day, more under relaxed circumstances…

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