Tuesday, April 03, 2012


Hello all!

This week we have in store for you...


Here is another interview that I did recently with Beargrrria’s top magazine for chat; THE GROWL GAZETTE. They know me over there due to my dubious connection with a certain Beargrrrian superstar named Charlie Grrr. This is the third time that they have interviewed me in the last couple of years! They really MUST be short of people to interview. This time I’m speaking mainly about my new book – ARE WE THERE, YETI? So, here’s what they asked and what I said in reply – straight from the yeti’s mouth, as it were!!!

Q. So, Paul - tell us about your latest book. Firstly, what’s it called?

A. Well, it’s due out in early Summer and is called ARE WE THERE, YETI?

Q. ARE WE THERE, YETI!? That’s a bit cheesy, isn’t it?

A. Absolutely… I’m never one to avoid an obvious pun when it’s staring me in the face – especially when it has the word yeti in it! I like the title very much! Those who have read a book of mine before should know that the contents aren’t going to be all daft – in fact a lot of it is kinda creepy, horror stories and the like. However, that said, there is a lot of black comedy in my work – so, hopefully it prepares the unsuspecting reader for something a little different.

Q. So is this collection all stories? Or does it also involve poetry?

A. It’s both; although as with FUNERAL FOR A SHOE there are far more short stories than poems – although there are a fair few vignettes that are somewhere in between. One way or another you have 100 new yeti items to examine and hopefully to enjoy! I’m sorry, if you don’t like it then you won’t get your money back – I suggest that maybe you seek the attentions of a head doctor. Or maybe read it all again. And again! I mean – how many times do you listen to an album before you like it; usually more than once. I jest… Although you probably MAY still need to see that head doctor.


A. It’s more of a continuation or a natural development than something that is attempting to be deliberately different. I had no remit when I began as to whether it would be more stories or more poems – I just wrote what I wrote as it came to me. This collection has had a little longer to marinade than the previous two – although I like those very much; this collection reminds me more of YETI HUGS AND OTHER HORRORS in that it took longer to develop – perhaps it’s the mirror image of that collection in that ARE WE THERE, YETI? contains more prose and less poetry. At any rate I’ve been working on this new collection since early July 2011 and now that I’m at the final proofreading stage I’m reading some of the pieces and thinking “It seems a million years since I wrote that one…”; possibly because I’ve performing a number of the pieces for almost a year now!

Q. Tell us about some of your favourites from the new book - which piece or pieces are you most proud of?

A. Well, I like them all – but some have already emerged into the world ahead of the publication of the collection; for instance the poem CACTUS HEART which I wrote in Los Angeles back in the Summer has already spawned its own compilation of “poems for lost loves…” That said, this is more to do with the fact that I had some fab photos of a “cactus heart” that I thought deserved to adorn the cover of a book – so the compilation came about for exactly that reason. Other pieces that I have a particular fondness for from ARE WE THERE, YETI? include GLUE TO MEND A BROKEN HEART, INVITE A YETI ROUND FOR TEA and JOHN, I’M ONLY RHYMING from the poems; this is partly because I’m already having fun performing them at shows and for my Yeti films. As for the stories; I’m in the middle of proofing them – so ask me again when I’m finished – but to be honest I really like them all in different ways or I wouldn’t have considered including them.

Q. Last year was a prolific year – how is 2012 looking? Is it much the same?

A. Well, fittingly as it’s the 10th anniversary of my blog (www.shyyeti.com) – so it’s rather a year of old and new and as well as new material I’ve been working on a number of compilations of old work. As I’ve mentioned I also have plenty of new books on the way – from new collections ARE WE THERE, YETI? and its follow-up NOT AS SHY AS I WAS to scripted series THE BEAST OF FRIENDS and a couple of Mouse Of Commons projects.

Q. How is the performance poetry going?

A. Good. That said because I’ve been doing videos, radio and my own gigs I haven’t had the desire to do open-mike so much lately. It’s not easy to fit it all in around an already full working day back at the library as the evenings often go onto until 10.30 and then I’ve still got to get back home. This is why my main performance outlet is still my poetry films; I enjoy making them and getting hits and nice comments about them – whether or not it sells me any more books is kind of irrelevant. I have more than enough poems to go around and it’s nice to have a finished product that I can do something with years later! My earliest videos from 2008 still regularly get new viewings, as do the first SHY YETI ON LOCATION films from 2010; I’ve had around 6000 views on my Youtube profile alone, to date.

Q. When is your next show?

A. Well, as it happens there are three booked – one coming up in just over a month to replace the postponed Poetry Café for the 10th anniversary of second collection,  ROLLERCOASTER. This was to have taken place on Friday 16th March, however the venue double-booked; which is partly how I’ve ended up with three dates over the next five or six months; for as in apology they gave me two additional nights for free. The first of these shows is on Saturday 5th May at The Poetry Café, the next on Friday 8th of June and the final one on Wednesday 5th September. On top of that I’m also hoping to do a show for the 10th anniversary of THIRD TIME LUCKY sometime before Christmas.

Q. Will you be reading anything new?

A. Yes, indeed… There are a few pieces from my next collection NOT AS SHY AS I WAS which I especially want to try out – titles include: IF I CAN’T HAVE A BULLDOG, I’M A JELLY FISH, YOUR NEW BOYFRIEND’S A MINGER, DRUNK ELK, I’VE CLEANED OUT MY DIRTY MIND and one or two others. But it won’t all be new stuff; the first of the three gigs is more about celebrating the 10th anniversary of the publication of my second collection, ROLLERCOASTER; however this also gives me the chance to read a few pieces that have never had the opportunity to have been performed. I’m expecting guests at both shows too – so it won’t just be me! The June show is to celebrate the 10th anniversary of my blog and I expect the September show to predominantly feature poems from ARE WE THERE, YETI? as it should have been published by this stage.

Q. Will you be back on the radio this year?

A. Well, I’ve already been on once already – my third appearance since October. Those who follow my Youtube and Vimeo profiles will already have seen that the shows were filmed and so if you missed them then you can watch them now, instead. My last appearance was just before Valentine’s Day on Saturday 11th February 2012 and was a romantically-themed episode; although that doesn’t mean that they were all happy poems. I did manage to do a minor swear when I was on last time… Bad yeti! It wasn’t my fault – it was the poems; but I’d failed to see the word coming up and was unable to amend the line before I had to read it! If I’ve not been banned from the airways (by the way, the word was only bullsh*t!) then I hope to be back in May sometime… More news on that on www.shyyeti.com when I know!

Q. How is the SHY YETI ON LOCATION series progressing?

A. Very well! I’ve already recorded a number of new episodes this year – performing pieces that I’ve never presented in this format before… I’m very happy that all eight episodes of YETI HUNT USA. are now up – and as well as the new episodes I intend to return to a couple that weren’t edited from last year.

Q. Tell us about those episodes? Is there any more to come from L.A.?

A. Well, there are a couple of unedited episodes to come – one of them is a special episode that was provisionally meant to be last year’s Summer special, which would have celebrated the publication of my collection VAMPIRE COWS OF SCUNTHORPE. Some of the other bits and pieces I may well put together with more recent footage (such as the scenes filmed in Broadstairs in early March 2012) to make full-length episodes… I’ll see what happens nearer the time! And yes, as far as L.A. is concerned I have saved myself one last episode to release during the Summer; although whether or not I’ll be returning to the United States in 2012 is undecided, as present. At any rate, any return would be to Portland, Oregon now rather than L.A. That said, the episode that I’ve held back is set in L.A. and was filmed on the last day of my 4th and final trip (to date) to Los Angeles on Saturday 12th November 2011. It includes a bit of sight-seeing, a story, a poem and my attempt to read a new piece that I’d only just written a first draft of that very day. I’ve since almost completely rewritten that particular vignette – so the version that appears in this video is an insight to my original thoughts for the piece.

Q. And what of the episodes that you have already recorded this year?

A. The year began with me completing work on the last few YETI HUNT USA episodes – not to mention filming during my February visit to Radio Wey; however I’ve now moved on to making, editing and posting episodes filmed on location. They’ve all been UK-based, so far – but good fun, I hope… January began with SHY YETI OUT IN THE NEW FOREST which featured a number of yeti dances and a couple of poems from a few years back. Early in February I also recorded SHY YETI GOES BUSHY… which was filmed with Dominic McCauley in the remains of the snow in Bushy Park near Hampton Court and includes a couple of poems that have never been available previously. The most recently completed episode was filmed in early March and is entitled SHY YETI TAKES A (TRIP TO) BATH It was filmed in the City of Bath and includes 3 poems from my 10th anniversary reissue of my ROLLERCOASTER collection. I am currently working on an episode entitled SHY YETI WELCOMES SPRING – which is a mixture of recent material filmed in Broadstairs and London and some bits and pieces left over from 2010. I’m also intending to film an episode called SHY YETI GOES WILD which will feature animal-themed poems, a theme that I also hope to take over to use on my next appearance on Radio Wey. My friend Tim, whose show I perform, has recently become a dad for the second time and so only does his show once a month – so finding a Saturday that suits me too isn’t as easy as we hoped; for instance my next Poetry Café show clashes with his May radio show… But we’ll sort it out somehow!!

Q. What about overseas? Can we expect more episodes filmed in exotic locations?

A. Yes indeed… In fact, I’m just about to film one over the Easter break in Germany; hopefully in Dusseldorf and Cologne. I really don’t want to say any more for the moment – as any location trip depends on me not missing the plane/train, being well on the day – on the weather – on me not accidentally deleting all the footage at the last minute as I did in Venice! I am a bit of a nightmare with that last one… So, anyway, until all the footage is safely saved on my hard-drive all I will say is that hopefully any episodes that I film should involve Dominic and I and that I’ll probably read something from my old compilation WOODED-ER AWAKENINGS which I’ve just re-released with a new cover. Either that or possibly some animal poems from another compilation that I’m working on to tie in with my one of my next Radio Wey appearances.

Q. Are there any more locations that you can reveal yet for later in the year?

A. I can tell you where I hope to film – taking into consideration that if I go to the States this year it is currently not booked or specifically planned; so I’ll tell you more about the trips that I do know about. After Germany I’m expecting to be in Norfolk in late May, I have a week booked in the Lake District near Keswick in early August and additionally I’m hoping to be back in the Broadstairs area around folk week, also in August. After that nothing is certain. Calum and I are discussing a trip to Brussels and locale for early October and I’m yet to decide on where I want to go for my birthday; although I have been considering either Seville or a return to Venice.

Q. Other than poetry and videos are there any other projects in the pipeline for 2012?

A. There’s a collection of Mouse Of Commons stories that I’ve been working on for several years called THE MCWHISKERS ARCHIVES, which is made up of   short stories that I wrote between 2007 and 2008. There is also a series of scripts called THE BEAST OF FRIENDS, which I actually began plotting back in 2004 – the pilot episode was completed in 2010 and appeared in my YETI HUGS AND OTHER HORRORS book, last year. The first 8 scripts that I originally envisioned were completed between 2010 and early 2012 and are being released as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations for my SUTTON PARK show. The series features a number of odd characters – most of whom made their debut in the aforementioned show – all living in a house together. It’s an idea that pre-dates the BBC’s Being Human by several years – but THE BEAST OF FRIENDS is envisaged more as a mildly humorous radio series, rather than a gothic horror fest. As I’ve mentioned I am also already working on my next book NOT AS SHY AS I WAS which will be the 20th original collection of poems that I have written since I began publishing in late 2001.

Q. Is NOT AS SHY AS I WAS going to be the same mix of poetry and prose that you have favoured in recent years?

A. Definitely, yes… As we speak I’ve probably got about 30 pieces already written for this collection. I’m not sure if they’ll be as many as 100 in this book or not; we’ll see. Anyway, of the contents so-far written there is a pretty much equal mix of poems and stories – although I am aiming to have a few shorter prose pieces in line with my THE VAMPIRE COWS OF SCUNTHORPE collection from Summer 2011. Those shorter pieces are great for gigs and yeti videos!

Q. Are you planning any more Sutton Park episodes? Especially as 2012 is the 20th anniversary?

A. Definitely. There are a number that I filmed back in 2010 that I never edited; it would also be nice to film a new episode too if there is time; maybe during my visit to the Lake District – perhaps linking the footage that was filmed back in 2010 explaining what has happened in the two years since the last episode was posted. We’ll see. I’ve already mentioned THE BEAST OF FRIENDS and how that also links into Sutton Park and I’ve just begun work on a second series of eight scripts, which I hope will be out sometime in late 2013.

Q. That's good news. Thank you, Mr Yeti.

A. That's okay, thank you for inviting me back for a third visit – hopefully we’ll growl again soon. I’d just like to pass on all my thanks to every one in Beargrrria for all their support and good will over the years


That's all for this week - next week we'll be looking at the forthcoming trip to Germany and casting an eye over ratings for the first quarter of 2012. Until then, Happy Easter break!

More soon!

Yeti hugs,

Paul xx

This post and its contents are Copyright Paul Chandler 2012.