Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Greetings beasties!

This week we present an interview that was recently published in THE GROWL GAZETTE, Beargrrria's top magazine. It's a bit of a review of what I've been up to recently and what is coming up over the next few months until Christmas. I hope you enjoy it! PS Next week we should have a new video to unveil, the new book of short stories and poems to discuss, including something from this collection for you to sample, not to mention my forthcoming trip to Venice.

Anyway, here we go with the interview...


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 fourth time that they have interviewed me in the last few years! They really MUST be short of people to interview. This time I’m speaking mainly about what the next few months hold in store and about my forthcoming collections – NOT AS SHY AS I WAS and the reissue of my third collection, THIRD TIME LUCKY. 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, I have a new one coming out any day now called ARE WE THERE, YETI!?! , but I think we discussed that during the last time we chatted. That last book took a little longer than usual, well over a year from start to finish, partly because there were quite a few short stories in it which always take longer to proofread than my volumes where it’s just poetry. I’m currently working on a collection called NOT AS SHY AS I WAS, alongside the 10th anniversary edition of my third collection, THIRD TIME LUCKY. All the writing work for NOT AS SHY AS I WAS, which began at the start of the year, has now been completed – so I’m now entering the proofing stage. There’s a lot more poetry in that one, but all the same it won’t be out until Spring 2013, whilst the latter should be ready in time for my Poetry Café show On Friday 16th November. As of the start of October I moved onto a new project called GRRRS, PURRS AND VERSE – although this is only a provisional title at this stage.

Q. Talking of titles, where does the title NOT AS SHY AS I WAS come from?

A. I’ve had it in my head for a while now; although originally I thought this particular book would be ready in 2012 as I begun work on it late in 2011. It probably fits even better as it’ll be coming out in 2013 as one of the books that I release as I’m about to turn 40. It kind of says it all really as a play on my yeti nick-name… I’ve felt more of a change in my confidence in the last 10 years – although in many situations I’m still pretty shy, even though you might not think it. I am!

Q. So is this book all stories, more like FUNERAL FOR A SHOE? Or does it also involve poetry? How does it compare to your other recent collections?

A. It’s has both poems and stories, but if it’s like any of my previous books then it most closely resembles YETI HUGS AND OTHER HORRORS from 2010, where it is more poems than stories on this occasion. I never make a concerted decision to write one or the other – I just let the inspiration guide how the book turns out; I find it best not to force ideas and I like that my recent books have been that mixture of poems and stories. Hopefully, something for all occasions and moods!

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

A. Well, I must say that I’m really pleased to have been writing more poems again this year. Obviously I enjoy writing short stories, but I sort of feel that I have come to a natural break as far as they are concerned; although I’m sure this will change. As I say, there are still a good few stories in this collection – not to mention a couple really old ones from the late 80s, early 90s. I also had a couple of scripts and a monologue from the same time, but I think I’m going to have to hold those over for a later book as I’m running out of space in this one. It’s hard to choose a particular favourite story – although I have a soft spot for QUEEN OF THE CHRISTMAS SEASON, as it was written during a pleasant day out with my parents. I’ve already been performing a lot of the new poems from this collection – BEE-SOTTED, DRUNK ELK, EVIL IVY, AN ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM, GLAMOUR AT ALL TIMES, I’M SICK (BUT DO I WANNA BE CURED), I CLEANED OUT MY DIRTY MIND, MISTER MOSQUITO, NATIONAL TREASURE, SHAVING WEREWOLVES, SOMETHING’S UP WITH ROCKY LOBSTER, WE’RE ALL JUST BRAINS and A YETI IN A HAT to name just a few and not to mention a piece called ONCE I LOST MY HEART TO A CORNISH PASTY that I turned into a song! There’s also the piece THE WEDDING BREAKFAST which I wrote for my friend’s Glyn and David’s civil partnership – so that was also a privilege.

Q. November sees the reissue of your third collection, THIRD TIME LUCKY. Are you enjoying revisiting your old work?

A. I am very much enjoying returning to the older books, yes. It’s quite timely, because as the reissues come out I have naturally recorded pieces from them for SHY YETI ON LOCATION episodes. It also makes me consider reading pieces that I’d often forgotten. Last year I read a number of pieces from JUNK/FOOD during my Lille/Brugge videos and also at one of my shows and I did the same for ROLLERCOASTER and my episode from Bath contained poems from that collection. This time around I expect my November Poetry Café show to focus on THIRD TIME LUCKY and will probably end up reading pieces from this re-issued collection during my holiday trip to Venice over my birthday.

Q. Do you intend to keep revising your earlier collections as they reach their 10th anniversaries.

A. Definitely, yes. I certainly intend to revisit the first 8 collections up until POETIQUETTE and the next two that followed that, POEMS TO MAKE BEARS GROWL and RHYMES BEARS STEAL PIES FOR which takes me up to 2017!! I’m happier with the design of the more recent books – but maybe I won’t be by 2017 and there will be something that I can add to those later volumes in the same way as I’ve found ways of adding something to the earlier collections. I’m already working, in slow time, on all the reissued books up until POETIQUETTE, although GO 4TH AND DIVIDE isn’t due out until Summer 2013 and THE AUTUMNAL E.P. until the end of 2013. I’m not sure what will happen after that or whether by then I’ll feel that the other collections would benefit from re-designing! Let’s see nearer the time!

Q. 2012 is drawing to a close, how has it been for you overall?

A. Different from 2011, but that’s a good thing – although 2011 was a good year too, I’ve been very lucky creatively over the last few years! During 2012 we reached the 10th anniversary of my blog (www.shyyeti.com) – so it’s been a year of old and new; 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 collection ARE WE THERE, YETI!?! and the scripted series THE BEAST OF FRIENDS and Mouse Of Commons collection, TALES FROM THE MCWHISKERS’ ARCHIVE. The videos seem to have really taken off too and have started getting much higher ratings than they did back in 2010 and 2011.

Q. How is the performance poetry going?

A. Good. I’ve enjoyed all the gigs that I’ve done at The Poetry Café, so far, this year and look forward to my last one in November. It was also fun to take part in the open-mike sessions in Broadstairs during the folk festival this year. I suppose I am very happy to consider myself a video poet as I enjoy making the films most of all, to be honest. It’s great to have the creative control to make something that hopefully will last – a souvenir of what I’ve been up to, if you like. Heck! Even if it’s only me who wants to watch them in the future then it’ll be nice to have them!

Q. When is your next show?

A. Friday 16th November at The Poetry Café, Covent Garden. I’m not sure if there will a theme on this occasion – I’m not even sure I’m going to work on a detailed set plan this time; might just surprise myself! As the night is around the time of the 10th anniversary of my third collection I will, off course, be reading poems from THIRD TIME LUCKY as well as some more recent ones, I’m sure. It’s quite possible that we’ll have a few more guests than normal on that night too.

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

A. Well, I’ve already been on a couple of times so far in 2012, but I know that Tim’s has had to cut his times on the radio right down since he became a father for the second time earlier this year; but hopefully there will be other chances in the future. I’m glad I managed to fit in four appearances in less than a year – especially as we got a number of nice videos out of the shows and recording with Tim is also fun. It was especially nice to be able to involve Dominic in the last couple of appearances too, as I think he found it interesting to see what went on down at the radio stations. Anyway, more news on future radio shows when I know more – keep an eye on www.shyyeti.com – I will announce it there first!

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

A. I feel like the episodes have really hit their stride this year – especially since Dominic moved over and I have my partner in crime living with me now! Last year I really enjoyed filming the overseas episodes in Paris, Lille, Bruges and L.A., but this year even the UK episodes have been good fun to make – choosing the themes and seeing what poems fit into them… It’s also been good to finally catch up with the backlog of films that I never got around to editing last year, such as my VAMPIRE COWS SPECIAL and the “LOST” HOLLYWOOD episode. I’ve also migrated some of my original videos from 2008, which previously had only been available on Vimeo and it’s good to see those getting more views now too. I also had fun over the summer holidays recording a number of series that will keep me busy editing over the autumn and probably into early next year. These include a four part series set in the Lake District, new Sutton Park episodes – as well as those that I recorded down in Broadstairs at the Folk Festival that I have completed work on quite recently. Of course, there is more to come and I’m just back from a trip to Brussels – with another trip planned to Venice in a couple of weeks. My friend Dan Hodges and I have also been working on Shy Yeti’s first cookery episode; which seems fitting as I do write a lot about food! I’ve also started work on a series that I want to film around some of my old haunts back in my home town of Salisbury, but I see that being a bit of a back-burner project to be completed sometime next year.

Q. You mentioned filming overseas… How did Brussels go and what do you have planned for your trip to Venice? Haven’t you filmed there before?

A. Brussels was a very nice trip, although the weather started out wet, rather like when Dominic and I arrived in Dusseldorf back in April… Still, I didn’t let the rain – which lasted until late afternoon on the Saturday, stop me getting out there and filming. By the time we went to Ghent on the Sunday the weather was perfect and continued to be for the rest of the trip. In the end I filmed 9 short poems from THIRD TIME LUCKY which will be spread across the 2 episodes of SHY YETI ON LOCATION that I intend to put together from this trip. In just under a month I’m heading to Venice for my birthday where I intend to film more episodes from THIRD TIME LUCKY, this time incorporating it with a sort of spoof giallo / slasher film about Mr Shy Yeti being stalked around the city by a man who wishes to stab him with the sharp end of an ice cream cone! You think I jest!?! I’ve already recorded some of the creepy messages that the character leaves on Yeti’s phone! Oh yes, and you’re quite right – I have filmed in Venice before – and taken photos over there twice, some of which I’ve used in my poetry books and Mouse of Commons novels. On my last trip I lost all the footage that I’d recorded for an ON LOCATION episode and only managed to re-record a few minutes right at the end of the trip. This time, I promise not to let this happen!!

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

A. Well, we talked about the ones that I filmed at the start of the year last time we spoke, but since then I’ve been working on a number of films under the “SHY YETI GOES WILD” banner… There are lots of them! The two on location episodes, then live on the radio, live at the Poetry Café – twice each! Since I started writing a weekly blog last autumn I have often used potential themes for the videos as a source of what I write about – this definitely happened with recent episodes I have been working on about Halloween and a little cookery episode which may not see the light of day until next year. This year I also did some episodes that sort of celebrate everything that it means to be British, as part of the Royal Diamond Jubilee Year. I’ve also done live video for all my shows this year – and there is plenty of footage left from those to include them randomly in other episodes; even one of the 20th anniversary Sutton Park episodes had one as part of events…

Q. What about next year? Are there any plans to return to The States?

A. Oh! Absolutely… Not to mention a return to both Paris and Italy and anywhere else exciting that I can manage for a long weekend… I’m hoping that I’ll be back in the States in August 2013 – as part of my 40th birthday holidays. Paws crossed that I’ll be doing a lot of travel – so hopefully I’ll get to take the viewers along too!

Q. Other than poetry and videos are there any other projects in the pipeline for the end of 2012, into 2013?

A. There are, but having just finished 3 projects all around the same time there will be a natural break before anything new comes out. I expect there to be a new collection of short Mouse Of Commons stories in 2013, the last batch that I wrote some years ago now; I’ll also be working on other Mouse projects – but these will be for release during 2014 or later. In 2013 I also celebrate my 40th birthday, so I have a lot of things that I want to achieve creatively, whether it be on the page or on video… But more about all that nearer the time.

Q. And the next collection, after NOT SO SHY AS I WAS – does this have a title yet?

A. Originally I had planned to call it, PURRS, GRRRS AND VERSE – but I think that one will go on the back-burner as I want to use another title. It rather looks as if the next book will now be called GRANNY ATE MY AFTER-BIRTH AND OTHER POEMS, as this is the title of one of my newest pieces and it’s such a repulsive and eye-catching title! I also have the title AUTHOR. POET. LIBRARIAN. YETI. – but that could simply be a sub-title for another collection.

Q. That's good news. Thank you for answering our questions, Mr Yeti.

A. That's okay, thank you for inviting me back – hopefully we’ll growl again soon. Once again, 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

So, there you have it! More soon! Yeti hugs, Paul xx

This post and all its contents are Copyright Paul Chandler 2012.