After hours of writing emails and making phone calls to make-believe agents, we finally managed to nail an interview with the star of the upcoming One Seriously Messed-Up Week-End (Tom Clempson’s follow-up to the painfully funny One Seriously Messed-Up Week in the Otherwise Mundane and Uneventful Life of Jack Samsonite, available 7th March), and, since interviews with fictional characters don’t come around very often, we decided not to hold back with the questions…
Atom: Firstly, well done on getting not one but TWO of your diaries published! You must be pleased.
JS: Pleased? Pleased?! Are you kidding? Someone has published the deepest, most intimate, personal experiences of my life! How pleased would you be? Plus, I can’t be sure, but I think they might have even included the embarrassing bits.
Atom: Oh, so… did you get a lot of unwanted attention after the first book?
JS: Attention would have been nice actually. Most people won’t look me in the eyes. Whoever came up with the phrase “any publicity is good publicity” obviously never considered the effects of having people read the truth about what goes on inside your pants.
Atom: Well, maybe you…
JS: Actually, can you delete that last bit? Can you put ‘mind’ instead of ‘pants’? I wouldn’t want people to get the wrong idea about me.
Atom: Absolutely. We’ll do that. Because you’re actually quite an innocent aren’t you?
JS: I AM! Thank you! Yes! People assume, just because there’s ‘boy stuff’ in the books, that I’m some kind of stereotypical ‘lad’, like all I ever think about is girls and… ‘guy’ stuff. But, in reality, I’ve never even kissed a girl! I don’t like cars, I don’t smoke, I can’t play football, I’m no good in social situations and I fall over about 36% more often than other people…
Atom: So you wouldn’t label yourself as a usual, run-of-the-mill, hero?
JS: Those are three words no one has ever used to describe me. Unfortunately I’m none of those things.
Atom: You don’t think you’ve ever done anything heroic?
JS: Umm… [he scratches his head and thinks hard about this]. No. Not unless you consider having trouser malfunctions heroic.
Atom: Well, you seem to have a lot of fans out there who might disagree.
JS: That Meer cat from those insurance adverts also has lots of fans. People are mental. Remember that Crazy Frog song? It went to No1 in the charts. NUMBER ONE! A frog!
Atom: Point taken. But it must be quite exciting to see your name on the covers of books!
JS: It’s very weird. I can’t really get used to it.
Atom: Admit it. It is a teensy bit cool, isn’t it?
JS: [whispers] Yesitisbutdon’ttellanyoneIsaidthat… It would be extra cool if they made a film of them.
Atom: We agree. Who would you choose to play you if a Jack Samsonite film ever got made?
JS: Ummm… I don’t know! Who would be good to play a British teenage nobody who manages to get himself into stupid situations?
[Atom suggests a long list of up-and-coming acting talent who have funny faces (we don’t mention the ‘funny faces’ bit to him though). Samsonite considers these for a long time…]
JS: I was thinking maybe Samuel L Jackson or Bruce Willis. They’re not the obvious choices, but movies can get away with bending reality that way.
Atom: Erm… yeah. Anyway, moving on, what would you say is the best thing about being published?
JS: The best thing that springs to mind is that I almost feel like I’ve achieved something with my life without actually having to do anything.
Atom: And what’s the worst part of being published?
JS: My gran asked me what ‘nob-ache’ is, and if I’m still suffering form it.
Atom: Aaaaaand that seems like the perfect place to stop. Thank you very much for your time Jack Samsonite.
JS: Thank you! How did it go? Did I seem weird? I bet I seemed weird didn’t I? Delete any bits that sound rubbish, if you like. And any weird bits. And obviously don’t include this bit at the end.
One Seriously Messed-Up Week-End is available from Atom on 7th March.