Michael Bloor’s excellent little gem, The Questing Knight, looks at, then beyond the charm of a pub raconteur. Michael shines a light on the truth that people had ignored with his description of the man’s previously unseen widow. This is a beautifully understated piece of work that says more than its small quantity of words.
Q: I imagine everyone knows a “Knight” of this ilk–was the character a composite or based on one person?
Q: There’s a free floating little sadness that passes from the memory of a time gone by to the face of the widow. Did you achieve this quickly, or was this idea worked out via many revisions?
Q: I imagine everyone knows a ‘Knight’ of this ilk – was the character a composite or based on one person.?
A: I was puffed with pride when I learned one of my pieces had been selected for a re-run. Thank you, LS! But I confess I only have a limited recall of the process of writing the piece. Nevertheless, I’m certain the Sam Groat character is a composite. I’ve always been interested in the differences between public and private personas. Even as a small child, I was puzzled that my grandad, while a hero to me and (I’m sure) to his neighbours and friends in the working mens’ club and at the allotments, was viewed much more coolly by my mother and my aunt. Though Sam is a composite, most of the events in his life were real: the penis-biting episode, the small Greek island with a single cafe and a helicopter pad, the unsuitability of egg incubators for goose eggs, etc., etc.
Q: There’s a free floating little sadness that passes from the memory of time gone by to the face of the widow. Did you achieve this quickly, or was the idea worked out via many revisions?
A: I think, by accident or design, it must’ve been there at the first draft. Normally, I only go through three drafts: a first draft, which I leave aside for a month or so; a second draft, reading the piece with fresh eyes, where I make any major revisions (usually, cutting stuff out); and a final draft when I’m about to send the piece off, mainly to try and improve the punctuation.