I was browsing some tempting sausages at the charcuterie stall in Nouméa’s municipal market last week when to my astonishment I saw Sydney author Stuart Campbell at the coffee stand.
An appointment with the reclusive and publicity-shy Campbell is hard to get – an impromptu interview a virtual impossibility. I approached him and gave him my finely honed elevator pitch. My luck was in. Was it the sultry laid-back groove of New Caledonia? Or perhaps the large glass of Pernod on the counter?
“I’ve got ten minutes,” he said with that trademark suave elevation of the slightly grizzled but really incredibly sculpted masculine eyebrow
OM Freaking G, I thought! Two weeks out of on-line journalism school, and I’ve scored an exclusive with the author of An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity.
So tell me about your next book, I ventured.
Campbell nodded to the barman, who topped up the Pernod and brought another flask of water. Frankly, I don’t know how anybody can drink something that looks like what you spit out after you’ve cleaned your teeth, but old blokes seem to drink it all the time in France, or maybe they just look old because they drink so much of it and they’re, like, quite young really.
Anyway, I gather the new book is called Cairo Mon Amour. It’s set in Cairo in 1973 during a war, I think he said the Young Kipper? Not sure about that, but apparently he was a student in Cairo during that war and always meant to write a thriller about it. It’s coming out in July 2016.
At this point he asked me if I had an aspirin because he had an earache because he got some coral in his ears swimming and he’d gone deaf.
“Who do you say you write for?” he asked me.
“I’m an emerging social commentator and the roving correspondent for Charcuterie Monthly,” I responded.
“Didn’t you say The Guardian?”
“I might have done,” I confessed.
“Go back to your sausages,” he said.
Well, I don’t know about you, but his new book sounds like crap.
** Lesley Latte reserves the right not to disclose h** gender
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Stuart Campbell’s covers are designed by Rachel Ainge .