Anecdotes/Wake Up You Bastard, I've Written A Good Bit!


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Back then I was completely nocturnal. I was more or less completely nocturnal until about 1994 when I gave up smoking.
I really liked being nocturnal, and around about one o'clock in the morning I'd find myself flagging as a writer I'd just light another cigarette and carry on typing till four in the morning..and filling the ashtray.
And I discovered when I gave up smoking what would actually happen was at around about one in the morning I'd start feeling dozy, and then at five o'clock in the morning I would lift up my head from the keyboard and find 500 pages of the letter m. (laughter)...
But back then I was more or less completely nocturnal.
So I would get up early in the afternoon and there would be a little red light flashing on the answering machine.
I'd press the button and the tape would rewind..again, primitive technology we had back then, and this was also in the days when you were collaborating, there was no email back then.
Because this was 1988. We both owned modems but we weren't sure what to do with them.
Just so we could say that we had. Terry modemed me chunk of text and it took us an entire day to do it, and if you could actually tap down the phone in morse code it would have been quicker.
But I would wake up in the early afternoon and the little light would be flashing and the voice saying, "Get up, get up, you bastard. I've just written a good bit."
I would phone Terry and he would read me what he’d written that morning and I would read him what I'd written much much earlier that morning, and then it would be a mad dash to get to the next bit before the other one could.
That was how we worked it. It was enormous fun. We wrote it for 12 weeks and we didn't actually know if anyone was going to publish it.
We weren't sure if it was publishable. How come? Because nobody had written anything like it before, and we didn't know whether publishers would want it.
I do remember Terry actually asking me at one point, he said, "Look. How long have we been working on this so far?" And I said, "About six weeks." And he said, "What's the longest it could take us?" And I said, "Maybe another six weeks." He said, "Well, that's twelve weeks. If nobody buys it we can afford that, can't we. Let’s keep going."
Little did we know. These days Good Omens has gone on to become this international phenomenon, and it's sold to become a movie, several times. (laughter)
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