#2 – Perfect 10

I used to be a budding Jonathan Ross.

Almost 20 years ago I started to take my writing seriously. Back in 2003 a young 25-year-old Jay12 aspired of becoming an author. That year I had first found UKAuthors as part of my search for an outlet for my creativity. I started my own website using one of those free webhosting services (I think it was called 50megs) because I wanted to look like I was professional but because I was such a newbie, I really didn’t have much to say on the site. I did try to write pieces to showcase on there and they were often forced and downright terrible. I had no writing credits under my belt, and it therefore looked empty and awful.

I looked around for ideas. Most writer’s websites were full of adverts for their work, their books, and their musings, but I had none of that and as I had not really found a voice for blogging, I struggled to pad out my site with anything. I found myself spending my writing time trying to create a website, but I wasn’t writing for it. I was just worrying about it. With hindsight I know that was silly. If I could speak to 25-year-old me now I would tell him to forget the website and get on with the task of writing. But then I wish I could go back and tell 25-year-old me a lot of things, mostly lottery numbers and where my keys were in September 2008 when I spent an entire afternoon looking for them.

Then one evening I had an idea. It was born from UKAuthors. The thrill I had gotten from messaging people and receiving comments gave me huge pleasure and was incredibly helpful. So I decided that I should simply interview other authors and publish the results myself. This seemed like a great idea. I had not seen many sites with such content and felt that it might be something unique. I also hoped that it would help me get to know other writers, find out what inspired them, and help me to network, all of which it eventually did.

I sat and wrote down as many questions as I could think of and then aggregated them together where questions were similar. Eventually I got the list of questions down to what seemed like the best set that covered all of the questions that I would ask of a writer. At that time, I felt that if I could get people to agree not only would it be great content for my site, but I may well learn something about writers and writing.

I named the interview feature “Perfect 10” which seems a little arrogant as I’m pretty sure it could have been called, “The obvious, generic 10 questions every writer gets asked all of the time” but like I mentioned I was young, naïve and a little stupid still at this point in time and so it was, Perfect 10 was born.

I contacted a whole group of people on UKAuthors and asked them to take part and I cannot remember anyone saying no. It was great. I sent the interviews out and everyone replied and I was over the moon. This small project was a success, it looked great on my site and it also helped me to get to know a whole bunch of people who became regular readers of my contributions and people who’s writing I thoroughly enjoyed.

It has been a long time since those interviews have seen the light of day. But I still have them collected into a document that I have also included below. They are from between 2003 and 2006, so they are like a fine wine these days, a little aged. If you take a look I hope you enjoy reading them and please don’t judge them too harshly. We were all much younger and less experienced back then.




© jay12 2023
Views: 267
critique and comments welcome.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Interesting to read these short interviews with familiar names, Jay, of which most, as I remember were predominantly prose writers, with the exception of Michael (Shackleton) and Jolen, who continued on site until recently? As I recall, both Andrea and Sunken did similar interviews didn’t they, Andrea’s often with current well-established off-site writers, and the munkey in his own unique style mixed with his usual witty humour? At 25, you must have been one of the youngest on site, which means I fear, a great many of the site originals are no longer with us. For me, the twenty-two years… Read more »

Flag Content