The new Kevin Roberts book you didn’t get for Xmas
Today I have the great pleasure of bringing you an exclusive interview with the elusive Richard Meros, world-acclaimed author of the world’s first political fantasy academic novella, On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me As Her Young Lover — a book described by The Guardian as “decidedly lascivious” and by others as “wack — wiggedy wack”. As I’m sure you’ll be delighted to learn, Meros has a new project, this time in collaboration with new writer Nestor Notabilis, who has penned a novel called I Know Someone Who Knows Someone Who Knows Kevin Roberts Quite Well. Here’s the interview, conducted by online chat just 24 minutes ago. Enjoy.
HK Ham: Richard Meros, thank you for joining me today
Richard Meros: My honour.
HK Ham: I believe you’re in Argentina?
Richard Meros: Yes, that is correct. I’ve been in Buenos Aires for four months now.
HK Ham: And what are you doing there? Seeking refuge after the savage backlash from your Helen Clark novella?
Richard Meros: The backlash was more than I expected. I was shocked when my name began to be mentioned in literary circles as “the poor man’s Nicky Hagar”. I am also recouperating from a rather harsh review in The Dominion. Also, I am putting together a new book, and have edited and introduced another book of my loyal friend, Nestor Notabilis.
HK Ham: So I understand. Still, you must have been heartened by the positive review in The Guardian, which some would argue is a somewhat superior publication to the Dom Post. But that aside — can you tell me something of your role in this project with Notabilis?
Richard Meros: Mr Notabilis – Nestor – is an old friend from Christchurch who was a struggling writer. Recently he had something of a spiritual experience – a trial – involving Kevin Roberts (author Lovemarks, head of Saatchi and Saatchi). I advised him during this trial, and offered him a publishing deal through the Lawrence and Gibson editorial collective of which I am the secretary. He has written these experiences into a novel called “I know someone who knows someone who knows Keving Roberts quite well”.
HK Ham: Keving?
Richard Meros: Sorry, Kevin, these latino typing machines are a test for the best (and a trial for the worst)
Richard Meros: “A poor tradesman and his tools”
Richard Meros: you say?
HK Ham: Oh, I just thought you meant the verb version of Kevin Roberts. But I digress. Would you call this new work a novel?
Richard Meros: Nestor’s book is certainly a novel. My own is not. It is a reverie.
HK Ham: But let us talk of Nestor for a moment. What in him did you see that made you decide, “Yes, this man should be with Lawrence & Gibson; yes, this is the man to produce the follow up to ‘On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me as Her Young Lover’?”
Richard Meros: Well… Hmm… Nestor embodies naivety. At least he did. And he writes a very Kiwi story. Lawrence & Gibson specifically publishes books of New Zealanders. And Nestor’s – with digressions into Kakapos, Macrocarpa, and the Avon – does precisely that.
Richard Meros: Plus he is very handsome and will look good on the back of a book.
Richard Meros: And on the cover.
Richard Meros: And on book tours.
Richard Meros: Are we lovers?
Richard Meros: I don’t know how to answer that.
Richard Meros: Friends with priveleges.
HK Ham: Meros, I’m going to be straight with you. I haven’t read Nestor’s book, even though you sent it to me two months ago. To enlighten me and others, please, share an anecdote (and learn how to spell privileges).
Richard Meros: Thanks for the honesty, twerp. Sorry that was rude. Uh. Well, the book begins with Nestor on the banks of the Avon. He is drinking a banana milkshake. Of real banana. He is approached by some skinheads who are his eternal foe. Instead of taking a walloping, like Don Quixote fighting the sheep-herders, Nestor leaps into the Avon. He drifts down the Avon as flotsam.
Richard Meros: Or is that wolloping?
Richard Meros: Dear english major.
HK Ham: I believe you had it correct the first time. But prey tell, is there any metaphor in this passage?
Richard Meros: I’m not sure what Nestor intended with that passage. I can guess it is a fairly accurate representation of what happened. it was after this incident that I met him in park and at that point he indeed was sopping wet. I’m sure earnest readers and historians will do all the work in picking out metaphors. But Nestor is simply telling his story and that moment was central to us meeting and thus, the rest of the plot.
HK Ham: Fair play. What transpired in that meeting in the park?
Richard Meros: It was in the park where I informed him that ‘I know someone who knows Kevin Roberts quite well’. I believe I was feeding the geese with oe of my rye loaves at the time. We bonded. He knew of my book and was a little awed, on that first occasion.
HK Ham: Great. How does Kevin Roberts actually figure in this novel — and is there any chance of libel?
Richard Meros: Well… not wanting to give too much away, but Kevin Roberts was seen by Nestor as the geat marketing guru that he is. Nestor intially wanted Mr Roberts to help him become a success through the wily means of marketing. I am not really sure what was going through his head as he had not written a book at that point. Anyhow, there are plenty of people who want to write books, but who aren’t gripped and pursued by a subject matter. And libel? I don’t know. I suspect Roberts will rather enjoy the book. As I wasn’t in New York where his part is played out, I can’t say whether Nestor was exaggerating their encounter or not. I suspect he embellished a little, but the core is true.
HK Ham: Sounds intriguing. And finally, what are three things readers will take away from reading this novel?
Richard Meros: (1) They will be entertained, but I’m not sure if that’s something they ‘take away’ – perhaps entertainment is more of an ‘eat-in’ experience. (2) They will be presented with a Kierkegaardian reading of Roberts’ Lovemarks. They can take that away with them to eternity. (3) They will take away a sense of the aesthetic beauty of the book itself, which while I am still in collaboration with the designers, seems to becoming a real highlight, and a joy to Nestor.
HK Ham: Hot. Can I have fries with that?
Richard Meros: And a shake full of chicken fat.
HK Ham: Richard Meros, thank you very much.
Richard Meros: Oh, can you ask me if I have anything to add?
HK Ham: Might as well. Shoot.
Richard Meros: If so, please do.
HK Ham: Do you have anything to add?
Richard Meros: Earlier you asked about the ‘savage backlash’ to On the condition and possibilities of Helen Clark taking me as her Young Lover. I didn’t mention that in response to the ‘savage backlash’ I am working on a book called Tino Rangatiratanga Motjerfucker! and am collaborating with some well known musician friends of mine to release a CD-single and a 7″ of the same name.
Richard Meros: I think I may have spelled Motherfucker wrong. It is not an attempt to bypass censoring.
Richard Meros: It looks scandinavian.
HK Ham: 7 inches really is no big deal.
Richard Meros: I don’t follow…
Richard Meros: 45rpm?
Richard Meros: With a cover of Tom Petty’s ‘You don’t have to live like a refugee’ as the b-side.
Richard Meros: Or Elton John’s ‘I guess that’s why they call it the blues’
Richard Meros: Or E.S.G.’s ‘You’re no Good’ in spanish.
HK Ham: Marvellous stuff. I look forward to it. Now, I’m sorry, but we’re out of time. It’s been a great pleasure. Now, goodbye.
Richard Meros: Ciao, rico.
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