Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pheaturing Christian Cawley

Hello, everybody, welcome to another entry of the Phile. It's Memorial Day Weekend, kids! I am working tomorrow, so do you know what that means? Holiday pay and time and a half. Woo-hoo! Anyway, it's Memorial Day weekend and who do I interview? A Brit. That's okay, I'm British as well. Happy Bank Holiday Weekend. The world was supposed to end last Saturday but at the last minute, it was picked up for another season. Harold Camping has shifted his prediction of the apocalypse from May 21 to October 21, which is great because now I don’t have to buy a Halloween costume. wait a minute, I don't celebrate Halloween. Never mind. Anyway, apparently the rapture is being produced by the same people that produced “Spider-Man the Musical.” Did you watch Oprah's last show? Oprah just had her last show. Everyone got a car and a Stedman. Oprah’s show will be on reruns until September, and then she will be replaced by Ashton Kutcher. A world without Oprah is like a doughnut without jelly. I like to think Oprah will be like Batman, and that we can shine a spotlight into the sky and she’ll reappear when we need her most — like when we can’t figure out what to read. Actually, you have the Peverett Phile Book Club for that. Who needs Oprah and her book club. One of Sarah Palin’s supporters is about to release a documentary about her called “The Undefeated.” That’s like a documentary about Arnold Schwarzenegger called “The Faithful.” Someone made a two-hour documentary about Sarah Palin’s political life. In case you’re interested in watching a movie that’s longer than Palin’s actual political life. By the way, I still want to interview her for the Phile, so go to her Facebook page and post on it she should be interviewed by me. Donald Trump now says he may run for president as an independent. And when Donald Trump says he’s going do something, Donald Trump... says he’s going to do something. Rudy Giuliani is apparently thinking about running for president. Wow, that would bring us to, like, seven candidates — and about 35 ex-wives. There are rumors that Sarah Palin will run for president. It’s a big decision. On one hand, running for president is a long and grueling process that goes on for months and years. But she could just quit halfway through, right? So, a lot of kids are going to their proms around this time of year. I graduated in England, and we don't have proms there. Which was probably for the best because the only person who would've asked me to go would be the janitor. Subway sandwich shops are testing out several upscale restaurants called Subway Cafes. They feature wood paneling, lounge seating, and other things to distract you from the tuna fish being served with an ice-cream scoop. At Disney's Hollywood Studios (the greatest theme park to work at ever) Star Wars Weekends is going on. Today Darth Vader didn't show and was M.I.A. But here on the Phile, I know where he went. Check it out.

As I said, it's Memorial Day tomorrow, and I love the new Memorial Day inspirational posters they are selling. Check this one out, kids.

They even have Memorial Day in the Star Wars universe, believe it or not. Take a look at this for proof.

Well, it's Sunday, so it's time again for a...

And now for some sad news, kids.

Jeff Conaway
October 5, 1950 - May 27, 2011
Gil Scott-Heron
April 1, 1949 - May 27, 2011
The Funeral Will Not Be Televised.
Macho Man Randy Savage
November 15, 1952 - May 20, 2011
Snap him into a bin, Jim!
Harmon Killebrew
June 29, 1936 - May 17, 2011
Hall of Famer with 573 home runs, including a 520 footer in 1967 - and I still thought he had something to do with beer.

From the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...

Top Ten Reasons Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger Are Separating
10. She finally saw Jingle All The Way.
9. Maria's nightly refusal to "pump him up".
8. The 25-year cross-species study had concluded.
7. Turns out Maria is actually a girly man.
6. One of 'em kept leaving the cap off the Weider supplements.
5. She got tired of the interpreter in the bedroom.
4. Testing new tag line: "I won't be back".
3. She wouldn't lose that dang accent.
2. Action hero on the silver screen. Action zero in the bedroom.
And the number one reason Maria and Arnold are seperating...
1. Shouldn't we be trying to think of ten reasons why they were ever together in the first place?

Today's guest is the editor for one of my favorite "Doctor Who" news websites and is the author of the "Ultimate Regeneration", the 15th book to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Book Club. Please welcome to the Phile... Christian Cawley.

Me: Hello, Christian, welcome to the Phile, and congrats on having your book "Ultimate Regeneration" the 15th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. How are you?

Christian: Hi, I'm well, thanks, and it's very nice to be featured here. I'm among an illustrious group and it's quite humbling!

Me: Is "Ultimate Regeneration" the first book you have written?

Christian: "Ultimate Regeneration" is the third book that I've written, in fact, but the first to be published, thanks to various issues.

Me: You are working on a Beatles book, right? There are so many books about the Beatles, Christian, how is it gonna be different?

The Beatles book was in fact the first book that I wrote, and for reasons I won't go into here went into what I believe was very limited release overseas. It's different in that it attempts to tell the story of the Beatles in contemporary terms - they were just 4 boys who formed a group and got very lucky, and you know if they had been around to day they would have been just as cool, just as well loved and just as boy next door as they were then. Quite different to how the Beatles themselves became of course, in many way separated from their fans...

Me: Let's talk about your present book, as that's why you are here. It's a book with articles that you have put up on your "Doctor Who" website Kasterborus, am I right?

Christian: It's a selection of articles and every review from running from "Rose" through to "The End of Time, Part 2". I think there have been several "Doctor Who" websites or blogs that have decided to publish books and it's a tricky deal - you want to offer more than just "a blog in a book". So we added in some extra stuff.

Me: I was thinking of putting together a Peverett Phile book pheaturing all my interviews but then thought why would anybody buy it if they can read it for free on the web. Did that cross your mind as well?

Christian: I think if you put together a book with interviews from the site as well as additional content, perhaps follow up interviews with the same subjects, that doesn't appear on Peverett Phile, then you get something that is unique. "Ultimate Regeneration" is around 40-50% original content - there is a running narrative throughout from before "Rose" right through to the end of "The End of Time, Part 2", covering form time to time press reaction, fan reaction, etc. Also a small number of reviews were unsuitable to be featured as originally presented, so we substituted these, as well as adding in some additonal material concerning Torchwood, Mickey Smith, Donna Noble and more. Additionally it isn't just me writing the reviews, we've got contributions from Kasterborous Associate Editor Brian A. Terranova, Kopic's "Doctor Who" News administrator Simon R. Mills, and Gareth Kavanagh of "Vworp Vworp!" So it's more than just a "blog in a book" which is why I think it's done so well - we've sold just over 100 copies so far which I'm delighted with.

Me: Christian, I have to ask you about the cover... who did the drawing?

Christian: The design genius that is Anthony Dry is responsible for that very striking image. You might know his work from the "Doctor Who" DVD boxsets, and he was a founder member of Kasterborous.

Me: Was it your idea or Anthony's to make it black and white?

Christian: Totally Anthony's: I wouldn't dream of making such a major design decision! I know my place...

Me: I was surprised Matt Smith is not on it instead of David Tennant. Was the cover designed before Matt Smith was the Doctor?

As we don't cover the Matt Smith era he doesn't appear on the book cover; I think Anthony's idea was to link the original series with the Russell T. Davis era, hence the images of the Hartnell and Tennant Doctors.

Me: I read a review of the book and it said there was a few typos. I HATE typos when I post my blog, Christian, did you edit the book yourself? I would of done it for you, y'know. Was it hard getting the book published?

Christian: HAH! Yes there is a very particular typo that occurs twice in just a few lines which is hugely embarrassing, not least because of the number of eyes it has passed in front of. Hopefully by the time your readers see this the book will be available on Amazon with little to no typos. I do feel, however, that the reviewer you speak of was a little unkind: the introduction does make it clear that various Americanisms and inconsistent grammar between U.S. and U.K. English and so on appear in the book, as that is how they appeared on the website. It's not my place as editor of the book to divert from what the original contributors were trying to say.

Me: I mentioned your website, which is one of my favorite "Doctor Who" news websites by the way, and you have been a supporter of the Phile when I posted "Doctor Who" themed interviews. How long has the website been up, Christian?

Christian: I'm delighted to count you among our readers! We started off in mid-to-late 2004 with a full (but muted) launch on January 1st 2005; it all came about thanks to a chat Anthony and I had in the old Outpost Gallifrey forum. He wanted somewhere to showcase his artwork and I fancied becoming a writer.

Me: Tell the readers where the name came from, and how you came about it?

The name Kasterborous comes from classic "Doctor Who", and is the name of the constellation in which the Doctor's home planet Gallifrey is found. I'm not sure if the actual physical mechanics of this is accurate, but it's a great word and when we were thinking up a name we discarded loads of others (including some that have since been used with some success!).

Me: Have you been a "Doctor Who" fan all your life? My first Doctor was Jon Pertwee, who was yours?

I grew up in the 1980's but I was born in 1975 so while the law sort of says Peter Davison should be "my" Doctor I was quite precocious at that young age, and as such Tom Baker is the one for me! He was my very first, and I remembered various moments from episodes from 1978 and 1979 when I first caught them on VHS and DVD. The first episode I really remember well, however, is "Warrior's Gate".

Me: "Doctor Who" is not the only thing you write about, right? You write about classic rock as well?

Christian: I did have a blog back in the day that focussed mainly on Led Zeppelin, but this fell by the wayside as Kasterborous grew. So far my only real work in that direction is the Beatles book. I do earn my daily crust as a freelance writer, however, mainly in the mobile, office and domestic technology areas.

Me: Speaking of classic rock, my dad was the lead singer in he classic rock band Foghat, Christian, have you heard of them?

Christian: I must confess that I haven't but I've just looked them up and I do know Savoy Brown with whom it seems they're related, "Rock Family Tree" style. According to Wikipedia they're a blues rock/boogie blues act so I'm off to find some stuff and buy some albums! Right up my street!

Me: What other things do you write about?

Christian: Other than the daily grind of Windows 7, Mac OS X, Android, Windows Phone and "Doctor Who"? Little else it seems! I am working on a couple of comic strips (one of which is for Kasterborous) and I've also started a novel. I know most of how it goes, it has a pretty definite beginning, middle and end, so we'll see how that goes. I also write a few gags from time to time but they don't get used that often (ie, never). Although I have had a short sitcom script performed as part of a competition, which was very interesting.

Me: I read somewhere that you don't like Russell T. Davis. Is that true? I have been trying to get him on the Phile for the longest time. Have you met him, Christian?

Christian: I have never met Russell but I would love to. I certainly wouldn't say that I don't like him - as I say I've never met the chap and have no idea what his small talk is like! I'm sure he's a very nice guy, but clearly very determined and focused and clear about what he wants - all very admirable traits. I think it's fair to say, as anyone reading "Ultimate Regeneration" will find, that initially I wasn't convinced by his vision of "Doctor Who", and by the time of Series 2 I was extremely doubtful. However whether it was a case of me getting used to it or the series moving in a more favourable direction for me (probably a combination of both) I think I got to be a "sort-of" fan of RTD, particularly episodes like "Turn Left" and "Midnight".

Me: Christian, thanks so much for being on the Phile, for your support, and for letting your book be in the Book Club. Will you come back if your Beatles book comes out?

Christian: Hah! It's been a fraught and drawn out process - should it ever see the light of day, however, I would love to!

Me: Go ahead and plug all your sites, and I wish you will keep on writing, sir. Thanks again, and keep in touch.

Christian: Thank you for having me here, it's been an honour! I would really just like to give a mention to Cult Britannia, a Kasterborous-like website that focusses on British cult/sci-fi/fantasy/horror TV, audio, movies and books. It's a new site we're growing in audience daily and you can find it at

Well, that about does it for another entry of the Phile. Thanks to Christian for a great interview and I hope he comes back when his novel or Beatles book comes out. Have a safe Memorial Day tomorrow, kids. The Phile will be back next Monday with Alumni The Whiskey Saints, and a brand new pheature I think you guys will like. Until then, spread the word, not the turd, don't let snakes and alligators bite you, and always let the Wookiee win. Bye, love you, bye.

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