Following the Music
As deputy literary editor of the Independent on Sunday in the mid-1990s, it was my job to organize and compile several of the routine book columns and features every week. One such was the long-running ‘The Book that Changed Me’. It involved typing up a short telephone interview with a literary or other type of celebrity; less frequently, the contributor would write the copy themselves. It can be difficult to drum up fresh ideas once a column has been underway for some time, but we never ran short of suggestions and contributions. One highlight for me was hearing Christopher Lee declaim at length down the line in Elvish, in his fanatical enthusiasm for The Lord of the Rings. I can only imagine how delighted he must have been to be offered the part of Saruman.