Saturday 30 November 2013

One of the most unusual charity letters you'll get this Christmas?

"To start with, I'm not a member of The Salvation Army. I'm actually a writer."

This year's Christmas direct mail campaign from The Salvation Army is breaking the fourth wall, you might say. It's admitting the letter is written by 'a writer' - although it's not saying whether previous marketing letters have had similar professional help.

The letter claims to be 'one of the most unusual charity letters you'll get this Christmas'. In many ways, you could suggest it's one of the most traditional. Arguably this technique is a close relation of the ancient Greek Chorus and the Shakespearean aside.

I've talked about my role as an anonymous writer before but really can't see the wall-breaking technique working for most of my clients...

"Hey, I'm not an anthropomorphic mobile phone, I'm a copywriter."

"It's been a great year for the company. So they tell me, anyway."

"And if you have any queries, please give us a ring. Okay, give THEM a ring. Don't call me unless you need anything written."

Friday 1 November 2013

Brian James on songwriting

This month's issue of Viva Lewes magazine includes my interview with guitarist Brian James, who co-founded punk pioneers The Damned and The Lords of the New Church. He offered a no-nonsense description of life as a songwriter:
“There’s always songs buzzing round your head. You just wanna get them out and then more songs come along. It’s like breathing.”
Brian plays Lewes Con Club on 22nd November 2013.