Interview : Victoria Mary Clarke, Socially aware journalist

Victoria Mary Clarke, leading Irish journalist, author, and owner of VMC Media Coaching, talks to Déshabillé about her work, her biography on Nirvana, and relationship with singer/songwriter Shane MacGowan.



Q. What inspired you to write?



Victoria : When I was a child we had no television, and so I amused myself by making up stories.  At first I drew them like cartoons or even like storyboards for films and then I added words, they were like soap operas with lots of drama and very glamorous clothes!  Writing was my favourite way to express myself, and at school I wrote poetry and plays which were pretty dreadful, but I have always loved doing it.




Q. Your two books...A Drink With Shane MacGowan and Angel In Disguise...what was the process of writing them?




Victoria : I really learned the discipline of writing books from my editor Britt Collins at Lime Lizard magazine, it was she who got me the gig co-writing a biography of Nirvana "Flower Sniffing Kitty Petting Baby Kissing Corporate Rock Whores' with her.

We got an agent very quickly and she sold the book surprisingly easily, which gave us a deadline and then we sat down together and decided on the chapter headings which gave us a plan for what we both needed to cover.  I went on tour with the band and also went to live in Seattle WA, where I gathered loads and loads of material which then had to be transcribed and edited into something coherent.  

It was very hard work, even just finding the self discipline to sit down for hours and hours at the computer, and working with a co-author is challenging because you will both have different ideas about how you want the book to be.

All that work really paid off when I started work on the Shane biog.  I got into the habit of always carrying a micro cassette recorder and I recorded seven years of interviews with Shane which then had to be transcribed and edited.  Once you find your voice and you have some idea of what each chapter is about it can begin to flow.  By the time I did 'Angel In Disguise' I had got used to structuring the material and I found it easy to write, although the material was very raw and personal which was challenging!




Q. About romantic relationships...do you believe in fate or is everything just random?



Victoria : I have no clue!  For me personally, it seemed that Shane and I were magnetised together, but that doesnt happen to everyone and I dont pretend to know why!




Q. How did the idea for your new venture, VMC Media Coaching evolve?




Victoria : I have been a journalist all my life, and I have interviewed thousands of people so I have learned how to get the best out of them, how to help them to relax and feel confident and to really let their personalities shine.  I love doing that and I also love thinking up ways for people to get publicity, so it seemed like a natural progression for me to start media coaching people, especially when I love what they are doing and I really believe that the world will benefit from knowing about them!




Q. What are your future plans?





Victoria : I would love to offer media coaching as an online programme so I can reach people around the world who need help to publicise themselves.  I would also love to write a book about getting publicity, and I have started singing which is exciting and scary and it makes me appreciate what hard work it is being a singer!




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http://www.victoriamaryclarke.com

twitter: @victoriamary




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