W. B. Gooderham was born in West London and studied English Literature and Philosophy at the University of East Anglia. After his degree he returned to London and spent a decade or so writing and recording music, as well as running a monthly club night (don’t look for it, it’s not there anymore, etc.). Once he’d got three albums and all musical ambitions well and truly out of his system (or had them removed for him by widespread critical and commercial indifference) he returned to his first/other love of literature.
He has written essays and reviews for the Guardian, Observer, Wasafiri, Time Out and Modern Books, and has had flash fiction published by Tank magazine. In 2013 Transworld published Dedicated To… : a book of inscriptions found inside second-hand books. In 2017 he had a story longlisted for the Bare Fiction Short Story Award, and in 2018 another story was shortlisted for the Comma Press/University of Central Lancashire’s inaugural Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction. Nothing happened in 2019. As well as writing short stories he also co-runs the Tufnell Park Film Club and is working on a decade-long (and counting) literary anthology-cum-exhibition (Three Score & Ten), which he’s currently trying to find a publisher for while touting the exhibition around various literary festivals, bookshops, cafés, etc. in a desperate attempt to keep it out of his (very small) North London flat.
Q: What is the first book you remember reading or having read to you as a child?
A: I can distinctly remember being taken to Roxeth library in South Harrow one Friday afternoon and choosing to borrow Fantastic Mr Fox. As far as I can recall this is the first book book that I read on my own from start to finish – I can still remember the fear at the foxes’ peril and the thrill at Mr Fox’s audacious ingenuity in getting them out of their fix.
Q: Is there a book that you keep going back to, and if so, how many times have you read it?
A: In order to avoid having to pick a single ALL TIME FAVOURITE book, film, album, etc. I’ve developed a system of Holy Trinities: top three, no order of preference, bish bash bosh. For books, then, the three that I keep going back to the most (reading at least one of them at least once a year) are (in alphabetical order, natch) F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Saul Bellow’s Herzog and Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. (That said, I’ve become a bit obsessed with Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier of late and have taken to reading this about twice a year. I don’t think Gatsby’s got anything to worry about right now, but am just saying…)
Q: What is the least interesting part of writing for you?
A: The first draft.
Q: What superpower would you like to have and why?
A: To leap a first draft in a single bound.
The dream followed him out of bed, across the landing and into the bathroom. It waited patiently while he fumbled at the fly of his pyjama bottoms – lingering behind his reflection in the soap-spotted mirror; in the damp heat pooled in the small of his back; in the sleep-thickened ache held between finger and …