In this episode I get a very different perspective as I talk to sports writer Sam Pilger.
Sam has spent over twenty years writing magazine features, mainly on football (soccer) and cricket. In that time he has interviewed many of the most famous names – from Bobby Charlton to Lebron James; from Sachin Tendulkar to Sir Alex Ferguson and many, many more.
Sam tells us about how he approaches these interviews, the reality of the interviewing busy celebrities and what he feels the interviewer owes the interviewee.
He has also been commissioned to write a number of acclaimed books and – so has great experience working with commissioning editors and collaborating with other writers.
Sam has also worked as a ghostwriter. We talk especially about his experience writing a Diary of a Season with England and Manchester United brothers Gary and Phil Neville. It is fascinating to listen to Sam explain how the relationship between a ghost and the famous names works and how the final book take shape.
It is great to spend half an hour in Sam’s company. He is a writer who approaches his work in a decidedly professional manner; aspiring writers of all types can learn from his clear-eyed approach to what he is doing and why he is doing it. He talks honestly about the challenges of establishing yourself as a writer and gives us all plenty to think about.
I hope you enjoy this episode