I used to know Sal as the school friend who would read Mr Bain’s notes off the blackboard for me in economics (Thanks Sal. Without you I would never known my own blindness, or what GDP meant!)
But these days, Sal is setting the world alight as a writer, with a special talent for coming up with funny, pithy slogans. You’ve probably seen some of them around. My book club only reads wine labels – that’s one of hers, and you can buy it on a cute shopping bag through her Joy of Ex Foundation.
I tell you – the lady is talented AND funny.
Anyhoo, to make the world a generally happier and cheerier place, Sal has released a gorgeous, little hot-pink book, titled Letters to the World, and she kindly agreed to tell Book Birdy all about it.
‘Letters To the World’ – tell us all about it
It’s a book of around 100 very silly letters to people, places and things. Like Madonna, life jackets and letter openers. I guess it was way for me to voice my opinion on things in fun way….you get away with more stuff if you have a smile on your face. Actually you can get away with nearly everything! You must try it.
What you’re doing now is a bit different to what you were doing 10 years ago. How did you get here?
10 years ago I was running a phone company advertising account at a Sydney ad agency. I don’t think I could have been less happy. My job was basically managing conflict and weighing in on legal and financial problems. When I got really down, I would sit and start writing something to make myself feel hopeful. Then not so cleverly I took a job managing another phone account in London…who knew that changing where you sat doesn’t solve all your problems! So again I started writing books, then a blog and then a food column in a London paper until one I was by anyone’s definition of a writer!
How do you come up with your slogans? Lightning bolts of inspiration? Or hard graft involving endless brainstorming and cups of tea?
Funny is hard (there you go, another slogan!) It is a number’s game. When I started www.joyofex.org I think I had written for 3 months to get 15 even I thought were properly funny. If you write 100 slogans there is a chance you will get a few really funny ones. My little brain feels like a muscle that I have to exercise, and the more I do the funnier I seem.
Do you have a favourite slogan from the book?
I love ‘Dear half marathon, you should try harder.’ It’s just silly and it makes me laugh. And I hate exercise and people who do it.
What would a letter to Sally Beerworth say?
‘Dear Sally Beerworth, can you write more than 10 words?’
Do you like other forms of writing – or do you draw the line at 20 words?
I have 2 books doing the rounds with my agent in London and a pilot for the BBC. I find it hard not to write – I get lost when I don’t…haven’t said that I have just spend my morning snorkeling in Manly instead of working. I love the beach and can waste many many days there. I also now plan to clean my apartment to avoid doing anything.
‘Dear Budgie Smugglers. We know what’s in there!’ – Whaddya think? Do I have a slogan-future?
Very funny. Write a hundred and I will decide if there is a job for you.
Buy a copy of Letters to the World here