This is an interview a journalist named Rosalind Donald conducted with me as research towards an article on the topic of fan-fiction - Ulli

Where and when were you born?

I was born in a hospital in Dusseldorf at around half past ten in the evening.

What was your childhood like?

It was happy, I was well taken care of in a nice hygienic house and there were plenty of kitchen products to play with. Later, sadly, my family fell out with me for various reasons and I am no longer able to communicate with them. But I was a happy and well-behaved child who kept my shoes clean and tidy and was not often locked in the cupboard. By and large I am the same now.

When did you first become a fan of Roy Orbison?

Sometime in my childhood, although I did not buy any of his records until my mid twenties.

Why Roy, why clingfilm?

I cannot tell! I have had this fantasy since my earliest years. I tried to answer this question in more detail in a previous interview but without satisfaction. To be short, the urge to bring Roy Orbison and Clingfilm together seems to me the most natural thing in the world, and I am surprised to find that other people find that surprising. But I cannot explain it. Why does the butterfly sing when it beholds the flower? Who can say??

Is it the man, or the music that attracts you most - or did you simply feel that he would be a good person to wrap?

You are very perceptive, that last one is it - he seems to call out to be wrapped. He seems to me to have - I do not think you have an equivalent of the word gewickelwünschelichkeit in English - let us say a wrappable quality.

Was it a subject that interested you before you started to write, or did the two come together?

I started to write in order to express these fantasies. My schoolteacher commended me on how much my essays had improved at this time, although he suggested I should not work Roy Orbison and clingfilm into every topic.

Did you read a lot of fan fiction sites before you decided to air your own compositions?

No, not many, one or two but I found them disturbing, I am sure I do not have to tell you there are a lot of weirdos out there.

Are there any other fan fiction writers that you admire?
Do you talk to other writers about your ideas?

Now until a few months ago the answer to both these would have been 'No.' However after my book was published, a neighbour shyly confessed to me that she spent all her spare time writing tales in which the pop star Michael Bolton is a vampire. I agreed to read them and found them masterful. In her oeuvre Michael Bolton is a vampire, but a good one, who leads the fight against a repressive government in a nightmare alternate reality where the Congress of Vienna never took place and Dusseldorf is a colony of France. Her prose is lean and virile and yet somehow hallucinatory. There can be no question that her work is the closest anyone has yet come to depicting how Michael Bolton would behave if he was a vampire.

I cannot enter into her world, and she cannot enter into mine, yet we respect the strength of each other's visions, and often hold discussions about our favourite words and the best type of pen and so on. We may write a cross-over tale together one day.

Neither of us like the term 'fan fiction', by the way, we find it demeaning and ghettoising. We prefer the term 'Obsession Art'.

How do you feel when people submit their own Roy stories? Do you enjoy reading scenarios made up by others, or does it interfere with your own Roy fantasies?

I enjoy them! Some good ones were sent to me, and one even put my terrapin Jetta in their story as a tribute, I liked that. And it is nice to know I am not alone in wanting to wrap Roy in Clingfilm, although I never thought I was.

How long have you had Jetta?

We are shortly to celebrate her 10th birthday. I think we will go ice-skating.

She seems to have quite a distinct personality. Do you magnify her persona in her writing?

Yes she does! If by mischance I dropped her into a large box of terrapins with identical markings I could pick her out again immediately just by her attitude. I am glad her personality shines through in my tales, but I do not think I magnify it. She really is that sassy.

Does she mind watching you wrap Roy, does she ever get jealous of the attention?

The one great disappointment in my life is that Jetta appears not to understand my obsession with wrapping Roy in Clingfilm. Indeed I sometimes get the feeling that she does not altogether approve. Terrapins are a joy to live with but those times they give you a look of displeasure it can be rather unnerving. Jetta has a certain look she gives me when I get out the clingfilm and my Roy Orbison LPs that is quite withering.

But jealous... I don't know. I think she is too independent to be jealous. She is a very self-sufficient creature. Indeed I sometimes worry that she will one day leave me and strike out on her own. So I try to keep her happy, redecorating her bedroom frequently and remembering to put on her favourite television programmes.

Roy often seems to be wrapped without his consent, or left in the clingfilm for longer than he may wish. If he were a willing subject, would the excitement be lessened?

I am horrified at this question! You send me scruttying to my stories to check, but I am certain that Roy is NEVER wrapped without permission in my tales! The wrapping is always entirely consensual and I would not be interested to read a tale where he is wrapped against his will. It is wrong to wrap someone in clingfilm unless they agree, worse even than saying 'Du' to someone without written permission. In Germany we take very great care not to invade other people's spaces, because in the past we have tried the way of invading people's spaces and it did not work.

But I admit that sometimes in my tales I leave him wrapped somewhat longer than necessary, and never unwrap him without a feeling of regret. This may seem shocking but I believe it is true to life. If I was ever so fortunate as to be allowed to wrap Roy in Clingfilm, I am afraid it is the case that I would leave him wrapped for a very, very long time indeed and would be highly reluctant to undo so much beauty.

What is your day job, and do you enjoy it?

I work in a humble capacity in the banking industry at the moment, really just a lowly but efficient office clerk. I do not enjoy it as the work is repetitive and pets are not allowed and I must keep Jetta hidden within my satchel but I will say I have the opportunity to daydream.

What is your writing environment like?

I sometimes work in bed, like Proust. Other times I sit at a desk with a pot of ink and a supply of milkshakes, Jetta at my elbow acting as a paperweight. There is a portrait of Roy and several album covers to inspire me, and many rolls of clingfilm. For working out the action scenes I have an Action Man doll in black clothing and dark glasses. I use it to check it would be possible to wrap Roy in certain situations.

Do story ideas come easily to you, or do they take a long time to materialise?

The ideas come easily and compulsively. The working out of the details and the thinking of the words and the writing down of the stories can take anything from minutes to several years.

Roy Orbison was the first pop singer to portray himself as an outsider. Does his lonely melancholy appeal to you, or are there other characteristics that drew you to him?

I think you are wasted as a journalist and should be a psychiatrist! That had not occurred to me about Roy but you set me to muse. I have wondered occasionally if there is not something maternal in my desire to wrap him in clingfilm, a wish to swaddle him up and keep him safe and warm. Perhaps it is that I sense this melancholy and loneliness in him and yearn to comfort him the only way I know how? But I cannot say for sure, I only know what I like.

Back to my Roy Orbison in Clingfilm website