Vampires and teapots: Q&A with Senior Content Writer, Duncan Pacey
In our first staff Q&A of 2015, Duncan Pacey takes time out to tell us about the teapot stretch, bowling for vampires and content marketing at the Oscars. Duncan is a Senior Content Writer on our Travel & Lifestyle team.
How did you end up writing for a living?
Ever since I could hold a pencil I’ve been writing, so it makes sense that I would end up here. I used to scribble down short stories when I was wee – usually fantasy epics largely plagarised from whatever I was watching / reading at the time. Hey, I was five or six and didn’t know any better yet!! Moving on from there I continued to write short stories, then shifted towards screenplays and theatre in my teenage years, had a stint at film school and freelance film making, and now finally here.
What do you like most about working for Castleford?
I’d say it’s a toss up between loving all the random facts I now know and working with an amazing group of people. Now I’m not gonna get all sissy and gush about people too much, but let’s just say my fellow Castlefordians are unparalleled in their excellence. On the other hand, I think I now know every spectacular holiday destination available in both Samoa and Australia – so if you need holiday advice, let me know!!
Who’s been the biggest help since you joined the company?
I’ve had a few mentors in my time here. They keep changing because I move desks or, sadly, they move on. Jess (Editorial Development Manager, on loan from Brafton) was definitely my shining light when I first got here. Her encouragement and (vast) knowledge of style and media law were invaluable during my training days. As I progressed, T&L’s ex-ACE Hayley guided me whenever something went wrong or I needed help. I would ask her a new question every single day of the week (The Hayley Daily), to make sure I was always in communication, always learning and always being silly. Nowadays my fellow KittyKat and Senior Content Writer on T&L, Emma, is my partner in crime.
What would be your dream account to write for?
I love chatty, funny accounts. Anything where I can let loose a little on the imagination side of things and produce articles that are really crazy. I love that out-of-the-box creative way of thinking, and coming at otherwise run-of-the-mill subjects with a strange, surreal approach. Any client who shares my dreams of random, silly fun, I’m game to write for.
What’s the trickiest subject matter you’ve had to write on?
Ooh, now that in itself is a tricky question. I find business and finance clients far trickier to write. When I open a research paper or study and just see a big, black and white wall of text my brain instantly feels more asleep. I guess I’ve just had less experience with those subjects being on Travel & Lifestyle, so it takes me a while longer to figure it all out and find my angle.
Your “Interview with a Vampire” story made it on to the wall at last month’s awards night. Tell us a bit about that.
You know, when I wrote that piece last year, I had no idea it would become this famous. I was out of article ideas for a bowling-related Halloween story and I thought, “Bugger it, I’m just going to go crazy and see where the line is for this client”. Turns out I still don’t know where the line is, because they loved the article!!
Any tips for the Oscars?
I’m not sure they give out awards for content marketing articles at the Oscars, but if they did I like to think I’d be in the running. It’ll be a bit tricky to take the time off work to go and make my acceptance speech, but I’m prepared to put in the effort.
What’s your favourite stretch time stretch?
Ask anyone in the office and they’ll tell you that my stretch is the Teapot. One arm goes up, one arm on the hip, and then you tip!! It feels great when you’ve been sitting at a desk all day, and also I like pretending I’m a teapot. Call me old fashioned!!