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5 MINUTES WITH PAUL PETHICK: ‘Drumming is really sit-down dancing’

November 12 2021

We’re excited to be working with creativity expert Paul Pethick on the campaign for his new book, Power of Play: How Play and its Games Shape Life. We asked Paul our 5 questions to find out more about him, his book, and his vision:

1. Pitch in 10 - Sell us your book in less than 10 words

‘A high-colour exploration of our only real super-power.’ (ok, I cheated with hyphens)

2. Audience of One -  If you could choose ONE person to read your book who would it be and why? 

Vladimir Putin.

Many people who’ve bought the book are already liberated makers and players, but Vlad is such a rigid old strategist and control-freak it feels like he was never even a child. I’d love him to stumble on this book and be inspired to let loose and play with possibilities ..Then I’d like him to bump into President Xi and give it to him as a gift.

3. Behind the Book - Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Three things inspired me.

First, I was tired of hearing people put ‘play’ into a very limited box, even though they use play metaphors in all angles of life, and make games out of everything they touch. Second, I really feel imagination and collaboration are the only things that’ll get us all out the quicksand we’re in; and these are the tools of players. Lastly, unlike other creative projects I’ve had, I wanted to make one thing from start to finish without gate-keepers or committees, so it really ends up roughly the way I pictured it (selfish of me, I know!)

4. Guess what? Tell us one thing that readers might be surprised to hear about you. 

I’d rather be drumming.

I’ve loved bringing this book to life, but it’s been like working as a medieval monk. A certain amount of that focus and intensity is great, but then I need the complete opposite. In my case that’s sitting behind a drumkit, listening to other musicians, and letting my hands and feet get their instructions directly from my ears. Drumming is really sit-down dancing, and making music with people is about as good as life gets.

5. The next chapter - What’s next for you?

Hopefully this book will open some opportunities to talk to a broad range of people and figure out how a more playful mentality could help reshape things for the better. It feels like we’re in an amazing (ok, slightly scary) time of huge change, and there really are no boundaries which can’t be questioned. It also feels like kids should be educating adults, so let’s start a new school on that basis. Funding channels are open now, just call me.

To get a review copy or to book in an interview, contact Natalie Connors at natalie.connors@thebookpublicist.co.uk

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