Sunday, 27 June 2010

At least you'll never be a vegetable - even artichokes have hearts

Due to having been selected by a top secret government agency to do something that I can't tell you about, I'm going away for a while. I am however--much like the gnome in Amelie, or Faye L Booth's touring copy of Cover The Mirrors--going to be sending missives of my travels onto Ms Whiteley (what I mean is, I know they didn't send missives to Aliya, but, well, you get the gist.

She has decided, in her wisdom, to share them with you on this here blog. This all has the added benefit that I get to post a pic of the lovely Audrey Tautou here. So everyone's a winner.

And before I head off, here I am going off on one on Windsor's Beat (thanks to Melanie Gow for inviting to contribute), and also discussing the art of how writers with day jobs 'keep it together', over Sam's blog. Both pieces carry a picture of me in a jumper, which seems a bit perverse seeing's as it's about 2 billion degrees in the shade in these parts at the moment.

So, for now, in the words of Ms Tautou, 'au revoir'.

Monday, 21 June 2010

One step at a time

Just a little update on my attempt to take over the world. Last week saw The New Goodbye and me popping up on the Indie Quarter and the Creative Review blog. Any words of wisdom you'd like to add to keep the story up there on the most recently commented panel are most welcome. There was also a piece on Bookbrunch, but you need to be a member to see that.

In farming news, I missed Countryfile, but did catch this lovely film on 4onDemand (not as good as the BBC iPlayer, but same principle). There were no farmers, but the last film is of 'Britain's Oldest Newlyweds' and is tip-top.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Have you heard the one about...?

I made up a joke. It’s not a very good one, but I thought I’d share it:

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To help it remember where the treasure was buried.

Maybe I should leave the humour to Aliya.

It’s funny though—excuse the pun and the following alliteration—my earliest efforts at producing proper prose as a young teenager were in the humorous fantasy vein (like any bookish fourteen year old worth his salt I read a lot of Pratchett, Holt and Rankin—Robert not Ian). That early work’s probably not stood the test of time, but I still have a soft spot for Gertrude the flying pet cow and her cohorts in the Cabbage Liberation Front.

Recently though, I’ve been revisiting both the world of humour—though it’s of a blacker variety—and another form I’ve not played about with for a while, and am not particularly practised in: script-writing. I don’t seem to have the time at the moment to bring adequate concentration to bear on my two works-in-progress, so this is an effort to keep some creative writing ticking over during all this work I’m doing for The New Goodbye.

I showed an earlier draft of the concept (loosely inspired by my years working at Battersea Dogs’ Home. Think At Home With The Braithwaites but with a lot of dog thrown in) to Aliya a couple of years ago. She hated it then, but I’m not sure if it was because it wasn’t funny, or because she despised dogs at the time. Maybe I should run it past her again now she’s all loved up with Harley.

Friday, 11 June 2010


Off to the video shoot for The New Goodbye tomorrow. Wish us luck. In the meantime, I have no pigs.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

A round up

Exciting times. For me at least. Publicity for The New Goodbye has picked up a little. Thanks to everyone who’s tweeted about the book so far. A special shout out to Patrick Hussey at Arts & Business, who went out of his way to help. There have also been tweets from Amelia’s Magazine, Design Week, Making Hay, Art at Heart and PD Smith, plus plenty others.

Plus there’s been some more general web action. The first piece was my guest blog on Catherine Hawley’s Juxtabook. Then Aliya kindly pointed all the MNW-ers in my general direction. This was followed by a piece on Web Designer magazine’s blog, then came The Literary Platform’s Showcase and another guest spot, this time on design agency Mat Dolphin’s site. Last week fantasy maestro Mark Chadbourn flagged up The New Goodbye on his blog and yesterday also saw me take up some prime space on Me & My Big Mouth, the blog belonging to Scott Pack, publisher for The Friday Project.

Monday will see a post on the Creative Review blog, and hopefully next week will bring some more coverage too. I also have a guest post to write for Sam Hayes when I get a spare moment or two. Something around the letter K.

Meanwhile I'm off work for a week and celebrating my daughter's second birthday.