970257_391201964317281_914675970_nSo, being the worst promoter ever of my own work, I’ve not once mentioned my new book ‘Remember to Forget’ on my blog, and, well that is an epic fail!
My new book is a compact little novella, that rather than featuring the whole drudge of a family and its life, it highlights a small slice, a life changing event. ‘Remember to Forget’ is hoped to show another side of me as a writer, because while Malice in Blunderland received lots of love, there are still those who didn’t get the style of writing and think, well think I am clinically retarded! So my new Novella I hope not only entertains but lets some know I just like any other writer can write in a style.

The little story revolves around Richard who due to a life spent of excess, pursuing women and using alcohol and cocaine has found himself in a coma. He can hear everything in his days of blackness and here is where he discovers his family, that he thought his wealth compensated for love. His wife and adult children are waiting impatiently for him to die, and only now can he see the ruin his selfishness has caused. Just as all is lost a voice tells him he can hear his thoughts and offers to help, and together they embark on a plan to deceive his family into finding each other and finding lost love. However, the journey is a painful one for our protagonist as he is made to witness the size of the damage he has caused. However, things are not quite as Richard thinks, as Richard too has been deceived. Nothing is as it seems.

As most of you who read my blog know I an epic in how crap I am at asking for stuff and promoting my work, well I am seeking reviews to kick off the whole review/amazon business bit of this author stuff. So if you want a digital copy, please do ask.

For a peek inside, got to the amazon link below and there you can have a sample read:

Thanks and check out my new booky!
*Yes… there is another rude comedy to follow soon*

 

jonnyThere is a literary establishment, who go to some length to insist they are not insular and ‘art first’ and all that, but, well, that’s just bollocks isn’t it. It makes me think of a literary washing machine, where the same authors are thrown inside and there they are, going around and around. I want to like the Guardian’s books section but it is like a tribute to the same people again and again. For example, they’ve recently run another piece on Phillip Roth on why he isn’t writing any more:

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/feb/04/philip-roth-no-desire-write-fiction-novelist

an article in a literary section of a national that is all about what a writer hasn’t written. Huh? How the fuck does that work? You don’t get food critics reviewing a meal a top chef didn’t make. The establishment seems so entrenched in promoting the same people that they feature writers in their mutual appreciation club who have no desire to write ever again… well, that isn’t writing is it. There are literally millions of people in the public eye with no intention of writing a book, lets hope they all don’t get featured too. It is the same old faces, Franzen, Mantel, Roth, and Will Self, who mostly reads like a random word generator, along with a crew of others. Could you imagine what porn would be like if it was only ever the same old people featured? Those that kicked off the once liberal porn movement in the 70′s and were now decrying digital. Folk in their late sixties grunting like a troll and so wrinkled you couldn’t tell what was testicle and what was face, all hunched over and support stockings. Porn, not that I am an avid fan, does have a policy of highlighting new young talent. And I can understand why. If for instance I made a sex tape now, it would be horrific, I’m almost forty four. I’m not saying I’m out of shape but me in my twenties would be more attractive and dynamic, now my gut would fall over my partner so that you couldn’t tell where on ended and the other began, like conjoined twins. My sex tape now would contain coughing, moans and two ugly messes violently slapping together, reminiscent of elephant seals mating on the shore of Alaska. However, young talent there is no doubt would look better. And there is plenty of young talent in literature. Mind you, those literary elite, I have it in my head they are freaks and in some Masonic sex cartel, you can bet they lie in a bath pissing on each other, Franzen wouldn’t be able to get hard so insists Mantel pisses on his face.
I’m not for one saying the legends aren’t important, but I don’t want to see the ever limited media space dedicated to what isn’t written when it could be a platform for what’s new and for voices that deserve the spotlight. The way this establishment go on about the same people reminds me of those people who believe the world was created in 7 days. I want to show them a fossil and say ‘fossil’ and if they keep talking about ‘seven days’, I’d beat them to death with it.

Also, there is this love for books that are difficult. Murkami’s IQ84 for example. People say “Oh, it’s hard going, it’s tough on you but afterwords it is worth it.” I don’t want to read a book that sounds like a course of chemotherapy. I recently tried to read IQ84, and I had to at one point check the page numbers, I thought the spine had broken and at one point all the pages fell out and were scooped back in in a random order. There is this strange desire to push books that are difficult, and people read them to say they’ve read them. It’s a bit like the salad that comes with the pizza, you didn’t order the salad, just that someone thinks you should eat it. I have no idea why Palahniuk doesn’t get more acclaim from the literary world, they keep pushing shit like Will Self on you. What I know for sure is, I love pizza and love my books like pizza. I’ve never fallen out of a club and said ‘Man, I could murder a salad’, I’ve never said while hungry ‘I neeeed salad?’ And if you order a salad at a restaurant, there isn’t a little pizza on the side. So I say to the literary world, stop forcing your salad on me… me and pizza want to be alone. I want books I enjoy, pizza books, I don’t want a book to be work, I’ve already got work.
I have no idea what I’m on about now…

The right to offend..

Posted: January 6, 2014 in Publishing

mefunnyI’ve been doing some readings lately, the favourite so far due to its intimate size being grit lit. Personally it has been so much fun offending people on an industrial scale again, and still amazes me how shocked and offended some people get when listening to Malice in Blunderland. I’ve also performed some readings of my new non-comedy ‘Remember to forget’ and while it seems to get a lot of love, I have been asked quite a bit “Why are you turning your back on comedy?”
Who the fuck said I was?

What strikes me as funny is those who bitch at the content of Malice are the first to bemoan its passing. When I do read ‘Malice’ I usually give a long disclaimer speech about how it isn’t me, it is fiction, and that there is a context that is lost when reading an excerpt, but man is it so much more fun to leave the warning out. It is like leading folk into battle, in that not everyone will be there in the end.
I think though, my favourite part of performing Malice is having to explain to those who appoint themselves as intellectuals that, well, if I need to de-construct the content, they can’t be that smart. I am all to aware that I’m not particularly smart and I think that pisses them off more. I had a guy who was offended at Malice, because he felt the part I read was homophobic, so he took his gay friend to another reading so he too could be offended and thus they can both complain. The piece I read is a bit where the protagonist picks up a girl who turns out to be a transvestite who subsequently tries to rape him.

I find your work homophobic and offensive, so I’ve brought my gay friend to hear it and he is offended too. I was wondering if you would want to apologise to him?” was the question I was presented. Bearing in mind I was sat in Brighton, the gay capital of England with a gay best friend and his gay mate.
“Oh, so, what about what I said, specifically, was homophobic?”
Well, the transvestite bit.”
“Okay, so what about it was homophobic?”
“All of it!”
“How so? What did I say that was anti-gay, or anti-transgendered or in any way hateful towards LGBT communities?”
Well, uh, well you didn’t show gay people in a positive light were you? It’s not like you were pro gay!”
“I didn’t show heterosexual people in a positive light either, does that mean I’m anti heterosexual too?”

Uh…”

The mad thing with what I do, if I was performing stand-up comedy, people would be able to separate artist from content, but as it is written and performed in fist person, it is assumed I am the devil. It crazy that the intellectuals cannot separate the two – and these are the ones to profess to be smart. Recently a guy who was offended by my book he sent it to a person who they know will be even more offended. Why? If they knew they would be offended, well then it wasn’t fucking for them was it? It is a fucked up logic, a sort of offence by proxy. If someone put pages of the porn magazine Playboy in the pages of children’s books in library’s, they wouldn’t sue Hugh Hefner would they?

At the reading, one read of murder, but that was okay, as it was art. Another of torture of a unfaithful husband, again, it is art because it isn’t funny. One was deeply sadist sex and – art. But make it funny, alter the context and it is offensive? I love my new book ‘Remember to Forget’ but I wonder if it will be as much fun at readings?

The Gay Agenda…

Posted: August 29, 2013 in Publishing

mefunnyWhat is it with the media and ant-gay groups describing gay marriage and the fight for equal rights as ‘The Gay Agenda’, as if every gay person throughout the world are networked and a threat like Al Qaeda for fucks sake. I am still at a loss with the right wing outrage toward gay marriage. There is a clue in the term equal rights, being ‘equal’ and ‘rights’ – I cannot respect anyone who doesn’t feel it just and fair that gay people should have every single right that I have. Yesterday this opinion cost me someone who I once considered a friend.

I have many gay friends. I have to say, of all my gay friends, they have the longest, most loving and most secure relationships I know. But being an idiot, I asked my mate ‘Gay Paul’ about the gay agenda:
“Paul,” I asked, “what is the gay agenda?”
“The what?”
“Agenda. What do you want?”
“To be able to meet someone, fall in love, get married, maybe get a better job to get a bigger house. Maybe start a family. That sort of thing.”
Holy fuck… that was my agenda too! Am I a gay?
What I do know for sure, and I mean 100% sure is there is NO gay agenda. Anyone who has a gay couple as friends will know this. You cannot get them to decide to do anything! If you agree to meet at 9am, they will be there by lunch and then endure many debates about where and what to do!

What exactly is there to fear for a people wanting such mundane and normal things as marriage? Once again, religion is a key part. I know I seem anti-religion, but the evidence some religious folk present for a narrow minded and hateful world view is irrefutable. My friend, or rather ex-friend believes gay people have a choice, as if they choose to be gay. Who in their right mind would choose to be mocked, ostracised, marginalised and refused the basic and fundamental human rights that everyone else takes for granted? Are these people fucking crazy? These people believe gay marriage is a fundamental risk to the sanctity that is marriage…
How for fucks sake? HOW?
I will tell you the biggest single risk to heterosexual marriage is children! I love my kids, but they break everything, and forget a sex life, let alone any other kind of life. I only had kids because I wanted to name something and couldn’t afford a boat. I’m 40 now, when I was younger I thought I’d have a red Ferrari and a black friend with a helicopter like Magnum Pi by now, but no. Kids ruined that dream. It the church wants to protect marriage – make children illegal. The church doesn’t like to admit it’s wrong, and lets just for a moment ignore the child abuse cover-ups, it wasn’t very long ago that the church wouldn’t let black people join them in prayer as they believed black people had no soul!
To be fair, the sanctity of marriage should be protected, it is a legally binding contract and recognised by God himself. The right for a wealthy drunk man to go to Vegas, pick up a stripper with more titties than teeth and get married by a sweaty fat Elvis. That should be protected. It’s pure and godly and just. God forbid two people who have been in love, built a home and paid taxes should want to enjoy such freedom. In America it’s in the constitution, it’s written down, marriage is between a man and a woman. Why? In case they forget?

There is a literary connection though. This whole argument happened because Dumbledoor from Harry Potter is Gay. Yes, I say that again, Dumbledoor is gay. J.K. Rowling released a press release to say as such. My friend said “I can’t believe Dumbledoor is gay!” and said he stopped liking Harry Potter and wouldn’t read it to his kids because of it. That boiled my piss!
“You can’t believe he is gay… but you can believe he is a wizard? Gay people actually exist you fucking moron!”
The friendship ended with me saying “Trust me, if there is a God, he absolutely has no problem with gay people any more than he does with heterosexual people, because by your own philosophy – he wouldn’t have invented them!”
“How dare you,” he said, “You have no right to speak for God.”
“Your right,” I said, “and I hope you remember that, as neither do you!”

The Evil scurge of the warm…

Posted: August 26, 2013 in Publishing

jonnySo, here in England, we are having a heat wave that is lasting for pretty much the whole summer. It is beautiful, you can go outside and actually move your fingers and toes. However all is not good in this fair land. It turns out, over 760 people have died because of the ongoing warm. WARM, not hot, but warm. How can you die of warm? Who doesn’t know how to get in the shade and open a window? I know a lot of these are the elderly, but to be fair, have you ever had an argument with an old person? The first thing they say is, 

“Yeah, well when you’ve been alive as long as I have you can say somthin sunny Jim, until then you shut your mouth!” All that wisdom they can’t open a window? Who doesn’t know how to waft a magazine in front of their face? I’m not trying to decry the tragedy of the deaths, but the news is reporting with glee ‘England is as hot as Greece’ – a pleasant holiday destination, not fucking death valley! Greece isn’t ‘dignitase’, we don’t go there to die.

It has been 32.2C (90F) and we cannot cope…
In Syria, refugees are walking twelve miles in 123F degree heat, to return with five litres of water on their head for their family. However here in England we can walk ten feet to a tap and turn it on! Fill the bath with cold water and get a supermarket to deliver some beer and bags of ice! And we are still dying of warm?
It is I think, a bit like when you read about people who die by getting hit by a train. How? Trains don’t exactly sneak up on you? And, if there is anything that is easy to avoid, it is a train! There is a track – just step to the left or right.

Where’s Jerry?”
“Oh, you didn’t hear? He got struck my a train!”
“Jezz, that crazy bastard!”

Better than:
“Where’s Jerry?”
“Uh, the warm killed him.”
Wha… warm? He couldn’t open a window?”
“The warm murdered him… warm singled him out”

I do though still wonder how some get killed by bees. Who are these people who when walking past a bush and it is buzzing, and goes “Is that bees? Are there bees in thee? I’m gonna beat it with a stick and find out!” THWACK “Argh – bees!”

Still bees is better than warm. Warm is like the guy who got killed by a beaver? How can you hear that and not laugh? Imagine at the wake and trying to not laugh?
I guarantee in a few months there will be non-stop rain, and subsequently floods. The people who complain about the warm will be the same ones who get caught out in the floods. These are the same people you see on TV being warned about the floods and say “You know what, I’m gonna front it out. It’s Gods will”. Days later you will see them on TV shovelling feet of silty mud out of their living room, saying,
Why has God done this to us? I don’t understand why… it happens every year!”
Because you live next to a fucking river, idiot! If you house is on a flood plain, there is a clue in the name!

Sadly, people will drown in these floods, when they could simply go upstairs. Our floods are not like the huge floods of Australia or Pakistan, we are talking a street. Much as we have warm, not heat, I think our floods should be called ‘damp’.
It does make me wonder, how exactly did England have the empire that it had? Once we fucked over and occupied India, Africa, America and the Middle East, all way hotter then grey dull England. How did we just not just die from the scurge of warm like the tripod thingys in War of the Worlds? I know this post is a bit morbid, but when yo consider 60,000,000 people die every year from starvation. We are lucky enough to get food and stuff it with food, put food on top of it and bake it, yet starvation isn’t a result of not being able to open a cupboard and make a sandwich. We can though, open a window, buy a fan, go to a swimming pool, go to an air conditioned building such as a library. But with all our modern convenience, we are dying of warm. In a few months we will be dying from ‘chilly’…

Literary bailout… an idea…

Posted: June 15, 2013 in Publishing

mePeople think that because I am an author I am loaded. I blame Dan Brown and E.L. James for making millions. Actually, much is my fault for extending the myth that I am loaded because whenever people ring my house, foreign sounding people answer the phone and they think I’ve got staff. It is a skill you quickly develop as a writer, being a good impressionist on the phone, your fist line of defence against debt collectors is to pretend you don’t live there, “Herro? Who? No Mr. Ribbing here, he rive here no maw.”

I write, as many do, out of passion. Lets face it, books are not as popular as they once were, books now have to compete with ‘Candy Crush’ on a smartphone. Bookish people like me don’t get it. I love books. The world of publishing is an odd one, and the industry doesn’t get the decline in demand. I do though. Have you ever given a book as a present to someone who doesn’t read? A book is work!

What’s this?”

A book.”

A book? Is this my present or an assignment? I’m supposed to read? You couldn’t wait till it came out as a film and bought me a DVD? For Christmas you bought me work? Thanks… your present is you can mow my fucking lawn!”

If you want to get someone a present you can guarantee they will enjoy, give them a sheet of bubble wrap!
I’m the same, if I get a long email, I don’t read it. If I get a long email, regardless of the importance I find myself saying “Urgh, what is this… homework?” I read the top bit and the bottom bit and then reply. And probably why I am in the mess I am in now.

This is why I am so quick to defend the likes of Dan Brown. People buy his books in the millions. People say he is a shitty writer, they same the same of E.L. James, people are embarrassed to read Fifty Shades, but you can tell they do. You see them waiting for trains, wearing a hockey mask as a disguise reading it, “Don’t tell my wife I’m reading this!” A book some say has exploded the myth that women have sexually deviant fantasies. Myth? No. well not to me. The number one selling sexual aid is a vibrator called a ‘Rabbit’… if women want to stuff rodents inside themselves, there can be no myth. Who knew women found wildlife so horny. I digress.
I don’t know why reading is suffering a decline. I’m an idiot, things that are popular often make no sense to me, it angers me. Chewing gum for example. How the fuck did that take off? Can you imagine pitching the idea to the bank?
“So Mr. Wrigley, you eat these little strips?”

No. No, you don’t eat them, you chew them.”

“Isn’t that what eating is Mr. Wrigley?”

“You don’t swallow it, you… you just chew it?”

“Forever?”

“No, you chew it. Then spit it out. It’s like eating, but practice. Eating practice is what it is!”

Publishing does bring much of the stupidity on itself. It wants to be highbrow and intellectual, then publishes Jourdan’s books. Jourdan has to be the only author who has published more books than she has read! Times for authors are hard, which is why I am calling for a bailout for authors. Royal Bank of Scotland. Once the biggest bank in the world, a year later needing a 20 billion pound bailout. So when you factor, the bank had a net worth of 12 billion, but needed a 20 billion bailout… even I can work out that is eight billion too much! But that is a sum of 32 billion pounds gone. Any business that cannot explain where 32 billion pounds went missing in one sentence should be looted and destroyed.

And the investors? RBS are asking investors to raise another 10billion. What level of self loathing and utter stupidity must the investors have to invest further in a bank who loses money like a drunk tramp on a cattle grid? To banks, borrow doesn’t mean borrow. When we borrow from them, we are expected to pay it back. When banks borrow form us, they call it a ‘bailout’ it’s like when you lend someone a favourite book, you will never see it again.
I’m going into the bank and taking out a loan for £30,000 and when they ask for it back I will explain, Oh, that was an authors bailout. I am going to use bailout for everything. I figure that with the assumption that authors are respected and the use of the term ‘bailout’ I can get some free shit. I’m off to the pub to see if I can secure free booze, a ‘creative bailout’.

jonnyRecently, I’ve been doing talks at schools. Yes, me!… I know. This has been on behalf of world Book Night, that has ended up a battle cry for the dreamers. Because there is, it would seem, the industrial genocide of dreamers dreams. The recent idiom of fame hungry was prevalent. When I asked, What do you want to be when you leave school?

“Famous.” Was a popular answer.

Okay, famous for what?

“I don’t mind.”

We live in a time of celebrity. Celebrity meant something very different once, it was a term given to someone celebrated for their talent and for their enduring graft to earn a place in the public eye. Celebrity now is a generic term, for reality television celebrities that on the face of it, could quite possibly be clinically retarded. They get laughed at for utter stupidity and that is their talent… being stupid. Since when has such stupidity been something we value? Or am I the only one who feels a bit uncomfortable with how these people are rolled out and laughed at. It is a bit like Britain or America’s got talent, where they show the nutters as much as the talented. If they just showed one weirdo for us to laugh at, it would be deemed bullying. But as they trawl and supply us many weirdo’s it is entertainment? For example, Joey Essex, from the only way is Essex, when asked “Who were Richard and Judy?” The answer being television presenters and household names in Britain, he answers,“Are they the ones who invented the world?”
He wasn’t joking.

However between the idiots and the academics are the dreamers.
Do you remember when you were a little kid say seven or eight years old, and you would be at a friends house? There was always one kid, maybe that kid was you, who said  “the carpet is larva, the couch and chair are boulders, the stairs a mountain and the bedroom a castle.”  Back then the dreamer was celebrated and the leaders. The dreamer kid had the power to suspend reality, invent worlds and take his friends with him. He could turn a few shitty trees into knights with swords and dragons.
What happens to those dreamers with time? They are told to stop being a fantasist, stop dreaming, get your head out of the clouds, knuckle down, “You will never be anything unless you quit daydreaming and do your maths.”
A pillow of academia is pressed over the dreams and pressed down hard, then held, till it suffocates them. The kid forced to work on weaknesses, rather than strengths. Schools need to hit those ratings. I fear for how many kids are processed and placed on the defective pile, because they weren’t shiny enough. Imperfect in a mainstream way, and so shitted of school, sub-standard academically, but once truly gifted with ideas.

As we get older still, the grammar Nazi’s arrive, or the smart folk who love nothing more than to mock those who may struggle with the craft side of the written word. So the dreamers, for fear of ridicule commit dream genocide. I have openly said that I did and still do struggle with the written word. It is only because I have spent forty years fucking up, working shitty jobs because I had no belief in my ideas due to the legacy of being told I had no worth, being academically poor, that caused the trench of disasters that inspired me to write. Now I write for other people on various platforms, bits for television, bits for magazines etc. My ‘success’ I know was a freak accident, but thank god for those who didn’t give up. Didn’t let their dreams die. Because if it wasn’t for them, we would have no Harry Potter, no Kick Ass, no Shaun of the Dead, no Fight Club and no Dr. Zeus.

The academics even pour scorn on dreamers success. J. K. Rowling is often sighted as a shitty writer and holes poked into the structure and prose of Harry Potter. You know what, thousands of children curled up on a bed were transported to a world of wizards and dark evils, hanging off the words of magic that flowed form mums and dads mouths, and if anything like my kids, every night, would be the chant “Just one more page.”
Anyone who says Harry Potter was shit can fuck right off. It wasn’t a book, it was a transport system and a reminder to little boys and girls that it is okay to dream of being a wizard.

Every talk in the class, there was the quiet kid, the odd one. The one who likes Dungeons and Dragons, or wants to be a vampire, slowly getting marginalised and forgotten. So that by the time they leave school, and because he didn’t fit the box provided, is already years conditioned to being invisible.
I have nothing against academics, for some vastly clever people are sorting the millions to get my film made, my editor Paul Swallow, will endure my failings and get my manuscript perfect. Because the reality of the situation is we need each other. But without dreamers dreams, there would be no story to tell, and no film to make. Schools need to put their arms around the dreamers and say ‘Okay – so what have you got? Let’s get it on a page and see what we can do with it.’ because dreams are fast becoming a rare commodity.

We owe it to the bed time stories of future kids, and to the characters that have not been invented yet, to the next hard boiled detective, to support and nourish those dreams and give the dreamers a voice.