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.

mefunnyOkay, so it was a recession, then a depression, then a rescission again, then a double depression, then an L recession, a U recession, then a M, now a triple depression. Make up your fucking mind. I want to know what to call this cluster fuck we are suffering? We get recessions as trilogies now? The Lord of the Wrongs. We in the UK are due another budget, where you can be sure they are going to fuck the poorest and the struggling. Some say I’m a ‘leftie’ or a socialist and all that shit. No, I just believe in fairness. You will soon be force fed some facts and figures, from a government who has a cabinet that exists of old Etonian, Bullingdon club defenders of the super rich that has hit out at gay rights and made racist remarks. Dick-holes like Boris Johnson, who wants to be, and is sighted as being a future Prime Minister, who called black children ‘piccaninnies’ – a term you might not have heard of, but it is what the wealthy called black slave children. No I’m not fucking kidding. He also called gays ‘tank-topped bumboys’ called those on benefits ‘scroungers’. Lets be clear, benefit is £70 per week, some of this has to contribute to the rental allowance. The average cost of living in the Britain is £144 a week. The benefit does not come close to covering the cost of living. And lets not forget, many are unemployed because their mates, the super rich bankers fucked up! Sticking with the scrounger bit, attacking those on benefit. I cant get beyond the irony of someone who is paid by the taxpayer as a minister, paid by the taxpayer AGAIN for being mayor of London. Boris gets paid £250,000 from writing for the Daily Telegraph, a fee that he calls ‘chicken feed’ and illustrating just how out of touch this cunt is. He has the neck to attack those who get £70. Mother-fucker.

So, facts and figures. We will be bombarded with them to justify how they cook the books and fuck the poor in the ass again. So in the light of the mathematics – I have some figures for you.

 The Richest in the country increased their wealth by £1.5 Billion in the last three years, during the recession. This is not their wealth, but how much extra wealth they have.This extra is enough to pay off the whole UK deficit, and still have £30 Billion to spare.

 The meaga-rich elite, made up largely of the bankers, hedge fund and private equity operators who caused the whole fuck-punch in the ass bank disaster in the first place, have not been made subject to any tax pay back. Even though their wealth as risen as if on steroids. 77% of the deficit is being recouped by cuts in public spending. That is schools, library’s, hospitals etc. Thanks fuckers. Only 20% of the deficit is being paid back by tax increase. Guess what though – they fuck us again, over half of this tax increase is from VAT, so it hits the poorest hardest. What policy did they roll out in the end to target the super rich, you know, the tax dodgers… none. Nothing. Nada.

 The fact is, the super rich elite are now sitting on a wealth gained during the longest and deepest recession for almost a century, that is now far grater than at the height of the boom years that preceded it.

 The increase in wealth, remember the increase, not just the wealth is an estimated £315 billion pounds. That is fine. I have nothing against success. But if they were charged capital gains tax at the standard rate, not a penalty rich tax, the standard rate, rather then exploiting loop holes left open and not paying tax, they would have paid £88 billion. That is enough to cover over 70% of the total deficit. How many doctors, nurses, teachers, schools, libraries would that have saved.

 Yet… expect £2.5 billion in extra cuts in this budget….

 

Funny business…

Posted: March 10, 2013 in kieron hawkes, Publishing

mefunnySo, the film thing is going ahead at a fast pace. Talented people are doing talented things. It is exciting. One such thing was a reading of the script. This is where people read the dialogue and screenplay to assess the flow, listen for rough edges that need sanding off. I didn’t know these would be actors. As in actual actors. As in had been on film and TV. Nobody fucking told me. So when they arrived, so did the insecure paranoid me. I’m just getting used to hanging with folks like Kieron Hawkes. I am a paranoid little shit-head. I freaked out a bit. (a lot).

Let me explain.

I have had some amazing luck in my short life as a writer. This though, has spotlighted what an insecure little fuck I am. I think we all writers are. My publisher put me up in a hotel for it. It was a nice, proper hotel, not a travel lodge. It was like a posh room, in a posh house. I was walking about in it naked. Well not completely naked, because I have the shower cap on. Only because I am amazed they supplied one. Do people actually still use shower caps any more? So I’m naked, with the shower cap on singing “I’m naked, and I’m not at home.” while looking for cool things to do while naked In a hotel, trying to distract from the worry that everyone hates the script. So I sit on the couch, naked, my Junk sprawled over the upholstery. I get a kind of buzz, I’m on a couch, naked, and it’s not mine. ‘I don’t even sit on the couch naked at home… this is so cool!’
Then I think. ‘I bet I am not the first person to do this… my balls are probably touching hundreds of other men’s ball-sweat. This freaks me out, so I shower and put on the rope they supply. It’s not mine, it isn’t even a new robe. How many skanky, fat business men have worn it after being ‘pity-fucked’ by a drunk colleague. I am freaking out. So freaked out I end up having to wipe my ass on the shower curtain, for fear of contaminates. This is how my brain works. It sabotages everything.

My breed own of writing is comedy. I wish it wasn’t. I wish I could write the deep, emotional and heart wrenching piece that remains in peoples heart tor the rest of their life. But no, my brain is like an anus. Just filled with shit that makes me laugh. My eyes are like a mouth that chews up everything it sees, my brain then, rather than convert this data into something profound, or beautiful, it just produces dumb shit. I over think everything, then get paranoid about it. For example, when the Pope resigned his position, it was all over the news. The pope stood, in front of a giant crucifixion, and addressed the world. I didn’t listen to one word he said, I was transfixed by Jesus on the cross behind him. Jesus, I concluded, was really ripped. I mean, perfect abs. If Men’s Health was out around then, Jesus would have made the cover for sure. Jesus, I concluded, worked out. Maybe it was all that carrying around a giant wooden cross. And if so, I concluded, Jesus therefore invented cross training.
I laughed at that thought. That is the bravery of comedy, I find things funny, but it is so subjective. And I am about to sit in a room with actors – what if they don’t laugh?

I find things funny because they don’t make sense to me. My train to London was a ‘Non-stop’ service. How can it be a non-stop? How do you get on? Do you have to run along side it and jump on? How do you get off?
Well it only stops at once, at London Victoria.” the guy in the ticket office said.
So, the non-stop train is actually a one stop train. Doesn’t make sense. My conversation with the guy in the ticket office didn’t get any better. The train was delayed because a car broke down on a crossing.
“There was a near miss.” He said.
“Was anyone hurt?”
“Well no… like I said, it was a near miss.”
“So the train didn’t hit the car?”
He looked at me like a twat. “Like I said, it was a near miss.”
“If it didn’t hit, surely that should be a near-hit? Because it nearly hit? A near miss should mean it nearly missed, but actually hit?” It doesn’t make sense!

I found this funny. He didn’t.

I laugh at the most mundane things. Like how we all order take-away food and all act the same way when we do. Because take-away food combines two of humans favourite things – eating and doing nothing. We all act like Santa has been when it arrives, like we didn’t know if it would. “Oh I hope I’ve been a good boy this year so I me some Indian food.” When there is a knock on the door we go crazy “It’s here, it’s here… YAY it’s here!” Then there is the ceremonial do you have any change dance, totally unprepared as if the food was a surprise. And when it comes to payment, why is it always like a hostage negotiation and you are paying the ransom. You open the door just a crack and peer out. “Show me it. I need to see it before I hand over money?”
He opens the brown bag containing food containers. “You got the money?”
“Just set it down there in the light. You don’t come inside… just put it down, and I hand over the money. You back away slowly to your car.”

Even words. ‘Gender reassignment’ I think it is fucking hilarious that we as a society complicate words to make them sound politically acceptable and make it worse. What was wrong with sex change? Two syllables, Sex and Change. Even I can work out what that means. There is a close friend of my other half, who is a beautiful woman. I didn’t know she was born male. We were all doing a lunch and she told me, “I had a gender reassignment.”
“Oh, that is awful.” I said.
Needless to say she was offended. I wasn’t being homophobic, it’s just the term, gender-reassignment. It’s the reassignment bit. I thought one day she woke up and had a letter from the government, saying she had been reassigned. Reassignment hardly fucking sounds voluntary does it? If she said “Oh, I had a sex change.” I’d have been fine and not seem cunty at all. But I imagined some poor guy opening a letter and going “GOD DAMN it, can this year get any worse? I gotta be a woman now!”

It’s funny now. I had that horrible ‘I am such a twat’ feeling for the rest of the lunch. That is how I feel about my comedy. I live in fear that people won’t find it funny.

So, I’m in a production studio in Camden. I’m with Kieron Hawkes, waiting for actors to arrive. First to arrive is Neil Maskell… as seen on TV and film. FUCK! Then Martin Compston. Another from film and TV. Right then, I started to shit myself. I thought the actors would be students. I’m a fucking nobody. However, Kieron Hawkes isn’t a nobody, if he wants readers – talent arrives. Paul Anderson next. My mouth is dry.
“I recognise him too,” I sad.
“Probably from Sherlock Holmes, the Downey Jnr ones. Or maybe from Dr. Who?” Then Louise Dylan arrived about when I was trying to hide under the desk. 
Writing a funny book is one thing. If people don’t like it, they can put it down. I have a fucked up sense of humour, I know that. But I am in a room of talented people. And I mean talented, just to get an insight to how they work and their craft is a privilege. But what if they don’t laugh? I begged Kieron not to let them now I was the writer, so I could quietly leave when they say, “This is shit.”

But then something magic happened. They laughed. A lot. So much that we had to stop three times. After a lifetime of missing the success bus. Living in the shadows. I was able to be a fly on the wall and actually see the reaction to my writing. Comedy may never get the acclaim that other fiction does. But, who fucking cares. With comedy, the reaction to it cannot be hidden. You either laugh or you don’t. I wish every writer gets to feel as I did. If my run of luck, because that is what it is, ends now. I’m happy to have been given he privilege to see inspirational people, laugh at my shit.

Vegan…

Posted: January 19, 2013 in Publishing

JonnyGibbingsThe other day, I got introduced to people, as a Vegan. This bothered me. I am a vegan, but it was the being introduced as a vegan bit that pissed me off. It was at a fancy eatery in London called Groucho. If you don’t know Groucho, it is an exclusive private members club where celebrities hang out. The kind of place I said I would never go, only while assuming I would never get to go. Most think I would never want to because I am anti celebrity bullshit and a a bit anti capitalist. The truth being, I just don’t want to make an asshole of myself in front of people who can make your career. Posh places do that twee shit that they think is cute, and it just makes me look an idiot and pisses me off.
For example, I was taken to another posh restaurant a while back, when we first signed on the film deal of my book. I had been drinking coffee all day because of nervous excitement. A film deal would mean money, so soon my kids will get more than just a bowl of steam for dinner. The Place was called The Quill’, due to it once being frequented by great writers. However, I didn’t listen to one word in the meeting because the whole duration I needed to take a shit. I did try to use the toilet, but on the doors were pictures of swans, one for male, one for female. One called Cob, the other called Pen. I don’t fucking know what a male and female swans are called! I spent about an hour bent over holding my ass, scrutinising the pictures of the swans trying to spot a difference, like tits on one, or penis on the other. Nothing. And they complained when I drew a big fat cock below the ‘Cob’ to help any future hillbillies like me know which was which. A woman at my meeting had so much surgery, I guessed she went to school with Jesus, but was trying to look nineteen. She looked like Mick Jagger after losing a bar fight. Her face made frightened me enough to halt any need for toilet activities.

What bothered me, was how I was introduced, as a vegan. “Hi, this is Jonny… he’s a vegan.” Tagging the vegan bit on the end is like a kind of apology. Like when someone says “Hi this is Bob, he is a bit of a character!” The ‘character’ part is a warning that Bob is a a twat, and that they were obligated to bring him. A ‘character’ means the guy will get pissed, get obnoxious and stick his dick in your food. Introducing me as ‘vegan’ bothers me, because it puts vegan at the top of the agenda. As if people have to be afraid to mention meat, and feel obligated to talk about veganism. 

First thing anyone says when being introduced to a vegan is “Ohhh… WHY?”
So you have to talk about it. Then get accused of preaching like a Jehovah’s witness. It is even worse if you say “You know what, I don’t want to talk about it.”
Because then people say, “Why?… did something happen?
People assume stuff. Like when someone doesn’t drink any more it is often because they woke up in a alley being fist fucked by a hobo. There has to be a reason to justify it; “You don’t eat meat? what happened?… were you raped by a cow?”

Then they push any other person who is a vegetarian toward me, as if a freaks corner. Can you imagine doing that, with another ‘type’ for instance with Jews? At a party rounding up the Jews? No, because it would be a bit Hitlery. What makes people think, someone who doesn’t eat meat, needs to talk to other people who do not eat meat. I know about not eating meat already. I like titties too – but they don’t round up the women with big tits and make them take their tops off and talk to me! People don’t know what we eat either, so I get to eat the standard vegan option – spring rolls, and I don’t know what the fuck is in those things. Little rolled up pancakes full of crap. I swear they are made when a Chinese restaurant cleans down their counter at the end of the night. So called Spring rolls because it is likely to have a spring from a broken pen in there, along with a monopoly shoe, an elastic band and a thumb nail.

And then you get the people who go “Oh, I’m a vegetarian… well I’m not a strict vegetarian, because I still eat fish.” Well, then you’re not a vegetarian you fuck! And why fish? Why, of all the animals, do they choose to continue to eat the one that smells like it has gone off? How does someone tell when fish has gone off? Because it already smells like fish! Do these people say, “I don’t want to eat animals any more. Except fish… because I do like to eat  food that smells like I found it in a skip.”

Another thing, when people get to know you, and get that it is an ethical thing. A choice made, not through a dislike, or an intolerance, why do people try to get you to eat meat? As if you are pretending. “Go on, just a bite, a little bit of chicken… go on, you want to really!” No, I don’t. You never see people trying to force feed someone with a nut allergy a snickers bar.  My favourite thing people say is, “You know… Hitler was a vegan?” As if that was the reason he did the things he did. What reaction are they wanting, “What?… WHAT? He was? Well I’m eating me some meat, I ain’t gonna to commit me no genocide!” Mostly I reply “I know. It is the very reason why I became vegan, he is such a hero… Your not Jewish are you?” However, Christmas period, it is a wonderful time of year to be, or rather pretend to be a vegan. Because it is the best way to keep people away from your house, eating all your food and drinking your booze. It is as effective as being a paedophile. Christmas in my house is great. Only close friends, those who know you well. And also that you can dig up some earth with cat shit in it, stick it in a cake tin, throw some almonds on it and give it to people you don’t like. “Yahh it is a vegan Christmas cake” then watch them eat it.

I am though, a vegan. Have been for over 20 years. It surprises some people and even some vegans. Also, I couldn’t give a fuck that pisses some people off. I campaign for ethical treatment of animals. Pretty much all the profit from the film and book has gone on rescuing dogs from the illegal dog meat trade in Thailand, Korea and China. My views might cost me friends, but then if what I am passionate about costs me friendships, then they don’t qualify as friends. You have to stand up for what you believe in, even if it means standing alone.

JonnyGibbingsIf you want to stress your coping mechanism to the point where the thoughts of killing someone don’t just exist as a fleeting thought or a joke. Catch the train. Over the last eight days, I have had to ride the train to destinations all over the country for a book tour and to do some talks on creative thinking. I know – me! I now would rather be gang raped by a heard of rhino than ride another train. Once upon a time, there was British rail. One company. ONE. And this one company ran all the shit to do with trains. Now, because, one company running one service is too easy, our government sold the trains. I say trains, not the railways, because they privatised the trains, but the sneaky mother fuckers kept the tracks. So we still spend as much in tax as we did when we paid for the whole fucking lot. That is a kind of ‘so what?’ fact that doesn’t hold much emotional value until they have fucked you over so much you are having erotic fantasies about the ticket collectors head in a bucket of bleach. The trains, run by private companies now have a ticket price that is so expensive you have to sell your kidney to afford to use them. When you are left stranded on a platform in the middle of fuck knows where, the very fact that you have paid twice, just pushes you over the edge. Heroin. You need it just to cope with not knowing where you are or if you will ever get to where you paid to go, while suffering a level of poor service that is to akin to Guantanamo torture. Who knew trains were a gateway drug?

There are twenty five different rail franchises operating in Britain. TWENTY FIVE! In a tiny fuck island like Britain! Who ever thought this shit would work needs to die. Let me put it this way. Imagine you had to hold a banquet, and it needed to have the worst food possible. So, you got McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC and Pizza Hut to work together. Do you think they would actuallywork together? Of course not! They would do everything they can to fuck over the competition to maximise sales? There would be more semen, saliva, blood and fecal matter in that food than in a prison rape. Whoever the dick-neck it was whom believed these rail companies would actually work together, is mad man. I don’t care how old he is, I want to set him on fire.

When you pay for your ticket, the sales clerk sits behind bullet proof glass, and now I know why. I wanted to go from East Sussex, to Devon. That cost me £91.00, for what would have been four hours in a car. The train said it would take five and a half hours. TEN fucking hours is actually what it took! I could have flown from London to New York, had a meal and flown back quicker than riding the train. HOW is that even possible?
There should be a little window in the plastic screen, that once you have paid for your ticket, they slide it open, and then punch you right in the face. At least that pain would distract you from how badly you have been fucked over. If you want to know what riding the train is like in Britain. Stand outside in the rain for about 6 hours and have random members of staff piss on your feet. Then bend over, try to pull the hair out of the back of your head as hard as you can while running as fast as you can face first into a brick wall. Every single train was late on epic proportions. One just didn’t even come at all!
At one point, during one of the five changes I had to make on one fucking trip, the train to a place called Salisbury just said CANCELLED. No other information. A crowd of concerned people gathered, looked at each other, panic grew. Nobody, not one member of staff came to help. So I searched and eventually found one.
“Excuse me, my train has been cancelled.”
“And?” He said.
“Do you work here, or are you just wearing that uniform for kicks?” I asked.
“Yeaahhhhworkere.”
“Well then do your motherfucking job! There is a platform of people who need to know what the fuck to do.”
“Southwest train cancelled. This is a Southern Trains station.” He said.

Eventually, because I was near to shitting in my hands and writing ‘HELP ME’ on the walls, the station manager turned up. He informed me, the trains were cancelled due to the floods. It felt like I was shaking him down to wrestle a secret from him. Turns out, coaches were being called to take us to our destinations. No signs were paced to inform us, no extra staff to tell the rabble of stranded passengers. Nothing. So I was placed on a coach, that efficiently took me to Yeovil, a further hundred miles in the wrong direction from where I needed to be.

Where do they find the genetic disasters that work there? The a café in the main reception had a sign that said:
“We serve breakfasts – any time”
So I asked, “Do you do a veggie breakfast?”
“Like it says,” he said, “Breakfasts served ant any time.”
“Uh, that isn’t what I asked. I didn’t ask wheat times you serve a breakfast, I asked if you serve a vegetarian one?”
“It does say, breakfasts at any time.”
So I asked for a vegetarian breakfast during the industrial revolution. Mother fucker. So then, a train eventually turns up and it is a Virgin train, and you think ‘WOO-HOO – virgin? That isn’t going to fuck anyone!’ and it whisks you off miles from where you were supposed to go.

The resulting anger meant my opening line when getting on stage for a reading started with something like, “First of all – I have no fight with you people!” Then anger flowed. Train travel in Britain is extraordinary, you would never believe it is that bad. It is genuinely assisted suicide. I didn’t know I was depressed till I took the train. I am confident people have taken themselves off to a cheap hotel and hung themselves rather than get back on the train. My next book is dedicated to all of my friends on the British Rail network who helped me get to where I am today. And by that, I mean lost and not even close to where I am supposed to be – you know who you are…. and when I find you I am going to kill you.

Am I the next big thing?

Posted: December 15, 2012 in Publishing

mefunnyAm I the next big thing?

Short answer: no.  A longer answer: I doubt it.

However, this isn’t a question, it is a thing called a “Promotion Ring”, and promotion ring, to me, sounds a bit like what I imagine they say to porn actors, “Okay, if you do anal, you get paid more… think of your asshole as a promotion ring!” But, the concept is a great one, and hot from two of my fave Authors, Richard Thomas and Caleb J. Ross. What happens is an author answers 10 questions about their new/next/most recent novel/novella/collection/whatever before tagging another 5 authors who have to do the same thing one week later. And we all FB and/or tweet about it. My five will be listed at the end of this blog entry.

And here are the questions:

1) What is the working title of your next book?

Well that is a tough one, as I am undecided. Originally, it was to be called ‘Cocksicle’ but I now like ‘Entomology’ as it is three books in one (caterpillar, chrysalis & butterfly). I liked ‘Clown Atlas’ too for a while, but, who knows. Maybe even Colin.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
Well, with ‘Malice’ my first book, it was as if you were parachuted into a situation. You start off in the middle of a life in chaos. Also, ‘Malice’ was written in the style of a farce. So comical event, followed by comical event with little time to breathe. I wanted to explore the bit before the ‘train wreck’, so you witness a guy as he dissolves, breaks down and comes apart at the seams. But to extrapolate it, so you know the guy better and so it is funnier. I also wanted to explore dark obsessive love, heartbreak, apathetic anger. A fun book about a guy who accidentally finds himself in a violent sex cult while believing he has Stockholm syndrome.

3) What genre does your book fall under?
Well, many would say crap. I suppose the most accurate description is dark transgressive comedy.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Martin Freeman, for the lead in both books. I have asked the film company to speak to him for the film of Malice in Blunderland, however as he landed ‘The Hobit’ it doesn’t seem likely! He has that Mr. average, unspectacular every-man quality. I wanted my books give you a hint at how close you are to disaster. Most of us walking the thin line of having a job and a home. All it would need is a small disaster to snowball and next thing you are wanking off a tramp in a skip for half a sandwich.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Sex cult disaster via heartbreak, burglary, glued testicles, and taboo love orgy fights because of Stockholm Syndrome.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
The boys at Cutting Edge Press are the most likely. Though I do have an offer by two others. I’m too shit a writer to self publish, I need help!

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Malice in Blunderland, once the concept had distilled, took about a year. The new book is taking longer as it is a lot more bookish. So is involved, prose let and a deeper interaction with the content. Oh and it much bigger.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The Bible? I guess, it is nearest to Chuck Palahniuk’s body of work. Possibly Choke. I don’t know anyone else who is deliberately doing transgressive humour. It would be very easy to turn the book into a tragedy. Or to go much darker. I like to take those nuggets and refine them so they are funny. I think the funniest situations are the fruit of dark tragic situations. I still love Faulty Towers, John Cleese is a master of dark comedy. If break down the concept, it is actually sad and darkly depressing. Yet Cleese recognised madness is only funny when observed.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The first book was inspired by watching a guy laugh out loud on a train. He was reading some book, something in it buckled him, and he was laughing. That uncontrollable loud laughing, it embarrassed him because it was unexpected. And it was infectious, it spread through our carriage on the train like a virus. Every one grinning at seeing it, looking at each other and sharing a moment. I wanted to be able to do that. I was late to books and reading, and the more I read the more frustrated I got with the vast array saying similar, and a lack of funny. Also, having had a colourful life, stuff I had divulged on a tiny surfing forum in England went viral, so I guessed folks wanted to read similar. Through this I discovered my destiny… I was born to clown.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
It is dirty and dark. A twisted love story that will have you laugh at toxic situations. Three books in one, it is about change, about how if you quit the bullshit, disregard all the packaging and crap you are sold about who to be, rather than who you are… you might be surprised who you might find.

My five, because they are simply brilliant and must read dudes and dudettes:

Greg Cummings – Gorilla land is, simply put, brilliant. Greg has a depth of knowledge so intimate with the area, that the fiction leaves you with dirt under your nails. Beautiful work. An assured BIG name in the future.
http://gorillaland.net/novel/teaser.html
http://www.facebook.com/gregory.scott.cummings/info

Ruth Ramsden – should have had the success 50 shades had. Twisted, dark, sexy and funny. A fantastic writer that every woman should read. Who I genuinely think will be the next big thing. Her Book Blue Murder in the Pink Parrot is fantastic.
http://www.ruthramsden.moonfruit.com/
http://www.facebook.com/messages/ruth.ramsden

Pela Via – beautiful and smart as hell. The guv’nor at Manarchy as well as an edgy penswoman. Her works in anthologies such as Warmed and bound hit! A must know.

BLOG: http://pelavia.com
http://manarchymag.com/core/
pela.via@facebook.com

Phil Jourdan – his book ‘Praise of Motherhood’ is, quite honestly, remarkable. Phil is a super cool guy who is fiercly smart and the voice of the very cool band ‘Paris and the Hiltons’ as well as having his own inprint. A new Will Self but with all the twattyness removed.
http://www.slothrop.com
http://parisandthehiltons.bandcamp.com
http://facebook.com/parisandthehiltons

Nikki Guerlain – You MUST know this kitty. Super sexy bizzaro Goddes who writes LOADS, and it is fucking amazing shit. She has film woks on the go. You Gotta get with the Nikki
http://nikkiguerlain.com/
http://facebook.com/nikkiguerlain

One extra for Free – Martin Garrity, cos he constantly writes goooood:
http://www.solarcide.com

martin.garrity.5@facebook.com

EXTRA blogs:
http://crush-the-book.snack.ws/tag-you-re-it-the-next-big-thing–pageid5