Grovelling apologies for my lack of blogs lately. I could throw myself on your mercy and beg forgiveness but if you know anything about me, you’d know it wouldn’t be sincere anyway so I won’t bother.
Suffice to say, I’ve been snowed under finishing off Wings of a Sparrow which is now scarily close to completion and looks awesome. I just hope you lot like it because as I always say, my readers are the most important people of all. Without you guys buying books, I don’t eat!
On which note, heartfelt thanks to everyone who has kept The Crew at number one for pretty much 9 straight months now.
I’m staggered and not a little humbled by this success as well as by the equally brilliant performance of Top Dog. As a consequence, as soon as Wings of a Sparrow hits the marketplace I’ll be starting work on the third book in the Billy Evans series.
I already have an idea for the story and trust me, it is an absolute cracker. And yes, there will of course be a huge twist at the end!
In fact I’m already excited at the prospect of getting to know Billy again. He really is a naughty boy! 🙂
As a writer who doesn’t exactly shy away from contact with the outside world, I receive a steady stream of emails from people asking me questions. These range from requests for advice on writing to comments about books and all points in between.
All are welcome, all appreciated and all replied to. After all, if someone has taken the trouble to mail me, it’s usually because they have taken the time to read something I’ve written so the very least I can do is respond. Time is, after all, the most valuable commodity any of us have.
However, there is one particular question thrown at me, and on a fairly regular basis, which always provides a warm glow of satisfaction; ‘what’s the next book about?’
The great joy of this question is that it provides both affirmation and confirmation in equal measures. For it provides proof that not only is my work liked, it’s anticipated! Could any author ask for more than that?
What makes it even more special is that my back list isn’t just varied, it could even be described as manic. I certainly can’t think of many authors who’ve published books about subjects as diverse as racism in football and farting although I’m sure there is much a decent psychiatrist could make of that!!
Yet as many people have told me, the eclectic nature of my work is part of the attraction. I am, as one reader put it, the Forrest Gump of lad-lit. I think that was meant as a compliment, it’s certainly how I took it anyway!
This ‘box of chocolates’ reference inevitably leads me onto another oft asked question, how do I pick the subjects for my books? The answer to that is simple, or at least it was.
Like most authors, I have a list of books I intend to write at some point. Some are based on personal experience, a few on a passion for something and others which stem from a simple nugget of an idea I have locked away in what passes for my memory. This list has always been fairly flexible and it’s fair to say that it contains books which will never, ever get written for no other reason than I simply don’t have the required skill to pull them off. And before anyone asks, yes, my autobiography is on there and no, it won’t ever get written. There are lots of reasons for this but ‘no one would ever believe half of it’ and ‘guilty your honour’ are two.
But in the past the underlying reason for the subject matter of a particular book was always purely and simply what I could persuade my publishers to print. A process which all too often was incredibly time consuming and frustrating involving arm twisting, deviousness and even grovelling. Indeed, it is a fact that Billy’s Log, which remains one of my personal favourite books (and is also one of my biggest sellers!) was only published at all because I insisted on having it tacked onto the contract for Barmy Army. But that process took two long years!
However, since the move into eBooks and the speed with which that allows me to both write and publish, things have changed immeasurably. For with the decision on what to write and when being mine and mine alone, not only am I in total control but I can be much more reactive to what my readers are telling me. The astonishing success of both The Crew and Top Dog since they went online (and however you look at it, almost 8 months at number one on both Amazon and iTunes is an astonishing feat) is a case in point. For with Wings of a Sparrow almost complete, I had already taken the decision on what to write next but such has been the volume of requests for a third book in that series, that has now become my next project.
That said, only yesterday I had a ‘bolt-of-lightning’ moment which got me so excited that I had to pull over and send emails about it from a lay-by on the A1 so it might be that things change again!
But that’s the joy of epublishing over traditional publishing. It allows me that flexibility which as a writer, is incredibly liberating.
And as long as my readers are happy to indulge me, I’m only too happy to continue along my meandering path.
God bless ‘em all!!!
One final thing I have to say. Just prior to EURO 2012, the BBC aired a documentary which made all kinds of accusations relating to the potentialfor racism and violence in the Ukraine and Poland and featured amongst other things, former England international Sol Campbell claiming that he thought some black and Asian fans might come home in coffins.
As I write this, it is the morning of the England vs Italy quarter final and without wishing to tempt fate, there has not been a mass outbreak of mass racism at a single game nor has there been a single England fan arrested.
We are all used to this type of media fed hysteria ahead of major tournaments but that does not make it right and it most certainly does not make it acceptable. Surely the time has come for the FA to make a stand against this ridiculous, insensitive and above all insulting style of sensationalist reporting and let it be known that it won’t put up with it any more.
But above all, Sol Campbell has done a huge disservice to his country and the many black and Asian England fans who stayed away from the tournament because of his ridiculous assertions. He was also incredibly insulting to the tournament hosts.
Thankfully, the England fans have already let it be known what they think of him with the brilliant ‘coffin parade’ in Donestsk but if he had anything about him, he’d have the balls to come out and admit he was wrong.
Hi all, just a quick note to apologise for the lack of any updates recently.
I’m currently snowed under with work on my new book ‘Wings of a Sparrow’ as well as being involved with the development of four different movie projects.
I’ve also been writing material for the brand new website, The Lad Bible which went live last night. Amongst the work I’ve been doing for that are a lad-diary based on my novel Billy’s Log. In effect, it brings the adventures of our sad hero up to date and has been such fun to write that it’ll almost certainly form the basis of the much requested sequel which I’ll hopefully have ready to go by this time next year.
Normal blogging service will be resumed in short time (honest) but in the meantime please click on the picture on the left to visit The Lad Bible. Some of the stuff on there is simply hilarious.
PS: On the subject of lads and laddy things, The Art of Fart continues to sell well so thanks to everyone who has downloaded a copy. If you haven’t and you like your humour both un-PC and gross, this is almost certainly the book for you!
Like many chaps, I have looked on bemused as the drama (or should that be saga) of the Samantha Brick story has unfolded across the media.
Now for those who do not know, Samantha Brick is an average looking woman who wrote a piece in The Mail telling the world that she thought she was beautiful and that she received all kinds of compliments and attention from men who clearly agreed. As a consequence, other women not only felt threatened by her beauty but they were often less than friendly. If you haven’t read it, the initial Samantha Brick article can be found here and speaking as a bloke it’s worth a perusal for one particular reason. I’ll get to that later.
Whatever the truth of her claims regarding blokes walking up and paying for cabs or buying coffees etc, (and I don’t know, nor really care) what is fascinating about this story is the reaction from the sisterhood of women because to say she attracted a negative response is an understatement. In fact vitriol doesn’t come close whilst even hate could be judged ‘abuse-light’. Both in the media and on social networking sites women went for her with a ferocity the like of which I haven’t seen since my days living amongst the legendary hunting females of South Wales! The notorious Valley Commando’s.
Amongst other things she was accused of being self-centred, having a mirror made of beer goggles and being seriously deluded. It was to be fair, quite funny primarily because it did kind of prove her point! However, looking at it objectively as I am want to do, there was one simple reason for this bitch-fest and that is that she had broken the golden rule of womanhood; she had admitted that she is happy with her looks. Or to look at it another way, the female way, she’d become arrogant.
Oh yes, women spend their lives trying to feel great about themselves and read countless magazines and books packed to the gunnels with information on how to try and achieve it. Indeed, it’s the fundamental ideal which underpins the entire chick-lit genre! But for a woman to actually come out and say that she feels fabulous and that men adore her….. well, that’s not on. Especially when she’s only average looking.
And that is the fundamental reason for this jealousy –and that’s what it boils down to- because it’s not her looks but her confidence, her self-belief even. If she’s that secure in her appearance, why aren’t I? If random men pay her attention, why don’t I get it?
I, of course, made this point frequently and was shot down for my trouble. I wasn’t the only one either. When she was interviewed by Ruth and Eamonn Holmes on ITV’s This Morning, Ruthie was almost struggling to control her fury whilst poor Eamonn was clearly fearful of saying anything which might result in retribution from his angry wife later on. Fair play to Ms Brick though, she gave as good as she got in pretty much every interview she gave.
In the following days, Samantha Brick wrote more articles about her life and provided more explanation for her self-confidence. She lives in France where men are more attentive and has a loving husband who adores her. But most importantly she also has a father who told her from a very early age that she was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen.
Now other than providing me with a great deal of amusement as I’ve watched (and heard!) the wrath of women unfold and leaving aside the fact that as a career maker, Samantha Brick’s original article was as fantastic a pitch as I’ve ever seen, for me as a male this last sentence is the one which struck a chord. Because speaking as a proud dad, my two daughters are the most beautiful girls/women I’ve ever seen and every father I know thinks the same thing. And quite right too.
And the more we tell them, the more we hope that they believe it because I never wanted my girls to grow up feeling anything other than fantastic about themselves and I’m proud to say that they don’t.
Writing in her autobiography Dawn French makes great play of the fact that her father told her every day that she was beautiful and Gwyneth Paltrow says the same thing. Both took it as gospel because it came from their dads and it shaped their lives which is exactly what it should do. Yet neither of those attracted any condemnation when they put those words into the public domain because they are famous. Yet Samantha Brick isn’t or wasn’t and so she is an easy target.
Yet rather than have a pop at Samantha Brick, shouldn’t we all be giving a hearty pat on the back to her father because whilst his daughter might be lacking in the humility department, in terms of instilling confidence he did a fantastic job with her.
And sadly, there are an awful lot of dads and indeed mothers who could learn a huge lesson from him.
Could I once again say a very humble thank you to everyone who has kept my books so high up in the various online charts. The Crew and Top Dog have been at the top of the Amazon football download charts for over 6 months now which is some achievement so thanks to you guys for downloading them.
A new book is on the way and this will almost certainly be followed by the third book in the Billy Evans trilogy!
More news and details on my website which you can visit via this link!
It is fair to say that few very few things have the capacity to impact on an individuals’ status more than a fart.
Sometimes this can be a good thing. After all, if one is in the company of a group of lads out on the lash the ability to let one go -especially if accompanied by an odour with the capacity to strip wallpaper- can quickly elevate you to legendary status.
In most other social settings however, it is not a quality to be admired and therefore it is vital that farting etiquette is both understood and observed.
However, before we dive into the ‘do’s, don’ts and how to’s’ we should examine just why the two sexes react so differently to flatulence because it is fundamental to pretty much every aspect of this section if not the entire book.
As I have already stated, I love farting and to be honest, so does pretty much every male I know. There is nothing quite like the feeling of brewing up and the satisfaction of letting one go is frankly, unrivalled.
In fact, given that the vast majority if not all of people reading this book will be male and will be doing so because they too have an appreciation of the anal art form, do I really need to spend time explaining why we love it? After all, you will already know pretty much everything I can ever say or write if not a great deal more!
Women however, are a different beast entirely and if ever there was a subject that confirms the belief that we are indeed from two different planets, it is the subject of farting.
Or does it?
After all, women fart. I know that might come as a shock to some of you but they do. All of them. That gas has to be removed somehow and it’s certainly not taken away in the dead of night by fairies using Tupperware pots. Therefore it stands to reason that it is ejected in one of only two ways, one of which is fart form. And occasionally they smell. Not like Pot Pourri either.
Yet generally speaking, the vast majority of the gentler sex would have us men believe that they regard farting as nothing more than a basic bodily function and a disgusting one at that. Yes, I am well aware that there are exceptions to this and I know a couple of females who are more than capable of clearing a
room if the mood takes them. Furthermore, as the father of two daughters I am also well aware that in private there are plenty of women who enjoy a good gruff just as much as most men even though they might feign embarrassment if overheard or one slips out by accident. So why do the so-called gentler sex seem to have such a problem understanding why we males are able to derive such humour from farting?
Well to me, the answer to that question is fairly obvious when you think about it. It’s because we enjoy it.
Yes, that’s right. It might come as something of a shock to discover that women don’t actually like men to have fun doing something which doesn’t involve them. Why else do you think so many of them have started tagging along to football? It’s not because they enjoy it, it’s because they want to make sure we don’t!
However, since unlike football, farting is an activity that we can enjoy on our own they are forced to try and discourage us from partaking by brainwashing us. A tactic they do by repeatedly telling us from very early on in our lives that we only do it because we aren’t clever enough to find humour in anything else or that it is ‘disgusting’. It’s bog standard word association hypnosis: Oven = hot = burn, road = traffic = death, fart = bad =stroppy woman.
But the primary tool employed by women as a brainwashing tool to discourage the enjoyment of anal activity is the suggestion that it is childish. The key weapon used here is the phrase ‘grow up’.
This expression is important for many reasons and it is vital that all men understand why. Because it is fundamental to the acknowledged truth that when a woman gets her claws into a man, her primary goal is to mould him into the ‘man’ she actually desired as opposed to the one she ended up with. Central to this is the modification of his behaviour and the separation from both his past and especially his mates. Hence the concerted efforts to discourage any behaviour which might be perceived as being either ‘childish’ or ‘blokey’.
The sad fact is that it is women who are missing out. Not just because a happy bloke is obviously going to be far more fun to be around than an empty shell of a ‘new man’ but because they are unable to enjoy one of the natural wonders of life.
Indeed, it is my belief that women are secretly jealous of us in our love of the anal art form but having backed themselves into a corner, they dare not admit it because that would mean admitting that they have been wrong all along. And we all know what a problem that is for women.
Ironically, they had the perfect opportunity to do just that when the so-called ‘Ladette’ culture took hold back in the 90’s. For that period in our great nations history provided the female with the ideal point to embrace what I regard as being quite possibly the greatest of all human habits.
Yet instead, they blew it. Preferring instead to adopt the delights of getting shit faced, swearing in public and thinking shagging anything that moved was a good idea. All things which they had spent decades slagging us off for and which most blokes eventually grow out of anyway!
And so when it comes to women and farting, we are where we are and it is unlikely that things will ever change at least where they are concerned. However, the fact of the matter is that it is not our fault, it is theirs. They after all are the ones missing out because there is nothing wrong with enjoying farting. It should be celebrated as a sign of confidence but above all, of honesty. If you take nothing else from this book, take that simple truth because it will change your life.
After all, as the legendary rapper P. Diddy once said, “you can’t trust a woman until she farts in front of you” and that says it all.