Tag Archives: opinion

Watford FC: so close but thankfully so far.

watford, zola, football, soccer, brimson, wembley, crystal palace, top dog, green street, premiership, englandOK, the dust has settled so my thoughts on yesterday and Watfords trip to Wembley for the richest game in football, for what they’re worth.

As a Watford fan, it pains me to say it but we didn’t turn up on the day, pure and simple. Anya, big Al and Lloyd Doyley (I know shock horror, praise from me!) are the obvious exceptions with the addition of Fess who should have been brought on at half-time, if not at the start.

Crystal Palace were average at best with the exception of Zaha who was different class. How many times did he take the piss out of our defence? Phillips… well you just knew he would do it but fair play, I wasn’t the only one to notice that he didn’t give it large in front of us as many would have.

The Palace fans were awesome, ours less so. Ok, much less so. Indeed, if yesterday highlighted one thing it’s the issue of our support and the lack of any cohesion. I know that there are plenty who have tried to sort it out but clearly, it has failed badly and so maybe it’s time for the club to actually step in and become directly involved with the fans to see what can be done. With so much good will toward the team and the owners, I think that we could potentially do something really creative if there was the will on both sides to actually do it so let’s use this moment to kick start some proper open dialogue. After all, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Wembley… amazing stadium but the transport situation away from the place is dire. Not simply because of the logistics but because the organisation is so poor and information so lacking.

But however down we feel today, it has been an amazing season and the journey from the horrific event that was the game against Wycombe to walking up Wembley way yesterday proves that being a Hornet is always going to be eventful and certainly never dull.

However, the truth is that we aren’t ready for the premiership yet -I think anyone with a brain in their head will acknowledge that- and the idea of a season being spanked week in week out is not one that held an appeal for me. And that’s how it would have almost certainly been. As I said, Zaha ran us ragged at times, imagine what 10 of him could do.

So it’s onwards and upwards and all eyes on the 13/14 season in the championship which arguably, is the best league anyway if you like your football in the blood and guts style as I do.

The loan situation and the forthcoming rule changes to that side of things is going to mean the close season will be eventful (aren’t they all for Watford?) but I have faith in the owners and in Zola & Co so I have no doubt we’ll be stronger as a consequence so then watch us go! Who knows, we might even finish our stadium!

Come on you Horns!

football, self publishing, soccer, money, inheritance, premiership, england, watford, zola, football, soccer, brimson, wembley, crystal palace, top dog, green street

Thanks to everyone who has been posting reviews of my books lately. They really are hugely appreciated and extremely useful. On which note, thanks to a huge demand, I’m delighted to tell you that my most recent book, Wings of a Sparrow, will shortly be released in paper format.

I’ll post further details nearer publication date but this will be the first in a series of re-releases with The Crew and Top Dog following shortly after.

Why part of me hopes Watford don’t win promotion to the EPL.

football, watford, publishing, marketing, premiership, liverpool, manchester, arsenal, zola, pozzo,

I am, as many people will know, a Watford supporter. And as anyone who follows the great game will know, this coming weekend could well see my little club return to the promised land of the English premiership.

Quite how we are in this position is well documented and will certainly be dissected at length over the coming few days but to say we are not the most popular club in the land would be something of an understatement. We of course, don’t care what people think of us as we’ve been far too busy enjoying the ride and watching football which has veered from being some of the best I’ve ever seen Watford play to a quality which would not look out of place on Hackney marshes. On at least one instance, we saw both within the space of 90 minutes.

But that’s the joy of football and not only explains why we love it, but why so many people would not even contemplate missing a game.

However, to return to the matter in hand, much as I am buzzing ahead of the game on Saturday and would love to see us secure promotion, there is a small part of me which hopes we don’t actually make it. Not just on Saturday, but even via the play-offs.

It has nothing to do with what may or may not happen on the pitch because having followed Watford since the early 70’s, I know as well as anyone that anything can (and often does) happen at Vicarage Road. Indeed, one only need look at this season as proof of that and I have little doubt that our Italian owners have huge plans, god bless ‘em.

No, my concerns have everything to do with what might happen off the pitch. For the truth is, like many English football fans, I despise the premiership and everything it stands for.

The ‘top flight’ isn’t football to me. It’s little more than a media driven entertainment version of the game designed to exploit the very people without whom it wouldn’t even exist, those fans who actually attend games.

And if we do make it, that media will go to town on us because as the ‘little’ club, we’ll face a season of being patronised by people I have little or no respect for. The Lawrenson’s and Lineker’s, the Gray’s and the Durham’s… all of whom will regard us as little more than cannon fodder who have no right to be where we are because we’re not a ‘big’ club. And as a result, we as fans will be on the defensive. Not like we have thanks to ‘loangate’ this season because the whole Udinese B thing has been fun, but because we will have to justify ourselves week in and week out. Even the thought of that pisses me off.

Don’t get me wrong, if the stars align and we do make it, I’ll be as chuffed as anyone but that delight will be tinged with a little bit of regret. And pound to a pinch of poo, I won’t be the only one.

readers, film, ebooks, itunes, amazon, blog, publishing, author, writing, top dog, brimson, screenwriting, the crew, green street, elijah wood, leo gregory, charlie hunnam, essex boysFor those who didn’t know, Universal Pictures UK have come on board the Top Dog movie project and with their support, it looks increasingly likely that filming will commence in June ahead of a cinema release in February. Casting will commence shortly and full details of that will be posted on both Facebook and Twitter.

I may well have some more exciting news to pass on very soon relating to both books and another movie project. Exciting times!

Finally, I’m going to be staging a series of giveaways of books over the next few weeks. You’ll need to follow me on either Facebook or Twitter so if you want free books, get on it!  @dougiebrimson

The one fact all authors should know about eBook marketing.

life, work, money, sex, military, football, marriage, kids, writing, ebooks, author, marketing, blogging, Writing is, by its very nature, an odd profession. After all, if you strip it back to basics it involves spending most of your time on your own making up stories.

That said, it’s also a pretty cool way of earning a living not least because I get to spend most of my time on my own making up stories.

Now obviously I am not the only person to see this as a positive attraction because there are seemingly many people out there who wish to follow in my footsteps and fair play to them I say. Indeed, in these ePublishing times, it’s never been easier to make your work available to an eager public.

The problem of course, is that writing a book is only half the story. Or even, as many would have you believe, barely a fifth of the story. Because once you’ve written your book, movie or play, you have to sell it. Yes, that’s right, as a self-published author, everything falls on your shoulders and that includes the role of salesperson.

Personally, I love this side of the job because it provides me with the perfect excuse to piss about on the internet and whatever I am doing seems to work because I am, apparently, doing OK. I could possibly be doing better but I have no way of knowing that for sure because I’d much rather be writing, watching TV or riding my motorbike than writing ‘guest blogs’ or taking part in blog tours (whatever they are) which are both apparently obligatory for authors who want to sell eBooks. Or at least it is according to the so-called experts.

This leads me nicely onto the point of this blog because yesterday I read an article about writers marketing their work which left me not far short of incensed. It wasn’t simply the subject matter which was actually about screenwriters putting their screenplays for sale on Amazon (although if you need me to tell you why that’s a bad idea you deserve everything that could possibly befall you) it was the bit at the end about the author of said article. This bit in fact: (I have deleted her name because I refuse to give her any publicity)

XXXXXX XXXXXX is an author and screenwriter. She is the author of “Publish Your Screenplay on Kindle.” She plans to publish several of her screenplays on Kindle before year’s end.

So, she’s written a book and an article telling us to do something which she hasn’t actually done herself… yet. Do you really need me to tell you what I think of that?

The sad thing is that there are thousands of people like this who are making money off the back of the writing community by selling experience that they do not actually have and indeed, there are plenty of so-called ‘professional authors’ who actually derive most of their income from talking about the subject of being an er… professional author as opposed to earning money from actually selling books. Or to put it another way, frauds.

This is especially true of the subject of eBook marketing because take it from someone who actually knows, the truth is that whilst the web is awash with articles telling you how to do it, there is actually no magic formula. More often than not, what decides if an eBook is going to sell or not is good old fashioned luck.

Yes, of course there are things you can do to help get the stars if not aligned at least visible and these range from exploiting social networking to writing ranting blogs but the bottom line is that the fundamentals of eBook marketing are exactly the same as they are for traditional publishing. For an aBook by a relatively unknown author to be a success it comes down to the same old thing; right book, right time, right reader, etc, etc.

And that my friend is the secret. You can have it for free.

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football, self publishing, soccer, money, inheritanceDougie Brimson is an author and screenwriter. Thirteen of his fifteen books are available in electronic format including The Crew (which was the most downloaded football title of 2012 and has held the #1 slot on its Amazon and iTunes chart for almost 18 straight months) and his latest comedy, Wings of a Sparrow.

His screen writing credits include the multi-award winning feature Green Street and the forthcoming adaptation of his own novel, Top Dog.

Authors need love too (and a bit of help sometimes).

readers, ebooks, itunes, amazon, blog, publishing, author, twitter, facebook, writing, top dog, brimson, screenwriting, the crew,

As a twitter obsessive (@dougiebrimson if you didn’t know) I see a lot of tweets relating to both writing and publishing many of which contain links to articles or blogs.

Generally these will fall into two categories. Either it will be a rehashed version of one of three articles (How to get published, how to get an agent or five/sex/ten ways to market your work) or it will be total and utter bollocks that’s been written by someone who clearly has no idea what they are talking about.

For obvious reasons, I tend to dismiss most of them out of hand or, if I am in a particularly grumpy mood, will comment accordingly. I know I shouldn’t, but not only does it make me feel better, it helps maintain my image as a grumpy and obnoxious bugger.

Every so often however, I read something which actually strikes a chord with me and out of a sense of fair play, after first cursing the author for writing something I wish I’d written, I’ll pass on the link in the hope that whoever reads it will actually learn something. On very rare occasions, so impressed will something leave me that I will steal the idea. Or rather, I will rewrite it to put my own slant on it, although not without asking permission first!

And so, with the very kind permission of author Barry Hutchinson whose website, as well as details of his excellent new book, The Book of Doom, can be found here, what follows is a plagiarised version of his original and most brilliant blog.

Now, as anyone who knows anything about me will know, I adore my readers. It is because of them/you that I am able to continue doing what I do which is why I am always so eager to hear from them/you. Indeed, I actively encourage people to contact me if ever they feel the need or have something they want to get off their chest.

This author/reader relationship is incredibly important for all kinds of reasons, one of which is that it helps to build what has become known as ‘a platform’. This being all but essential in these days of electronic books because it is a fundamental part of marketing. Or to put it another way, it sells books.

In the old days when I used to write books which came out on paper, this wasn’t something I generally became involved in as it all fell on the shoulders of the publishers. I wrote them, they pushed and promoted them, people brought them. That was how is basically worked. These days however, things are very different because it is all down to me and one thing I have learnt over the last few years is that key to the art of selling books is word of mouth. Indeed, as someone who receives little or no coverage in either the mainstream media or even the sports press, word of mouth is my best selling tool. But obviously, I can only do so much and whilst Twitter and Facebook are great, there is only so many times I can plug a book before people get bored of it. Therefore whilst I can give a new book a shove, I am dependent on help from my readers to get it really rolling.

So with that in mind, if you’re one such individual and actually like my work, what follows are four things you can do to help if you fancy giving me a hand.

1.  Buy my Books. This is fairly obvious but you will be amazed how many people have read a couple of my books and don’t actually know that I’ve written 15 in total. I’m not insisting that you buy them all of course (although that would be nice) but if you’re missing any, a brief look at one of the on-line stores or even my website may well turn up something that you’ll enjoy.Just as importantly, by buying books you help me eat which means I can carry on producing more titles as opposed to lying on the sofa dying of malnutrition. It’s a win-win!

2.  Review! In these days of eBooks and eCommerce, reviews are the engine which drives word of mouth. So if you’ve read a book and like it, then please take the time to leave a review on either Amazon or iTunes. If you blog, then why not blog about the book? I’ll even provide an interview if you like. All you need do is ask.It doesn’t have to be a 5* review, just an honest review.

And if you didn’t like it, then you have every right to say so. I won’t mind. Honest. Well, I might mind a bit…

3.  Talk! To family, mates, people in the street. I don’t care. Share your enthusiasm and spread the love. It all helps!

4.  Tweet! Social media is a brilliant way of spreading the word about books but it’s especially useful if you include links because that way you are actively driving people in my direction.

The same thing applies to Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest and all the others. It’s all about making people aware and raising the profile. Well ok, my profile.

That’s it really. It’s not too much to ask is it? I mean, I’m doing my bit by churning them out, the least you can do is give me a hand! 😀

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readers, film, ebooks, itunes, amazon, blog, publishing, author, writing, top dog, brimson, screenwriting, the crew, Talking of new books, work on the third title in the Billy Evans series is progressing well and I’m hopeful that it will be out by the summer. It’s a cracking plot which picks up on his story in modern day Britain, ten years on from the events at the end of Top Dog. I’ll release more details, including the title, nearer publication day.

Work is also progressing nicely on the movie adaptation of Top Dog, the poster of which can be seen to the left. This is actually the artwork being shown to investors and not the actual movie poster but it is incredibly effective I think.

Leo Gregory might look very different from how Billy looks in my head, but I have absolutely no doubt that he’s going to be just awesome in the role!

Finally, lots of people have been asking me about the movie adaptation of Wings of a Sparrow. All I can tell you at the moment is that I’ve written a script which is receiving a lot of positive feedback and we’ve got it in front of various production companies.

At the moment, we can do no more. Although if more people knew about the book, it would certainly help! Which takes me back to my original point… 😉

Everything you wanted to know about being the ex football hooligan author Dougie Brimson (but were afraid to ask)

football, soccer, books, brimson. hooligans, violence, coin thrower, matt haig, manchester city, manchester united, violence, racism, amazon, itunes, ibooks, writer, author, self-publishing

As I sit here, pondering my navel and doing pretty much anything I can to avoid actually writing, I often stumble across things which not only make me laugh, but strike a chord. One of the most recent items to achieve this double whammy was a blog I read today entitled ‘Everything you wanted to know about being an author (but were afraid to ask).

The reason this caused such mirth in Brimson Towers was because only this morning I received not one, but two emails asking me about that very thing. Now in both cases, given that Matt Haig, the author of said blog, is a far better and more accomplished writer than I will ever be and had pretty much said everything I would have said and more anyway, I simply passed on the link and wished the individual well.

However, as I mulled it over whilst standing in line at Tesco’s an hour or so ago (I’d had an urge for pie. Seriously) I decided that if I was going to accurately apply this excellent list to my own writing life and process, it would need a tweak or two.

So what follows is a bastardised version of the list in question. I have included the original in italics for reasons which will become obvious and hope that Mr Haig will accept my apology for brutalising his excellent efforts which, if you would like to read them, can be found here: 

1.     We live on toast. And cereal. And caffeine. And wine. But mainly toast.   Since I am banned from eating bread due to my lard arse frames dislike of wheat and rarely drink alcohol of any description, I only survive at all thanks to a daily plate of eggs and bacon, this being supplemented by a ready supply of Bourbons. On reflection, this could explain my aforementioned lard arsed frame.

2.     By the time our book comes out, it feels like a childhood memory. But more distant.   As an author who is intent on spewing out ebooks on a scarily regular basis until such time as readers finally suss out that I am a talentless hack (a fact I am already well aware of), I am no longer hindered by the agonising time it takes publishers take to get books from emailed file to the shelves of Waterstones. Hence, when a book is released into the marketplace, or as I prefer to call it, Amazon, it is still scarily fresh in the memory.

3.     Our daily word-count was approximately three thousand words higher before the arrival of Facebook and Twitter.   Absolutely true. Indeed, there is a whole heap of irony to be found in the fact that whilst the world wide web provides the engine for what passes as my writing career, it also does all it can to slam it into reverse on an almost minute by minute basis. Proof of which can be found by looking at my Twitter and Facebook timelines.

4.     At parties someone will always say, ‘So have you written anything I’d have heard of?’ Or, ‘How are the books going?’ Both questions end in awkward silence.   Again, absolutely true although the reality is that I rarely get invited to parties. In fact for rarely, substitute never. I suspect people assume I will turn up, get pissed and wreck the place. This being as far from the truth as you could possibly get.

5.     If we were number two in the bestseller charts, the only book we would ever be thinking about is the one selling more.   Partially true. Well OK, mostly true. Although in some instances, I do look at who is languishing below me and mutter a contented ‘take that you fucker’ to myself.

6.     We never know if the book we are writing is the right one until we have written it. And even then we are not sure.   In my case, I know it’s the right one because I ask my readers in advance and they tell me what they want. That’s the joy of being a digital author who actually talks to the people who buys his books.

7.     It is harder to make friends after you become a writer than it was before. But way easier to make enemies.   True and very true.

8.     People think you are automatically a bit weird. (Or is that just me?)   No, it’s not just you. Although in my defence, I am actually a bit weird.

9.     We need editors ‘like a fat kid needs cake’ – to quote that sensitive literary soul, 50 Cent.   This is golden rule number 5 in Doug’s golden rule book of writing. It is so, so true.

10.    The best day is when we get to see our book cover. Unless we don’ t like the book cover in which case it is the worst day.   Being a digital author, my publishers involve me in developing covers from day one and often I have the final say so this isn’t the case for me. My best day is usually when I write ‘the end’ and the worst is when I realise that it usually isn’t.

11.    ‘Royalty statement’ is Latin for disappointment.   Thanks to the web, I see my sales figures on an almost daily basis. Sometimes they are orgasmic, other times I want to kill myself.

12.    We get stomach pains every time another writer wins something. (We have continual stomach pains).   Not only have I never won anything, I’ve never even been nominated. Come to that, I’ve never even been invited to anything where any author won anything. My stomach pains are entirely due to my Bourbon intake.

13.    We all want to be Hemingway, minus the suicide part.   I’m quite happy being me.

14.    We would probably all be writing poems, if people actually bought poems.   If I could earn a living writing football chants or perhaps greeting cards for lads, I’d be happy with that. Who wouldn’t?

15.    We spend a lot of our time going on five hour train journeys to events where eight people turn up (and only three of them buy the book).     The only events I get invited to involve court or family and generally speaking, I tend to avoid both of them like the plague anyway.

16.    We chose not to choose life. We chose something else.   This is true. It’s called solitude.

17.    We are generally quite bad at dancing.   Untrue. I have the moves! Or at least I did before my back gave out.

18.    In most cases, the person we don’t like more than any other just happens to be another writer. But then, the person we admire most is one too.   This is true. Although in my case it is more to do with personality than the nature of their output.

19.    We may have our name on the front of a book but we always feel slightly outside the publishing industry, looking in. Like Keats at that metaphorical sweet-shop.   Despite my apparent success, I am firmly on the outside of the publishing industry and always have been. I fear that is unlikely to ever change.

20. If we were a neurotic wreck before we were published – and we were – we remain one afterwards. Our brain chemistry doesn’t fundamentally change.   This is absolutely true although my insecurities tend to be more about my other efforts at writing than about my books. Screenplays are terror inducing.

21. If we get good reviews, we want good sales. If we get good sales, we want good reviews.   I want both. Is that too much to ask?

22. We are happy for five whole minutes after a book is sent off. Then we realise all the mistakes we made.   True. Although thanks to the magic that is the eBook, we can if need be, continually edit!

23. We start off wanting to be published. We get published. Then we want a nice review. We get a nice review. Then we want an award. We get an award. Then we want a film deal. We get a film deal. Then we want a film to be made. And so on. For ever. (We are never happy).   Well as previously discussed, I know I’ll never earn an award although I have had a movie and plenty of film deals. Another première would be nice though as I wasn’t actually invited to the first one… (long story)

24. If someone reads our work midway through the writing process we need them to faint in awe or it goes in the bin.   People are constantly reading my work at every stage from one-line idea to final manuscript. As a consequence, if they are happy, I am happy. If they’re not, I listen to what they say and change things until they are. They are legends!

25. We are a little bit lonely.   True. Thankfully, despite coming from a large family, I have always been a bit of a loner and my favourite company is er… me. That has stood me in good stead over the years.

26. Bad reviews are always taken personally. Always.   Totally and absolutely true.

27. Writing a novel is like a relationship. During the early stages every other possibility looks incredibly attractive. But commitment pays off.   True. And since manuscripts, like screenplays, are always females, occasionally, when you get to the end, you’re glad to see the back of her.

28. We rarely write in coffee shops.   True. Instead we watch and listen and use the fact that we are writers as an excuse for loitering. Or is that just me?

29. Writing is heaven. Re-writing is hell.   Oh god yes.

30. We are rubbish at other jobs. And DIY. And most other things too.   I was an engineer in a previous life so I can do pretty much anything. The biggest problem I have is getting myself motivated to actually do it whatever it is that needs doing.

31. We say the wrong things at parties.   I refer the honourable reader to the answer I gave some moments ago. I don’t get invited…

32. The definition of discomfort is the moment after your mother reads your semi-autobiographical novel.   Substitute ‘mother’ with ‘daughter’ and you’re about right.

33. There is no praise more treasured than that of an author you worship.   I wouldn’t know about this. It’s never happened.

34. The best book we have ever written is the one we are about to write.   It better be!

35. The best ideas we have are the ones that arrive accidentally.   True. In fact the idea for my next book actually arrived thanks to an accident. I was in hospital with my wife who had broken her arm when the plot came to me!

36. There is no email in the world nicer to receive than the one from a reader who has been moved by your work.   Oh yes. Thankfully, I have had many of those over the years and each and every one is valued.

37. We know, in our heart of hearts, that we have the very best job in the world.   The truest of all truths. On which note, thanks to everyone who has downloaded my new book Wings of a Sparrow. Feedback and reviews have thus far been brilliant which makes all the effort and late nights worthwhile.

football, self publishing, soccer, money, inheritanceWork is progressing on getting more media exposure although many publications are reluctant to give reviews to eBooks and of course, as many of you know, I am banned from certain magazines and TV shows on account of my criticism of them in the past. The only thing I can ever see changing that would be if a book becoming too popular to ignore and since Wings of a Sparrow is a hooligan free zone, it provides possibly the best opportunity for that to happen so could I once again be cheeky and ask you all to keep spreading the word because the more people who know about it –and buy it- the better.

One other thing which would help is of course, the film version and I am still working hard to make that happen. The stumbling block at the moment is the financing although we are making progress with that so fingers crossed. I’m also in tentative talks about a new movie based on my previous novel, Top Dog which would be quite awesome!

And finally, on the subject of Top Dog, work on the third book in the Billy Evans trilogy is progressing nicely. It’s much darker and more violent than the first two books but the plot line is quite possibly the best I’ve ever come up with. I’m aiming for a publication date in the spring and will release more details closer to that point.

Laters…

Why we will never see an end to racism in the UK.

racism, john terry, bigot, football, soccer, serbia, sex, scum, Kick racism out of footballThe other evening, whilst taking part in a late-night radio debate on the disgraceful scenes in Serbia, I was asked if I thought we would ever see an end to racism in the UK. My answer was an instant and resounding no. I then added that my thinking was based on the simple fact that we had never had a free and open debate on the issues of racism, immigration and multiculturalism in our country and more importantly, would never be allowed to have one.

When asked why not, I made the point that in my opinion it was because the powers that be were afraid of the answers the vast majority of the population would provide. I was cut off almost instantly. As proof of my point, that’s as conclusive as it gets.

Now let me quote something to you. It’s lengthy, but bare with it.

Racism and multiculturalism have become two of the key issues affecting the way we live but by allowing the anti-racist and politically driven lobby groups to occupy the moral high ground, we [as a society] have become terrified of openly questioning anything relating to race for fear that we will be labelled as racist. A fear that is especially prevalent amongst the white Anglo-Saxon and Christian communities who lest we forget, actually form the majority of the population.

As a consequence, they [the liberal-left and the anti-racist groups] have been allowed to get away with things that they really should not be allowed to get away with. We may laugh at the stupidity of banning piggy banks or replacing the seven dwarves with the seven gnomes but in their own way, each act of petty political correctness drives the wedge between the various ethnic groups ever deeper.

More importantly, by suppressing a much needed and long overdue debate about the impact these issues have on us all, we as a nation are clearly storing up huge problems. If only because ignorance breeds fear and fear breeds resentment which could, potentially, play right into the hands of extreme political groups. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that the implications of that would stretch far wider than the turnstile or the playing field.

However, racism is an issue which not only should be talked about it is one which we must talk about. Dialogue is after all, the only way we, as a society will ever understand things and we have to do that if we are ever to be rid of this most shameful of scourges. That will only happen when we are brave enough to allow everyone to have their say and more importantly, listen to what is being said. Tragically, even though we live in a supposedly free society, I cannot ever see that happening. Indeed, there is something to be said for the idea that if Enoch Powell achieved one thing with his infamous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, it was to suppress forever any chance of anyone having a free and open debate about either immigration or race in Britain.

Ironically, the area of society that has done more than any other to combat racism in Britain is football. In recent weeks I have witnessed racist abuse being hurled by blacks, whites and Asians in shops, pubs and even at a motorway service station yet I can count on three fingers the number of racist incidents I have encountered inside a stadium in this country since I began writing in 1996 and two of those have been at non-league games. And I’m not alone. Even Thierry Henry has been quoted as saying that he has not heard any racist abuse inside a stadium since he came to play in this country yet still we routinely hear football being slaughtered. Why? Surely the fact that on the rare occasions an incident of football related racial abuse takes place here in England it is roundly and swiftly condemned by all parties is proof of how serious this issue has been taken. Similarly, the fury with which we react to abuse targeted at English players abroad must indicate how far we have come as well as how far others lag behind.

I’m not saying that we should sit on our laurels, but we shouldn’t be so self critical either. As fans, we should be proud that for the most part, the only colour we care about is the colour of the shirt and we should celebrate the fact that people come from all over the world to play the game here free of the abuse and intimidation seen all too often in Spain, Italy, Germany and most of Eastern Europe. We should also be thrilled that so many black players represent us at international level but equally, we should enjoy a smug smile of satisfaction that these days we don’t even really notice. All we actually see is eleven proud Englishmen and that in itself says everything to me.

That’s an extract from Kicking Off which I wrote in 2004 and to me, it’s sadly still as relevant now as it was back then. However, if there is a silver lining to the horrific events in Serbia this week it has been to highlight just how far we as a nation have come in the drive to defeat racism and as I wrote in the piece, no section of society has fought more valiantly than football. Although let’s be honest, as the John Terry affair has proven, whilst the fans continue to do their bit there is much to be said for the idea that football’s administration needs to up its game not least with an ounce to two of consistency.

But there is still much work to be done and the great game can’t do everything, nor should it even try. For sure as we saw only too clearly this summer, sport can be a fantastic unifying force but if we are ever to see a resolution to the cancer of racism in our nation and legitimately sit upon the moral high ground where we so richly deserve to be, it can only happen if we, as individuals, can freely and honestly discuss all of the issues associated with it.

The last I heard, this is a free country. So why can’t we?

.

fart, sex, love, anal, "bodily functions" penguins, vibrators
The Art of Fart – still a bargain!

Just a quick note to let you know that Amazon have now price matched most of my titles with iTunes so that the bulk, including The Art of Fart, are now just 99p. The only exceptions are The Crew which is free and Top Dog and Billy’s Log which will set you back £1.99.

So if you’re missing a book, now is as good a time as any!

If Carlsberg wrote book Reviews…

fart, sex, love, anal, "bodily functions" penguins, vibrators
The Art of Fart – still a bargain!

There has recently been a great deal of discussion amongst the publishing community about the subject of reader reviews and in particular some of the unsavoury practices being employed to exploit them to promote books . These range from the appalling practices of paying for them through to unscrupulous authors who use fake names to slag off their opposition.

Now when it comes to selling books, especially self-published books, reader reviews are vital. They are after all, the nearest thing the electronic world has to word of mouth which is and always well be, the best selling tool of all. That’s why we authors cajole, bully even beg readers to write them.

Generally speaking however, reader reviews aren’t written for us they are written for other readers and no author worth their salt would consider them in any other way. We read them of course, all of them, and any mid-lister who says they don’t is a liar. But any author who responds to a reader review, especially a negative one, is not only a fool but is marking themselves out as the amateur they obviously are. They are also opening themselves up for a whole world of pain from the review Mafia who trawl the web looking for authors who behave badly and when they find one, latch on to them like a dog with a bone.

As writers however, reader reviews do have more uses than promoting books and polishing our ego’s (or not as the case might be). In fact they are invaluable. For not only do they provide us with excellent feedback on what we’re doing but they can be fabulous pointers toward what we should be doing. As an example, as a direct result of reviews left for my books I know that there are eager readers desperate for sequels to both Top Dog and Billy’s Log and so next year, I’ll be writing both.

But there is another benefit to the reader review and it is one which is rarely spoken of. Primarily I suspect, because they come along all too rarely. I speak of those reviews which actually take our work and add to it. I received one such review today and it’s the sole reason why I’m sitting here writing this blog when I should actually be putting the finishing touches to my next book! Because reviews like this are what it’s all about. Or at least they are to me.

It relates to my most recent book The Art of Fart (a book which is as different from my normal output as it is possible to get) and was posted on Amazon UK this morning. Not only does it perfectly sum up what the book is about and why I simply had to write it, but it made me roar with laughter.

Read it and weep.

5.0 out of 5 stars A look at the dark bottom arts, 28 Sep 2012

By Mr. B. A. French “bazzafrench” (Witham, Essex, UK) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Art of Fart: The Joy of Flatulence! (Kindle Edition)
The short and amusing books, as the name suggests, explores the dark art of farting.

I think everyone has a fart which they are particularly proud of (or ashamed, depending on your school of thought). I remember mine vividly. Goodness knows what I had been eating the night before, because if I knew I would eat it again tonight. I was stood in the small and confined kitchen at work happily brewing a cup of tea, when suddenly I felt something escape through my sphincter and drop down my trouser leg. It was none of my business and just kind of happened.

The smell was unbelievable. You know it is a bad one when your own brand makes you eyes water. The kettle couldn’t boil fast enough as I couldn’t wait to get out of there. Just as I thought things couldn’t get worse, my boss walked in. My boss then was a crabby 60 something stuck-up bitch. Ironically, she always wore an expression on her face as if she had a fart permanently under her nose.

Nearly gagging, she asked was the smell was. I was about to come clean and say I had a bad stomach (a boring, but safe excuse) when she opened the fridge door and started sniffing like the old dog she was. Thankfully, she thought something had gone off in the fridge and completely cleaned it out – and I mean everything. She chucked everybody’s lunch away and sent a snotty email saying she’d take the fridge away if people didn’t maintain it. Several people went hungry that day and I had nearly condemned an innocent kitchen appliance to the scrapheap all because of my noxious arse.

It still brings a smile to my face even today. My brother once farted so bad it made a mate of mine sick. I was proud to have out trumped him so to speak.

If you think that I am a vile and distrusting human being, then I’ll be honest with you, this book is not for you. However, if you would like to shake my hand as a genius, then I suggest you download it now.

Happy farting people.

.

PS: If you visit my Facebook page, the legend that is Barry French has posted an additional and equally hilarious farting anecdote.

violence, racism, racist, anal sex, oral sex, burlesque
The Crew. Still #1

Thanks to everyone who has downloaded my novel The Crew and as a consequence, have kept it at the top of the Amazon UK free sports book download charts for over a year now. That’s some record although it seems to have gone largely unnoticed by pretty much everyone outside of my readership. Anyway, you’re all legends.

As I say, the third book in this series is on the way!

If Carlsberg wrote book Reviews…

fart, sex, love, anal, "bodily functions" penguins, vibrators
The Art of Fart – still a bargain!

There has recently been a great deal of discussion amongst the publishing community about the subject of reader reviews and in particular some of the unsavoury practices being employed to exploit them to promote books . These range from the appalling practices of paying for them through to unscrupulous authors who use fake names to slag off their opposition.

Now when it comes to selling books, especially self-published books, reader reviews are vital. They are after all, the nearest thing the electronic world has to word of mouth which is and always well be, the best selling tool of all. That’s why we authors cajole, bully even beg readers to write them.

Generally speaking however, reader reviews aren’t written for us they are written for other readers and no author worth their salt would consider them in any other way. We read them of course, all of them, and any mid-lister who says they don’t is a liar. But any author who responds to a reader review, especially a negative one, is not only a fool but is marking themselves out as the amateur they obviously are. They are also opening themselves up for a whole world of pain from the review Mafia who trawl the web looking for authors who behave badly and when they find one, latch on to them like a dog with a bone.

As writers however, reader reviews do have more uses than promoting books and polishing our ego’s (or not as the case might be). In fact they are invaluable. For not only do they provide us with excellent feedback on what we’re doing but they can be fabulous pointers toward what we should be doing. As an example, as a direct result of reviews left for my books I know that there are eager readers desperate for sequels to both Top Dog and Billy’s Log and so next year, I’ll be writing both.

But there is another benefit to the reader review and it is one which is rarely spoken of. Primarily I suspect, because they come along all too rarely. I speak of those reviews which actually take our work and add to it. I received one such review today and it’s the sole reason why I’m sitting here writing this blog when I should actually be putting the finishing touches to my next book! Because reviews like this are what it’s all about. Or at least they are to me.

It relates to my most recent book The Art of Fart (a book which is as different from my normal output as it is possible to get) and was posted on Amazon UK this morning. Not only does it perfectly sum up what the book is about and why I simply had to write it, but it made me roar with laughter.

Read it and weep.

5.0 out of 5 stars A look at the dark bottom arts, 28 Sep 2012

By Mr. B. A. French “bazzafrench” (Witham, Essex, UK) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Art of Fart: The Joy of Flatulence! (Kindle Edition)
The short and amusing books, as the name suggests, explores the dark art of farting.

I think everyone has a fart which they are particularly proud of (or ashamed, depending on your school of thought). I remember mine vividly. Goodness knows what I had been eating the night before, because if I knew I would eat it again tonight. I was stood in the small and confined kitchen at work happily brewing a cup of tea, when suddenly I felt something escape through my sphincter and drop down my trouser leg. It was none of my business and just kind of happened.

The smell was unbelievable. You know it is a bad one when your own brand makes you eyes water. The kettle couldn’t boil fast enough as I couldn’t wait to get out of there. Just as I thought things couldn’t get worse, my boss walked in. My boss then was a crabby 60 something stuck-up bitch. Ironically, she always wore an expression on her face as if she had a fart permanently under her nose.

Nearly gagging, she asked was the smell was. I was about to come clean and say I had a bad stomach (a boring, but safe excuse) when she opened the fridge door and started sniffing like the old dog she was. Thankfully, she thought something had gone off in the fridge and completely cleaned it out – and I mean everything. She chucked everybody’s lunch away and sent a snotty email saying she’d take the fridge away if people didn’t maintain it. Several people went hungry that day and I had nearly condemned an innocent kitchen appliance to the scrapheap all because of my noxious arse.

It still brings a smile to my face even today. My brother once farted so bad it made a mate of mine sick. I was proud to have out trumped him so to speak.

If you think that I am a vile and distrusting human being, then I’ll be honest with you, this book is not for you. However, if you would like to shake my hand as a genius, then I suggest you download it now.

Happy farting people.

.

PS: If you visit my Facebook page, the legend that is Barry French has posted an additional and equally hilarious farting anecdote.

violence, racism, racist, anal sex, oral sex, burlesque
The Crew. Still #1

Thanks to everyone who has downloaded my novel The Crew and as a consequence, have kept it at the top of the Amazon UK free sports book download charts for over a year now. That’s some record although it seems to have gone largely unnoticed by pretty much everyone outside of my readership. Anyway, you’re all legends.

As I say, the third book in this series is on the way!

Hillsborough. The ugly truth everyone is avoiding.

Liverpool, 96, justice, Hillsborough

Out of respect for the families, I had no intention of commenting on the issue of Hillsborough primarily because everything I’ve had to say has been said in print many times.

However, having received a number of mails about it over the last 24 hours I’ve had a read back over some of the things I’ve written over the years some of which, it’s fair to say, have attracted a degree of criticism. Albeit primarily from people who have no concept of what it was like to be a travelling fan in the mid-80’s.

So let me say one thing, I stand by every single word and my conclusion remains the same. Because however you look at it, the ultimate responsibility for Hillsborough lies not with the thin blue line, the government or even Kelvin McKenzie, it lies with those of us who followed the game back then.

Specifically, everyone who ever threw a punch at a game, charged across a terrace, invaded a pitch, smashed up a high street or yes, who steamed a gate because they didn’t have a ticket.

It was the fault of the fans who laid waste to Europe whilst following England or their club in the 80’s, who caused the tragedy at Heysel or who were involved in any one of the countless football related deaths which had happened in previous years. Because they, we, are the reason why football pitches were surrounded by horrific steel fences and the reason why, on April 15th 1989, the police had become so jaundiced against football fans that they couldn’t or wouldn’t recognise the difference between crushing and fighting.

Yes, there were clearly huge flaws in the police operation and it is about time that those responsible were held to account and that the families gain the justice that they have so valiantly fought for. But those of us who either played our part in dragging the game down to that point or who simply sat back and watched while others did it are equally guilty.

And we should all feel slightly ashamed of ourselves today. I know I do.

RIP the 96.

.

Dear Daily Mail, an open letter from an ex-reader.

A genuine role model
Amen!

Dear Daily Mail,

Re: the photograph on the left.

As I type this, Britain is enjoying what will surely go down as one of the great events of the modern age. Coming 12 months after the world saw the very worst this country has to offer being conducted by the very worst our society has to offer, we are now seeing Britain at its very, very best.

Our nation is full of joy and optimism, our athletes are quite simply astonishing and each day brings things we never thought we would ever see. And as if that isn’t enough, we have the Paralympics to come. Surely as wonderful an example of the triumph of the human spirit as anyone could hope for.

You look at all that, all this and it’s clear, Britain really is Great. Despite the best efforts of Labour it always was and always will be. TeamGB, that sums it up perfectly.

Yet the truth is that this is the tip of the iceberg and that iceberg has been gently drifting along for decades driven by the quiet resolve that is middle England.

From our amazing troops to the women of the WRVS and a million points between , this country of ours has always been full of hope, goodness and inspiration. And this brings me to my point.

Why is it that you feel the need to ignore these good people and their amazing stories and instead feed us a daily dose of crap? Why do you assume that anyone has any interest in page upon page of PR spin about airheads who have contributed little or nothing to the fabric of this country?

Yet every single day you dish up a diet of bullshit about The Only Way is Essex and Big Brother as if the people involved are somehow important. Newsflash: they aren’t and they never will be.

Furthermore, why do you assume anyone cares about Imogen Thomas, Sophie Anderton, Katie Price or any other of the myriad of nomarks who fill your ‘news’ paper every single fucking day? Most of them might as well be names in a phone directory for all the meaning they have to me and I’m certainly not going to waste time reading about them in an effort to find out who they are because chances are I won’t care anyway.

And why this fascination with the Kardashian family? From what I can tell all they are is a bunch of good looking dysfunctionals who have somehow managed to manipulate the media into thinking they have some kind of value. Manipulation which you have clearly fallen for because they actually don’t. They are only a story because you make them a story!

The Daily Mail was once a great news paper. Sadly, thanks to a seemingly fanatical desire to avoid listening to its readership, it has become little more than a down market version of OK magazine and you should be ashamed.

Look at the photo to the top left of this post because it says everything the people of this nation feel. When we are in positive mode, we are untouchable and as you may have noticed, we like being in positive mode.

If you follow that message and give us positivity, maybe I and the many thousands of others who have deserted you will come back.

Respectfully yours.

Dougie Brimson

 

Thanks to everyone for what’s going on book wise at the moment but for those who don’t know, I’m currently dominating the football book download charts of both Amazon and iTunes with books at #1 on both free and paid charts. On top of that, of the top 36 soccer books on iTunes, 8 are my titles.

However you look at it and whatever I’m doing, it’s working!

Thanks folks.