Book Update No. 16


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Remember this? If you can’t, please allow me to bring you up to speed: almost exactly one year ago, following on from an intense yet successful Kickstarter campaign, Amateur of Life and Death was released into the world via my very own little publishing wing, Ward 10 Books. Twenty brilliant artists from disparate disciplines and locations all contributed two illustrations, it was beautifully designed by Ursula McLaughlin and it became a hardback as we raised £1000 more than I had originally pitched for. It sold quite a few copies to begin with, but then came the inevitable slowdown and the impenetrable wall of the big stores was never adequately scaled. This upset me at first, but it lead onto the alternative route I have adopted since April; live performance and the Broken Biscuits shows. Which I adore, but the book is still a very real thing, still available and I am immensely proud of it.

As we prepare to enter the season of goodwill, may I humbly suggest the above as an adequate token of affection for a loved one, a colleague, a pet, an accountant or anyone else who knows you. It is quite easy to wrap, has pictures if you don’t like the words, and it fits under most doors. Simply click on the link below and I will sign it & send it to whoever you wish. If the link doesn’t work, could you let me know in the comments please? I’m a bit shit at this stuff which is why I’m not rich.

I thank you x

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Brixton BookJam, London 07/03/16

Super scary, this one. I was up alongside some seriously amazing authors who know their onions considerably better than I do. And I got myself a proper Brixton heckler to boot!. Massive thanks to Zelda, Sheila & Sharon for letting me do my thing. Oh, and Final Cut Pro: I want a quiet word with you in the Green Room x

Book Update No.5

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Some of you older readers may remember the significance of the above. Taken from the board game Escape From Colditz, the Do or Die card, if you were lucky enough to have one in your hand and reckless enough to use it, gave you an all or nothing bid for freedom. If your dice held true, you could be out within seven rolls. If they did not, you were ‘eliminated’ and removed from the game.

On Friday 17th July, I roll my first dice. Everything I have worked on for nearly four years hangs on the result. Everything. If enough funds are raised for Amateur of Life and Death, it could potentially change my life. If they are not, it’s back to the grindstone. Last night I had a dream (no, not one of those) which told me to run the campaign using the escape cards from the game as markers for the updates. Seven updates, one at the start and then every five days, thirty days in total. So that’s what I’ll do. Never question a dream, just do what it says.

For those of you don’t do the Farcebook/Twitter, there will be a launch party in Herne Hill, London SE24 on Friday 17th July from 7.30pm. There will be readings, played audio and video, a fancy banner, giveaway badges and postcards and, of course, some booze’n’grub. Everyone is welcome. If you fancy popping by, could you let me know as I’ve no idea how many to cater for as of yet. If the funds are raised, I’ll throw another one. Hell, why not?

Finally, and crucially, I’m going to ask a favour of you. If you like what you’ve been reading/listening to here, could you like and share all the posts that come through for the next five weeks? Makes all the difference and it gets the word out to people who don’t yet know. And God knows, I need every last one of you right now. Better still, if you could subscribe (that little button on the right of the main page that says Come on!), again it would be massively helpful.

My apologies for being pushy, but when you play the Do or Die card, there’s no turning back. Them’s the rules x

Kickstarter Promo for Amateur of Life and Death

This is the Kickstarter promo Donald Ross Skinner and I shot and edited in order to raise funds for ‘Amateur of Life and Death’. Life had not yet beaten us into a cocked hat, so there is a charming naive optimism to be seen here. I am happy to report that it was instrumental in raising more than the required amount, and you can still purchase it here in the sidebar for stupid money. Dig deep x

Book Update No.4


In an uncharacteristic break from black & white, I feel duty-bound to show you one of the pledge shirts that arrived just now. Yes, I look gormless and yes, it’s not quite in focus but you have my word, the quality is top drawer. Fairtrade organic cotton, beautifully reproduced and almost guaranteed to get you admiring looks from complete strangers. Almost…

Book Update No.3

Right. Three quotes in from the printers, time to do do some costings and make a film. Yes, a film. Apparently if you do a straight-to-camera pitch, people feel sorry for you and are more inclined to donate. Like on Facebook when they show you those wounded puppies with pleading eyes. So I’ll have a go at that then.

I didn’t really want to put up any of the artwork just yet, but these spreads are just too good not to give you a quick peak. Illustration here by the disgustingly talented DNA Factory, more to come when the campaign goes live. Looking like 17th July. There will be a launch party in SE London which everyone’s welcome to attend. Message me for cheap flights/hotels/personal peccadillo limitations etc… Or just to find out where it is.

Massive thanks to Ursula McLaughlin for getting these done x

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Book Update No.2


Just heard back from 3rd Rail clothing who are printing these up for me – Now shipping a bit late due to supply issues. They gave me the option to choose another brand but I’m sold on these babies, great quality, ethical etc… Like me, basically. So I’ll take the hit. Have also decided to use them as shameless bribes to make you pledge something for the book when the campaign goes live, so not for sale as such. More of a chicane.

On that subject & all being well, we’re aiming to kick off in the first week of July. It will run for 35 days, and there will be an escalating series of rewards (some of which are really special) depending on how much is pledged. I’m keeping the target as low as I can manage in the fervent hope that we meet it and the book can go into production. If it falls short, you all get your money back & I go into the Priory. If we go over, I’ll make it a hardback and/or print off more copies. That’s how it works. So forgive me if you start getting grovelling emails/requests to share posts/miscellaneous irritating intrusions into your lives. It won’t be for long and who knows? You might get a lovely shirt to polish the Chippendale with.

Book Update No.1

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Amateur of Life and Death updates will live here until the thing is finished. This will include stuff about crowdfunding, agents, publishers, the Beverley Hills apartment I am forced to write from and weekly stats as to how much everyone involved hates me (this will fluctuate). The production of a book is a raw, bloody process, a bit like giving birth to a porcupine. I fully intend to take you through the labour stages until I bring the mewling, puking little bastard into the world and someone gives me a hanky to cry into.