Journal

  • Rock Zombie (or One Night in Redcar with the Dead)

    This is the story that happens when you think sod it, let’s write the daftest thing we can think of and tie it in to all our teenage memories. Rock Zombie is a novel about a young lad drinking at the Beach Park on Redcar seafront… he dies… he comes back as a ghost… but his body also reanimates as a zombie. The spirit of Robbie Neville then spends the rest of the night trying to stop his body from eating everyone and causing a zombie outbreak in the streets, pubs and clubs of the author’s hometown. Cast your mind back to your first real night out (in the 90s no less) – only instead of navigating the social labyrinth of short skirts, Kickers shoes and tracksuit-clad scallies, you’re dealing with an unstoppable wave of the walking dead.

    Okay, I guess they are kind of the same thing.

    The mock-up Rock Zombie cover… which probably isn’t the cover… because I just made it myself on my PC.

    Rock Zombie was probably the most fun I have had writing a book. Many of my stories are littered with subtle (and not so subtle) references to pop culture and music but this one wears them all on its ragged, teeth-marked sleeve. In fact, there are so many references I had to do a number of edits because it simply wasn’t possible to get copyright permission to use all the song lyrics. Each chapter of Rock Zombie is the title of a classic tune from the 90s (here’s the playlist). Robbie Neville is, after all, a wannabe rock star who models his look on those of a certain well-known grunge icon. In fact, when we meet him, he is riding the wave of his new-found, small-town celebrity status after appearing on ITV’s Stars in Their Eyes.

    Tonight, Matthew. I’m going to be… Kurt Cobain!

    For those of you who aren’t British or have no memory of the 90s, Stars in Their Eyes was like the pre-cursor to Britain’s Got Talent, Ex-Factor and The Voice. It was basically a karaoke dress-up show where people splashed on a bit of make-up, revealed themselves via a smoky stage, and sang one song… before returning to their lives never to be seen again.

    But it’s amazing what a person can get away with when they’ve been on TV… even in the 90s… even if they’re now a zombie.

    So, yeah. This daft little book found a publisher and is due for release pretty soon. I figured I’d write this short post as an introduction because the honest truth is, I don’t really know what is happening. I received an email before Christmas saying the date was set for the end of January but as I haven’t read anything, seen anything, or signed anything I’m not entirely sure what is going on. In my short experience though I can say that the publishing world is full of these little foibles and so I’m just going to wait and see. Hell, if it doesn’t happen I’ll try again and if it still doesn’t happen there’s always the Reindeer Games route of self-publishing. But with only a few weeks to go I figured I should at least try something in the way of advertising.

    So watch this space… there’s rock zombies in it!

    (maybe)


  • I have news!

    What a crazy end to the year it has been! My first novel, THE BOOK AND THE BLADE, was originally slated for release in September of this year but of course that didn’t happen for a myriad of reasons. The new publication date is the 28th February, 2023, which bizarrely means my “debut” novel will … Continue reading I have news!

  • Reindeer Games is published!

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I cocked up big time and my little novella was released into the wild well before I realised what was going on, but here we are… a published novella. Albeit, a published novella about Santa’s reindeer getting murdered but still, I did a thing! Here it is… I had to … Continue reading Reindeer Games is published!

  • Almost there…

    For anyone keeping track, Reindeer Games has just been uploaded for publication on Amazon. This is where we currently stand… I’ve added it for the lowest price I can across all markets but I’ve also enrolled the silly bloody thing in Kindle Select, which means it is exclusive to Amazon. More importantly, this means I … Continue reading Almost there…

  • Reindeer Games

    Nothing says Happy Christmas quite like a novella about Santa’s reindeers being brutally murdered, right? Well, if that’s in anyway up your street then have I got the story for you… maybe? Reindeer Games will be published a few days before Christmas this year. Honest truth, I got a little bored of waiting for my … Continue reading Reindeer Games

  • Live in the now!

    A nice little cliché headline there for a long overdue post, but I get to quote Garth Algar, and also, I stand by it. So much could go wrong, it could all fall down around my ears and I may never see my books in print… but… and this is a big but… in fact, … Continue reading Live in the now!

  • Ideas count as productivity, right?

    The above tweet is not only a shining example of the kind of dazzlingly witty offering I make over on that strange platform but a fair indication of my state of mind. I am trying to write, but my brain is like a sack of cats floating along a river… some ideas are treading water, … Continue reading Ideas count as productivity, right?

  • The unprofessional professional

    Let’s be honest, I’m not particularly good at this whole ‘professional author’ gig. The truth is, I’m not entirely sure I am one anyway, and I certainly won’t feel like I’m cresting that little hill until I hold my book in my hands. As I write this, my debut novel should have been out for … Continue reading The unprofessional professional

  • Flibbertygibbets and jiggerypokery

    A lot has happened in a short space of time so I thought I’d write a little post to let everyone know what the flibbertygibbets is going on. – The Book and the Blade has a new release date – February 28th, 2023. I’ve known for quite a while that this was going to happen … Continue reading Flibbertygibbets and jiggerypokery

  • A creature of habit or a writer of little imagination

    Proper authors get asked questions like “what is your writing routine?” or “how do you fit writing into your day?” or “how do you get motived?” As an imposter I thought it would be interesting to explore my own routine a little (such as it is). It’s nothing fancy… I have long periods of doing … Continue reading A creature of habit or a writer of little imagination