• 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!


  • Whoring myself out to publishers…

    The wonderful thing about being a writer is the joy you get from putting your heart and soul into a piece of work, spending hours, days, weeks, years poring over it, making it as amazing as possible, as perfect as possible, getting it polished and ready to hand out to the world and then giving … Continue reading Whoring myself out to publishers…

  • A few things…

    There are now less than seven weeks to go until The Book and the Blade is released into the wild so I thought I’d write a little post in order to give some updates. – pre-orders for the ebook are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Booktopia, Kobo and more – pre-orders for hardback and … Continue reading A few things…

  • Premature ejaculation

    Premature Adjective Occurring or done before the usual or proper time; too early. Ejaculation Noun Something said quickly and suddenly. I’ve had a habit of this my whole life (stop giggling and get your mind out of the gutter. We’re using the Queen’s English here). What I mean is, I regularly do or say something … Continue reading Premature ejaculation

  • In Terms of Terms This is it!

    MY BOOK COMES OUT THIS TERM! As a teacher by day (and a barely functioning man-child by night) much of my life is controlled by bells, schedules and timetables. Even now, during the school holidays, I have a Pavlovian response to sniff out the nearest coffee at 8:15, 10:55 and 3:01, but it’s not just … Continue reading In Terms of Terms This is it!

  • How’s the writing going?

    I get asked this a lot. It’s nice. It’s also a wee bit depressing when the answer is, has been, and will probably continue to be… it isn’t. I have a “work in progress” but instead of my usual all-consuming attacking the keyboard like a starving dog going at a bag of hot chips I’m … Continue reading How’s the writing going?

  • Meet me at the horse’s arse – inspiration

    “Where do you get your ideas from?” This is a question that crops up a lot when people find out I write silly little books. And when they actually read those books and realise just how bloody silly they are the question takes on a whole new inflection. No longer simply curious, more… concerned. “So, … Continue reading Meet me at the horse’s arse – inspiration

  • Smile like you mean it

    I’m broke, but I’m happy. I’m poor, but I’m kind. I’m not short, but I’m not particularly healthy either. For a few weeks now I’ve been living on a prayer and trying my hardest to keep the faith as I am not ready to go down in a blaze of glory just yet. I ain’t … Continue reading Smile like you mean it

  • [engaging headline to encourage people to read]

    I’ve always been fascinated by regression… going back to those things we find comfort in particularly when times are hard. There’s a psychological basis for it I’m sure but I won’t pretend to know what I’m talking about there. For me, it’s as simple as comfort food, comfort tv and comfort books. Last week I … Continue reading [engaging headline to encourage people to read]

  • All Hail Emperor Bezos and Bow Down Before the Amazon Overlords!

    There is no getting around it. Very soon I will have to get on my knees like everyone else in the world and beg for scraps at the feet of Emperor Bezos. As much as I would love The Book and the Blade to be 100% indie… only available in small shops with quirky cafes … Continue reading All Hail Emperor Bezos and Bow Down Before the Amazon Overlords!