I’m delighted to have a story – ‘The Drop’ – in the newly published anthology of crime fiction from Run Amok Books – Jacked. There are some fantastic stories in here, from the funny to the deranged, the hard boiled to the strange. Vern Smith, a very fine writer indeed, has done a fantastic job […] Read More →
He made ratatouille – he liked it, liked saying it, ratatouille, it sounded matter of fact, you want veg, here’s your veg, a plate flung down like that first time he’d had it, Paris in the nineties, the second of two hot meals in seven days, a trip with a half-daft girl who didn’t leave the […] Read More →
I am standing at the front door, clapping the NHS workers. Last September, before such things became impossible, we took a journey, my dad and I. Up West. That directional point back to childhood. A boy with a purple body warmer and an obsession with football. A friend whose dad was a forester. Who came […] Read More →
I see him again. In the supermarket. Little pork pie man. Always that two-tone hat. But it’s not The Selecter or The Specials leaching out the phones. I hear rawwwk. Whitesnake, I’m sure. First time I saw him was outside a pub at 2 in the afternoon. Part of a drunken circle that’s holding back […] Read More →
American football. I love the game. This seems to trouble some people, as if I’m indulging something with almost deviant undertones, like dressage, say. The complexity and the finesse, the occult vocabulary of Cover 3, zone coverage, read option…, a multidimensional game of chess the cliché goes. That said, the game looked ridiculous when ‘The […] Read More →
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of chairing the Oxford launch of Rebecca Ley’s debut novel, Sweet Fruit, Sour Land at Blackwell’s Westgate store. A fellow writer at the wonderful Sandstone Press, Rebecca had just been shortlisted for the Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize. That’s quite an achievement considering 140 books were on […] Read More →
Screamin Skull Press is an indie publisher based in Winnipeg – and they publish some very fine writing. Here’s a review of one of my recent favourites, ‘Last Stop to Saskatoon’ by Tony Nesca. There’s always time to dance even as the volcano spills over the top and turns everything to stone your eyes on mine in […] Read More →
1986. Ahm Maradona. King of the two-a-side village derbies. Ah hear the crowd in my head. You should see the way ah dance through the defence, past daft Gassy, so wiry you could tie a string from his lugs to his toes and fire arrows at the seagulls (hair trigger mental too – hit his […] Read More →
Well the dust has settled on the Oxford launch for The Accidental Recluse, held at Blackwell’s fab new store in the Westgate. We left a trail of devastation; spilled wine, overturned chairs, the echoes of hollow laughter that followed my cheap gags, empty bookshelves, heckles from my three month-old son, utter confusion and no small […] Read More →
The Accidental Recluse is out today. And ahm pondering. See ahm lookin out an open window. Full of somesuch an 17 years old. A distillery landscape at dusk. Aw rain an incongruous industrial on the epic, sodden moor. Towers an steam an a smell never forgotten – pot ale. Drift. Driftin. Ma music too. Likely […] Read More →