The Motel Whore & Other Stories; Guns, Drugs and Dogs – Paperbacks!

There’s a stigma around self-publishing. All writers are aware of it.

Really though, it’s no different from a musician pressing their own CD’s and selling them outside the shows.

The stigma, though, comes from the ease with which anyone can upload any old hastily written and shoddily edited ‘work’ and publish it via Amazon KDP, or whichever means of self-publication they might choose.

Two years ago, I set myself the task of releasing six novellas over the course of 2015 via KDP. The first three, The Motel Whore, The Vampire, and The Boy, are a loosely connected trilogy set in the same unnamed American town and featuring recurring characters. The latter three are all standalone works – The Mess, The Pitbull, and Three. These stories contain hitmen, heavies, and dog-fights.

I studied self-publishing for about a year before I committed to going ahead with it. I studied formatting and fonts. I read each of these six works at least ten times apiece until I stopped making changes and edits to them – and you know what? There’s probably, most likely, still a couple of overlooked mistakes in there.

The thing is, I wrote those stories and I wanted to get them out. I’ve never taken drugs, but I imagine writing is like an addiction. You grow restless, you get an itch inside your skull – you need to get stuff DONE. You want the world and you want it now. It’s about legacy, about building up a body of work you can be proud of and leaving it behind.

But you’ll never be proud of it. You’ll never be done.

The goal with these six was always to put them into print. Originally I figured I’d have to do it with Createspace, to set up a new account and get to it via them, but the time got away and then one day I’m on my KDP account and KDP are finally offering a paperback service. The time had come.

Now here they are! The Motel Whore & Other Stories features the three of the trilogy, along with two previously unpublished pieces called The Shoot and The Painter. The Shoot is based on an article I read in Bizarre magazine years ago about a photographer who would take pornographic shots of junkies while they shot up. The inspiration for The Painter came from a story I read about Marilyn Manson, how he would pay his drug dealers with oil paintings of his own creation.

Anyway, links for the paperbacks are below:

The Motel Whore & Other Stories:

Guns, Drugs, and Dogs:

Will I self-publish again? Probably not, but never say never.

The stories in their original form will remain available on Kindle, each for the super low price of 99p/99c, whilst the compilations are paperback only.

So as it stands, my body of work now consists of these six Kindle novellas, their paperback compilations, forty-three short stories, An Eye For An Eye published by Near To The Knuckle, and Fatboy which is due from All Due Respect on May 1st.



Brit Grit Alley

I had a guest column published today at Brit Grit Alley, over at Out Of The Gutter Online, link’s below if you wanna check it out:

It was something I was very excited to do when Paul Brazill contacted asking if I wanted to. I’ve always read the Brit Grit Alley. Back when I was first getting started, looking to make some kind of impact in writing, I’d wonder if the day would come I’d ever get the opportunity of my own to do a guest column, and here it is. I’m pleased to say that this is another goal accomplished.

The article is basically a brief history of my writing career to date, as well as what inspires me and what motivates me to keep going. Check it out, and I hope you enjoy it!



Reading List 2016

2016 was the first time I kept track of what I read throughout the year. I’m a fairly slow reader, but I think I got through a respectable amount. I intend to actually read less in 2017, for the simple reason that I intent to WRITE more. Already on my breaks at work, which was when I used to do most of my reading, I’ve taken to jotting in my notebook – a combination of ideas and short stories. My goal, and it’s the most important goal, is always writing. There’s a lot of great books I own and want to read, I’m desperate to read them, but I’ll just have to try and squeeze them in when and if I can. As an alternative, I plan to read a lot more short stories this year – Raymond Carver, Amy Hempel, John Cheever, Chekhov – so I’m quite excited about that.

Anyway, without any further ado, here’s the list of books, kid’s books, biographies and comics I read in 2016, in chronological order:

  1. The Demon – Hubert Selby Jr
  2. Wrestling’s 101 Strangest Matches – Oliver Hurley
  3. A Brief History of Seven Killings – Marlon James
  4. Red Riding: 1974 – David Peace
  5. Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said – Philip K Dick
  6. The Digger’s Game – George V Higgins
  7. The Knockout Artist – Harry Crews
  8. Sarah – JT Leroy
  9. Fantastic Mr Fox – Roald Dahl
  10. Two For Texas – James Lee Burke
  11. The Gunslinger – Stephen King
  12. The Walking Dead vol 15 – Robert Kirkman
  13. As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner
  14. The Hilliker Curse – James Ellroy
  15. Music For Chameleons – Truman Capote
  16. James And The Giant Peach – Roald Dahl
  17. The Devil All The Time – Donald Ray Pollock
  18. Ridgerunner – Rusty Barnes
  19. Y: The Last Man Compendium Book One – Brian K Vaughan
  20. Y: The Last Man Compendium Book Two – Brian K Vaughan
  21. Almost Transparent Blue – Ryu Murakami
  22. The Cartel – Don Winslow
  23. Savage Season – Joe R Lansdale
  24. Child Of God – Cormac McCarthy
  25. Saga Book 6 – Brian K Vaughan
  26. Miracleman: The Golden Age – Neil Gaiman
  27. The Autobiography Of Malcolm X – Malcolm X
  28. Hell’s Angels – Hunter S Thompson
  29. Bright Lights, Big City – Jay McInerney
  30. Philosophy In The Boudoir – Marquis De Sade
  31. Ghost Story – Peter Straub
  32. The Bandido Massacre – Peter Edwards
  33. A Spy In The House Of Love – Anais Nin

Currently in progress and making the transition into 2017 are Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens, and The Secret History Of Twin Peaks – Mark Frost.

Like I said, I’m a slow reader, but it’s certainly been a case of quality over quantity. The list doesn’t include any of my own stuff that I’ve read/proof-read, nor the numerous short stories I’ve read in a variety of websites and magazines.

To appease any further curiosity anyone may have, the standouts of the year were The Devil All The Time by Donald Ray Pollock, The Knockout Artist by Harry Crews, As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, and A Brief History Of Seven Killings by Marlon James. By virtue of comics being a quicker and easier read, it looks like Brian K Vaughan has been my most read writer, with both Y: The Last Man and Saga (I fucking love Saga, and if you haven’t checked it out you really should).

As for the best?


The Cartel, by Don Winslow. I read it in early summer, I’m still thinking about it now. It kept me up loooong into the night. I was reading it when I should have been writing. Perhaps it’s just because I read it more recently, but I think it was even better than its predecessor, The Power Of The Dog.

Anyway, that was my reading year. Now, back to the writing.



Year In Review 2016

It feels strange to write a year in review for 2016. I haven’t written many blogs this year, I think one of the few I did do was the year in review for 2015. I won’t claim I’ll try and blog more in 2015 because I know I won’t. I kept busy over the last twelve months, and I intend to keep as busy, or hopefully busier, in the twelve to come.

So. What have I been up to?

Well, writing-wise, and I’m only ever here to talk about writing, I’d say it’s been my best year yet. I had more short stories published in 2016 than ever before in some great publications, some new and some established – Crime Syndicate, Spelk, Near to the Knuckle etc.

Speaking of Near to the Knuckle, here’s the biggest news. My novella An Eye For An Eye, the first novella I haven’t published myself, was released by Near To The Knuckle as part of their Knuckle Cracking Novellas range.

For 2017, I intend to stay as busy. Hopefully I’ll find success with it, I’ve been pretty fortunate so far! My novel Fatboy will be released by renowned American publisher All Due Respect round May time so that’s something to look forward to, but there’s plenty to be getting on with in the meantime.

Back to work I get, these stories aren’t gonna write themselves, and I’ve got a lot planned. As Bob Dylan said, ‘I got a head full of ideas that are driving me insane’.



An Eye For An Eye Theme

Since the publication of An Eye For An Eye, every time I’ve thought of the title there’s been this guttural, growling voice at the back of my head shouting it back at me. Then I remembered – the song!

In my metalhead youth, I used to listen to Soulfly a HELL of a lot. Max Cavalera’s project after departing the seminal Sepultura, they were one of my favourite bands. Obviously, with ‘Eye For An Eye’ the song stuck in my head, I’ve been listening to it a lot again recently. It’s a part of me now, it’s stuck in there for the foreseeable. There are worse songs out there, so I don’t mind.

I hear this now, and it’s the soundtrack to the movie playing in my head, Graeme Taylor and ‘Tracksuit’ Tony Gordon tearing up the streets of Newcastle in their car, on the hunt for the hapless Daniel Moore. Yup, it’s a loud, aggressive, frenetic visual, much like the story itself!

If you haven’t already, please click the link below and, if it’s within your price range and you’re in possession of a Kindle or, like myself, a Kindle app, check it out. I won’t guarantee you’ll like it because chances are I don’t know you and I don’t know your tastes, but if you like tales that are fast-paced, violent, and full of swears (because swearing is cool, amiright??), then chances are pretty good you’ll find something to enjoy! And if my hard sell here has persuaded you, please spare me a little extra of your time and be sure to leave a review!