Monday, November 21, 2011

Just sayin'

GRAVEN IMAGE is now available to buy as an ebook from Goodreads, so you can get it for Kobo, Nook and the other readers as well as the Kindle. These ebook readers are pretty crazy, aren't they? But sexy.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Bastard Hand

I don't think I've ever read a book like The Bastard Hand by Heath Lowrance. It has all the attitude and boundary-pushing of classic pulp and a big shitload of weird to boot. In short, it has all the stuff I love to read. But having the correct ingredients does not necessarily a great cake make, mate. However, in this case it does.

The Bastard Hand is a very great cake indeed.

I won't jack around trying to summarise the plot (because you can get it via the link above - and buy it while you're there), all you need to know is that there is madness here. There is also degeneracy, betrayal, evil and trying to resist evil, religion, carnality and guns. It might just be me, but some of it didn't make 100% sense. But do you know what? Those bits are the best. A book doesn't need to make 100% sense, and in fact should try not to. That sliver of mystery, carefully marshalled, can turn a functional page-turner into something you obsess over while reading. The other thing The Bastard Hand contains a lot of is alcohol. I love books with drunkenness in them, and Lowrance does that well. Anyone would think he has been drunk before.

Knocking around books and publishing for a few years, you start to get a feel for what publishers want (ie, what they think readers will buy). Most of the time, this kind of book is not it. The original, the don't-give-a-fuck, the beautifully crafted and in places visionary - it all gets cast aside in favour of the bland shite that fills our bookshops these days. But, Jesus Christ, do we ever need this. We need a whole fucking movement of this kind of stuff, Heath Lowrance pushed up to the vanguard and roaring on the troops. (OK with you, Heath?)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Aggro Blakey

Please ignore Royston Blake's aggressive sales technique. He will not really escape from Mangel and track you down. When push comes to shove, I think we all know that escaping from Mangel is beyond him. And so is effective, considerate promotion of the books he calls his own. So, you are welcome to peruse his chronicles and procure one or two if you wish, but there is no implied threat of violence if you don't. I can't confirm that he won't get Nathan the barman to perform some kind of magic ritual against you, though.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Guest blog: Royston Blake

Dear bastards,

It has come to my wossname that not enough of you is buying my books, either in the non-Mangel parts of Britain or in America, which is famous for being where Rocky comes from. And that can only mean one thing, far as my thinking goes: you ain't got enough love for old Blakey.

Now, there's two things I can do here. Number one, I can try and make meself more popular. In my experience, the one surefire way to get your arse right to the top of the popular tree is to get a job as a doorman. Failing that, bouncer. There's some cunts who don't like members of the dooring and bouncing communities, but that's because they'm jealous. Or they had their arses kicked out of a couple of places and they got a grudge against the brethren. But them sort is worth shite and ain't even worthy of being used to wipe my arse with. What counts is the decent folks out there - the birds who like to feel my biceps and the fellers who crash us fags and don't cause too much trouble, unless it's out on the street where I can have a laugh. And I'm figuring you're in that camp, and that you'll respond by shelling out for a couple of my books if I don the doorman regalia once again. So that's one way we could go.

The other way, I come out into the world beyond Mangel and crack some fucking Outsider swedes.

Up to you.

Your mate,


Wednesday, November 09, 2011


Got lasagne in the oven, beer in the fridge, books to read and films to watch. And hey, I got a couple of things for you too!

Have you read ONE DEAD HEN, Royston Blake's latest fouth-mouthed hurrah? No? Well you can check out a big sample of it FOR FREE to see if you like it or not. I just had a quick look myself and found it too sweary for my tastes. Really, why do these writers have to swear so much? Do they think they are impressing someone?

Goodie number two is this guest blog of mine on Heath Lowrance's PSYCHO NOIR blog. Is there a better-named blog in the blogosphere? If I owned a bar it would be called Psycho Noir. If I had a school I would call it Psycho Noir.

Looking back, I can see that these two goodies don't really stack up next to beer and lasagne. But hey, the beer is only Tetleys, which is very far from being a favourite of mine. And I'm probably going to burn the lasagne. All in all we're pretty even.

Many thanks to Heath for inviting me to do the guest post, and putting the idea of Psycho Noir Elementary School into my head.