Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Royston Blake on the royal pregnancy

I heard the Queen is pregnant, or summat, and she's off work for a bit cos of puking up in the morning. Personally I ain't buying that. I had a few high-up positions in major companies in my time - including being head doorman of Hoppers and head of summat at the Wossname Centre - and if there's one thing you learns to do when folks is ringing up sick in the morning it's this: check what day it is. If it's a Wednesday or a Thursday or summat, fair play, they might actually be a bit ill. But if it's a Monday, which is the case here with the Queen and her sicknote, they'm lying. No one gets proper sick at weekends - every fucker knows that. What has happened is they have gone out on the razz. Maybe on the Saturday, and got so caned they can't even face the world two mornings later. Maybe on the Sunday, which I personally don't agree with. Sundays was declared in the Bible as the national day of rest, out of respect for door staff and other folks who works in piss houses right up until the early hours of that day. So it seems to me the Queen has been raiding the drinks cabinet at Buckingham Castle. Or maybe she went down the Prince of Wales, which is a pub on the Barkettle Road owned by her son, Prince Charles, rumour has it. Mind you, I ain't sure I believes that rumour. I mean, if he did own it, why didn't they name it after him instead of some cunt from Wales?

Friday, November 16, 2012

New Mangel and FREE Graven

Loyal followers of Royston Blake will be relieved when March 2013 comes. That is when the big guy comes back into our lives, via the fifth Mangel book MADE OF STONE. To whet your appetites, here is the cover:

That insect is the Hurk Moth, a new species they discovered in the wooded area north of Mangel. This moth explains a few things about the way people behave around there... but you'll have to read the book to find out how. And it's not just about moths - there's a lot of other insane shit too that all seems to hang together in the usual Royston Blake kind of way. I'll say more about the background to this book nearer the time, but if you happened to be reading this blog last year and caught some of an episodic story that was playing out in real-time on these pages, you will recognise some of the early parts - the novel came from that. And I'm glad it did. Check it out (and maybe pre-order) here in the UK and here in the US.

Kindle owners who have not read my novella GRAVEN IMAGE should check out Amazon (UK, US) for the next couple of days - it will be going FOR FREE for a limited period. Do it! It's about Leon, a brothel bouncer with problems. I don't know why I keep writing about bouncers. In the pissed-up, amplified social world that a lot of us live in, they are the gatekeepers.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Royston Blake says "God Bless America"

I heard they got a new prime minister in America. Personally I liked the old one, Arnold Scharzenegger. At his best he were like the biggest bastard of a headmaster you ever got caned by, except with a shotgun instead of a cane. Also he had that arm with robot shite under it, which he could pull the skin off whenever he wants to shite people up. I heard he had a special operation to have all that put in, and it's seizing up now with rust and that's why they had to get the new prime minister, played by Apollo Creed out of Rocky I, II, III and IIII (until he gets wasted by Ivan Drago). I like the bit at the end where Rambo goes "If I can change, and you can change, every fucker can change. Maybe even Fat Sandra down the arcade, who still reckons I'm banned even though I ain't tried going in there in three years." As everyone knows, that film is all about communists and the Iron Beef Curtain. So here's to hoping Barracks Wossname can finally end all that and bring a new kind of curtain to them Soviets. One made of velvet, or summat. Or just a nice Venusian blind.

Your mate,


Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Royston Blake here, letting you know that they have turned my book Deadfolk into an audiobook. Fuck knows what one of them is, but the Writer reckons it's true so I gotta tell you it. If he's spinning me a line of shite I'll twock him, I swear.

They'm also doing the other books I done, and you can see em here if you're a Yank or here if you're from Mangel. Watch out mind cos they got a photo of the Writer on them pages and he ain't half so handsome as meself. As everyone knows, I'm the fucking spit of Clint Eastwood but with the body of Ivan Drago.

 By the way, it ain't me reading the stories out. It's a feller name of James Clamp. I think he's from East Bloater.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Blake is Back

After months of very subtly hinting at it I can now officially announce that my next book will be MADE OF STONE - fifth in the Mangel "trilogy". I set out to write original fiction, and a five-piece trilogy (and counting) is nothing if not that... maybe. More details about the story etc in good time, but right now all that Royston Blake supporters need  know is that the publication date is March 19th, and you can pre-order it here (UK) and here (US).

So yes, Blake is back... and I can assure you that he is not toned down in any way.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Royston Blake on the Olympics

Been watching them Olympics on the telly. What's all this about the hammer throw? That ain't a fucking hammer. Try pinging a nail in with that and you'll put your fucking skull through. Also had a gander at the runners doing the 100 yards. I swear, over 40 yard I could murder them cunts one and all. But 100 is way too much. I ain't built for long distances.

Nah, the one I'm waiting for is the Paralympics. Neil Coates from school were in the Paras, and he telled us afterwards that the training is the hardest a man can do. They had strong fellers chucking their guts on the roadside out of pure pain, and one or two even carking it from sheer knackeredness. So you can't blame Neil for deserting - he'd have been dead after a few weeks of that, what with him being a streak of piss and a bit ginger. Paras is the hardest regiment in the world, and it stands to reason they gave em a special Olympics just for them.

Can't fucking wait for it.

Your mate,


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sometimes a bad review beats a good review...

...especially when you just know you've really, really pissed someone off.

Friday, June 22, 2012


My website is knackered at the moment. I pointed it here to this blog for the time being (which is also a bit knackered). If for some strange reason you are looking for the kind of stuff you might find on, let me know and I will help you out. Maybe you're writing a big article about me for Time Magazine or something.

A while back I wrote one chapter of a multi-author story for the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival. Other authors include Stuart MacBride, Zoe Sharp, Martyn Waites, Dreda Say Mitchell and Allan Guthrie. It is called Specific Gravity, is totally whacked out and is available for free online. Check it.

Erm... I know you're sick of hearing it but some big news will be coming soon. Honestly, if I reveal it now I will be assassinated by secret government agents. But it is about Royston Blake. And it may or may not be about another book.

If you don't hear from me again, those agents have got to me.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sprechen sie Mangel?

For some reason Deadfolk for Kindle is riding quite high in the German Amazon charts. Maybe it's because it is going for less than a Euro? Maybe it's because the Euro is in trouble and they are trying to convert them all into Deadfolks? Soon Deadfolk will be declared the new Europe-wide currency. They will be talking about throwing Greece out of the Deadfolk. And the Deadfolk-vision Song Contest. Englenbert would win that.

Also some exciting Mangel news coming soon. I mean it this time. (Cough)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Madness and delusion

How's it going? Noticed a recent reader review of GRAVEN IMAGE on The reader, Bordeaux Dogue*, gives it a scant two stars but then says "the whole thing is an exercise in madness and delusion". But that's good, right? Delusion and madness are my bag, and if you shy away from that, shy away from my books. To everyone else, embrace the madness! And delusion. And bad language.

In other news, there is no news. I am waiting on some news but it is not here yet, so there is silence. When I have the news, I will tell the world. Or maybe it will never come, and I will spend the rest of my life waiting for it.

* An extinct breed of dog, if I recall from the encyclopaedia of dog breeds I was unaccountably obsessed with as a kid. Although I'm sure it was "Dogue de Bordeaux".

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

True Brit Grit

Please check out True Brit Grit, which is an anthology of British, grittish short stories by some of the writing peeps I love to read. Also one by me called FIVE BAGS OF BILLY, which is set in a kind of Mangelish place.

Proceeds will go to two worthy charities - Children 1st and Francesca Bimpson Foundation. This last one I hadn't heard of, and provides support for victims of serious crime and in memory of a tragically young and innocent victim.

If you're happy to help a couple of good causes - and prepared to get rocked by forty-five tales of mishap and misadventure in old Blighty - check out True Brit Grit in the UK or US.

Congrats and kudos to Paul Brazill and Luca Veste for editing it.

Monday, April 23, 2012

"I did not like the plot or the wording"

Whoops, looks like I spoke too soon on the good news around the corner thing. But only a bit too soon. The good news is still on cards, just ain't set in concrete yet. When the concrete has set, and I have chucked him in the river, I'll tell you all about it. And yes, it involves Royston Blake.

On that subject, a reader called Dennis has posted this wonderful review of Deadfolk on Amazon. I reproduce it here in its entirety:

"This is one novel that I wish I had not purchased. I did not even bother to finish it! I did not like the plot or the wording" 
Soz about that wording, Dennis. But hey, thanks for the custom. Meanwhile, @chrislirvin has a different take at his HouseLeague Fiction blog
"You get to know Blake’s routine (food, bar, alcohol, women, doorman, walking, driving the Capri,etc) as he wanders from one mess to the next in such haphazard fashion that I had no idea where the story was heading – other than a bad place. Blake’s rough and mundane life is slow but rife with excellent bits of character. And just when the ‘everyday’ parts suck you in, Williams’ minimalist violence sparks and jabs you in the side with a shot of adrenaline. It is executed very well and kept me turning the pages." 
Nice one Chris! And Dennis too, because I don't bear grudges. Hope you like concrete.

More soon. Hopefully...

Monday, April 09, 2012

I swear the moon turned a fire red

Hey all. This place is going through one of its periodic quiet patches. Things are pretty busy in the Williams compound right now and missives will be sparse for a while (what's new?) but you should check back here in a few days - I may well have an important announcement to make. You want to know what kind of important announcement it will be? OK, here's a clue: Royston Blake.

Mysterious, eh? I wonder what it could mean?

Come back here in a week or so to find out.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

99 problems but a book ain't one

Several days too late, here are my real thoughts on the Radio 4 "midlist author" thing and why it is hard to keep publishers interested in an author who has not "broken out". Maybe I should have said these at the time but they just didn't occur to me. I've had other stuff on my mind of late and wasn't able to donate much headspace to the business of publishing.
  1. High Street bookshops are mostly full of shite.
  2. Mainstream publishers are responsible for that shite.
  3. Mainstream publishers publish the shite because it sells.
  4. The shite sells because it is what the book-buying public is offered and encouraged to read.
  5. The above fills me with despair.
  6. Rather than be filled with despair I wrote a bunch of books that are the kind of thing I would like to read.
  7. I reckon there are others who like to read this stuff too. In fact, I know there are. They told me.
  8. But perhaps there aren't very many of them.
  9. There are also people out there who really, really do not dig my books.
  10. Maybe it's because they don't like the truth.
  11. Whatever, I don't care. As long as #7 is the case then I will fight to keep on getting my books published.
  12. I don't want to self-publish because I recognise the expertise and talents of publishers. I'm good at the writing, they're good at the publishing. Farmers grow wheat, bakers bake bread.
  13. As a writer I have no awareness of "mainstream". I write what I write and all that concerns me is whether it is good or not.
  14. Nor do I care about genre.
  15. Genre and mainstream are very important words in the book trade.
  16. This may explain why there are not very many of #7 above.
  17. For books like mine, word of mouth is vital.
  18. I have no mouth and I must scream.
  19. The above statement is untrue - I just couldn't resist saying it. It is the title of a short story by Harlan Ellison.
  20. Can you find Harlan Ellison in high street bookshops? Can you fuck.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Stuff going down

Went to the Cardiff Read book club last night as a guest - they were doing my Royston Blake adventure ONE DEAD HEN. Can't say it was an entirely relaxing experience but definitely not something I would have missed. As usual with my stuff, opinions were divided. Some love, some don't love. Trouble is, I can rarely learn anything from the don't-lovers. You either get it or you don't. To alter this kind of material in a bid to get more readers would be to dilute - fuck that. But a big thanks to Cardiff for being so welcoming. And Steve Dimmick for getting me down there.

I was on Radio 4 on Sunday doing a little guest bit on Open Book. Up for discussion was the difficulties authors have these days in staying published, especially when they have "not broken out". Hey, "not broken out" is my middle name, so I was right in there. It is airing again tomorrow (Thursday 15th) at 15.30, so you can catch it then. Or just use the iplayer thing (which may not work if you are in foreign parts). Thanks go to Mariella Frostrup for the nicely voiced questions, Matt Thorne and Alexandra Pringle for the discussion and Andrea Kidd for setting it up.

Also did an interview for Tammy Gooding's show on BBC Hereford & Worcester. Not sure when it will be aired, but listen out for me if you listen to her. She asks some good questions and I give answers that are so lucid they will actually change your life.

Do you fancy learning how to write? If so, consider an Arvon course. The one at the Hurst in Shopshire starting 28th May, for instance. Hey, that's the one I'm guest authoring at! Blimey, what a coincidence. See you there if you are into it. Romesh Gunesekera and Kate Pullinger will be doing the actual honours, I will just be... I dunno, doing the dishonours? Making a fleeting appearance, let's just say.

Not that I want to give you the impression that I am busy and out and about all the time. Other than these things here, I spend all my time in a dark cave, sitting in the corner, listening to 80s pop on a Sony Walkman.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

King of the deals

Hey, KING OF THE ROAD (book #3 in the Mangel series) for Kindle is going for $1.99 in the US right now, so you should go and check that out. This is the one that the Dublin Evening Herald described as a "heady literary mix between Straw Dogs and Pulp Fiction".

Is that it? Hardly any bloggings for weeks on end and then this, a hastily typed plug for my own book? More soon, I promise. Sort of.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Whistlin' Dixie

Long time no blog. How ya doin'? I'm doin' gud. Why I talkin' like dis? I dunno. It's like I got sum crazy redneck kinda way o' speakin' in mah head. Maybe from reading this great review of ONE DEAD HEN on Amazon US:

"The problem I had with it is that it's written in some type of Southern dialect. To be honest, I had trouble understanding what the character was saying. I know. There are some Southerners who may talk like that. I just don't know any, and I was born and raised in the South. Even though I've traveled quite a bit, and I have a college degree from a fine Northern institution, I still have my accent. I just don't talk like that, and like I said, I don't know anyone else who does."
Dammit, and there was me thinking I wrote the great American novel.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

No more presents in the sack

Well over 1000 Kindlers took the opportunity to download GRAVEN IMAGE for free. If it's about getting the work out there, it was a success. What would be good now is if as many as possible of those Kindlers did a little review of the novella on Amazon, or posted about it somewhere if they liked it. Obviously they'd have to read it to do that, and downloading ain't the same as reading. Either way, I'm pretty chuffed that so many of you took up the offer. I'm proud of the work.

Anyone who missed it, it's not free any more but it's only a few pence/cents.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Happy New Kindle

I mean New Year. But if you have a Kindle, here I am reminding you that you have until Jan 3rd to download my bitter (but funny in places) little pill GRAVEN IMAGE for the sum total of Jack Shit (£0.00/$0.00). Check out Josh Stallings' 5-star review on Amazon, then get it here in the UK, here in the US. You won't regret it. OK, if you regret it, you won't be out of pocket.