Friday 30 May 2014


A Rather Exciting Week!

The Peoples Book Prize 2014 is over. It used to be known as the Beryl Bainbridge Award and is designed to help showcase undiscovered authors and give them a platform as well as recognition.

Crooked Cat, my publisher, entered Leap of Faith in the Children's catagory and I suspected it might be lost with the other 199 books nominated in the same catagory. To my amazement it made the last 36, and then last week I heard it had made the final 12 and I was invited to go the the award black tie dinner in a Guild Hall in London.

In all, Crooked had 6 finalists covering all the different catagories and it was great to actually meet authors I only known through emails and Facebook before. The food was excellent, the wine flowed and with interviews on camera and photoshoots completed the award ceremony got underway. 

One by one the finalists were asked to rise and receive the applause of the diners.... after all we were all winners, no matter what the result. Then the envelope was opened and the winner announced.

I didn't win the glittering prizes, but after the emails and messages of congratulations I received from colleagues, friends, family, bookshop owners, other authors and book readers, I felt like a major winner. My thanks therefore to everyone who helped me get where I did by supporting me in word and deed.

Today I went up to London again. This time for the annual lunch with my publisher and fellow authors. Once again we had a great time and I realise at the end of this week how lucky I am to have such a great publisher as Crooked Cat, as well as such a great literary agent as Caleb Mason.

Tonight I'm going out for a drink with some friends and I'll raise my glass to all of you!

You can buy Leap of Faith on Amazon at

or at most good bookshop

Blog on, Dudes!

Friday 2 May 2014

Being Over 65.

It's May and a few days ago I officially became what used to be called an Old Aged Pensioner. 

Now that I'm a Senior Citizen my  body must have atrophied and my brain turn to mush because:-

- whereas I was getting weekly calls from head hunters about reasonably high powered jobs, I'm lucky if I get a tentative offer for a temporary job in a school as a handyman.

- Whereas I used to get calls from banks and brokers asking me to invest my hard-earned income in their dodgy funds with overinflated interest promises, I now get them calling me trying to convert whatever money I have into an annuity which will give me peanuts each month. I'm not about to go out and buy a Lamborghini as an alternative with the little bit of capital I do have. The pension industry seems scared stiff that's what I'm going to do, meaning that single-handedly I could cause the collapse of that parasitic industry and cause many a fat cat to go on a diet!

- I'm told we should downsize the house... because it's getting too much for me at my age

I do not have arthritis, a dodgy heart, obesity, high cholesterol, dementia or high blood pressure. And "for my age" I'm remarkably fit... something that's said often with a look of disappointment on people's faces.

- Today alone I had 7 letters because of my age:

     * One from the NHS offering me a free NHS healthcheck
     * Two from life insurance companies sending me P60s and showing just how little they're actually paying me per month.
     * Two from BT showing how much I owe them and telling me not to worry.... because they'll take all my money in a week's time!
     * Pretty much the same letter from the Gas & Electricity companies, both of who are unilaterally putting up my monthly Direct Debit because they reckon I'm not paying enough at my age. Again.... I'm not to worry, because they'll do it anyway. Is it just coincidence they up the ante at the beginning of the Summer period when my usage will be at its lowest, but payments at their highest.

So what happened when I turned 65 that was good?

- I'm allowed to set up my model railway again. It's no longer playing with trains.

- I'm allowed to have my second childhood.

- I can talk to myself and have an intelligent conversation.

- Pregnant women give up their seats to me on the tube.

- I get a bus pass, which I've never applied for.

- I get a Senior Railway card... which I have to pay for!

- I get a company pension that's a smack in the face after working in the computer industry for 45 years and making millions for a number of companies... but every little bit helps!

- B&Q gives me 10% discount on Tuesdays.

- The hairdresser down the road gives me a 50% discount on Thursdays... presumably because there isn't that much hair to cut any more!

Please note.... I haven't mentioned the dreaded word RETIREMENT because I WANT to work. I have a brain and I'm lucky that now I write books I can at least do something I can't be criticised for wanting to do.

So buy my books at you local bookshop, or on Amazon at:

and let me fade away in some sort of style!

I shall continue to blog on, Dudes!