It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these update things. Thankfully, this is not because nothing has been happening, more that writing has taken a little bit of a back seat due to the success of other creative projects. The band I play bass in, L-space, has an album coming out on pink vinyl on the Last Night From Glasgow label this September, so we’ve been busy recording, mixing and gigging. It’s exciting times. A published book and a vinyl release have been on my list since I was a young teenager, so to have achieved both is heartwarming.
Unfortunately though, my kids’ book, Christmas Pancakes, is (currently) not happening. It’s a long story, but it all got a bit ugly with the publisher due to illustration issues (trees in full bloom in the North Pole in December anyone?) so we agreed to terminate the contract. I’m currently looking for a new publisher but, as my fellow writers can attest, this is often a long and laborious process, sometimes involving days of work to receive zero replies. I believe in the story though, so won’t give up. if successful, my guess is it’ll be an autumn 2019 release. or 2020. Or 2021. Or 2026.
Editing service wise though, things are great. I have a regular client in London who’s working on a fantasy trilogy and have just finished editing another London-based author’s literary fiction novel about vices and football rivalry. I’ve also recently had a client from Seattle, whose character-driven self-published series was a joy to work on. To top it all off, I will soon be working with a self-improvement author from Glasgow. I couldn’t ask for a more diverse bunch of genres! I would never have met these people if it wasn’t for setting up the service, so I’m very pleased I did. If you’re currently looking for an editor, here is what people have said about me.
Although the above is what’s been taking up my time, I’ve still managed to do bits of writing here and there and have a short story, Finishing Off, in issue five of Razur Cuts magazine. Finally, I really need to update the photos on this site. Jeezo, I’ve still got hair in them! Last time I had hair was 2012! 🙂 Best get the camera out . . .
Well, not entirely cancelled. Postponed until next autumn. To say I’m gutted is . . . well . . . the truth. No schools or book festivals for another year. Good job things are going really well music-wise.
Writing-wise, I have another idea for a kids’ book, but think I’ll churn out some new short stories in the meantime. I’ve missed them.
Thanks to everyone (parents, teachers and pals) that showed interest in Christmas Pancakes. I’ll be in touch with you all in September 2018. Until then, well . . . Merry Christmas.
Away to drink a pint of maple syrup to cheer myself up.
I first had the idea for Christmas Pancakes back in the mid-90s and wrote it as a half hour radio play. Due to being an inexperienced writer at the time, it wasn’t executed particularly well, but I thought the story had potential, so kept a copy in a box up my parents’ loft. In early 2015, when my mum was clearing some space, she came across it. I re-read it and thought ‘I think I’ll re-write this as a novel.’
The manuscript is complete and is currently with an illustrator. A Dexter Trumpet website will be created shortly followed by plans for a book launch and visits to schools and libraries.
Last year, I was honoured to be asked if I’d judge Denny Writers’ annual Quaich writing competition and visit the group in April 2017 to provide feedback and announce the winner. I set a short story task with a choice of two themes – ‘ambition’ or ‘clutter’ – and received a high calibre of entries.
Ellen Dickie’s historical tale of an Irishman’s plight to achieve acceptance in Boston was awarded first place, with Jim Doolan and Ann Marshall being awarded second and third respectively. Here’s Ellen being presented with the Quaich award:
I’ll be doing a set (the first one for a wee while) at The Bruery in Dunfermline as part of Fife Writes on Thursday 16th February. The evening kicks off at 7.30pm and also features writer Linda Menzies, folk band Sairbanes and established poet/performer Kevin Cadwallender. Best of all, it’s FREE, so come along for a relaxed evening of prose, poetry and music.
You can visit the Fife Writes website here.
In other news, the reason I’ve been a bit quiet on the writing/performing front lately is because I’ve been working on a children’s novel, under the pseudonym Dexter Trumpet. More news about this soon 🙂
As part of an evening of collaborations, I’m performing in the rather braw Albert Halls in Stirling on Thursday 12th May with lo-fi outfit, L-Space. I’ll also be co-hosting with Gordon Johnstone and pleased to say the bill also includes:
- Loud Poets + The Ekobirds
- Harry Giles + Atzi Muramatsu
- Angela Hughes + Paul Docherty
- Gary McKenzie + Brian McFie
Tickets available here for only £8/£7
Come along and enjoy a unique evening of collaborations.
I have a couple of pieces of flash fiction in issue 21 of East London’s litzine, PUSH. You should buy a copy if:
- You want to support the non-mainstream press
- You like reading about batteries, muppets and annoying things to say to short story writers
- You’ll be at West Ham v Swansea on Saturday, where you’ll get it for two quid
- You like the folk who have endorsed it, e.g. John King, Irvine Welsh, Jah Wobble
Also available to buy online where, for a little more cash, PUSH founder and editor will post it out to you. Details can be found here.
I’ll be performing alongside Janet Paisley, Paul Cowan, Karyn Dougan and Bethany Ruth Anderson at this event in Falkirk’s beautiful Callendar House, to celebrate the Alight Here anthology. It’s part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival and will be followed by Alan Bissett’s excellent show What the Falkirk?, which features musical accompaniment from Adam Stafford. Should be a cracker!
It takes place on Saturday 16th April from 6.30pm. Tickets £5/£3 available here.
Unprecedented, my story about dentists, GUM clinics and a great big broken heart, features in issue 2 of Freak Circus. Available here. Non-freaks are welcome to buy too :).
I’ll be performing at The Woodside Hotel in Aberdour on Tuesday 19th January as part of the regular Fife Writes events run by David McDonald, Lilian Kennedy Brzoska and George Sinclair. These are relaxed, fun events run by people who clearly care about the arts in their community.
The night will be loosely Burns themed. Although (*whispers it*) I’m not a fan of Burns, I’m sure I can weave him in somewhere.
It’s free and begins at 7.30pm. More info on the Fife Writes website here.