As I got older, my comedy compass shifted. Sometimes through the influence of friends, sometimes through late night TV surfing. I got into the uncomfortable pleasure of watching Alan Partridge fail and fail again. I saw Chris Morris skewer the world around him whilst he kept a sharp, straight face. Seinfeld and Sanders showed me how America was warping the formula its past masters had perfected. Whilst here Father Ted, Darkplace and Spaced were all merrily making up their own rules, breaking ground for an incoming flood of new comedy.Read More
Things are getting hectic, they always do at this time of year. It’s like being trapped on a merry go round that refuses to slow down. Every time we ask someone to apply the brakes, it only accelerates. Sure, there are festive lights and catchy tunes circling around us, but this close to the event horizon of Christmas Day it all starts to get out of hand. The music deafens us. The motion makes us feel ill. The horses under us start to leer and grin as it all lurches past our control.
There are cards to write, presents to deliver. There’s food to hunt and gather, sometimes against shoppers who are racing against the exact same clock as us to the exact same shelf for the exact same final box of stuffing. The season of goodwill can get pretty nasty down a supermarket aisle.
It won’t be a long one this week. It can’t be. It’s been a long week. It’s been a tough week. Last Saturday, after spending a thoroughly brilliant day at a wedding, Sam and I got back to our hotel and logged online to find out one of our closest friends had died.Read More
I don’t know about you, but I think there are two kinds of people in the world when it comes to music. Never mind which genre you chose to set up your base camp. Never mind what you’re currently listening to or what you truly detest. The way I see it, you either grew up listening to the same music as your parents or you immediately turned your nose up at it. In some cases, you might keep the same taste as your parents. In other cases, you might rebel against it as soon as your friends snigger at the music they find lying around in your bedroom.Read More
I’ve never been a career chaser. I’ve worked in post rooms, telesales, technical departments, shops and kitchens, but none of those jobs have ever been about earning a pension. Nope, I’ve always been there to pay some bills and make my bank account look a little healthier. The carrot the world tied to the end of the stick it chose for me was never a gold watch. Which is why, every so often, I find myself in a room full of people having a meeting where the best I can hope to do is look interested. During those meetings, I always catch myself looking around the rest of my fellow captives, trying to spot anyone else doing the same as me. Sadly, it seems we’re a dying breed.Read More
Expectation is a tricky thing. We generate it ourselves, but we don’t have a lot of control over it. We merely light the fuse. Our subconscious does the rest. It fans the flames and spreads the fire. It makes us crave what lies ahead. Before we know it, we’ve taken something we’re interested in and turned it into something so much bigger. Something that feels bizarrely pivotal to our happiness. Sadly, this process doesn’t always work out well for us or the thing we’re waiting for.Read More
I want to talk about a man who’s been inspiring me since I was a kid. Mr Terry Gilliam. There are a lot of people who have shaped my brain. The Marx Brothers. Roald Dahl. Bill Hicks. Woody Allen. Neil Gaiman. Alan Moore. Arthur C Clarke. The list can go on and on, but Terry Gilliam is something special. In fact, he’s such a cornerstone of my desire to tell stories that I’d forgotten how big an influence he was until recently.Read More
Thinking about releasing something new has got me remembering the first novella I published with Kensington Gore Publishing. The Compressionist wasn’t the first horror story I wrote. No, that was The Low Road, back in the days of invisible self publishing. That was followed by The Narrow Doors, which came from attending a cremation and thinking about those patronising advice books they used to publish for girls decades before. Well, that and a first draft ending that freaked me out. The Compressionist found me wanting to try something different.Read More