• 10 Apr

    Things That Go Bump in the Night…

    Now my first book has been unleashed, I am starting work on my next. Hopefully this won’t turn out to be my ‘difficult second album’.

    Straight off, my second book is a very different beast.

    Death and the Victorians explores the extraordinary culture that emerged during the nineteenth century surrounding death. I’ll also be looking at how we owe most of our modern attitudes towards death to this period. From ghosts and the supernatural to true crime and serial killers – these are all obsessions born from the Victorian age.

    The Victorians are often characterised as being dour and overly serious when it comes to death, but little has been told about the extent they vibrantly celebrated and even fetishised the dead as a means to understand life. Until now. Their relentless pursuit of truth concerning what lies beyond the grave is matched only by the ingenuity, imagination and invention they deployed to find it.

    From the ghoulish London railway line built exclusively to shuttle corpses to their final resting place, to the grandiose Paris Morgue which received thousands of spectators every day, this book lifts the veil on how the Victorians truly regarded their dead.

    The Paris Morgue

    It examines how the rise of spiritualism brought the afterlife into the home, séances transforming death into family entertainment. It also explores how Victorian science and technology was applied to not only better preserve the memory of those passed on, but also to provide concrete proof in life after death.

    A Victorian Séance

    This book will also cover the Victorian relationship with death on the printed page. The period is now considered ‘the Golden Age of the Ghost Story’, from Charles Dickens’ iconic A Christmas Carol to both Henry and M.R. James’ chilling and genre-redefining cautionary tales.

    The Signal-Man by Charles Dickens

    Aside from supernatural fascination, the Victorian era also created both the tabloid press and stoked the fires of our obsession with violent murder and serial killers – the more gruesome the better.

    Nemesis of Neglect, Punch Magazine, 1888

    Through historical documents, new interviews with leading experts in Victorian culture and my own academic qualification (in 2014 I completed a postgraduate degree in Victorian Studies), my aim is to craft a compelling, surprising, amusing and entertaining work that taps into the evergreen popularity of Victorian history, the supernatural and true crime.

    By examining Victorian values, superstitions, rituals and practices surrounding death, this book will hopefully be a supremely enjoyable chronicle that exposes a unique time in history when everyone, it seems, was inventing new ways to build a bridge between this realm and the next.

    By admin Books
  • 10 Apr

    Stan Lee: Author’s Correction

    My first book, Stan Lee: How Marvel Changed the World, is finally out and I couldn’t be happier. Thanks to all of you who preordered, I hope your copy finds its way to you swiftly and safely.

    I should point out of a silly typo that has lead to a minor factual inaccuracy. It reads as if I am suggesting that Stan’s daughter J.C. wrote the ’80s erotic novel The Pleasure Palace. This is, of course not true. It was Stan’s wife Joan who wrote the novel. Doesn’t help that the two have the same name…

    Unfortunately this copy error was spotted after the first run had gone to print, but I shall ensure it is corrected for future editions.

    As you were.

    By admin Uncategorized
  • 04 Mar


    Are you ready to Make Mine Mackinder? It’s almost time…
    Stan Lee: How Marvel Changed the World – OUT MARCH 31st

    Pen and Sword: https://lnkd.in/ei-XYbX
    Amazon UK: https://lnkd.in/eyXWKkM

    By admin Books News
  • 20 Jan

    Lockdown 2: A New Hope

    If ever there was a year that’s under a lot of pressure to deliver, it’s 2021. Not fair really. There’s been this unspoken, unfounded but understood belief that last year’s horror show would somehow vanish as soon as the Town Hall clock struck midnight on January 1st. With each and every one of those chimes ringing across the soggy Copenhagen night air, we would bid good riddance to a year blighted by pandemic, and usher in a new dawn of viral-free freedom. Except it didn’t. Funny that.

    2021 has already caved under pressure. It’s told us we shouldn’t get our hopes up. Within only a week of its birth, this year delivered us an unbridled attack on the very seat of US democracy. The images of a failed coup ascending Capitol Hill was a sight to behold. A conflagration of jagged, angry flags, ludicrous facial hair, UFO abductees, Far Right nutjobs and extras from Deliverance. That wasn’t so funny.

    Last year was especially turbulent for me. January 2020 alone saw an unexpected and tragic death in the family, me blighted by a nasty bout of shingles and then both kids simultaneously struck down by chicken pox so aggressive, they resembled those doomed engineers ordered to cool down Reactor 4 at Chernobyl. And then, a few weeks later, just when things started to calm down for us and sickness had waned, the entire world caved in on itself. What a time to be alive. But I remain hopeful.

    Globally speaking, we are lucky to be living here in the time of corona. The UK crumbled. The British government proved even worse at handling a pandemic than Brexit. I remain largely disinterested by Danish politics – too much choice and not enough variety – but I do applaud the current government. Their relatively swift action enabled schools and nurseries to reopen and people to return to work in good time, albeit under different, strange conditions.

    As a parent, I was grateful my kids could continue to enjoy their own kind and we could preserve our sanity. As a performer, I know just how fortunate I was to spend a large chunk of last year doing stand-up comedy and improv to paying audiences all around this city, when so many overseas had their professions and employment crushed overnight by months of interminable lockdown. OK, so things have since gone backwards, but we turned it around before, I remain hopeful we can do it again.

    Now Brexit has happened, along with all other Brits living here, I must reapply for residency. I remain hopeful this will be just a formality and not a hurdle. I’ve lived here half a decade now, this is my home. It is my kids’ home. I want them to enjoy growing up here. Then in ten years’ time, we can visit the smoldering ruins of Daddy’s homeland and buy a Chelsea townhouse for five jellied eels and a pickled egg.

    I also remain hopeful I can shed the lockdown weight and keep it off. I have no patience for diets. Now is not the time. We need all the comfort food we can get. So home exercise that doesn’t involved being screamed at by a lycra-clad YouTuber is the way forward. After years of being a proud member of gyms I won’t go to, the other week I stumped up for a rowing machine. A fancy one. I’ve already used it. I remain hopeful I will use it twice.

    Finally, I remain hopeful you will buy my book. It’s entitled Stan Lee: How Marvel Changed the World, out March 31st. It’s about the man who helped invent some of the world’s most famous comic-book superheroes. But I’ve cunningly written it so you don’t have to be a comic book fan to also find it interesting. It’s a joyous romp through a century of mainstream entertainment – stage, radio, TV, film and online – seen through the life of a man who was at the forefront of popular culture for over seventy years. It’s fun, funny, full of weird trivia, and I hope as fascinating to read as I found it to research and write. You can pre-order now directly from White Owl Books or via Amazon. It’s my first book, but I remain hopeful it won’t be my last.