Me & the Movies

The Company of Thieves book cover

Trying to think of who I could send this to in the hope of getting reviews, because despite getting four stars on Barnes & Nobel and Goodreads, under a different title, I still have no reviews on Amazon, which means, of course that sales are extremely slow.

Last night I realised it is most likely to appeal to fans of Tarantino. Like his early work, at least how it appears to me, I’m of the opinion that character is plot, perhaps because I trained as an actor. You put a character in an environment and if that character is true they can only behave in certain ways. This is true whether they’re heroes or villains. And of course heroes can be villainous, villains can be heroic, everyone has private motivations that we might never suspect, and almost no one is exactly who they appear to be.

I might be mistaken when I say this would appeal to Tarantino fans. I’m not a big fan of his work, I still think Reservoir Dogs is his best movie.

Pulp Fiction is funnier but I must have missed half that movie the first time I saw it because I was laughing and looking forward to seeing it again.

Jackie Brown is a much more mature movie (say that really fast!) but I feel it’s let down by him trying to be clever.

I haven’t seen either of the Kill Bill movies and both Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained bored me, so I haven’t bothered with him since.

I’m still acting and with the movie business being what it is I might be shooting my career in the head writing all of the above, but that’s ok; I’m a stage actor! That shouldn’t be taken as snobbery, by the way, movie acting is much more difficult.


Cover Uncovered

The Company of Thieves paperback cover compressedThis is the cover I’ve designed for the paperback edition of my novel The Company of Thieves, just in case anyone is looking at it and wondering ‘What in the name of God is the name of yer’man’s booek?’ 

I know all the book blogs say to hire someone, but mine is a no budget operation.

The painting is one I made years ago and the icon is based on something I whittled in the late 90’s. I did put it on a t-shirt over at Zazzle, but as I’ve dropped my mark-up to 10%, and as that won’t go into effect for another week or so, it feels like a cheat to post it here.

Anyway, there are a few more things to do before releasing this book into the wild. Maybe the paperback will do better than the ebook and I’ll be able to buy an apartment.

Ps. Oh my Me! I’ve just been tagging this post and I realized this story is also a family saga. Maybe I should have put that in the search terms on Amazon.

Art Print

Another 40 Shades

Here’s another snippet from the book I’m currently working on. I’m still putting it on the computer, which makes this part of the second draft.


He took another hit from the bottle and jumped, startled by the sound of his father’s voice. Frank watched the old man sit at the table of his Hollywood home.

‘That’s a grand girl you have there,’ his father said. ‘That was a grand ceremony.’ He opened a lite beer. ‘Your mother would have been proud.’ He lifted the beer bottle in toast and bowed his head. ‘Hail Mary, full of Grace, fell on the floor and broke her face.’ He put the beer bottle to his lips and tilted his head back, and then spat it out almost a quickly. ‘Jesus,’ he said, ‘that’s awful watery beer.’ He turned to Frank’s wife, Carrie, sat beside him, ‘Is this what they’re drinking in Hollywood these days?’

Carrie answered without taking her eyes off Frank. He would pay for putting her in this situation. ‘We don’t keep alcohol in the house,’ she said.

‘Apparently I have a drinking problem,’ Frank said.

‘We’re not getting into this now,’ Carrie said, ‘My daughter is asleep in the next room.

The old man laughed, ‘Shure isn’t she Francie’s daughter as well.’

Frank turned smiling in triumph to his wife, but she wasn’t there. He was back in his childhood kitchen; empty beer bottles on the table around him and a locket in his hands. He opened the locket and found the teenage Francie and Mary inside. His eyes moved from picture to picture, surfing a wave of nostalgia. Again he felt the regret that he now realized had been with him most of his life. He pushed the chair back as he struggled to his feet. He took a few steps and tripped, falling to the couch. He lay there looking at the room. Maybe he wouldn’t bother getting up. No. He had to get up. His future depended on it. Mary needed him. As he stood he dropped the locket. He tried to steady himself in order to pick up the locket. He felt, more than heard, the sound of glass breaking, and looking down as he moved his foot, he saw their faces, each in its oval and covered in a network of cracks. In his drunken melancholy he imposed a deeper meaning on this and began to cry. He looked around, not recognizing the room, but with a feeling that he was playing a role. He saw the telephone and his brows knitted together because he didn’t remember it, and for a moment he wasn’t sure what it was for.

Forty Shades of Green


Here’s a snippet from the book I’m currently working on.

In 1972 Paul Lavin had been a hippy in a tweed suit, just out of teacher training school; his first job was in Frank’s school. He introduced his students to pomegranates, Georges Braque and the beauty of silent movies. He challenged them to solve Fermat’s Last Theorem, reminding the class that they had probably greater knowledge of mathematics than Fermat. He showed them films of the great museums, and sometimes fell asleep during them, (he wasn’t a fan of museums, but thought it would be good for the kids to see something of the world beyond their small Irish town.) This changed one day when panic in the classroom woke him up. For a moment he looked in confusion at the flames in the projector before realising what had happened. He picked up a magazine and walked quickly to the projector, issuing orders as he went. ‘Martin, lights. Francie, windows.’ As the room filled with light and air, Mr. Lavin took his jacket off and threw it over the burning projector. He closed the jacket around the flames to kill them.

The classroom door flew open and the principal, a grumpy-looking old man whom everybody hated, (he was one of those people who become teachers because of the authority it gives them), stood there taking everything in. He stepped into the room, barking, ‘What’s going on here?’

Martin looked up at him, ‘Sir, the projector went on fire, sir.’

‘Did I ask you?’

‘It just overheated. It’s ok,’ Mr. Lavin said.

The principal looked at Mr. Lavin, wondering if this would be a good way to get rid of him.

‘It’s ok,’ Mr. Lavin said again. ‘No harm done.’

A Reading

For those who don’t know, an Online Cupid is someone who works for a dating site, and their job is to sweet talk people into buying paid subscriptions to the site, usually with promises of great sex. I was inspired to write the book after reading comments on a message board. Someone complained that he had joined a dating site and got such a good response he bought an upgrade. Then the messages stopped. He didn’t understand why. Some of the replies to his comments were absolutely viscous.

Out of curiosity, and let’s face it, wasting time one day, I opened accounts on, I think it was five dating sites, and left them blank. Sure enough, I got loads of messages telling me how wonderful and sexy I was. I didn’t respond to any of these, and I didn’t buy an upgrade.

One woman sent me all the information I would need to track her down, and she didn’t live that far from me. My first though was ‘How does she know I’m not a serial killer?’ Then I though, ‘How do I know she’s not a serial killer?’ Then I though, ‘How do I know it’s her at all?’ The book is available here, and if yo do get it, please, please, please, leave a review, whatever you think of it.

Online Cupid


Online Cupid

Gold VersionBehind the Story: Online Cupid was inspired by a post I read years ago. The writer complained about a dating website. After joining on he got a lot of messages from a lot of women, but he had to buy an upgrade to reply to them. So he did, and then the messages stopped and none of the women replied to his messages. Some of the replies to his post were really nasty, to him and the women. Some of them said to check for an OC icon on the profiles of any women that contacted him. OC stands for Online Cupid and it means they work for the site and their job is to talk people into buying upgrades.

At the time I thought this was an extraordinary situation. I opened free accounts on a few of these sites – too much time on my hands, maybe – I left the accounts totally blank and within a day I had lists of women wanting to get together with me, and all of them thought I was the best looking man since sliced bread, which was very perceptive of them as I hadn’t posted a photograph, not even a fake one. I had only to buy an upgrade so we could make the arrangements. This was on the sites where I could read the messages, on others I had to buy an upgrade just to do that. As far as I remember, an upgrade cost $25 per month. In case you’re wondering, I didn’t buy an upgrade.

There was one message that did interest me, because it allegedly came from a woman living within easy walking distance of where I was living, it to me which University she went to, how she liked to spend her free time, and attached to the message were pictures of her in the nip.

Just to be clear, I have no moral objections to sex dating. If you’re an adult, and you know what you’re doing, and you’re not doing any harm, then what you do is nobody’s business but yours.

When I got that message I thought she must be crazy, after all, how does she know I’m not a serial killer? Or maybe she’s a psycho, maybe she read the SCUM manifesto and had an epiphany. Then I realized it might not be her at all. Would you give out that sort of information to a complete stranger?

Then I wondered what if she had sent the same information one of the guys from the original post. Online Cupid is my exploration of that idea

Online Cupid here.



I suppose it had to happen sooner or later; my books The Company of Thieves and Online Cupid were doing well in the Genre Busting category on Amazon until the March of Porn! Online Cupid is still there, The Company of Thieves is gone.

So begins the quest for a new category and visibility.

In the interest of visibility, here’s a free download of Day 1 of Online Cupid,