Reflection

I stare out into the night-drenched countryside beyond the train window

But there is no world to be seen.

All is gone, like the hopes of youth.

The black pool of glass stares back at me with my own eyes

A ghostly reflection of my own cursed visage

Bathed in the golden light of fluorescent strips from decades past

Like the holy aura of a lauded saint

Effervescent before the sins of man.

Those eyes accuse me of a wasted life

And I accuse them of dreams outside my reach

While darkness mediates between us.

Our silent complaints are lost to the void

Like the lives of men in the choking night.

Then, the birth of a cosmos in a thousand lights

As stars of humanity cast away the other me

Scouring my soul of reflection

And leaving me to face the tides of reality alone.

Dream State – From Manchester 2019 to the Future

Today I travelled up to Manchester to watch a band perform. It’s a journey I’ve made several times over the last few years, coming to see bands that I loved since childhood. This time though, it wasn’t for some punk-rock or pop-rock band from my youth, but rather a newer band that only released their first single two years ago in 2017. Their first full album, Primrose Path, was released only last week. That band is Dream State, and they are one to watch.

Dream State

It’s hard to really sum up the performance I witnessed from them. More than any band I’ve seen before, there was a connection with the crowd that felt somehow unreal, like they were true to their name and emerged that darkened room into a state of dreaming where everything was just that bit more… human. Continue reading

New story – Chapter 1. Why must it be a pirate’s life for me?

The first draft of chapter one of a new story I’m working on about magical pirates. All feedback welcome.


A cannonball crashed through the wall of Buccaneer Jones’ tiny cabin. He yelped and fell out of his bed. Through the newly made hole he could see out to the raging ocean outside, and the pirate ship that was rapidly approaching.

There was a crash from above as the ship that Buccaneer called home, The Singing Seal, returned fire. Buccaneer grabbed a padded hat from a hook and rammed it onto his head, the thick material covering his ears to muffle the sounds. He picked up a dog-eared old book about different types of plants and tried his hardest to ignore the battle around him.

The two ships closed the distance until men and women swung from one to another with cutlasses in their mouths. Now shouts and laughter filled the air, punctuated with the clang of swords and pistol shots.

Buccaneer sighed and started to hum loudly. Despite his name, Buccaneer didn’t like fighting. In fact he hated it, just like he hated his name. To his friends he was just Bucc. Not that he had many. Bucc was considered odd by most people. He didn’t like violence, couldn’t stand loud noises, and he willingly washed at least once a week. How where you supposed to treat someone who didn’t like to fight, pillage, and drink?

For you see, Buccaneer Jones was the son of two pirates. That was nothing special though. In Hylantia everybody was a pirate. It was a world of vast seas and tiny island. A place where humans lived on ships and wandered the waves in search of adventure.

Bucc’s door was kicked open and his parents rushed into the cabin. His father was tall and gangly, with a bald head and a missing thumb. He held a pistol in his good hand and a modified cutlass in his other. A black snake with spiked fins was draped around his neck.

His mother was a stout woman with a mallet in each hand. Where his dad wore nothing but an open jacket and shorts, Bucc’s mum was decked out in an array of layers that were all different colours. Perched on her shoulder was a six legged cat with horns.

“What are you still doing in here, Buccaneer?” asked his dad. “Come quick. Big Tim got a splinter in his eye. We need you to man the cannon.”

“You’re not serious.”

His mum grabbed him by the hand. “It’s time for you to become a real pirate. When the adrenaline starts pumping through you, you’ll realise what you’re missing out on.” Continue reading

Blood, Blades and Bacon is available now!

My new book, Blood, Blades and Bacon, (book 1 in the Thorns of the Shadow series), is now available to buy. Grab a paperback or kindle version from Amazon.

KT and Kai Redthorn are both failing at life in their own ways. Childhood has ended, dreams have fallen to the wayside, and mind-numbing jobs are all that awaits. KT is driven to succeed but has still fallen short, while Kai has found that his skills are better suited to drinking and flirting. Left to dwell on the future at their aunt’s Highland lodge over the New Year, it’s set to be an uneventful family gathering. That is, until their perception of reality is shattered when an encounter with a succubus throws the twins into a secret society of monsters and magic.

Standing between them and certain death are an eccentric monster hunter called Déaþscúa and their own determination to embrace this new world. Their family is held captive by a cannibalistic witch, so the twins must fight against the clock to save them. Déaþscúa has his own battles to fight, though, and his own secrets to keep. Can the twins stay afloat through the unearthly dangers that surround them, or will Déaþscúa’s private war pull them under completely?

Thorns of the Shadow: Blood, Blades and Bacon is a fast-paced action fantasy with a quirky mix of off-the-wall humour and bloody battles that will leave you thirsty for more.

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Announcement – Thorns of the Shadow: Blood, Blades and Bacon

I am proud to officially announce my new book, Thorns of the Shadow: Blood, Blades and Bacon.

Twins KT and Kai are thrown into a hidden society of monsters and magic when their family are abducted by a cannibalistic witch hellbent on world domination. Aided only by a sarcastic hunter, they must learn how to fight fast before they become merely two more corpses in an increasingly hostile world.

Thorns of the Shadow is an urban fantasy filled with face punching action and off the wall humour.

Keep your eyes open for a release date announcement soon.

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The Motivation of Anime.

A few minutes ago I finished watching the anime, Assassination Classroom. It was a thoroughly enjoyable show, but on a deeper level, it fulfilled a need within me to keep pushing for a better future.

For a show about a classroom of students attempting to kill their super powerful teacher before he can destroy the world, the show had a mix of action and humour, but also of self reflection. Some of the key themes of the show are about the uncertainty of the future, how much your past impacts that future, and how to take your strengths and flaws and use them to the best effect. Take away the flashy assassination backdrop and it is a simple coming of age story. Something we can all relate to. Continue reading