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 released their first single in 2015 and stepped into the limelight with their 2017 track ‘White Lies’. Their first full album, Primrose Path, was released only last week. That band is Dream State, and they are one to watch.
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
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.
Salutations everybody. I am happy to announce that my new book will be released on 4th November 2017. You’ll be able to pick it up in paperback or on Amazon as an ebook.
The finished books look pretty awesome if I do say so myself. (Please ignore the fact that I look homeless in this picture, haha. My attempt at growing a beard did not work.)
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.
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
Yesterday an alt-right protest in America led to an act of terrorism where life was lost. Society is split between the two political spheres and the rift is widening by the day. Things need to change.
I have spoken out about the far left of politics several times over the last few years, calling out the ideologies of the hyper offended and perpetual victims. I have disagreed with branches of feminism and I have stood with freedom over feelings.
I have done all of this from my position as a left-wing liberal myself because I have always believed that we need to hold our own groups to account and work hardest to call out those who claim to hold similar sentiment while acting in a damaging manner. I have been vocal against the left because I belong to the left and don’t want to see it be warped into something I no longer recognise. Continue reading
I am bad at editing. I don’t plan my stories and find that I don’t like rereading my own work. The story is only ever fresh to me in that brief moment between conception and preservation, between the initial idea and its translation to the page. Because of this I find the process of going through the work after the fact so much more difficult. Growing a story without clear structure is all fair and good but it is easy to create plot-holes while an excited flurry of wring leaves you prone to typos.
As such, while editing is often dry, demoralising and not remotely creative, it is a vital thing that all writers need to be able to do well. Being bad at it, I have spent a lot of time learning how to get better, some of it by proactively going and reading advice from other writers and editors, others by doing the wrong things and learning from my mistakes. I am still far, far from perfect but since I am in the editing phase myself at the moment, I felt that it might be worth presenting what I have learned for others in my position. Continue reading
Today marks the two years anniversary of the passing of a man that inspired thousands across the world. Many such people die each year, and this particular man is considered unknown except in certain circles, but what his life represented is something that needs to be spread.
Monty Oum died at only 33 but in the brief years that he had he spent his time creating. Creating art, costumes, animations, characters and worlds. It didn’t matter what he was creating, only that he was creating. He spread joy through his work and was a constant inspiration to others to do the same. Monty is no longer with us but his work lives on and that creative seed that he planted within the hearts of his fans continue to live on and grow, spreading seeds of their own so that the ripples never end.
And this is what brings me to write this post. To commemorate Monty’s death, the community created the The Monty Oum Project. The aims of this are simple, to encourage people of all walks of life to start a creative project that they have perhaps always wanted to do but never found the time or motivation for. Start that story that you have always wanted to tell. Create the art that is always at the back of you mind. Learn a new skill that you’ve always wanted. Do anything. Life is too short to lock our dreams away to wither and die. Not only does it make us unhappy but it is through our creativity that we spread joy through the world and truly live forever.
This time next year, any of us could no longer be here. Don’t let the opportunity that we call life go to waste.
The Project is set for Saturday the 4th of February. Please feel free to take part. And remember: Keep moving forward.
Democracy began with the Greeks when the public would gather to cast votes on decisions that effected their community. This became impractical as the public continued to grow and the number of decisions that needed to be made constantly increased. Representatives of the people were then chosen to discuss and make these decisions in the name of those that they represented. This became the model of our modern day Western democracy and has been in place for centuries. These representatives gathered together under loose ideologies until we found ourselves voting for parties that matched our own rough political alignment more than a specific individual that would best represent our needs.
Within this same period society has changed drastically. From the jobs that we work, the roles that we conform to and the time and distance we can communicate, every facet of who we are and how we act as a community is new and different. The internet has allowed cultures and idea to mix at a far faster rate than when people were restricted to their local villages and towns. We can travel the world to experience other societies in a matter of hours and have a constant barrage of video on our TVs and phones. We are more aware of what is going on, more conscious of what our politicians are doing and as such can apply more scrutiny to their actions. Continue reading
Much has happened in British politics since labour last held the majority in Parliament. Our country’s young were tied up with lifelong debt from absurd tuition fee rises, scandles came and went and the UK has torn itself from the EU and is in the balance about just how united we are to remain. It has hardly been smooth sailing for the Conservative so why has the Labour Party not pressed its advantage and pushed to triumph at the elections like all sense says they should?
Instead, Labour has squandered its advantages in aggressive bouts of in-fighting and policy blunders. Labour has lost sight of what the party itself stands for and in the process has lost basically all of its support. Labour shouldn’t be seen as ‘the lesser of two evils’ that gain votes from grudging hands but should stand proudly for the workers of this nation. Continue reading