12 Jul 2018

The Long legged potential lover from Knaresborough

Hello my little chickadees. Well footies underway and we play Croatia tonight. My trotters are crossed for them.
UPDATE: We lost 2:1 but how proud are we of their overall achievements.

This week in my cave is the elegant and single Miss Charlotte Castle. I had to raise the manacles because her long legs and feet were touching the ground. She didn't like it much as it stretched her to her full extent but thems the breaks as they say, literally. 

Hiya Charlie, so tell me about yourself and will you stand up straight woman. Forget the broken leg it'll mend.

Are you absolutely sure? Well If you say so, but I'm not convinced at all! 

Do stop whinging. It's only a broken leg

About me then, I'm elegant, witty, pure of heart, long of limb... Well before the left one was broken by you. I'm actually a rather rotund 37 year-old mother of two. I'm a writer, of all forms, though in particular speeches at the moment, and I've been single for six years, so I spend a lot of time muttering to myself. I am torn between wanting a boyfriend and enjoying the wardrobe space.

Where do you live in the world

A stunning town called Knaresborough in North Yorkshire, England. Like all Yorkshire folk, I'm fiercely proud of my county - if we were a country we'd have come eighth in the medal table of the most recent Olympics! Famous Yorkshiremen (and women) include The Brontes, Alan Bennet, WH Auden, Dame Judi Dench, Sir Patrick Stewart, Jeremy Clarkson, The Beautiful South, Def Leppard, Ed Sheeran, Kaiser Chiefs.... I could go on.

Knaresborough is particularly famous for our (long dead) prophetess Mother Shipton. Kind of an English Notradamus. She predicted that when Low Bridge falls down for a third time, the world will end. So far it's fallen down twice. I'm always super careful when I'm driving over it.

Have you any pets 

I have a small, white psychopathic cat called Deborah. Her favourite game is lying on a low wall by my house, trying to entice victims with her beauty. If she was human, she'd be in a maximum security facility by now, strapped to an upright trolley with a bite-shield on. Luckily for her, she isn't; so she's lying at the end of my bed working out which of my neighbours to bite next.

Deborah the psychopath

I know you’re an author Charlie, can you tell my readers what you have written and the storyline 

I wrote a novel called Simon's Choice which was very well received, mostly in the States where it was first published. It tells the tale of a doctor whose seven year-old daughter is dying of leukemia. When one evening she asks him 'Daddy, who will live with me in Heaven?" he answers in a moment of grief and confusion that he will 'go with her'. The novel explores grief, the stresses of grief on a marriage and the concept of death in different religions. 

Whilst I appreciate it doesn't sound like a laugh a minute, I'm told it has its funny moments! I wrote the novel in only three months, whilst my baby son was strapped to a bouncy seat next to me. 

It is out of print now, sadly, but you can still purchase a Kindle copy and help me pay my rent.

Favourite food/drink

The best way to keep me quiet is to put a platter of shellfish in front of me. I've been eating mussels and oysters since I was four. Potential suitors should know that I'll do anything for a lobster. I am also a fan of good sushi and will rugby tackle people to get at a cheese board. Readers will not be amazed to hear that I've put on a lot of weight recently. 

My parents divorced when I was only seven, but an enduring memory is that their marriage was at its happiest when they were cooking - usually strange and exciting things. I remember a squid's ink sack being removed by my giggling (and probably quite tipsy) parents in a bath. I also have memories of a duck being dried with a hair dryer. (The duck was dead and plucked - they were trying to replicate the Peking duck pancakes they liked in the Chinese restaurant - not give it a blow dry.) As such, food has always been an enormous source of romance and excitement to me. I think the only thing I've never tried is probably tripe - I don't have any plans to, but never say never.

A good dry white wine to accompany any of the above.

Tell us about your family life

As a single parent I seem to spend much of my time picking other people's stuff up. My son is autistic, with a little known form called Pathological Demand Avoidance and so both myself and my daughter have to have diplomatic skills comparable to the United Nations. They should get me to negotiate Brexit, it would be nothing in comparison to convincing my son to brush his teeth.

You recently started up a speech writing business. How did that come about? You have a fantastic sense of humour; do you find it easy to write speeches? How do you get the balance of timing right when you’re waiting for the laugh?

It was my mother's idea actually. I wrote some speeches when I was younger, one memorably for an important event in the construction industry and afterwards delegates were coming up to me asking for a copy so that they could share it with their employees. As my son is disabled it's difficult for me to have a 'proper' job, and so 'My Standing Ovation' was born. It's in its infancy.

With regards to waiting for a laugh, often you'll get more of a laugh if you give the audience some space. Pause. Look up. If they're tittering, raise an eyebrow - it often gives people the permission to go for a full guffaw. You need to engage with your audience - if you only rely on the words it won't go as well. Pretend you're with your mates in the pub. 

What is a typical day for you or are the days all different?

My days are rather boring. Two hours negotiating with my son regarding clothes/breakfast/getting into the taxi to his school. Then a flurry of housework and shopping, a bit of writing if I have a job on, and then back to the endless demands of food and 'she hit me', 'he spat on me' when the children are back. My son only goes to school for 3 hours, so I don't get a lot of time to myself. My days tend to end with wine and crime documentaries. I have a concerning fascination in murderers - though it does actually stem from an interest in psychology and not my inner-psychopath.

Choose a pet to snuggle up to at night from time immemorial

Deborah. She may hate everyone else, but she loves me.

Share your ultimate dream with us

Writing on a team - preferably comedy.  As everyone knows, the problem with writing is that it is for the most part lonely and a rollercoaster of exhilarating highs (when you suddenly resolve that plot issue, or you write a killer bit of prose, you land a publisher or get a great review) and crushing lows (rejection, writers block - crashes in self-belief - so being able to bounce ideas off each other and share the elations and commiserations would be the ultimate dream. I adore the show Episodes, starring Matt le Blanc, Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Grieg about a married pair of British sit-com writers living out in LA, battling the faux smiles and backstabbing of the TV Studios. It must be wonderful to have a writing partner. 

Where do you go to socialise usually

I'm a single mother with two children. I consider it a social whirlwind if the checkout guy in Morrison's mentions the weather.

Well you could always hang out here in the cave.

I know you love your garden. Would you like to tell us about it, how much time you spend out there, share some photos with us?

My garden is really just a patio, but it's important to me because we were made homeless a few years ago and for about a year, I had no idea where we were going to end up. It was an horrific time and I feel very passionately about the housing crisis in the UK. I'd got to the point where I was looking at paying £850 a month rent for the most basic 3-bedroom house in my area - on one part time salary. I'm now a council tenant and feel extremely lucky to have a roof over my head. The time I spend in my garden is a nod to my luck - I could be in a high-rise flat, so the patio deserves my love and attention.

If you could travel anywhere in the world all expenses paid, where would you go and who would you take with you

I think I should probably say that I'd take my children, but as I'm typing this during the difficult bedtime period and one of them has just yelled at me and the other has spilled fake-tan all over her fairly new pale bedroom carpet, they're out. You blew it kids. You can have imaginary babysitters for this imaginary holiday.

I'd like to take my mother on a trip around the Eastern and Southern coast of the USA. I'm fascinated in areas full of history and diverse cultures, so I'd like to start in Virginia and drive round in a wonderful car through South Carolina, Georgia (Savannah), Lousiana - I'm particularly keen to drive up the old River Road from New Orleans to Baton Rouge and visit the plantation mansions there. There's a property called Nottoway, and it's my biggest dream to spend a night there.

The little darlings

Have you any new storylines buzzing around the brain?

Always. But I'm afraid I'm not sharing them.

I’m letting you step off the world for a week (with no come backs) what would you do?
Well it would have to include a stay at Nottoway. But I'd also love to visit a film set in LA, and I'd love to go to Japan. Do you have some kind of a time machine? There's a lot I need to fit in. Also, if I was invisible, I'd go to The White House and listen in to what Trump is really saying. 

Time Machine? I haven't even got a washing machine love. I'm with you on the Trump thing though.

Is there a question I haven’t asked that you were busting for me to ask? If so what is it 

No, you covered it, thank you!!!


Simons Choice

So there you have the fabulous Charlotte Castle. Now if just one of the others finally gives in and answers the questions, there will be another blog.

Laters Potaters

30 Jun 2018

Take a gardening rock chicken and what do you get

Hello my little chickadees, how are you? Well with all this hot weather, my victim's cave is smelling very ripe at the moment... Lovely jubbly.

On my blog this week I have a green fingered gardener going by the name of Helen Patrica. Wait until you see her produce. I want a bit of it.

Here she is then, and also with her newly born grandson Jackson. Welcome Helen Patrica and will you please stop whining for pity sake. It's only a headless corpse in the corner. Oh that screaming you mean? That's just a recording of the previous occupants screams. Tsk.


Tell me about Helen Patricia

 Hi Tee, If I answer your questions can I have some water please and see some daylight...It's ever so dark in here and it's a bit smelly...Smells like iron...so I'm guessing that's blood? Eeeeeek ! *Shudders!*

.....Um.... NO! water's off today!

*Weeps silently*

Ok then about me! Where do I start? At the beginning I guess! I was born in the 60's when the Beatles were in their prime and TV's were still in black and white. I like to think I was named after Helen Shapiro, and I have the same middle name that my mum had, 'Patricia'. My youngest  granddaughter also has Patricia as her middle name. 
I was the eldest of three girls and I reckon I was pretty bossy looking back.... When we were little we used to enjoy playing gymnastics, using the wooden arms of the sofa as the beam, much to mum's annoyance but she'd let us carry on anyway.. I grew up in a large village called Abbots Langley, in Hertfordshire. All my school days were spent in 'Abbots'. I lived at home until I was 19, and these days I have two grown up children, and four grandchildren, with little baby Jackson being just 3 days old. 
I have lots of different interests, do not follow fashion at all, and am happiest when my hands are in the soil and planting things. I have some tattoos and some piercings, love wearing my hair in pigtails, and probably always will. These days I'm more Rock Chicken than Rock Chick! I never wear false nails, as I reckon you can't see what dirt is hiding under them... My toenails are always naiI-varnished black though! Maybe that's just as well as I always walk around the garden barefoot!
 I really do love a good swear! It's not very ladylike I know. Not sure why but I find it very therapeutic! OUCH !!! What's that digging me in the ribs! I haven't sworn yet! In life I nearly always root for the underdog, hate unfairness and bullies, and do not have any religious beliefs...I'm more Earth Mother come protector of the fairies type of gal! I love all things mystical. Detest gnomes.
I've a very eclectic taste in music, literature and films, and do enjoy going to see bands and drinking pints of cider (my favourite tipple). I love making people laugh, although often they're laughing at things that have happened to me! If I see work friends are having a rough time I will do what I can to get them smiling. A lovely friend of mine was feeling low one day, so I went on the women's gynae ward next door and asked for a pair of 'netty knickers' which I decorated, calling them her new happy pants! It worked, and she put them on over the top of her work trousers for a giggle.

Where do you live in the world

For the last 16 years I have been back in Watford, although I spent several years living in Edgware, Middlesex (in the London suburbs), and then Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire until 2001.

Have you any pets

Yes I do ! I have a black and white cat called Sindy. I've had 2 cats before her and several dogs. When my daughter was very young I had a lurcher that she called Birdie! My last woofit was called Lulu. She was a dark brindle staffy and absolutely adored us all, and we loved her too. Lulu was affectionately called “Runs with no brain”, as she was so soppy! She sadly got run over on a main road near where I live, just before her ninth birthday. That was 5 years ago. 
When my children were growing up they were allowed to have all sorts of strange 'pets'. I think they worked their way through a lot of the animal kingdom ...we had escaping stick insects, flying stick insects, a praying mantis called Marilyn Mantis, a python called Elvis, giant land snails, mice, rats, spiders, fish, bearded dragons, snakes and several birds. I'm sure there's much I've forgotten. It's the old brain you know!

Lulu affectionately known as runs with no brains


What do you do in your day job and do you have to commute?

For the last 9 years I've worked on the children's ward at my local hospital as a Healthcare Play Specialist. It's a mixture of all my previous child work jobs, mixed with health. It's extremely rewarding and I trained with the University of West London to get my qualification for my role. It 
was a big achievement for me getting my degree in my 40's s one of the oldest members of my cohort. 
Sadly I do have to use the local buses. They are a trial all of their own, and painfully slow and full of grumpy people in the evening rush hour. I have a little white and lilic  pedal cycle I sometimes use for going to my allotment though! It has a little basket on the front...I don't think I'm brave enough to ride it to work on the very busy main roads!

Share with us your leisure activities

My name is Helen and I am a gardenaholic! I love being creative and gardening is my way to do that. I like to plant to encourage wildlife. I also have a large allotment that I can walk to in less that 10 minutes. I take a short cut through a nearby cemetery to get to my lottie, and have to keep my eye on the time, as the gates to the graveyard lock at different times of the year. I've almost got locked in on a couple of occasions as I get carried away when I'm up there. 

I'm rather good at making wine...!

Hm... thinks... wine maker... Ok here's a sip of water in exchange for wine. Oh for gods sake stop getting all needy and gushing I have a lurid reputation to maintain woman.

Your favourite place to travel in the world

I've not always been a huge traveler and really never liked flying at all. There's still so much of my beloved England and Great Britain that I want to visit. However in the last 12 months I've visited Canada 3 times! If somebody had said to me I'd be travelling 7000 miles and taking two planes by myself to get there I would never have believed them. It really is very liberating to conquer a fear of flying because the goal was huge and I needed to do it.. I'll be going there again soon...Squeeeeee!  You see, there's this really awesome chap, not sure if you've heard of him. Writes books or something! Apparently loves dungeons! He has the hugest chest freezer ... in his basement! Yikes!!

Oh for goodness sake... sticks fingers down throat

What is your favourite food/drink

I love savoury foods more than sweet. I love Indian food the best, but also love a good old-fashioned Sunday roast with all the trimmings! Roast beef, Yorkshire puds, roast potatoes etc ...you get the picture! What I love about gardening and having the lottie is that often the veg I eat will be what I've grown myself, and it tastes so much nicer.

It’s a hot summer’s day and you are sitting in the garden with your favourite drink. What do you think about

It could be anything, often nothing in particular. I will be looking at a bee, or see something I need to potter about with. I will be enjoying the sun on my skin and i will be contented.


What genre do you like to read and why

Any, depending on what I'm into at the time. It could be fiction or non fiction.

Something that has happened in your life that has completely blown you away

Without sounding a bit twee, being a mum and grandmother, and overcoming all the crud that life has thrown my way and over-coming it and being stronger and happier. I was very proud of co-writing a chapter in an academic book about 4 years ago. It was great being asked for my contribution. 

You’re obviously a very keen and successful gardener. Have you any tips for successful growing of plants and veggies. Have you had any failures.

Loads of failures, but a lot of it is out of our control, like the weather and bugs! Grow for the conditions you have and grow what you love to eat, and most of all don't let it be a chore. Gardening should be fun. if it's too tough, make it easier, and sit back and enjoy the fresh air and being outside. I have arthritis in my hands, and although it can be painful at times, I think keeping them active does help with strength in the joints and flexibility. A couple of my fingers look gnarly though. One of my index fingers doesn't point straight! Bit embarrassing really but it is what it is! 

Oh I can soon remedy that. Stick you finger in this vice. Good girl you know it makes sense. Oh for gods sake stop screaming, it's only a vice and it's straight now albeit a bit broken. Get over it.

What do you prefer to do in your quiet times

Think, enjoy the calm. I rarely watch tv, unless it's Gardeners' World of course, or maybe Vikings, or Countryfile. Sometimes I watch a film, usually an old one I love, or maybe the news, but these days I catch the news on the internet, and listen to music on the radio or on cds. No pop! Errggh!

Is there any question that you would have liked me to ask and I didn’t. Nooo you can't talk about that subject it's far too soft. For god's sake grow a pair woman. 

Can't think of anything...please don't hurt me! Ouch! What was that for?

Er ... 'cos I felt like it

So there you have it my little ones and so do I because I managed to do a deal with Helen's wine making. I'd better get her down or I won't get the wine.

I wonder who I'm torturing next?  Ah yes...!

Laters potaters

23 Jun 2018

Take a Psychic and a Children's Entertainer

Hello my little chickadees

I'm really excited about this visitor to my cave. We have known each other for quite a few years and we have the same gifts. Consequently we sat in my end of the cave away from all the blood and gore enjoying a sophisticated chat over tiffin and cucumber sandwiches with crusts cut off naturally. I can do things proper you know. Oh yes indeede....

So then here she is,

Cheryl Turtlemoon

Hello Cheryl would you like to introduce yourself/family etc

Hi! Thanks for interviewing me Tee! I’m Cheryl, and I am married to Reg, a children’s entertainer, and I have one son called Miran and we have a dog :)

Reg E Mental with Chester monkey

Where in the world do you live. 

I live in Herne Bay in Kent, England.

You are a renowned psychic/medium. Can you explain simply what are the differences between a psychic; a medium; a clairaudient; a clairvoyant etc. How does it work?

Oooh interesting question. How I see it is: a psychic is someone who works with energies, like auras and stuff, a medium works with spirit - those who’ve passed over, creating a link much like a telephone exchange :) Clairaudient means to hear spirit. (Audio being sound) Clairvoyant- can see spirit (voyant - from the French “voyer” Clairsentience - “feeling” spirit, and gaining information this way. Claircognizance -“ knowing” the information from spirit without being told. I’m both clairvoyant and clairaudient, with a touch of everything else:)

Your favourite food/drink, hot and cold

My favourite drink at the moment is vanilla tea. It’s a hot drink and caffeine free, yet I’m addicted to it!

Tell us about a typical day for you, or are they all different

My days are all different, the only thing that happens every single day is tarot card of the day. I pull one card, and that’s put in my group on Facebook, so everyone can see the “flavour “ of their day.

Your favourite pet from time immemorial

My favourite pet is my current pet. Oscar, who is 9, runs closely in joint first simply because of his nature. When I got ill he sat with me for months while I was getting better. He is always there and I find him a great comfort.

Where in the world would you choose to go for a holiday if someone else was picking up the tab.

I’d go to Sidari, in Corfu. I absolutely adore it there and I’d spend a very long time there if someone else wanted to pay, lol! Or Rome, so I can see the Sistine chapel and roman ruins.

Do you have time for hobbies Cheryl 

I paint, badly, but I love just picking up colour, or drawing a face.

Do you ever work with crystals

I do work with crystals but mainly on myself. I find them very effective and useful. They’ve helped me on many occasions and my favourite is Tourmaline:) I don’t work on others because I can’t afford the course:)

At the start of your day, do you ever get premonitions of what might happen that day

I sometimes get a feeling like - yesterday I felt we would get some news, and an appointment letter came in the post. Apart from that I sometimes get an unnerving feeling and it usually turns out to be some world news, rarely personal.

When did you first realise you were psychic. How did it happen

I was born this way. The first time I realised that other people couldn’t see what I could see was when I was at school and mentioned someone that others couldn’t see. Also, I was in science class and I “saw” an Earth quake in Japan that had happened. When I got home it was being reported on the evening news. After that people were a bit wary of me. I’ve seen spirit since I was a child. I was very much a loner, although I had friends I didn’t have many. I have a brother, but I actually spent a lot of time with spirit children. I didn’t realise they were spirit children at the time, I was too young! They were friends:)

I know that you are an ordained member of the church. Would you like to tell us how that fulfills you

I am a Spiritulist minister. I mostly do funerals and christenings, though I’ve done 1wedding. I find funerals an honour to do. It’s the last thing people will remember about their loved one, and I try to make it as personal as possible. I try to bring the flavour of their loved one forward. It fulfills me by allowing me to be of great service. It’s such an honour to be asked. Although it’s obviously a very sad occasion, celebrating someone’s life and achievements is truly a gift to me.

What do you do for fun and do you get the chance very often

For fun, my guilty pleasure is you tube and studying. Yes, I have no life, lol!

How successful do you feel your website is and do you think you could enhance it in any way.

I think my website could probably do with a spruce up, but it’s very successful. I’ve had over 44,000 visitors and of course it keeps me employed, doing tarot readings and phone readings:)

How do tarot cards affect your day to day life and how much faith do you have in them

I have immense faith in the tarot. I often consult them personally for things that are going on in my life, and I get much advice from them. The card of the day effects my life in that I know what shape my day could be in :)

Being very spiritual do you have a favourite arch angel that you work with or do they all help you

They all help me, but I have a special spot for any angels in general because they make me feel so loved, and are such a beautiful vibration.

Can you tell us about your spirit guides. Do they come in at will or do you have to summon them

My main guide is a chap called Atticus. I’ve no idea of his background except that he seems very wise and grounded. He has lots of patience and has a dry sense of humour and says what he thinks. I have accidentally quoted him literally and got into trouble because I didn’t think first! I just repeated Atticus’s observations!

What is your favourite day of the week and what do you do

Sunday, although I sometimes work in the evenings serving my local spiritualist church. Usually, I get to sit down and just rest.

When you’re chilling at home what are your favourite clothes to relax in

I wear dresses often. I can no longer wear jeans due to an operation, and I sorely miss them, but dresses are comfortable and I have many, all very brightly coloured (I’m not known for my subtlety or dress sense)

Your favourite genre to read or do you just select randomly.

I tend to read mostly factual or self help books. When I do read fiction it’s usually fantasy, and I do select that based on the blurb of the back cover. And yes, I read paper books, though I’m hopefully going paperless.

What an interesting chat I had with Cheryl Turtlemoon. Just for once I ignored all the blood and gore and just enjoyed the gossip. I hope you did too. 

Pop over to her website if the muse takes you and see all the goodies etc on sale. Maybe you fancy a reading. Cheryl does many ranges of prices and it can also be done by Skype if that's your preference.

Right then back to the blood and gore. I think I have a gardener coming up next. I might put in some sound effects from previous inhabitants screams. I want her to feel comfortable here. (evil cackle)

Laters Potaters

16 Jun 2018

John holt

Hello my little chickadees
What a wonderful day and the sun is shinning. Fledgling magpies are dive bombing my windows on a regular basis. It's driving me nuts. Sheesh! There is a lovely odour of barbecue food cooking outside and I'm stuck here in my cave awaiting my latest victim. I let him out for some fresh air. I'm surprised he hasn't legged it to be honest.
All I hear is, "can't you hear that noise?" Ah here he comes now and believe it or not he has gone straight over to the wall and put his arms up ready to be manacled. Oh well, I can do that. Right then that's him safely hooked up.

Right then John, introduce yourself to my friends,


The name’s John, and thank you for inviting me here to this ….. er …..you know I’ve been thrown out of better places than this. But I understand that some people are dying to get here.

Tee: Some people actually come here and are never seen again. So make the most of it!

Where do you live John? 

I live just 40 miles north of London, in the beautiful County of Essex. 

John's Garden

Have you any pets and what would be your favourite pet from time immemorial?

Over the years we have had three dogs, and three cats. What is that noise? Sounds like someone screaming. Anyway, the three cats actually felt sorry for us, and adopted us. There it is again, don’t you hear it. Sounds like someone being murdered. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, I remember, our dog Saskia. She is a cross breed, with a bit of husky, and probably Alsatian. She is a rescue from Romania. She is 10 months old, and we have had her since she was 4 months. She is slowly getting used to things, but its a long slog. She is quite intelligent, but gets easily side tracked. She has had some training, but we will soon be taking her to another class. We have never had pets though; they have always been family members. As for picking a favourite, sorry no can do. They were all great, with their own quite different personality.


Tee: Never mind the screaming. Just pay attention to the questions

What sort of food/drink do you enjoy?
I like all types of food, except I’m not into Indian food. I don’t really like spicy dishes. I suppose I prefer simple cooking. I do like my vegetables, and roast potatoes. As for drink, mainly coffee. I’m not one for alcohol, but I do like the occasional whiskey and American.

What inspired you to start writing?

That noise again. Sorry what, oh, yes. I don’t know. I guess like a lot of people, I had always wanted to write a novel. But I could never thing of a decent plot. Then in 2005 we had a holiday in the Austrian lake district. About a mile from our chalet was Lake Toplitz. During the war the lake had been used by the German Navy, to test rockets and torpedoes. As the war ended there were rumours of gold bullion being hidden in the lake. Sadly no gold was ever found in the lake, but the story gave me an idea for a novel, and 12 months later “The Kammersee Affair” was published.

Tee: Will you stop going on about the noises. It’s just the wild animals gnawing on bits of body parts I’ve discarded.

I know you’re self published but what persuades you NOT to go for a publishing house?

I think they were called Rejection Slips. Seriously, I thought it would be so easy to get published, but I soon realised that the traditional publishers were only interested in celebrity memoirs. But I did get some offers. Dorrance Publishing in New York wanted my book, and in return all they wanted was $10000.  Yes they were a vanity publisher. Eventually I went with another vanity publisher, also in New York, they only wanted $400. Then in about 2010 along came Night Publishing, (remember them). They were different, and required no money upfront. In 2012 they published my novel “A Killing In The City”. Sadly the whole exercise was not very successful, so towards the end of 2012 I went down the self publishing route. I now have 9 novels, and 3 novellas, all self published.

What do you feel are the pro’s and con’s of self publishing

Self publishing is easy, and cost nothing, if you do everything yourself, including cover design, editing and formatting. With self publishing you have full control. But of course because self publishing is easy and free, everyone is doing it, and competition is high. Much of the material published is rubbish, but it is out there. Being in complete control does, of course, mean that marketing is down to you, and that is getting harder and harder.

If money was no object where would you travel to in the world and who would you take? 

What a question. There are so many places I would like to see, and many of them aren’t that far away. There are also many places that don’t interest me particularly. I suppose if pressed, and money was no object, I would say Australia. Who would I take? My wife and daughter, naturally.

How do you like the ambience of my interview cave? Has it got the right odours or do I need more blood and sawdust on the floor?

Well I’m not too sure about the colour scheme. I mean blood red is OK I guess, but you can have too much I think. And it doesn’t really go with that greenish yellow slime. Did you have an interior decorator do it for you, or is it your own work? The chains hanging on the wall are OK, and the bones scattered around is a nice touch, but I really think adding the rack is stretching things a bit too far.

Tee: It was all my own work actually and I haven’t tried out the rack yet. Can you just remember that I do the jokes, not the victim otherwise you could be a contender.

How many books have you written now and have you got a WIP at the moment? 

To date there have been nine novels, and three novellas. I do have a WIP, but its very early days, and a lot of plotting needs to be thought out. OK, I’ll be honest, I’m having great problems coming up with a plot. I’m also busy getting translations done on Babelcube, and audiobooks on ACX. Which prompts me to say that if anyone is interested in audiobooks, I have a number of free promo codes for my books. Just let me know.

Do you find promotion hard and if so how do you get round it?

As I said previously, marketing is getting harder and harder, and I’m running out of ideas, so any thoughts would be welcomed.

Tee: I’m just the keeper of the blog and victim cave, but maybe someone has some ideas. Contact me at the cave if you have. Just follow the screams.

Which outlet do you favour for your book sales. Are there drawbacks and if so what are they?

At the present time my books are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and several other outlets throughout the world. I have books available through Lulu and Createspace. I have books available in several languages including Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Greek. Of all the outlets despite its drawbacks, Amazon is by far the best outlet.

Well, I have to say thank you for bringing me here, but I want it known that you didn’t need to drag me here, screaming and kicking, being chained up was sufficient. Anyway, it’s been a pain. I mean that, a real pain, my arms will never be the same again. How I’ll be able to explain why one arm is so much longer than the other, I don’t know. In conclusion you should be aware that I have been tortured before, but this place does have a bit of style, a bit of class. There’s that wretched noise again …

Tee: I go to all this effort to get a decent interview from someone. Put them in the spotlight and I just get pure abuse. Life sucks sometimes, it really does.

Laters potaters