Archive for April, 2010

Waterstones Reading / Signing

Posted in Non-Fictions on April 24, 2010 by Tom Fletcher

EVERYBODY. I will be reading from THE LEAPING, taking questions (if anybody has any) and signing copies of the book at the Deansgate Waterstones in Manchester at 7pm on Wednesday 26th May. Please, please, please come along. We’ll go for drinks afterwards, all of us. (Well, anybody who wants to).

Tickets are £3, redeemable against copies of the book. And there will be wine, juice, small things to eat, etc… all in all, pretty much everything you could ever hope for.

THE THING ON THE SHORE – Cover!

Posted in Non-Fictions on April 24, 2010 by Tom Fletcher

For some reason the thumbnail has poor resolution, but just click on it for the full, high-resolution image.

Cover for 'Thing on the Shore'

The strapline is just a place-holder – that will change. And apparently it’s not finished yet. But I love it. I really love it.

‘Mr Monster’ by Dan Wells

Posted in Non-Fictions on April 17, 2010 by Tom Fletcher

At the World Horror Convention in Brighton, somebody recommended a book to me. Mr Monster, by Dan Wells. They said ‘It’s Y.A, really, but it is very dark,’ or something along those lines. They also said something along the lines of ‘It’s very, very good.’

Whether they said exactly that or not – it is very, very good. It is Dan Wells’ second novel, and the second to feature (and be narrated by, in fact) the protagonist John Wayne Cleaver. (The first novel is I Am Not A Serial Killer, which I haven’t read, but which is now on my ‘to read’ list). John Cleaver is a teenage sociopath struggling to repress his dark side (the side he refers to as ‘Mr Monster’) and is not only a thoroughly convincing character, but – impressively – a highly likeable one. I won’t go into too much detail about the story (the synopsis can be found on Amazon, here) but Mr Monster is a very compelling read told in a tight, sharp, concise manner, as befitting the unemotional, clinical nature of the narrator. (John Cleaver is not only a sociopath but a mortuary assistant).

I have to confess – I didn’t know what the term ‘Y.A’ meant until I was at the Horror Convention. I hadn’t really heard the expression much at all. For those of you who don’t know, it means ‘Young Adult’. I’m very curious, though, as to what ‘Young Adult’ means, especially now that I’ve read Mr Monster. Because this is a very violent book; there’s graphic violence, graphic scenes featuring dead bodies and decomposition, startlingly cold and dark domestic tension/violence, implied sexual violence, torture, violence with screwdrivers, violence towards animals, fantasies of extreme violence from the sympathetic narrator, bad language, lots of blood and bodily fluids etc, violence, blood, serial killers, violence, etc. All delivered in a very pithy, intelligent way.

I don’t really know what a ‘Young Adult’ is, I suppose. A review of this book on Amazon suggests that it’s suitable for readers aged fifteen and up. Maybe that answers the question? The one thing I noticed that differentiated this book from an ‘Old Adult’ book, I’d say, is that it uses the word ‘effing’ instead of the word ‘fucking’. (In my head I read it as ‘fucking’ though). Really, apart from that, this is a book – like any book – that is suitable for anybody who wants to read it. It is a very good book, full stop.

I’ve just looked at my copy of Mr Monster and it doesn’t say ‘Y.A.’ or ‘Young Adult’ anywhere on it, so maybe I shouldn’t have even brought it up in this blog post. It’s something that interests me though.

In my opinion, one of the most exciting and powerful things about reading – especially when you’re a child or, indeed, what might be described as a ‘young adult’ – is that there is nothing stopping you from reading a book that might be entirely ‘unsuitable’ for you. Let’s just hope that if fiction does go down the route of books being marked as ‘suitable for ages x-y’ then there are plenty of books like Mr Monster around to subvert that categorisation.

To summarise; I strongly recommend this book, however old you are. On Amazon it’s tagged as ‘Young Adult’, and in bookshops it might even be shelved in ‘Teenage Fiction’, but don’t let that put you off, if that would have put you off. Just buy it, read it, enjoy it, and take vicarious pleasure in imagining what Richard Littlejohn etc would make of it.

It’s published by Headline, and it’s available now.

Quick Update

Posted in Non-Fictions on April 13, 2010 by Tom Fletcher

Further to that previous post, entitled ‘The Coming Months’, I have a couple of updates.

Firstly, I will NOT be reading at the Word Soup Birthday Party on April the 20th, but I WILL be reading at the launch of the first Word Soup publication, on May 25th, in Preston. (An anthology in which I’m honoured to be included, I’ve got to say – all of the other contributors that I know of are really, really excellent).

Secondly, I will be discussing ‘The Leaping’ with Becky Want on BBC Radio Manchester at 4.25pm on May the 4th. Live. I’m already terrified.

A Photo From Our Honeymoon

Posted in Non-Fictions on April 5, 2010 by Tom Fletcher

I don’t think I ever did post any photos of Iceland, such as the above. One day I will.

Last Night At The Cinema

Posted in Non-Fictions on April 3, 2010 by Tom Fletcher

I was in the toilets. A man came in and started peeing into the urinal next to me. A moment later, out of the corner of my eye, I saw him fall backwards, straight backwards, landing flat on his back and on the back of his skull. The impact made a really loud sound. His turquoise glasses flew off, landing about three feet beyond the top of his head. Thankfully I had finished urinating. I crouched down next to him and saw that his eyes were flickering open and closed. His whole body, really, was shaking, but seemed totally rigid. Like a mobile phone vibrating. I didn’t have my phone on me or I would have called an ambulance. I was pretty panicked. I was talking to him. Babbling, really. I kept asking if he needed an ambulance but he couldn’t hear me. I don’t think he could hear me, anyway. Then he stood up. He had been fitting for maybe ten or fifteen seconds but it felt like a lot longer. I asked him again if he needed an ambulance but he said he didn’t. He said he was fine. Then he just left. I followed him out to see if he was OK and he went back into the screen he’d come out of. I went back to wash my hands and about half a minute later he came back for his glasses. I checked again if he was OK and he assured me he was. The frames of his glasses were a very strange colour. A nice colour, really.

Please No

Posted in Non-Fictions on April 3, 2010 by Tom Fletcher

A picture from Flabbergastedly.com for your enjoyment:

mr meat and potatoes