eye off the ball

Oops. Two months since I last added a blog to the website. That’s a bit slack. But then, in my defence, I’ve been a bit busy. City Baby, which I helped write (and which I may have mentioned before, once or twice) was officially published on October 1st, and – well – let’s just say things went a little bit manic.
The book got great reviews in Vive Le Rock, Record Collector, and Sidewalk magazines, and an even better one – if that’s possible – on the Louder Than War website. (You can read it here if you haven’t already.) One month later, on November 1st, the final copy was sold and we were on the phone, babbling incoherently to the printers about needing some more. I think they got the gist of what we were saying, eventually, and the books are on their way.
Most of the time, this blog ends up being about my poetry. Today, I hope you’ll excuse me for blowing my own trumpet – and no, madam, that isn’t a euphemism (they’re bigger) – about a very different style of writing. One which is collaborative where the poetry isn’t. Because to create City Baby, as with the Steve Ignorant book before that, the key to it all was sitting down with someone and working out the best way to help them tell their story. And I have a passion for stories. Especially the kind of stories which otherwise go untold and, all too often, forgotten.
Ross’s story, which we tell in City Baby, is an absolute cracker, and – every time I take a moment to stop and reflect on what’s happened – I’m happier than I have words to say that so many people think so too. If you want a story of survival, of friendship and loyalty and excess, a story packed with laughter and so honest it’ll make your eyes sting, then – whether you know the first thing about punk rock or not – it’s more than worth a read. Don’t take my word for it. Check with Louder Than War.
So, there you go. Trumpet duly blown, missus. City Baby is being re-printed, my first book of poems Shattered has almost sold out, and Island Songs is odds on to break even before the end of the year (with a bit of luck and a following wind, anyway). Life could be worse. I hope yours is good. And I hope, for all of us, 2013 ends on a bit of a high note.
Because I like tales of survival.