Book review on Words With Jam

Dec 11 2013 Published by under Book reviews, Books, Words With Jam

I subscribe to the Words With Jam newsletter and when the editor asked for book reviewers, I thought, ‘aha, I don’t write many book reviews; if someone makes me do it, then I’ll write more’. So I emailed back and said, ‘Hello, I’d love to write book reviews for Words With Jam’, attaching my review of How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. The editor – Jane – emailed back, said she thought my review was great and would love to have me as a contributor and gave me a deadline to send another review, of any book, new or old.

in-search-of-adam-caroline-smailes

The book on the go on my Kindle at the time was the disturbing – but brilliant – In Search of Adam by Caroline Smailes, so I wrote about that, sent it off and waited for Jane to come back and say my review was shit. She didn’t say it was shit; she said it was perfect and here it is on the Words With Jam website.

Then, another nice thing happened. @StRemeze saw the link to the review on Twitter, and liked it so much he re-posted it on his blog (giving me full credit, he didn’t just rip me off).

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Video: Dirty Boy by Cathy White (as published in 100 RPM)

Jun 19 2012 Published by under Video

I feel a bit conceited, putting my name in the title like that, but it is a video of me reading out my story Dirty Boy that is published in 100 RPM, so I think it’s ok, isn’t it?

Anyway, because Nik Perring recorded his, then Cath Bore recorded hers, here is my recording of mine. Anyone else done theirs?

 

As mentioned previously, 100 RPM is a collection put together by Caroline Smailes of one-hundred 100-word stories inspired by music, with an introduction by Nik Kershaw. ALL the profit (i.e. after what Amazon takes) goes to the charity One in Four (a registered charity which provides support and resources to people who have experienced sexual abuse and sexual violence), so please buy it.

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100 RPM–100 stories inspired by music

Jun 07 2012 Published by under Flash fiction, Publications

I’ve mentioned a couple of times about 100 RPM – the collection of 100-word stories I’ve got a story in – and now it’s available to buy on Amazon.

Here’s why you should buy it (in no particular order):

It’s got a fab cover;

100-RPM_cover

an introduction by Nik Kershaw (I’M IN A BOOK WITH NIK KERSHAW, WHOOP!);

it contains 100 brilliant stories inspired by music – all 100 words long, so it’s perfect for a quick dip into if you’re bored at the bus stop or something; and

ALL the profit (i.e. after what Amazon takes) goes to the charity One in Four (a registered charity which provides support and resources to people who have experienced sexual abuse and sexual violence); and

it’s only 99p on Amazon UK; or $1.55 on Amazon US.

If any of the above reasons aren’t a good enough reason to buy it, please leave a comment below (N.B. ‘You’ve got a story in it’ ISN’T a good enough reason).

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Freaks! by Caroline Smailes and Nik Perring

Apr 12 2012 Published by under Books, Flash fiction

FreaksShe’s a busy girl, that Caroline Smailes. Her novel, 99 Reasons Why, was released last month and now she’s got another book out – this time in collaboration with flash fiction author Nik Perring and illustrator Darren Craske.

Freaks! is a collection of over fifty short stories, where you’ll find freaks and misfits such as a woman who can reproduce herself at will and attempts to teach her daughter to do the same; the man who can break his way into his lovers dream; and the woman in My Little Pony Pants who likes to be ridden like a pony.

As a taster, here’s Invisible, one of the stories in the collection.

Invisible-1

Invisible 

[Super Power: The ability to make oneself unseen to the naked eye]

 

If I stay totally still,

if I stand right tall,

with me back against the school wall,

close to the science room’s window,

with me feet together,

pointing straight,

aiming forward,

if I make me hands into tight fists,

make me arms dead straight,

if I push me arms into me sides,

if I squeeze me thighs,

stop me wee,

if me belly doesn’t shake,

if me boobs don’t wobble,

if I close me eyes tight,

so tight that it makes me whole face scrunch,

if I push me lips into me mouth,

if I make me teeth bite me lips together,

if I hardly breathe,

if I don’t say a word.

Then,

I’ll magic meself invisible,

and them lasses will leave me alone.

Freaks! is out now and available from Amazon as a paperback or ebook.

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99 Reasons Why by Caroline Smailes

Mar 22 2012 Published by under Book reviews

99 REASONS99 Reasons Why by Caroline Smailes doesn’t have an ending. It has 9 of them. To choose your ending on a Kindle, you answer three questions. On an iPhone or iPad, you get a spinning wheel to play with that will choose an ending at random. After reading your chosen ending, you can read all the others.

In addition to these 9 endings, there are another two. One is below, and the other will be handwritten by Caroline and auctioned for charity.

I got to the questions on my Kindle late last night and wimped out of choosing my ending. It was like I was scared to choose the wrong one and give Kate (the character the book’s based around) a disservice. Kate’s got a fucked-up life (her mum spends most of the book calling Kate a filthy whore, but Kate thinks Princess Diana is her real mum anyway) and so while I didn’t want a happy ending for her (that seemed too unrealistic), I didn’t want her life to be any more fucked-up than it already is. I also didn’t rush to finish it as I loved the book so much, I didn’t want it to end, which is most unlike me as I’m usually in a hurry to finish one so I can start reading another.

I’m not going to tell you what ending I got, you’ll just have to buy the book for yourself and choose your own. The Kindle version is available at Amazon and the iBook version at iTunes. I could give you 99 reasons why you should buy this book but that would take too long, so just go and buy it, it’s brilliantly fucked-up and funny.

One of the endings from 99 Reasons Why

99: the reason why I was only worth ninety-nine quid

It’s been six days since the little girl in the pink coat went missing and me Uncle Phil’s in me bedroom.

We’ve been watching the little girl in the pink coat’s mam on the news. She was appealing to the public for witnesses.

‘Didn’t realise she had a mam,’ I says, looking at me telly.

‘Everyone’s got a mam, pet,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

‘She sold her story to The Sun,’ I says, looking at me telly.

‘Got a few quid,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

I nod.

‘She wanted nowt to do with that bairn before all this,’ me Uncle Phil says, looking at me telly.

‘Do you know where she is?’ I asks me Uncle Phil.

‘Belle?’ me Uncle Phil asks me.

I nod.

‘She’s safe,’ me Uncle Phil says to me. ‘Your mam’s keeping an eye on her.’

‘Can I be her mam?’ I asks me Uncle Phil.

‘No, pet, you’re a filthy whore,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

I nod.

‘Can you make Andy Douglas come back, Uncle Phil?’ I asks me Uncle Phil.

Me Uncle Phil shakes his head.

‘I love him,’ I tell me Uncle Phil.

‘Andy Douglas is your brother, pet. You didn’t seriously think Princess Di was your mam, did you?’ me Uncle Phil asks me.

I nod.

‘You’re a cradle snatcher just like your mam,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

I nod.

‘Your mam miscarried when she found out I’d been banging Betty Douglas. Betty was expecting you,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

I don’t speak.

‘When you was born, your mam went mad and I ended up buying you from Betty Douglas for ninety-nine quid,’ me Uncle Phil says.

‘Ninety-nine quid?’ I asks me Uncle Phil.

‘I paid a hundred but got a quid change for some chips for your mam and dad’s tea,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

‘You bought me?’ I asks me Uncle Phil.

I’m a little bit sick in me mouth.

‘It was the right thing to do,’ me Uncle Phil says to me. ‘I got Betty Douglas pregnant straight away with Andy.’

‘I’m pregnant,’ I says to me Uncle Phil. ‘I’m pregnant with me brother’s baby,’ I says, and then I throws up on me purple carpet.

‘You’re a filthy whore,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

‘What am I going to do?’ I asks me Uncle Phil.

‘You’re going to have the baby,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

‘Have me brother’s baby?’ I asks me Uncle Phil.

‘Then I’m giving it to Betty Douglas to bring up,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

‘You what?’ I says to me Uncle Phil.

‘It’s the right thing to do,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

‘I can’t—’ I says to me Uncle Phil.

‘It’s either that or I’ll make you disappear,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

I don’t speak.

I’m thinking, they’re all a bunch of nutters.

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