The Next Big Thing


The Next Big Thing is a questionnaire for writers regarding their works in progress or upcoming books. Each writer answers the questions, then tags five others. Here’s my answers. Check it…


What is your working title of your book?

My next book coming out “Schadenfreude, a short story collection coming out through Dog Horn Publishing. Around the same time i have a novella “Escaping the Crimson Sphere” (illustrated by Justin Coons) and another one called “A Message from the Slave State” set for 2013 release through Western Legends Publishing. It’s going to be a busy fuckin Christmas.

-What genre does your book fall under?

Probably “New Weird”, though i do hate these pretentious contemporary monikers for things. “Schadenfreude” is an odd mixture of bizarro, sci-fi and absurdist literature (although you might argue Bizarro is a cross-genre movement and covers almost everything).

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

If i could have anyone?…i’d love George.C.Scott in there…realistically, i’m sure i’d end up with Jeffrey Combs…but he’s a strong second best.

-What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Enter a mind full of transcendental drugs, doomed punks,  voyeuristic puppets and omnipotent intergalactic prisons…

-Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

No. It’ll be out through Dog Horn Publishing, the others are a bit hush hush….(pauses for dramatic effect)

. -How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

‘Schadenfreude’ is my first mss, so it took me absolutely ages, under a year give or take. When i dropped out of Strathclyde University the first time it gave me plenty of free time to accumulate the stories – some i’ve used, others i have left in the past – i was a dumb, self-loathing, highly impressionable teenager, so there’s still lots of that in there.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I’d say all the Bizarro guys, like Carlton Mellick III and Cameron Pierce – Tom Bradley and Rhys Hughes too. There’s a big influence from people like Alasdair Gray, his short stories are a great blend of strong prose, grand absurdist concepts and internal conflict. Buddy Giovinazzo’s work has left a major impression on me. There’s also a lot of New Worlds fiction in there.

-Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My desire to do something with my life and not shuffle off this mortal coil a forgotten, artless moron…

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Apart from the brain melting pace and plots?…i’m the first Scot (maybe even the first Brit) to wear the Bizarro genre proudly on my sleeve. There have been other UK writers well ingratiated in the genre of weird fiction. Dave Migman and Rhys Hughes have  strong Dadist surrealism inherent to their work, but i’m not sure i’d call it Bizarro. Like any mode of artistic expression, a medium has to evolve to survive. Literature has become stagnant, trapped between James Patterson and Dostoevsky. The only new place for writing to go is into unexplored territory. Bizarro is untrammelled by any kind of literary convention or dynamic and is so heavy with metaphor it should appease even the staunchest of book boffins. I’m really keen to promote the movement in my own country and champion it’s ethos…which i suppose…maybe makes me kind unique in that respect.

I was fortunate enough to’ve been tagged by my friend and Imperial Youth Review co-creator Garret Cook , Check out his amazing books!

I’m tagging John Palisano because he’s a good man and a talented author. I’m to have the pleasure of working closely with him on various upcoming projects.

Wendy Jane Muzlanova is another author who has been so lovely to me. She’s also incredibly talented.

My good friend Vikki Hastings is my drinking friend first and foremost, but she’s also an extremely talented artist

Richard Thomas is a slipstream author who deserves a lot more exposure and he’s a delight to work with.

Finally, Dave Migman, author of “The Wolf Stepped Out”, my favourite Dog horn book. Dave is also someone i’ve been lucky enough to work closely with.









Writer, journalist, editor, illustrator of the New Weird.




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