Tag: Books

Gavin Jefferson’s ‘Lit’ Grindhouse, Volume One – LOVEGUN

‘a dark comedy from a nobody writer’

cover

After waking from a vasectomy, Mark – a middle-aged loner – learns that due to a bizarre surgical augmentation, his penis now fires bullets.

Blackmailed by his surgeon, he must travel the country and use his tool to assassinate a list of hand-picked targets.

Mark’s a hitman now, but can he ‘pull the trigger?’

Available on kindle and Paperback on Tuesday 28th May 2019. Details and pre-order links to follow.

Artwork by Twisted Abnormality.
Follow him on Instagram, because he’s an incredible artist:
https://www.instagram.com/twistedabnormality/

More about the book:

After writing five serious pieces of work, two of which are available now (The Surrogate, and Almost Surely), I decided to write something fun and ridiculous.
This novella is self-deprecating, shocking, and funny, and not for the faint of heart.

I had a great deal of fun writing this, and I hope that you’ll enjoy reading it.

Follow me on Twitter at:

https://twitter.com/DoctorUlysses
https://twitter.com/LGrindhouse

 

Almost Surely, Available now, worldwide!

When you control the fate of others, who is in control of yours?

Anthony Hopper is an Agent of Influence. He directs the lives of those selected by Watcher, the living embodiment of Fate.
Jack and Henry, twins, are the latest additions to the agency, and it is Anthony’s task to train them.
When one abuses his knowledge of the future, Anthony discovers that Watcher is not as faultless as he believed and that those closest to him, including his soul-collecting confidante, Edith, may be conspiring against him.

Follow Anthony as he discovers the truth about his destiny, what to expect when life ends, and how the universe rewards those with good intentions.

One reviewer called it: ‘…a brilliant melding of time travel, mythology and noir, with fun characters and a thrilling plot that kept me guessing til the end.

Buy now, from your locale:

UK 
USA
CA
AU
DE
FR
ES
IT
NL
BR
MX
JP
IN

 

 

 

Research Materials…

It has been a long, stressful year, editing/re-writing Almost Surely (out in one week!)
I’m struggling to find enjoyment in what I’m doing, so I’m putting all of my writing projects on hold until I learn to love it again.

In the meantime, I’m going to take a Scrooge McDuck-style dive into research. Here’s my current research pile:

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What do you take away from that? Read on, and let me know in the comments.

Each book on that pile has a different purpose. Some are obvious, if you know what I’m working on, some: not so much. These books are representative of four separate projects that I have either finished, and want to fact-check/cross-check some stuff for, or those I intend to work on. Reminder, this image/list is incomplete.

What have we got?

1, Room to Dream, by David Lynch and Kristine McKenna. (Purpose: Classified)
2, Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman (Purpose: see the comments, below)
3, Encyclopedia of the Unexplained, by Reuben Stone (Purpose: Classified)
4, Fortean Times, Issues 1-15 (Purpose: Classified)
5, A Brief History of Seven Killings, by Marlon James (Purpose: see the comments, below)
6, Bill Hicks: Agent of Evolution, by Kevin Booth and Michael Bertin (Purpose: Classified)
7, World War Z, by Max Brooks (Purpose: Classified)
8, Man and his Symbols, by Carl Jung (Purpose: Classified)
9, Communion, by Whitley Strieber (Purpose: Classified)
10, Ancient Aliens, season one and two (Purpose: Classified)
11, The Goonies (Purpose: Classified)

Why?

I can’t speak for some writers, and why they use certain books/media for research, but I’ll tell you why I’m using these two novels: Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman, and A Brief History of Seven Killings, by Marlon James. At first glance you may think, ‘well, there’s little that connects the two.’ At first glance, you may be right. One is the semi-sequel to an extremely popular fantasy novel, (American Gods) the other is a brutal, Tarrantino-esque, Man Booker Prize winning novel about the attempts on Bob Marley’s life. The similarities here are not the subjects, no, I’m using these two novels as reference for their use of language.

Specifically: I have written a novel where one of the characters talks with a strong Jamaican accent/Patois.

Why these two novels? Well, one was written by a Jamaican man, and one was not. One I know is written in Jamaican Patois, and the other: the audiobook was narrated by a man (Lenny Henry) who is incredibly proud of his heritage. Considering the fact that I am incredibly white, but married into a Caribbean family, I want to ensure that my character’s dialogue is both accurate, and written with respect. My intention is to compare the texts, and see what is deemed ‘acceptable,’ for a white author to write.

Also, I really want to read them.

Reading Materials #2, Mind in the Gap, by C.R. Dudley

Synopsis:

“The body likes continuity. It’s part of the deal. But the truth is, there are gaps everywhere. Gaps only the mind can slip through…”

Follow M – a strange and chaotic being who professes to be the outcast of a black hole – on a journey like no other. Flowing freely through the back streets of hidden realms, she drives her companion to meet commuters who cross dimensions, embody future technology, and peek behind the scenes at consciousness: all with one purpose in mind.

Inventive, zany and often surreal, C.R. Dudley’s style melds the metaphysical with the technological to create dazzling architectures of thought. Mind in the Gap is an extraordinary book of diversions, circular routes and infinite possibilities. A collection of 14 unique stories and 14 alternate realities – with more to connect them than meets the eye.

Opinion:

I had the privilege of beta-reading Mind in the Gap, prior to release, and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. It is a non-linear, interconnected short story collection, with a beautiful narrative centred on the concept of travel, both physically and mentally.

The science fiction is strong throughout, and some of the ideas blew me away. There’s a reality-eclipse in ‘Baily’s Beads,’ for example. What? It’s not just the sci-fi which C.R excels at in this novel, but her use of Jungian theory, too. It helps if you have an understanding of Carl Jung’s work, for sure, but the stories are incredibly accessible. Some are heart-warming, some are terrifying; one felt as if I were reading a long-lost Hayao Miyazaki story.

C.R. is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors, and I cannot wait for her next release. If you enjoy contemporary science fiction and metaphysics, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you did not pick it up.

 

Reading Materials #1 Toroa, by Erik Hofstatter

So, I’m starting a new series on here, highlighting works by authors, (predominantly Indie) that I have enjoyed. First up: Toroa, by Erik Hofstatter.

Synopsis:

Infants are vanishing all over Waitangi, a small island nestled in the Pacific Ocean. The local tribe believes a colossal albatross is responsible. Worse still, they are convinced that the seabird had been trained to carry out these sinister kidnappings. On the other side of the globe, in England, a troubled Maori girl falls in love with Aryan — a charismatic fire-breather. As their doomed relationship unfolds, a tragedy strikes, leaving her forever changed. Grieving, she travels to the island in desperate search of her estranged father and seeking answers to her shrouded origins. Will her actions influence the mysterious events occurring on the isle?

Opinion:

Toroa is a tale of two halves: the set-up, and the gut-punch ending. Erik’s world-creation is exceptional, and his characters feel nuanced, genuine, and terrifying. The story is dark in tone, but there is hope sprinkled throughout. Look at that cover!!!

Erik tackles some hard themes, here, and he does so really well. I’m not going to spoil them, but if you read the synopsis carefully, it’s right there. Toroa is not for the faint of heart. I read Toroa between July 16-20th, and I’m still thinking about it.

I cannot wait to see what Erik does next!

Body positivity in fiction, an anniversary.

One year ago, yesterday, I finished the first draft of The Surrogate.
It was a story that I had been planning, but put off for other things, for four years.

I’ve spoken about it quite a bit, but because the topic of body positivity is rife right now, and because it’s the anniversary of my writing it, I feel that it’s worth revisiting.

It’s set in a future where obesity has been eradicated, due to a government-led eugenics program. Ronald Calico runs, and is the main draw of New Tokyo’s premier ‘cuddle-lounge.’ He has grown in notoriety because he is fat. An oddity. The last of his kind.

The novella follows David, a journalist, and the face of the New Tokyo Broadcast Corporation. He has been assigned the task of running an expose on Ronald. The purpose is to learn more about Ronald, why he is fat (when nobody else is), why he is popular, and why he does what he does.

It’s science-fiction in setting, but it’s a stealthy commentary on intimacy, sexuality, sexual identity, relationships, and body positivity.

My aim was to write a story for fat people who felt alienated and ashamed of their bodies, like I had. I wanted to write something uplifting, thought-provoking, and empowering. The Surrogate is a story that I’m incredibly proud of because it’s my love-letter to those who struggle with self-worth. And despite the premise, it isn’t only for fat people.

I wanted to write something that spoke to me, a fat man with low self-esteem, and self-confidence, hence why I dedicated it to myself.

17/08/2018 [@GUNSHIPMUSIC, inspiration, and a cheeky novel announcement…]

It’s always a good day when your favourite artists release new music. Here is GUNSHIP’s new track: ‘When you grow up, your heart dies,’ and I think that it is incredible.

GUNSHIP are one of those bands, man. I’ve owned their debut/self-titled since late 2015, and it has been on steady rotation, ever since. Excluding the times where I’ve lent the CD to friends, which is a must, it has not left my car’s glove box.

I describe their sounds as ‘a realist’s 1980’s view of the future.’ Like: if Deftones, John Carpenter and Vangelis had a lovechild together.

I’m self-publishing a novel in 2020 entitled ‘Never Change (…and never say die).’ This is the first time I have ever written the title on this blog, so this is the ‘official announcement,’ I guess.

Set in 1989. The novel concerns six pre-teen friends, (who live in the shadows of a lunatic asylum) and their Goonies-inspired adventure. GUNSHIP and their music are important to me because when I did my research for the novel, (which was to revisit the street I lived, on as a child) their album was my soundtrack. When I think of their music, it reminds me of the fun I had, writing the book.

When I write, I imagine my scenes as miniature movies. The novel begins with the friends re-enacting scenes from Beverly Hills Cop, during their lunch-break, so, the soundtrack to this scene was ‘Axel F,’ by Harold Faltermeyer.

Because the novel is set in the 1980’s, the soundtrack consists (mostly) of songs from that era. But when the novel ends, (and the hypothetical credits roll) I imagine GUNSHIP’s Kitsune playing you out of the theatre.

Have a lovely weekend!

Gav

x

On Hiatus (July’s blog, #late)

 

So, I logged out of Facebook and Twitter a week ago, and it feels great. I’m not going back for a while. If you see this post, because it flashed up on one of these sites, it’s because I sent it there. I’m not online.

Almost Surely

I finished Almost Surely. I got three ‘proof’ copies printed so that my beta readers could read the story, and highlight any issues they might stumble across. Already, I’ve adjusted the formatting, and I’ve received my first batch of feedback (thanks mum!). I’m well on my way to having the final (FINAL) manuscript, ready for release, in October. Everything is going swimmingly.

Pre-orders for the kindle edition are live, now. (peep the link below)

The print edition will be out on October 23rd, but for reasons beyond my understanding, Amazon do not allow for print-copy pre-orders. I don’t know why that is. And because of the hullabaloo revolving the release of The Surrogate, I won’t hit ‘make this live, now!’ on the KDP site until the day before release. £8.99 will be the Print RRP. £3.49 on Kindle.

A little background on Almost Surely

I began writing Almost Surely in October 2013. I broke my ankle playing basketball, and I was off work, on sick leave. I was 75% of the way through writing my first novel (then titled ‘Miles.’), and I just felt something. I had watched The Adjustment Bureau, a movie based on the short story ‘The Adjustment Team,’ by Philip K Dick, and it left me with many, many questions. These, I explored, and the result was a novel I called ‘The Pass.’

I can’t even remember why I called it that, but with all things artistic, they’re never really finished, are they? The Pass morphed into Almost Surely (a title that most won’t understand until they read the thing), and ‘Miles,’ the novel I had been writing, evolved into something I’m now calling ‘Lucid.’

Anyway…

I began Almost Surely in the October of 2013, and I finished the first draft sometime in 2015. It was a hard journey because it was the first story I had ever written which was not P.O.V.

One of the biggest pitfalls was (due to my below-average GCSE English grade, and my overall ‘I don’t give a fuck’-ness) that I did not understand the difference between past and present tense. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? So, combining that with a new narrative style, yeah, it was hard, hard work. I’ve always felt confident with the story, but the execution was severely lacking. That was until I re-wrote it, this year. I’m finally happy with it, now.

I can’t wait for you to see it.

October 23rd. Mark it in your diaries, if you have them…

My creative process.

It’s extremely rare for me to concentrate on only one project, at a time. As I mentioned, above, I was ¾ of the way through writing Miles/Lucid when I began Almost Surely. I hated the idea of leaving the first project unfinished, so I wrote a rough outline for A.S. and dove back into Lucid. I finished that and then jumped right back into A.S.

Before finishing A.S, I wrote a tester chapter for The Surrogate, specs for 2020’s release, (I’ll talk about this, later) and I began work on Lucid’s follow up, too. It was only last year (2017) that I finished all of these projects.

After I finished these, (four novels and one novella, count ‘em!) I promised myself that I would take some time out to polish them. I started work on a new novella before I really knew what I was doing. I wrote that throughout December, and I finished it in the first week of January. From then, until now, I’ve done nothing but work on Almost Surely.

Now that A.S is done, (barring any small corrections before release) I have nothing on my plate!

I know I said that I had begun work on a new project in last month’s blog, and even though this was true at the time, I have done very little on it, since. The truth of the matter is this: I’ve read, and formatted, and done very little else because that is what I needed to do. I burnt myself out. From 2012 until one month ago, I’ve been busy writing one thing or another, without a break. I’m having a break, right now. A break from writing, and a break from (anti)social media. I’m reading, and watching, and learning. I’m thinking about what I want to do next and refuelling my creative juices. I’m planning, and I am exposing myself to narrative styles that are peculiar, and thought-provoking, and when I begin my next few projects, they’re going to be awesome.

So, what’s next?

Well, I do have something planned for next year. It’s a novella, but it will be very, very different to The Surrogate and Almost Surely. I can’t (and won’t) say much more than this:

It will be a palate-cleanser.

Some will love it.

Some will hate it, with a passion.

But, yeah, just you wait.

After this, in 2020, I will be releasing another novel. I need to tinker with the ending, a little, but it’s 97-98% done. After this? I’m not sure.

I still have two novels in the vault, ‘Lucid,’ and the sequel, but these need an overhaul.

My plans are to write a couple of novellas, and a novel, before my 2020 release. I want to dive back into the Lucid, and it’s sequel, just to see what I can do with them. ‘Lucid,’ was heavily inspired by Chuck Palahniuk’s ‘Choke,’ Haruki Murakami’s ‘1Q84,’ and a few of my messed up dreams, but it lost its way part of the way through. I’m casually tinkering with it, now, but it’s nothing serious. The epilogue and theme are very personal to me, so it needs to be right if I plan on releasing it.

The Surrogate was a love-letter to fat people. I’m fat, and for a long while, I had low self-esteem. I began writing a break-down of the novella for this blog, because (at the time) I felt as though I had to explain myself. I don’t feel that way anymore. The novella is finding its audience, and I’m happy about that.

Almost Surely? You’ll have to figure it out for yourself.

I’ll say this, though: each project revolves around an idea, or thought, that confuses me. Writing books is just my way of deconstructing these subjects, and processing them so that it makes sense to me. Each story contains something deeply personal to me, which is why they all have a lot of heart. I believe that, as a reader or a viewer of art, you can tell what is genuine, and what is not, in your gut. I hope that if you’ve read a piece of my work, it affected you.

Reading

I’ve been reading a lot, recently. The highlight of my year, so far, has been Pale Fire, by Vladimir Nabokov. I was intrigued, to begin with, and then I hated it, but as I neared the end: I fell in love with it.

There’s a lot to take in because it feels like an info-dump, but things take an interesting turn when you’re about half-way through. From that point on, you’re left feeling cynical and fascinated by what Nabokov is doing. It’s a difficult book, (well, it was for me) but the payoff is well worth it.

It’s an unusual narrative style, and it feels very flowery, to begin with, but it’s incredibly well executed. Some say it’s a perfect novel. The journey certainly leaves you frustrated, but when you get there: it’s easy to see why.

It’s a difficult book to recommend, but if you’re interested in alternative narratives, it’s well worth your time. I wasn’t until I read it, but I am, now.

Movies

Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Beautiful, and incredibly acted. It’s the first part of a trilogy, (I’m yet to watch the last) but if you hadn’t known this, wait until you see the end credits. So much storytelling done with lines. Jesus, trust me, give it a watch. It’s worth your time.

The Monthly Playlist

 

 

 

Almost Surely pre-orders are now live!

My debut novel ‘Almost Surely,’ is available to pre-order now!

When you control the fate of others, who is in control of yours?

Anthony Hopper is an Agent of Influence. He directs the lives of those selected by Watcher, the living embodiment of Fate.

Jack and Henry, twins, are the latest additions to the agency, and it is Anthony’s task to train them. When one abuses his knowledge of the future, Anthony discovers that Watcher is not as faultless as he believed and that those closest to him, including his soul-collecting confidante, Edith, may be conspiring against him.

Follow Anthony as he discovers the truth about his destiny, what to expect when life ends, and how the universe rewards those with good intentions.

It costs less than a Tesco lunch deal, so try it out.

Cover Reveal.

When you control the fate of others,
who is in control of yours?

 

Hirescover1

Anthony Hopper is an Agent of Influence. He directs the lives of those selected by Watcher, the living embodiment of Fate.

Jack and Henry, twins, are the latest additions to the agency and it is Anthony’s task to train them. When one abuses his knowledge of the future, Anthony discovers that Watcher is not as faultless as he believed.

As this compelling story unfolds, Anthony suspects that those closest to him, including his soul-collecting confidante, Edith, are conspiring against him.

 

Available: Tuesday 23rd October 2018

on Paperback and Kindle, from your local Amazon website.

Follow me on Twitter for more information

https://twitter.com/DoctorUlysses

Bonus:

My debut novella The Surrogate is currently free on Kindle.

Grab it now!