Yesterday Darren asked for a sort of potted bio, with particular regard to any previous publishing credits, and I fobbed him off with the punch line to a joke about two digestive biscuits. However, after sober reflection, I can see that this was misjudged: I should instead have gone for the punch line from the joke about two nuns on a driving holiday in America. So in order to atone for this gross lack of judgement, I have decided to capitulate and spread the dirt…
I… wait for it… have never been published anywhere else, ever before. Never. Not once. Nada. Like Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard is my list of publishing credits.
There was a time when I wrote book reviews for the website run by the company I worked for – even got to interview Mr Rankin and Mr Brookmyre at one point – but other than that, I am an publishing virgin.
Now I did enter a couple of short stories into the annual Scotland On Sunday competition, but never got anywhere. I also traded short stories like insults with James for a heady autumn / winter and you can still see his end of the game on his website. Mine never saw the light of day again. I never got my act together for long enough to actually find out where in the UK would actually publish short fiction. Especially slightly twisted stuff with recurring themes of cannibalism, dismemberment, betrayal and full of words like ‘shoogle’.
Actually: tell a lie, I also saw brief fame in ‘From the Sublime’ a local Aberdeen fanzine / magazine thingie. ‘Stuart and Harold’ and it’s successor, ‘The All New Stuart And Harold Show’ was a graphic novel-style journey deep into the darkest psyche of man, as expressed through the adventures of bumbling halfwit and his collection of sentient dinosaur wards (like Dick Grayson was to Bruce Wayne, only without the whole cross-dressing tights inside the pants thing). Writted and drawed by me, it actually managed to garner a sizeable fan base too, well, more than three people at least, so I choose to judge that a success. And now I come to think of it, Harrogate won’t be my fist appearance on a festival panel – Harold was guest of honour with a couple of bigwig writers from 2000AD once, I was there to make sure he didn’t eat anyone.
So that’s me: unpaid entourage to a fictional dinosaur. What a claim to fame!