Friday, 20 December 2013

OUT NOW! Georgie Jones by Nicky Gregory


 
 
The last thing that Georgie Jones wanted was to have to spend her Christmas Day with Dan Parsons - unknown entity from school. But, when Dan gets sucked into a ‘loophole’ transporting him to the land of Molitovia, Georgie is quick to follow!

How could she possibly have known that her arrival in this strange land was far from coincidence? In fact, if what they said was true, it was not only her birthright to be here – it was her destiny!

The only person Georgie had to help her try and make sense of it all was Dan, and he was not exactly taking the situation very seriously.

Georgie had a lot to learn – and most of it was about her own family!
 
***
 
Available from all good bookshops, Amazon, and Kindle. Copies personally signed by Nicky Gregory available from www.fbs-publishing.co.uk
 

 

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Launching FBS and GEORGIE JONES



November sees Theresa Cutts and myself launch our independent publishing company Fabulous Books - FBS for short. We will be retaining Nordic, the name under which I publish my Anne Droyd novels, but it will now be an imprint of FBS.

We created Fabulous Books because we have come across one or two talented writers while pursuing our own journey, and we think they deserve a break. One such author is Nicky Gregory, who in 2010 published her children's book (age 10+) Georgie Jones - and You Thought Your Family Was Weird! with Hirst Books. After several reprints and around 1000 copies sold, the book was halted in its tracks because Hirst Books went out of business.

We are proud to be the ones to bring Georgie Jones back to life and relaunch Nicky Gregory.

The book will be published on November 22. To pre-order a signed copy and be in with a chance to name a character in the sequel, please visit the FBS website.

http://www.fbs-publishing.co.uk/ourshop/prod_2853596-Georgie-Jones-and-you-thought-your-family-was-weird-by-Nicky-Gregory.html

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Anne in Bolton's Waterstones



It is lovely to see one's own work gracing the shelves of a bookshop. I'm delighted that Waterstones in my home town are stocking Anne Droyd and the Ghosts of Winter Hill.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The Classic TV Series of "The Incredible Hulk" Resonates With Those Battling Asperger's and Bi-Polar


 

People with Asperger syndrome can identify with certain fictional characters whose life trials appear to reflect their own. I suspect I'm not the only one who found that the plight of Dr David Banner in the classic TV series of The Incredible Hulk resonated deeply. Writer Kenneth Johnson went to great lengths to distance the series from Stan Lee's original comic book style (the alliterative name Bruce Banner was changed to David; the Hulk creature couldn't speak; Banner was chased by a tabloid reporter rather than the army and helped others in need as he pursued a cure). Anyone with a personality disorder or a condition like Asperger's or bi-polar would see themselves in him. Personally, I drew great comfort from the show.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

"I'd love to be like me, if I could feel like you" - Gary Numan



In my early twenties I was drawn to the lyrics of Gary Numan because they were part dystopian future, science fiction and part a reflection of his awkwardness around people. Years later I discovered that his wife's brother had been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, and by learning the diagnostic criteria, she now felt that Gary himself was on the spectrum. Now I identify myself as being on the spectrum also. It's come full circle.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Visiting BECK ROW PRIMARY SCHOOL in Suffolk

The Cheetahs with Will, Beck Row Primary School.


On Friday 7th of June, I had a lovely time talking to classes Jaguars, Lions and Cheetahs at Beck Row Primary at Bury St Edmonds in Suffolk.

I showed them how being a writer means more than just composing essays and writing short stories for their school teacher. Writing can open doors that otherwise remain firmly shut - like acquiring a Blue Peter badge, for example. The teachers were more envious of my badge than were their pupils.

When asked about my boyhood favourite authors, I cited the late John Christopher, author of The Tripods Trilogy and The Guardians, and Clive King, who wrote Stig of the Dump A pupil got very excited about the latter, and told me she was currently listening to the audiobook at bedtime. She was so thrilled that I loved Stig, at the end of my presentation she gave me a piece about the book that she'd written while I had been speaking to the class!

The students in Jaguars had read the first chapter of Anne Droyd and the House of Shadows together the previous day. They sat in rapt silence as I read to them the second chapter.

I regaled the class named Cheetahs with the adventures of Mia and Mackey, the books I am currently working on, and showed them photographs of the real life cats. They were touched by the story of Mia and the mysterious red eyes.

To Lions, I talked about how a book is produced. Each class was impressed with the blazer that was specially made to be modelled for the front cover of The Blueprint.

An enjoyable time was had by all, myself included.


Thursday, 23 May 2013

The Fan Gene - How "Doctor Who" Led Me to Asperger's



In April 2003, I learned about Asperger syndrome, and all the pieces of my life puzzle fell into place. Where did I learn about it? Doctor Who Magazine, of all places! In this video, I discuss how that realisation led to a major course change.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Autism Awareness Month 2013



To mark World Autism Awareness Month 2013, Jessica Kingsley Publishers invited readers of their range to put questions to authors. Writers approached include internationally renowned expert Dr Tony Attwood.

As my autobiography The Feeling's Unmutual was published by JKP and has been acclaimed by professionals in the autism/Asperger/psychology worlds and by readers alike, I was invited to record a video interview. Typically, my answers were personalised and indepth, and so the piece had to be edited into two halves.

The first part was featured in the latest JKP newsletter and blog. Part two will be available from the end of May.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

OUT NOW! Anne Droyd and the Ghosts of Winter Hill



Available to order from Amazon and bookshops (and soon to be added to Kindle).

BUY DIRECT FROM US VIA PAYPAL - GET IT SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR!

"Gezz, Luke and Malcolm are enjoying a trip up Winter Hill on the West Pennine moors when they are joined by a fourth person, a boy wearing old-fashioned clothes and a grey flat cap. But, when Luke introduces himself, the boy fades into nothing!

Is he a ghost?

Soon, the wilderness is full of apparitions, and all the clues point to the television transmitter at the hill’s summit.

Where are the spectres coming from? Why are they appearing? And what are their intentions?

As the ghosts start to haunt the children’s housing estate, Gezz, Luke and Malcolm take their robot friend Anne Droyd up Winter Hill, hoping her superhuman powers will help them solve the mystery.
 
For one of them, life will never be quite the same again."

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Anne Droyd III



In the run up to the release of Anne Droyd and the Ghosts of Winter Hill, here is an interview I did considering how the characters have developed and the way I use real life settings as the backdrop to my stories.

The book is officially published on Thursday 11 April 2013. If you pre-order using the Paypal system on this site, you will receive a signed copy of the book as well as a copy of the artwork signed by Owen Claxton, and a number of other freebies.

Pre order Anne Droyd and the Ghosts of Winter Hill.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

I was a Guest of Saturday Live on BBC Radio 4

Will Hadcroft, BBC Radio 4, Siam Williams, Richard Cole, Saturday Live.

Above from left to right: Guests Richard and Alison Warden, presenter Sian Williams and myself.
In the foreground presenter Richard Coles and author Mark Haddon.
Photo copyright Theresa Cutts

On Saturday 23 March, I was the guest of Sian Williams and Richard Coles on the BBC Radio Four programme Saturday Live.

The main guest was author Mark Haddon, author of the international bestseller The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. He has had his book transformed into a stunning new stage play at London's West End.

Alison and Richard Warden were also guests. They told the heart warming story of how they met when they were children, married as adults, ran highly successful businesses, grew apart, divorced, married other people, before finally finding one another again in later life and falling in love and marrying one another a second time.

The character Christopher in Mark Haddon's Curious Incident is similar to a textbook case of a youngster grappling with Asperger's syndrome, and in one edition of the book was publicised as such. Saturday Live had invited me on to represent a real life person who has the condition, so I imagined that I would follow him, be interviewed for about ten minutes, and then be booted off. But, in the end, I remained for the whole 90 minutes and was allowed to contribute to the rest of the show.

Sian and Richard were lovely, and told me that they'd had a tremendous response via email and text, but because we'd all got so engrossed in our discussion on the programme, there was no time to read any of them out or take a phone call or two.

Before I arrived at Broadcasting House, I thought I would find Mr Haddon in particular intimidating, but he turned out to be completely charming, even saying that he intended to read John Christopher's Tripods trilogy, buy the BBC TV series adaptation on DVD, and download Leonard Cohen's First We Take Manhattan because of my enthusiasm for them!

This time round, I thank producer Debbie Sheringham for inviting me on, and my PR Theresa Cutts for representing me.

The entire programme is available on the BBC's Listen Again service. Please click on this link and then click on Listen Now:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rft3s

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Discussing my novel "The Blueprint"




"Change the blueprint and you change the world."

I'd always wanted to write a teen novel set in a nightmare parody of school life that also passed comment on the whole world system, its origins, what's wrong with it, and how it needs to be changed before humanity cascades into the impending avalanche of self-destruction.

I was keen, too, to do something like the allegorical 1960s TV series The Prisoner.

The concept for The Blueprint was devised by me in 1996, but I didn't publish it as a novel until February 2012.

In the above video, I discuss with Theresa Cutts the themes of the novel and the impact it has had on some of its readers.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

I'm Obsessed (Apparently)



My short video on what it's like to struggle with obsessive thinking and behaviour, and what it can be like for those living with such a person - and what you can do if your Aspergic child exhibits these traits.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

MY VIDEO on Social Cues



My latest little video is about the problems people with Asperger's syndrome can have with misunderstanding facial expressions and body language and the trouble it can cause.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Asperger Paradox: Confidence When Others Would Be Phobic



In my previous video, I spoke about how Asperger's syndrome causes phobia and panic which leads to dark depression when I'm put in a situation where I must socialise.

This time I talk about the paradox - what happens when someone hands me a microphone! Most people dread having to talk or perform to audiences. The bigger the audience, the more ill they get. But, for me, it's the other way around. Watch this little film to find out why...

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Explaining Social Phobia



Social phobia is an unpleasant aspect of Asperger's syndrome. It can escalate into anxiety, and in turn induce dark mental states and severe depression. In this video I discuss my ongoing struggle.

Videos to come will look at such aspects as Obsessive Behaviour and Misreading Social Cues and Body Language.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Searching For Quality Original Music on the Internet


The internet is a wondrous thing when it comes to self-publishing. Not only can one write and produce a paperback novel and sell it through a print-on-demand system, or upload it to Kindle, but thanks to websites like Bandcamp, anyone who fancies their chances as a musician, singer or composer, may now sell their efforts to those who care to search.

Fed up with the offerings of local commercial radio (the same ten songs on rotation every time the DJs changed over), I began such a search.

DULAHIBCS is an acronym for Dress Up Like A Hooker, I’ll Be Charlie Sheen.

Such is the dark tongue-in-cheek humour of the unnamed composer of A Small Collection of Old Recordings. Made in his bedroom with little more than an acoustic guitar and hints of percussion played into his laptop, this set is enticing in its melancholia.

Of the 14 tracks, these are my favourites.

“Because My Headphones Broke” musically evokes the tone and style of Oasis’ “Half the World Away”. Vocally, DULAHIBCS puts me in mind of Jeff Lynne on ELO’s album Time. It also has something of John Lennon about it. I’m not entirely sure how the lyric relates to the title, though!

The third track “When One Night Stands Go Wrong” features a girl backing vocal. She’s spot on and prevents the soundscape from becoming too bleak.

“Young At Heart, Old In Face (ft Sam and The Love)” is a sleepy track opening with sound effects and again featuring girl backing vocals. His singing on this one puts me in mind of Marc Bolan for some reason. Weighing in at just under three minutes, it’s a pleasant listen.

More audio samples trigger the start of “European Soul”, a haunting, almost whispering ballad.

Just before DULAHIBCS succeeds in lullabying you to sleep, the jaunty “Lovely Day” wakes you up. Two minutes and forty-five seconds of plucky guitar, lilting voices (I counted three this time, might be wrong), it claims to feature someone called Pieter the Rooster.

“Farm House” opens with the tempting line, “Our farm house burned to the ground, burned to the ground, but our love never got out.” Or, at least that’s what I think it is, as the writer hasn’t included printed lyrics to any of the songs. I hope he does add them soon, as one’s listening pleasure would definitely be enhanced by reading along.

Production quality goes up a notch with “Circles”. Everything about this has class. The guitar is clear, there’s a bit of piano in there, and his voice has just the right amount of echo. A nice turn of phrase makes this a haunting track – “Honey, don’t you waste your time on him, he’s gonna turn you inside out. He’s gonna turn you back to what you was before you became what you is.” Love it. If I were to release a single to promote the album, this would be it.

I really like the female vocal on the sleepy “Since You Come Around”.

Should you drive down the motorway and you’re in one of those moods where you just don’t want to concentrate on layers and layers of sound, this album would be the perfect background score. I would recommend downloading in its entirety for that purpose – though you might want to stop for a coffee if you find yourself falling asleep before you reach “Lovely Day”!

Out of the 14 tracks on this Small Collection of Old Songs, I would recommend the seven above. If the artiste ever considers remaking the best of them for a short EP, I would say do these.

If you only buy one of these songs, buy “Circles”. It is brilliant.

You can find the album here.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Docking at the Tea Harbour


There's a lovely restaurant in Bolton called the Tea Harbour. My wife and I went in one Thursday afternoon imagining that it would just serve speciality teas and that the dumplings I'd ordered would be the standard British variety. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food (not to mention the tea!) and we've been back every Thursday since that initial visit.

The homemade vegetable soup is lovely, while the dumplings are a Polish dish called Pierogi. All the recipes are from Poland.

The above video is my review of the Tea Harbour and was made with the kind permission of the restaurant's proprietors.

Thanks to legendary composer Ken Freeman for allowing me to use some of his music in the presentation, and thanks, as ever, to Theresa Cutts who filmed and edited the piece.