Get Radge man!

Get Radge man!
Council Estate Fiction for the working classes...

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

The Scottish Book Trust and Byker Books

The Scottish Book Trust is a national charity that believes books, reading and writing have the power to change lives. I can only second that.  As a child on a council estate in the 70's with not much cash to go anywhere else I travelled the world through books. The SBT also believe that :-

"A love of reading inspires creativity, improves employment opportunities, mental health and wellbeing, and is one of the most effective ways to help children escape the poverty cycle."  

And again, I can definitely agree with that. So it is with great pleasure that I unveil the Scottish Book Trust as the very first monthly partner of our digital magazine BookD. As you know Byker Books has always been about helping the person in the street to realise their dreams, broaden their horizons or just give them opportunity of expression when they felt it wasn't their place to ask for it and an organisation like the SBT simply fits alongside us hand-in-glove.

We'll be promoting their posts in BookD over the next month and encourage you to check them out and see what you can do to get involved or help.



Thursday, 28 July 2016

Hey fellow bloggers...want a new audience?

I recently posted on my Facebook page about a section in BookD for blogs about Harrogate 2016. Well, I liked the idea so much that I've decided to make it a regular thing and am aiming to have a 'Top Blogs' section in the paper every week. I've stuck a press release out inviting bloggers to let me know of their interest but would like to offer you lot ('cos you're my people man!) the chance to be top of the list.

I'm anticipating featuring selected posts from around five per week so if you fancy it then either email me at, comment in this post or just follow my blog and I'll check you out (mainly so I can put you in a handy file and not forget..hey ho!)

This is entirely FREE, no advertising charges at all for you to be in the nations premier digital books mag - I only ask that when featured you blog about it as well, that's fair isn't it?

Right, have a look at BookD ask yourself if you'd like to be featured alongside the celebrity authors and literati (see what I did there) and then contact me as above - let's get you in front of a whole new audience.



Monday, 25 July 2016

Byker Books and working class writers - the story continues...

I started Byker Books back in 2008 with a vague notion of publishing the working class lads and lasses who weren't taken seriously by the big publishers or agents. The people who didn't have degrees in 'creative writing' but had crap jobs that sapped their souls instead, the people who didn't have a 'journey' to bore people to death with but did have an idea for a bloody good story that other people from the estates would enjoy, the people who didn't get glowing reports at their great schools but instead had to battle their siblings for the one pen in the house to write anything down before doing their paper round in the rain.

That's who Byker Books was for. People like me.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Work In Progress - what do you think?

Whilst on holiday recently (I might post about it and I might not - I liked the place as it was quiet and no-one I know had heard of it so I don't know if I want to publicise it...selfish eh!) I got a bit sick of the constant sun and scantily-clad top models on the beach so got in the habit of going for a pint most afternoons and doing a bit of writing on my phone...yes...on my phone! Anyway, I've got a couple of ideas of where I'd like to take it but thought I'd ask you lot whether you had any ideas for it...

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Authors notes: Special

What if a vigilante went too far? 

That was the abiding thought in my head when I was writing 'Special' and I thought that you, my loyal fanbase (what do you mean you were looking for a 'dodgy' site and tumbled into this?) might like to see some of the thinking behind it so I've put together an exclusive set of "Authors notes" just for you. 

Here's part 1...

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

I get around...Malaga...ish!

Anytime, anyplace, anywhere...
It's great being British.  There's loads of reasons really. We've brought a lot of culture, ingenuity and general coolness to the world. But. Sitting in a Twenty-Four hour Wetherspoons at the airport (Birmingham in this case) drinking lager at five am is one of the things we're absolutely unbeatable at. Watching 'Nobby' and his 'Wolfpack'  wander past in their matching vests with trays of the liquid guilt inhibitor whilst they try to get entangled with the pink ladies of 'Dirty Debs Hen Do' is one of life's great viewing experiences. Granted the brummie accent is hard work at that time in the morning but listening to the banter and general atmosphere at an hour when you'd normally be spark out dreaming of being in the Red Dwarf crew that discovers a planet populated by naked top models (just me aye?) is a more than adequate compensation for that.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The Quay of Life...

There's a point in Byker (that's the very real estate in Newcastle where I'm from and there isn't so much of a hint of a fucking grove there...) where, just between the sixties council flats and the Legoland maisonettes, you catch a glimpse of the Newcastle and Gateshead quayside. Perched high on the very banks of the mighty Tyne you can see the sun reflecting off the shimmering, silvery Sage, the solid, northern majesty of the former Baltic flour mill turned contemporary art must-see and the bridges...God those bridges! They bring a shiver to the spine and a lump to the throat. If Byker was a nice place, a suburban middle-class area perhaps, then property developers would be fighting each other bare-knuckled and bare-chested to spend billions here based on that view alone.  Sadly though its not, and before hundreds of millions of pounds were spent on re-developing what was once described as "a rat-infested swamp" into “one of the most stunning river fronts in the UK” you probably wouldn't have noticed the view.
The thing is though, the quayside was always brilliant...just in a different way.