Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Live and Dangerous

I had a very pleasant time at my brother's house for Christmas. It was nice to see my nieces and nephews excited by the festivities. I took some care in selecting presents for them. Unfortunately, they didn't seem that impressed. So I expect I failed in that endeavour. No doubt I'm useless at selecting presents. Ho Hum. But they were very happy about Christmas anyway, and their much better presents from their parents.

I gave my brother - a fan of old school heavy rock - 'Live and Dangerous', Thin Lizzy's live double album from 1972, generally regarded as their finest moment. Well, when I say double album, I bought it from iTunes so it's not an album at all, just computer files that you put on a disc, which is not the same at all. You know, the world really was better when you had giant album covers, with pictures and lyrics and stuff.

My brother gave me a book of Pliny's letters, and this was something I really wanted, and is one of favourite presents ever. Pliny the Younger wrote a first-hand account of the eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii in 79AD, and his letters are full of many interesting pieces about life in Rome.

A few weeks ago I took part in a film about Les Carter, a birthday present from his partner Crissi. My part involved being filmed in the rain in front of the Brixton Academy, talking about Les. That went quite well. Well, I hope it did, I haven't actually seen the film. But I was pleased to make a contribution anyway.

I wonder why the Brixton Academy, which is a music venue, chose that name? Academy really means an institute of learning. Every academy takes its name, ultimately, from the school of philosophy founded by Plato around 385 BC at Akademia, close to Athens in Greece.

Plato was a pupil of Socrates. Something that always surprises me is the way that Socrates and other philosophers managed to be so civilised in the midst of continual strife. For instance, Socrates would be wandering around Athens, teaching philosophy, and then suddenly the order would come for everyone to turn up next day with their weapons, and three days rations, because they had to go to war. So Socrates would march off to war, take part in some bloody battle, march back to Athens, and then get on with teaching philosophy. That happened to him on various occasions. Amazing really. I'd have liked to learn philosophy from Socrates, but I'd have been useless at marching off to war.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Kalix. Werwölfin von London

Lonely Werewolf Girl will be published in Germany in June 2009, by Fischer. Fischer is a big publisher, I'm looking forward to their edition coming out. Here it is at the publisher's website and at The title in German will be Kalix. Werwölfin von London. Which, you will notice, contains an umlaut. Umlauts are always cool. It's a shame that in English, there is never the opportunity to put two little dots over a letter.

Under different publishers, The Good Fairies of New York has been continually in print in Germany since it first came out, many years ago. And all eight Thraxas books were published in German too. So I have to say I'm all in favour of the German reading public at this moment.

London has been dreadfully cold. There's nothing else to do except lie in a nice hot bath reading Steel Fist Riku and whatever other manga comes to hand. Leaving the house will soon be impossible apart from the occasional dash to the shops to buy hobnobs. If the temperature drops any further this may no longer be possible, and I'll need people to send me supplies on a sled pulled by huskies, or maybe an emergency airlift.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

More of My Backlist Unleashed on the World

The Millar backlist assault on the world continues. I just received the manuscript for the re-issue of Lux the Poet, which will be reprinted some time next year. And only yesterday the postman brought me a box of copies of Milk, Sulphate and Alby Starvation from the American publisher Soft Skull. This seems to be available on already, although it hasn't reached yet.

Hmm. Can anyone actually prove I wrote all these books? I could deny it.

A brief story about when I was writing Lux the Poet: I was living in a small council flat in Brixton. I shared the flat with a primary school teacher, who was rarely there, and a young man who was a serious alcoholic, as was his boyfriend. They were continually drunk, probably too drunk to have sex, but they were both fond of spanking. Being so drunk, they weren't concerned about privacy, and used to perform, or attempt to perform, spanking sessions in the living room. Meanwhile I stayed in my own room, writing Lux the Poet on an old word-processor. So I could hear the spanking, which would have been strange enough anyway, but because of their extreme drunkenness and lack of co-ordination, it happened at an unbelievably slow rate. I'd write one sentence of Lux, and hear a vague slapping noise. And then I'd write a bit more, and after a few more sentences, there be another spanking noise, followed by some loud struggling as they fell off the couch, and scrambled around for their cans of special brew. And then, some time later, there's be another vague slapping sound. Really, you wouldn't believe that any spanking could possibly be carried on in such a slow and disorganised fashion. Sometimes he'd actually miss the target, which you'd think would be practically impossible. Hours later I'd find them collapsed, semi-naked and unconscious on the living room floor. Both of them by this time quite emaciated young men, from alcohol abuse. I was pleased when I moved out of that flat.

If you're looking for some relaxing viewing - like for instance if you've just taken a rhubarb crumble out of the oven and you're planning it eat it while watching TV - then I recommend not watching 'Happiness', Todd Solondz's grim black comedy from 1999. I found myself doing this a few nights ago, and it was definitely a poor choice. I've rarely seen so much uncomfortable heavy breathing and squirming onscreen, or such a cast of unlikeable characters. But it's a good film too, so I didn't want to stop watching it. It kind of spoiled my rhubarb crumble relaxation though. I hereby resolve never to watch anything serious ever again, and stick to watching Tokyo Mew Mew on Pop TV. Except now it's changed channels to Popgirl TV and I don't have that channel. Damn these schedulers. Fine I'll watch it on youtube instead.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Out of Date

Catastrophe. So far, I've been managing cheerfully enough with my Playstation2. This is well out of date, but I don't much care, because I don't mind playing older games.

However. The new Tomb Raider game is now being released for PS3 and other games machines, but the PS2 version won't come out till January! I really love Tomb Raider. I don't want to wait.

As you can imagine, this is quite a crisis. I'm very unhappy at all this. It feels like I'm being punished for being behind the times. I suppose I could just wait patiently till it comes out. Or wait impatiently, and complain all the time. Or - and I feel this may be the best alternative - use credit card in reckless Kamikaze fashion, and buy a new Playstation, despite the danger that this may lead to total fiscal disaster.

Hmm. It's a difficult dilemma, one which my life experience has left me ill-equipped to resolve.

I recently did an interview for Colleen Mondor, for her site Chasing Ray. This interview was part of the Winter Blog Blast Tour.

I've just noticed that Colleen's site is named after Ray Bradbury, which makes me think that's it's a long time since I read any Ray Bradbury, but I do remember really enjoying his books, so I should read some again.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lack of Energy

I've been lacking energy for blogging recently, or even for replying to replies to my blog. I don't know why. I must have some sort of blogging fatigue. I mean to write something but then notice that four days have passed, and all I've done is play my SpongeBob SquarePants video game. In my defence, it is a very good game.

Here's a picture from the manga Claymore, which I've been reading quite obsessively. Slender silver-haired women with huge swords, chopping up monsters. What more can you ask from a comic?

And here's a review of Milk, Sulphate and Alby Starvation, my first novel, which will be re-issued early next year.

Right, that's it, I'm off to watch House. I really like this programme.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Book Stuff

Lonely Werewolf Girl appears in the nominations for the Fantasy and Science Fiction (Young Adult) category in the Cybil Awards (Children's and YA Bloggers' Literary Awards ) It's a very long list, I don't know when it's distilled into a shortlist. I'm very pleased to be there.

Here's a review of the recently re-issued Suzy, Led Zeppelin and Me in The Guardian.

I spent last week checking the manuscript for Milk, Sulphate and Alby Starvation, for the new edition by Soft Skull. And when I say checking the manuscript, I mean not looking at it at all, and just hoping it was OK. I will just trust the skills of the editors at Soft Skull, who have been doing fine with my books so far.

Hmm. May not be doing a great job of selling my old books here. Will work up more enthusiasm when it comes out. Which is early next year, I think.

When Milk, Sulphate and Alby Starvation was first published, in 1987, I was working as a clerk for the council, filling in forms for their heating engineers. That wasn't such a bad job.

No progress on the naval piercing. Am frustrated by circumstances. Still, nothing bad has happened. However, on the domestic front, my footstool did disintegrate with age, after many years of faithful service. I need a new one, because you cant really slump properly in front of the TV without a footstool, and I need to do that.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I just wrote a long and quite tedious blog about my navel piercing. Abandoning that version, and trimming it down to the bare essentials, the story goes as follows -

Navel pierced about 12 years ago
Removed it about 8 years ago
Presumed it had healed
Was surprised last month when the old piercing went gunky.
Apparently it's never healed properly
Seems OK now, but not sure if best thing to do is wait for it to heal, or just put a bar through it again
there is a piercing studio in between me
and the place I go for my agoraphobia therapy
But as it turns out
The studio is closed on that same day every week
so it means making an extra journey
am not sure what to do about this
Get another stud put it
or just leave it to close up

* Why do you have your navel pierced anyway?
Who do you think you are, Britney Spears? *

Good question. I got it done on a whim, years ago. I went with a friend to keep her company when she was going to visit a body piercing studio. Well when I say body piercing studio, I mean a man with needles in a squat in Brixton. (To be fair to him, he was good at it.) I was only there to lend moral support. But then I apparently suffered some form of temporary madness, and got my navel pierced.

I was surprised that I'd done it. And quite perturbed when I examined it outside Brixton tube station and discovered that blood was dripping onto my trousers. But it was OK afterwards, and I liked it. I should never have taken it out, really.

Actually, that was all quite a good story. It's a shame my longer version was so tedious.

My agents are negotiating a contract for a German translation of Lonely Werewolf Girl. That's good. Perhaps I could supply the publisher with a stylish author-with-pierced-navel picture for the back cover. Hmm. Am really not sure whether to wait and see if it heals, or put something back through the hole.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


There have been shocking scenes of misery and deprivation in these parts recently as the heating engineers arrived to install a new boiler in my flat. It meant I couldn't stay home during the day, as they were drilling through walls and stuff.

Now, I could have coped with these two days - organised to visit someone or something like that - if I was not the most hopelessly disorganised person on the planet. And also, the agoraphobia didn't help. Did not really want to go far from home. Which led to me spending one day sitting miserably in the local library, waiting for the engineers to finish their work. I felt like a refugee. All I needed was a blanket. And I had to go to the dentist later. What a lousy day that was.

The next day was my day for agoraphobia therapy so I set off several hours early and then just hung around uselessly for ages. Another very poor day, all in all. Though it was interesting being on a bus at 8.30 in the morning, something I haven't experienced for some years. It was full of people going to work, and none of them looked very happy, which is understandable.

I haven't been to work for many years, though I was employed full-time earlier in my life. My last job was as a clerk for the local council, and before that I was a library assistant, a clerk at the Brixton benefit office, and also a manual labourer.

When my first book was published, Milk, Sulphate and Alby Starvation, I kept on being a clerk for the council, but next year, 1988, when Lux the Poet came out, a magazine phoned me up for an interview. So I thought, well if magazines are phoning me up for interviews I must be close to being a famous and wealthy author, so I'd better just stop working. Which I did. And that turned out to be a mistake at the time, as I'd neglected to consider that I didn't really have any income, apart from puny royalties of a few hundred pounds per year.

However, have studiously avoided work ever since then. Indeed this is my main reason for being an author, and always has been, so I don't have to go to work. This has gone well, in terms of being able to lie on the couch doing nothing for days at a time, but has sometimes been a problem in terms of income. However, I'm doing better now. There is no need to send food parcels.

My agents are now doing the contract for a German edition of Lonely Werewolf Girl, with a particularly fine German publisher, which is good news. In the next year or so the book will be available in Italian, German, Greek, and French. My werewolves will conquer Europe.

Hmmm. New heating appears to be working well. Will lie on the couch for 48 hours, checking it out. What if they didn't install it properly and there's a gas leak? If you hear news of a catastrophic explosion in South London, that will probably be me. Will just have to hope for the best, because I'm not leaving my flat again ever.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New Year's Eve, 1977

I've been wandering around in the Millar musical memories. Which reminds me, I should mention again that the re-issue of Suzy, Led Zeppelin and Me is now generally available. It's been on sale in the USA and Canada for a month or so, and is now in shops in Britain too. I still really like the cover. I like the book too, which helps.

Here's a good review of Suzy, Led Zeppelin and Me in the Los Angeles Times. Aha. No doubt Hollywood's most glamorous actresses pay close attention to the book reviews in the LA Times. I'm sure they talk of nothing else. May soon find myself pursued by Angelina Jolie, Eva Mendes and Halle Berry. Not sure if I have the energy for this. Will have to let them down politely.

But the musical memory I've been thinking about recently is New Year's Eve, 1977, when I was at the Rainbow in London, at this Ramones gig. Which, as you can see from the one minute 46 seconds of this video, was a really great place to be.

(If that video doesn't work on my blog, you can watch it here.)

That was a fantastic gig!

* briefly cheerful *

* but depression sets in *

Hum. There should be some law against posting these videos on youtube. I get about three minutes of pleasant memories, followed by several hours of gloom as I realise how many years ago it was. Sigh. Must lie down on the couch. May be too old even to make it to the couch. Might just have to fall asleep in front of the computer, and drool on the keyboard.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Highly Intelligent Cat

Here's a cat who's obviously highly intelligent, with excellent taste in literature, settling down comfortably beside a copy of Lonely Werewolf Girl.

The cat is called Couscous and lives with Jenna, who took the picture.

I can't absolutely prove that owning a copy of Lonely Werewolf Girl is good for your cat. But I think its clear from the picture how contented this cat is.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Led Zeppelin / Sex Pistols

Was outraged to read that Leona Lewis - whoever she is - some singer apparently - wanted to change the lyrics to Led Zeppelin classic Whole Lotta Love before she sang them at the closing ceremony of the Olympics. Quite why this person should be changing the lyrics of the mighty Led Zeppelin is a mystery to me.

Considered watching the ceremony on TV, partly to see Jimmy Page play guitar, and partly to hurl abuse at Leona Lewis, but fell asleep on couch instead.

Robert Plant was the singer in Led Zeppelin. I went to see him play a solo gig in 2002, which was around the time Suzy, Led Zeppelin and Me was first published. I went with a journalist friend, Jelbert. It was a good gig. Afterwards, the journalist introduced me to Robert Plant. I felt quite overwhelmed. That surprised me. I would have expected that I was too old to feel overwhelmed by meeting anyone. It's a long time since I was a young fan. I was a school kid when I saw Led Zeppelin on stage. But, many years later, I did feel strangely affected by saying hello to their singer.

Although I wasn't as affected as - travelling a long way back in time - the gigantic skinhead who I saw put his arms round Johnny Rotten at a Gary Glitter gig in 1978. The skinhead, a very large, scary-looking individual, simply enveloped him in his arms, hugging him, in silent gratitude for just being Johnny Rotten. They stood like that for a long time. The singer from the Sex Pistols looked awkward, and the skinhead practically wept with joy. I suppose Johnny had changed his life. That's reasonable enough, he changed mine too, though I never attempted to hug him.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Roused into Action

The football season has started. It's time to rouse myself from my stupor, sit upright on the couch, and watch TV. The calendar on my computer, for which I have never previously found any use, is now bulging with fixtures for Arsenal, Arsenal Reserves, and Arsenal youth team. I downloaded these directly into the calendar from the Arsenal website, and felt pleased with myself for managing this successfully.

All these matches are now shown on the Arsenal channel which means I hardly ever have to do anything again except watch football on TV. So this is a big success for the modern world.

The Olympics are on. I'm pleased the British team is doing well, but I can't muster any enthusiasm for watching it.

Feeling adventurous , I bought an apple crumble from Sainsbury, instead of rhubarb, but it was a disappointment. The apples didn't seem to be cooked properly, and lay there in lumpy slices. I knew it was a mistake to change in my diet. Felt gloomy and unsatisfied afterwards. And slightly annoyed at the apples, for not cooking properly.

Fruit generally seems to be a problem. I've already mentioned the treachery of pears, being hard one minute and then rotten the next. I did experiment with a melon recently, but it didn't seem to be ripe enough. I don't know how to tell if a melon is ripe. I think you might be meant to squeeze it, but that's a risky business. I have seen, many times in films and TV, that if you're in a shop and you reach out to check how ripe a melon is, you're practically certain to grab hold of a woman's breast by mistake. It just seems to happen every time. So perhaps it's too dangerous for me to attempt. I wouldn't like to get thrown out the supermarket in disgrace.

Hmmm. I see my blog has not yet started to influence world affairs. Neither the London Times nor the Washington Post quote me on a regular basis. Surely it's only a matter of time.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Keyboard Filth

Catching up with more super hero movies I missed, I watched Rise of the Silver Surfer. It was OK. Better than that lousy Spiderman 3, but not particularly great. I suppose these films are made for quite a young audience. But is this an excuse? SpongeBob SquarePants is made for a young audience too, and that keeps me continually entertained. I've watched loads of episodes of SpongeBob, and the film too.

Was slightly distressed to read in the news that the average computer keyboard is 'as filthy and germ-ridden as a toilet.'

I study my keyboard and wonder when I last cleaned it. Possibly never. Take keyboard to bathroom, shake it upside down. A huge cascade of dust falls out. Shake it some more. More stuff falls out. Get bored with this. Start wiping keys with damp cloth. Layers of grim start to come off. But I get bored with this too, and give up. Fine, my keyboard isn't that clean. It's not like I'm going to eat dinner off it anyway.

Am struggling to set up the RSS feed thingy on Safari to work properly.

* shakes fist at modern world *

Suzy, Led Zeppelin and Me, scheduled for re-issue in September, is arriving in bookshops in America and Canada already, and is now available on That's good. I suppose it will take a little longer for the new edition to reach Britain, but it should be here soon.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Forum per fans italiani di Ragazze Lupo

An Italian reader tells me she's started a forum for Ragazze Lupo, the Italian version of Lonely Werewolf Girl. It's here. So if you happen to be Italian, I recommend going and registering and leaving some posts on her forum.

My agent has sold rights for Chinese translations of Lonely Werewolf Girl and The Good Fairies of New York. Well, when I say Chinese I mean complex, or traditional, Chinese, which is used for writing in Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong. As opposed to Mainland China, which writes with simplified Chinese. (I may have got this completely wrong, and just insulted billions of Chinese. If so, I apologise) But anyway, some Chinese versions of these books will appear in a while, which is all to the good.

I was obliged to do some travelling, for family reasons. This was extremely stressful. When it was over I sank onto the couch in front of the TV and resolved never to move again. I will spend the rest of my life slumped on the couch watching TV. Watched Spiderman 3. Terrible film. Hurled abuse at the screen during some particularly awful scenes. Was mollified by old episodes of Star Trek Voyager, during which I continued to lust after Seven of Nine in a cheerfully nerdish manner.

Among the multitude of household accidents to which I'm prone, I think the 'bike pedal against ankle' is the most painful. You leave your bike in the hall and walk past it without thinking, and then your ankle crashes into the pedal. It's so painful. I seem to do it quite often. Suspect I have clumsy genes, for which there is no cure.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Pears. Hah.

Am currently feeling annoyed about pears. What use are they? You buy a pear and it's always too hard to eat, so you leave it in the kitchen for a while and when you check it, it's still too hard. And then you turn your back for five minutes and next thing you know it's turned into some blackened, soggy mess and you have to throw it out. There must be about three minutes in the life of a pear when it's actually fit to eat. The rest of the time it's either too hard or it's gone rotten. I'm never buying another pear. As a fruit it's completely hopeless. The only thing that would make it worthwhile would be if they had some sort of alarm attached.

Suffered a complete catastrophe with Avatar Playstation game, when I over-wrote the wrong game memory. An elementary beginner's mistake which I thought I wouldn't make any more. But I was wrong. I lost loads of progress in the game. Was disgusted. Went grumpily to my computer to write something, but really I wanted to be playing my Avatar game. Stared at computer screen with loathing. It's lousy being an author. If it wasn't for all the sex with the world's most glamorous women, I probably wouldn't do it at all. Remembered that new Buffy comic had arrived that very morning, so abandoned computer with relief and read Buffy instead. Warren is back. Hmm. I'm not that keen on him as a villain. But I like that Amy the witch is still around, because she's been in Buffy ever since episode three of season one, and that's a long time.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Meandering On

Am buoyed by various recent events -

* Mass market edition of The Good Fairies of New York selling like hot cakes. Do things still sell like hot cakes? I can't think of another expression. Anyway it's selling well.

* This good review of Lonely Werewolf Girl in Bookslut. Bookslut is a really fine name for a literary site. Good site too.

* Only nine days till first Arsenal pre-season friendly. All Arsenal pre-season friendlies now shown on TV, even the most obscure matches against non-league opposition. This is more like it, it's what I pay the cable company for.

* Watching Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, an episode of Buffy from season two, and always one of my favourites. Xander's love-spell goes disastrously wrong and everyone falls in love with him except Cordelia. Even vampire Drusilla falls in love with him. I never tire of this episode.

* Healthy leek and potato soup from the supermarket. Well, they say it's healthy. It comes in a cardboard carton instead of a can so that seems quite healthy, really.

Spirits dampened only slightly by sore leg. Probably only a strained muscle, but may in course of time turn out to be a serious wasting disease which will eventually confine me to a wheelchair, we'll just have to wait and see how this turns out.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Obsessive Sticker Disorder

Last week in the comic shop, I wasn't quite sure if I'd already bought one of their issues of Naruto. The assistant offered to put it aside for me, so I could check, and then buy it later if need be.

I found later at home that I did have that issue, but hadn't got round to reading it yet. But I noticed something amiss. The issue in the shop had been wrapped in plastic. My copy wasn't wrapped. It could mean only one thing. Another 'missing stickers' scandal. I knew the issue in the shop had free stickers in it, but the one they sold me didn't have them.

I felt perturbed at this. I wondered if I should ask them to change it. But they wouldn't do that if I read it first. I'm not very good at reading anything and keeping it in good condition. So I left it unread for a whole week, which was quite frustrating.

The week went by and it was time or my next visit to my therapist, for agoraphobia, which is the only time I come close to the comic shop. I've been trying to make this journey on the bus recently, and have had some small success. These bus journeys have been a definite improvement, which is one reason to keep going, much as I dislike my therapist.

Anyway. I put the manga in my bag and set off. I'm always anxious on buses these days, though I never used to be. I got on the bus and it was quite crowded, which makes it worse. There was a small infant on a woman's lap, next to me. At the next stop, another mother struggled on with a pushchair containing another infant. Both small children looked at each other quite enthusiastically, and then embarked on a prolonged screaming competition. Between them, the two infants managed to make an extraordinary amount of noise.

Some way into the screaming competition, the bus ground to a halt at a temporary traffic-lights at some road works, and just sat there for ages. Feeling anxious from agoraphobia, and with children and babies all over the bus now screaming the place down, I didn't feel too great, all in all. (Though I try not to get too annoyed at screaming infants, out of sympathy with their harassed mothers. If it was me in charge of the infant, I'd be hopeless at it.) When I eventually reached my destination I lurched off the bus, more or less defeated by life.

If you arrive gloomy or anxious at my therapist's building it's not the sort of place to cheer you up. It's actually a small National Health Service mental institution; a grimy, run-down 19th century building which looks like it was built for incarcerating criminals. Behind locked doors there are some seriously disturbed people there, and you meet them sometimes, wandering the corridors. In the waiting room, it's not much better. People talking to the air, people standing facing the walls, people who've been shepherded there by some weary relative, and just sit there looking lost.

It's a really grim place. And I don't like my therapist at all. I'd like to ask for a different therapist but this would no doubt lead to me being put on a waiting list for several more years. We sat and talked for a while. I was bored, and still not recovered from the anxiety of the journey. Most of the time I was wondering if I should ask the comic shop to change my manga for the one with free stickers.

Points against - the shop assistants may think I'm an idiot.

Points for
- I'll get the free stickers.

Points against
- I am really too old to be worrying about free stickers.

Points for
- I want the stickers.

Points against - They might refuse, leading to ugly scenes. May never be able to return after flouncing out in a bad mood.

I still want the stickers. Made up my mind to raise the issue. After all, I buy their comics every week. Entered shop, walked to the counter, and immediately raised the subject, in a polite manner. After some initial resistance - the assistant asking me if I have a receipt for the issue I've got, and me saying no but I'm in here every week and you probably recognise me - they were quite nice about it. Friendly, even. They exchanged my unread copy for the one wrapped in plastic, containing stickers. I was pleased. Slightly humiliated, but pleased.

I took the bus back home, stopping off at the supermarket where I bought a rhubarb crumble, also satisfactory, because there have been recent disappointments. Arrived home with comic feeling worn out. Stupid therapy. Maybe I should have discussed the 'free stickers' problem with her. But I don't think I tell my therapist anything that's really important to me.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Supermarket Clothes

Here I am modelling my fashionable 'all supermarket' collection, comprising clothes bought entirely from Sainsbury's. I look rather like the builders who congregate at the local pub at lunchtime, standing outside for a cigarette. Also in picture - plastic flowers, mandolin, Buffy comics, Slade CD, fairy book, and corner of table at which I write. And a backgammon set, which I haven't played for years, and am really bad at. I don't even like the game. I should throw it out.

And on the subject of supermarkets I was surprised to see a blog in the Guardian where a woman was complaining angrily about middle-aged men ogling her 18 year old daughter as they walked round the shop. She seemed quite irate about the whole thing.

Well really. I mean to say. If you can't ogle someone's 18 year old daughter in the supermarket, what's left? That's about 80% of my sex life, dammit. Hey, I didn't like your daughter that much anyway.

I'd better just spend my time lying on the couch instead. Yesterday I spent most of the day watching the Paramount channel. It usually shows reruns of old American sit-coms. I watched various shows quiet contentedly but became uncomfortable with their repeats of Frasier. I used to like that programme, but went off it when they introduced a bunch of English characters - Daphne's family - who were so objectionable as to be barely human. Quite what these characters were meant to be was baffling. Had the writers actually ever met any English people? They appeared to be escapees from some mental asylum, unable to either walk or talk like normal human beings. It really put me off the programme.

Right, I'm going to read my new Buffy comic and then I'm going to write something.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Quantum Pudding Transfer

This is the cover for Soft Skull's new edition of Suzy, Led Zeppelin and Me. I was quite startled when I saw it, and I like it a lot. It should grab people's attention. It comes out in September.

Hmm. Am suddenly feeling old. You can't claim to be that young if you write a book about going to see Led Zeppelin in 1972. Still, as I point out in the book, I was at school at the time. May have to lie more about this in future, and pretend to have been younger than I was.

* Millar saw Led Zeppelin when he was 6 years old *

I realise my email is again piling up. I don't get round to answering something and then weeks and months pass and I still haven't answered it and I feel guilty. So if I never emailed you back, I'm sorry. I always like people emailing me, and always intend to reply, but sometimes I'm just too inefficient to do it.

Look at this fabulous pie on Germaine's blog. I want this pie. I need someone to invent a quantum pudding transfer system. Perhaps they are working on it at the new CERN particle accelerator right now.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

European Championship

Am lying on the couch watching football on TV. There's a lot of it on. The European Championship is here. Sadly, neither England nor Scotland qualified. Most people here, if they're supporting any country at all, probably favour Holland or Spain for their exciting football. Personally I admire the relentless determination of the Germans. And being a dour Scot, I like their rather dour nature. But enough of racially stereotyping my fellow Europeans. I'm enjoying the football anyway.

Sainsbury changed the packaging on it's rhubarb crumble! I'm very unhappy about this. I dislike all change. These people shouldn't just go around changing the packaging on people's favourite food. Don't they know the ruinous effect it can have on the obsessive compulsives among us? Examined it for a long time, wondering if it was safe to buy. It doesn't seem right. Bought it eventually, but am very suspicious of the whole thing.

The new edition of Suzy, Led Zeppelin and Me has made it onto, though it's not released till September. It will be good having multiple books in print again, having gone more or less completely out of print a few years ago.

Had a minor alarm when I noticed, in my web stats, an unnatural amount of visits to my website by one person. Took me a while to realise that this person was in fact me. I had failed to set the blocking cookie correctly. Alarm over. I'm relieved not to be being stalked again anyway. There have been incidents in the past. You'd be surprised. But these days I am guarded round the clock by an elite team of glamorous female secret agents, so I'm not really worried.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Missing Stickers

My new Naruto manga is wrapped in plastic, which is unusual. Inside there are free stickers. Aha. The plastic wrapping was to prevent unscrupulous people from stealing the stickers in the shop. But what's this? A list of the four editions of Naruto that include free stickers.

I read the list. There should have been free stickers in issue 18. I bought issue 18 from this shop. There weren't any stickers in my copy. I inquire at the counter. They don't know anything about it. I let the matter go. After all, I'm too old and mature to be worrying about free stickers.

But really, I'm not pleased. I want my free stickers. Arrive home quite dissatisfied. You can't just sell comics minus the free stickers. It's not right. I wonder if I could write to the publisher and ask for them?

'Dear Sirs, the children at my local orphanage were very disappointed not to receive their free stickers from Naruto volume 18...'

Despite sticker disappointment, I was quite pleased about successful excursion, having managed to travel a short distance on a bus and not feel too bad about it. Agoraphobia generally still a big problem. May be slightly improving. Find email from my agent about upcoming French book-deal for The Good Fairies of New York. Good, I've never made that much progress in France before.

Get on internet to investigate whole 'free stickers' scandal. Discover that other people did get them. Hmm. My mouse suddenly stops working. How annoying. Try shaking it. No effect. Try poking it, but there's nothing really to poke on an optical mouse. No moving parts. Poke it anyway. No effect. Shake it around. Tap it on the desk. Still not working. Shake it again. Hit it firmly. No improvement. Beat it angrily against the wall. Mouse disintegrates. Use track-pad on laptop to order new mouse from computer store.

I want these Naruto stickers. I bought the comic. I should have them. It's lucky I'm not the sort of person to obsess about this sort of thing.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Films Comics Therapy

While meandering round the comic shop after a frankly unsatisfactory session with my therapist - this woman may cause me to progress from being agoraphobic to actually being a hermit - the theme music from Buffy the Vampire Slayer suddenly started playing. I was pleased. So pleased in fact that I launched into a Buffy conversation with the shop assistant standing beside me. But this did not go well. He wasn't a fan of Buffy, and furthermore he obviously had no desire to discuss it with a stranger who was apparently prepared for an in-depth analysis of all 144 episodes. He backed off rapidly, leaving me rather embarrassed. I realised ruefully that assistants in comic shops have no desire to engage in tedious conversations with over-enthusiastic customers. Which is understandable, I suppose. Probably if I worked in a comic shop I'd hate the customers. I left the shop quickly, still feeling quite embarrassed.

Last week I signed a film option for Lonely Werewolf Girl. I've signed many film options for my books in the past, and no film has ever appeared. It's difficult for producers to raise the necessary money. This producer however is very enthusiastic, with a good track record, and I do have faith in her. So perhaps she might succeed. But I won't expect too much, because of past disappointments. The American producers who currently hold the option for The Good Fairies of New York are still optimistic of making progress, though nothing much seems to have happened yet.

I've taken a violent dislike to my website, and am now attempting to redesign it. This is a challenge, as I have no art or design skills. Still, I've never let this stop me in the past.

Heating engineers currently 'waiting for parts'. Hah.

Friday, May 16, 2008

No Heat

I woke up this morning to find my heating had stopped working. Called heating engineers. They will arrived to fix it at some indeterminate time in the future.

To get me by, I dragged out an old convector heater from the cupboard. Plugged it in. It didn't work. Damn. Was plunged into crisis. Though last week was pleasantly sunny, today is cold. I can't stand the cold. I have no warmth inside me. I need a source of heat. Sometimes when I've arrived home after being cold outside, I've found it impossible to warm up again, and needed to make a hot water bottle.

So on a cold day, with no heating, things were looking grim. I dealt with the crisis by hurrying to the cheap shop which sells everything, and buying a new convection heater. It warms up the room nicely. Probably at ruinous expense, but it will get me by till the heating is fixed. I can't stand being cold. Hmm. Maybe I should live somewhere warmer.

Have abandoned all efforts at working. Till my heating is repaired I'm lying on the couch wrapped in a quilt, with the convection heater beside me. Fortunately, I have a new bundle of manga to read. I really like Naruto, It's a great comic. I wish I was a ninja with amazing ninja powers.

Or maybe I wish I was Catiline, a strong and rebellious figure in Ancient Rome who, I remember, was described by Cicero as being completely indifferent to the effects of either great heat or great cold. That would be good. You wouldn't catch Catiline shivering under a quilt. Still, Catiline was killed when his rebellion failed, so maybe he'd have been better off just lying on a couch anyway. Which, of course, Romans were keen on doing.

Tor will publish its mass-market paperback of The Good Fairies of New York in America in June. The Soft Skull edition of The Good Fairies has already sold more copies than any book I've had published before, and this will make it more widely available. Soon you won't be able to move anywhere without bumping into a copy. Tor are a very large publisher, so I hope it works out well. Here is some Good Fairies wallpaper, from Pablo Defendini's cover art for the book.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

More Killer Insects

I was strolling home yesterday when I suddenly felt a sharp pain. I looked down and was appalled to see some weird insect had settled down comfortably to chew on my arm. I shook it off and carried on, but was troubled by the incident. One positive thing about living in Britain - among our many problems - is the lack of harmful, venomous insects.

It looked like some sort of dark ladybird. I'm alarmed if ladybirds have started mutating into new hostile species. And it's a bit of a cheek really, going around being all cute, red and spotty one moment, and the next suddenly sucking your blood. But perhaps it wasn't a ladybird at all, but some new killer variety, moving north into Britain as a result of temperature increases. I worry about global warming bringing harmful new bugs to London. In general, you could say I don't like bugs.

The paperback of Thraxas Under Siege, the eighth book in the series, will be released in the USA soon, in August I think. It's been out in hardback for a while.

I wrote a blog a few months ago about the ending of the Thraxas series, and this blog still gets replies, many of them very unhappy about the whole thing. And one or two of them quite angry at me for not writing a ninth book. I appreciate people's replies on that blog, and wish I could be more accommodating in producing a new Thraxas book. But I don't know what to do about that, I'm afraid, as I explain in the blog.

Here is a brief interview with me about Lonely Werewolf Girl on the news page at the SCI-FI channel. The book is selling really well in the USA, and has already been reprinted. I'm about to reprint it here too. So this is all good. I'm writing a sequel at the moment, which is going very slowly.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Another Week

My Playstation2 is becoming increasingly erratic. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. It's so annoying. I suspect the universe is sending me a message.

* Stop playing video games and write something instead *

Hmm. No, I don't think that's the message.

* Get rid of your old console and buy a Playstation3 *

Yes, I think that might be what the universe is trying to tell me. If only these machines weren't so expensive.

I did read recently about a dating agency for really rich women. Apparently these female millionaires can have trouble meeting suitable boyfriends and husbands, so this agency finds men for them. Possibly I should put my name forward as suitable partner.

* London Author. Will be quite happy if you buy him a PS3 and leave him alone. And maybe a box set of Buffy DVDs too. *

But a man last seen wandering round the supermarket wearing cut-off army trousers, sandals, and a Sunnydale High School t-shirt, who's apparently not shaved for five days, may not be the dream target for rich women. I would just embarrass her at social functions.

The supermarket had run out of rhubarb crumble. It was the first crumble disappointment for some time, and I felt quite gloomy about the whole thing. Arrived home with soup instead, but could not raise any enthusiasm, for the soup or anything else. But will hopefully be revived later in the day, when Arsenal are on TV.

Really I need a new Buffy comic. It seems like a long time since the last one. They don't come out frequently enough. I blame these lazy comic artists, who are probably sitting around playing video games when they should be working.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Endless Work

It was quite a big week for literary activity in the Millar household. First I went to the local pub to met the foreign rights editor from Kedros, the Greek publisher who will be issuing Lonely Werewolf Girl later this year. After that I was busy again because the reprinting process for Suzy, Led Zeppelin and Me is underway, for Soft Skull in the USA. I had to go through the manuscript again. This can be quite a tedious procedure, for an old book. Mercifully, I do still like this novel a lot, and didn't cringe with shame and embarrassment on reading it again, something I certainly would do if forced to read some of my other old books.

Then a bundle of covers arrived from Baen, for Thraxas Under Siege, eighth book in the series. Well OK, that wasn't much activity. All I had to do was open the envelope and look at the covers. It felt quite arduous anyway. Thraxas Under Siege has been out in hardback in the USA for a while. This is the paperback edition, soon to be published. It's good to have unleashed eight Thraxas books on the world. I would rather like to do a ninth sometime. (For reasons why that won't happen any time soon, see this blog.)

So that all seemed like a lot of activity. Having run out of manga and Buffy comics, I recovered by lying in the bath reading Samuel Pepys' Diaries.

February 12th, 1660 - Hence home, where my wife and I had some high words upon my telling her that I would fling the dog out at the window if he pissed the house any more.

A little harsh perhaps, but you can't entirely blame him. He's trying to write his diary and there's a dog pissing everywhere. It would be annoying for anyone. However, his wife was capable of mounting a spirited argument, so I imagine the dog survived.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Two new pictures. One, sitting down, taken by Lucy Levene for the interview in The Telegraph last year. (And now carelessly cropped by me, to make it fit). And another taken by a friend outside my flat, showing me apparently about to embark on some dangerous military/ninja training. I notice in both pictures I'm attempting to force a smile, something I struggle with in front of the camera.

Soup. You know when you eat soup while you're sort of slumping in front of the TV? I mean, practically horizontal, like Homer Simpson on the couch? It means the soup spoon is travelling over quite a large area of clothing before it reaches your mouth. Leading, inevitably, to soup stains on the t-shirt. You can't transport soup this far horizontally on a spoon without spilling some. There just doesn't seem any way round this. Apart from sitting up straight, I suppose, but that really defeats the object of slumping on the couch. Technology should have solved the problem, inventing some new device. I mean, how long have we been using spoons? It's practically stone-age technology.

While my soup-stained t-shirts were in the wash, I lay in the bath reading New Scientist. Scientists are puzzled as to why there isn't as much anti-matter in the universe as there is normal matter. Various theories to explain this have been proposed. After diligently working my way through the article, I now have a vague understanding of these theories, though I'd have difficulty explaining them. When the new CERN particle accelerator starts operating, there may be more information about anti-matter. And maybe more about the mysterious Higgs Boson. I like popular science articles about nuclear physics, and wish I had the mathematical prowess to understand it all better.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Out Damned Spot

I approached the bathroom mirror with my customary greeting of "Hello you handsome dog,'' when I noticed I'd developed a spot. Was immediately plunged into gloom. It's so annoying. One compensation you might expect for growing older is not to get spots any more. But this has proved not to be the case, dammit.

So this seemed like a grave misfortune, coming as it did right after Arsenal's defeat on Tuesday - a quite scandalous affair of poor refereeing decisions. Bad refereeing decisions have really blighted Arsenal's season. I suspect a wide-ranging conspiracy against us.

So with the serious spot situation, and Arsenal falling victim to the illegal machinations of referees, there was nothing to do except make tea, and lie on the couch till things got better. After flicking through hundreds of channels without finding anything good I was reduced to watching the Kerrang rock channel, which was actually slightly better than I expected. If I was fifteen again, I'd probably love Evanescence.

Lying on the couch wasn't such a bad choice anyway, in view of the cold temperatures outside. There was a lot of snow last week, more than I can remember seeing in London for a long time. It doesn't often snow here. Unlike my childhood in Glasgow, where it wasn't uncommon to be struggling through snow on my way to school. I walked a long way to school every day in Glasgow, from a very young age, on my own, often through bad weather. I could be several hours drying out when I got there. Everyone walked to school in those days. No one does now, probably for very good reasons.

Quick investigation reveals 60,000 entries on Google for my Shakespearean title, Out Damned Spot. OK, I'm lacking in originality. But it wasn't just the facial woes that brought it to mind. I remember studying MacBeth at school, and I always liked Macbeth's castle. I liked the word Thane too, which is probably why the term appears in Lonely Werewolf Girl, and also a castle.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Public Lending Right

I've been forced to retire to the couch, exhausted from filling in forms for Public Lending Right. Which I've neglected to do for the past 18 years. I did register my first few books but forgot about it after that. For 18 years. Hmm.

Public Lending Right allows British authors to earn a little money when their books are borrowed from libraries. It would never earn me more than a few hundred pounds a year. But you know, I want that money.

It might be safest to stay on couch for a while, with the curtains drawn. Any moment now my modest South London apartment may again be besieged by hordes of the world's most glamorous women, driven mad with desire by my new story in Skin Two. It's probably safest not to answer the door for a while. After filling in these forms, I'm just too tired for company. I had to write down a lot of ISBNs, and now these are 13 digits long, that's a lot of writing.

After mentioning the Barnes and Noble promotion of Lonely Werewolf Girl and The Good Fairies of New York, and saying I'd like to see it, some people sent me pictures from bookshops in the USA. I thought that was extremely nice of them. These are from Matt in Jackson, Mississippi, Mara in Athens, Georgia, and Scott in Denver, Colorado.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Literary Secretary

Have again attempted to outrage public decency, and earn a little cash, with a story in new issue of Skin Two fetish magazine (#59). As you can see, they've used a photo of my new 'literary secretary' on the cover. She's pictured here just after taking some notes for my new novel.

Hmmm. Parts of the above paragraph may not be entirely true. But I did write the story.

My local library just charged me £1 'administrative charges' for a new ticket, after I lost my readers card! I mean, really. I was outraged. Damn it, it only took them 15 seconds to make me a new one. Administrative charges. Ha.

Once the shock of handing over £1 had receded, I borrowed E M Forster's Passage to India. I've never read Forster but I heard an interesting programme about him on Radio 4. I particularly admired the fact that for the last 46 years of his life, he didn't write any books all. I can see the attraction in this. Just write a few novels early on, then settle down comfortably on the couch for the next 46 years. It sounds great.

Lonely Werewolf Girl and The Good Fairies of New York are currently part of a promotion at some branches of Barnes and Noble in the USA, meaning both books are currently piled up on tables prominently displayed inside the shops. Which I would like to see, actually, as it's not often that I've been well-promoted. I could ask the publisher Soft Skull to send me a picture.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Fairies in Romania

The Good Fairies of New York was published this week in Romania, by Tritonic. Zinele Punkiste Din New York. I really like the cover. It's the first time I've been published in Romania. Once more, the publisher has used the introduction by Neil Gaiman, and this introduction has been a big help in getting the book published in various countries.

The publisher, Bugdan Hrib, and a Romanian journalist, Horia Ursu, are in Britain for the Eastercon. I met them in Crystal Palace and did a brief interview. Also, they bought me beer.

Once more being obliged to travel to Croydon - stupid agoraphobia therapy - I intended to march resolutely past the comic shop, without going in. Because I seem to have bought rather a lot of Japanese comics recently. But then I thought I might as well just take a quick look. Unfortunately, once inside, I discovered that they had a three-for-the-price-of-two offer on their manga. I was powerless to resist. Emerged some time later, weighed down with large bundle of new Japanese graphic novels. Felt some sense of shame at my weakness. Still, as everyone knows, when you hand over your credit card, you're not really spending any money.

Have secured new inflatable pillow, and plan to spend several days lying comfortably in the bath, reading manga.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Inflatable Bath Pillow

Soft Skull's edition of Lonely Werewolf Girl is now in bookstores in the USA, and available at This has taken me by surprise. Official publication date in America is 5th April but it's made it to the shops already. So this is cause for celebration.

* makes cup of tea *

But life is not without its problems. Having settled down in the bath for a comfy soak, and rested my head on my inflatable bath pillow, I found my head bumping uncomfortably. My pillow had deflated. I blew it up several times, to no avail. My bath pillow has sprung a leak. This is very disappointing. I loved that inflatable pillow. It may have been my most useful possession. It's no use trying to relax in the bath without some sort of support for your head. Will have to try and replace it tomorrow.

I think I bought that pillow from the same supermarket I buy rhubarb crumble. Which I still eat regularly though I've been attempting to broaden my diet a little recently. Urgh. I get bored trying to think of anything new I might want to eat.

A new Buffy comic arrives through the letterbox. Hooray! I can read it in the bath. But I don't have my pillow. Damn.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Werewolf Costume

A box of books arrives from Italy, copies of Ragazze Lupo, Fazi's translation of Lonely Werewolf Girl. It's a fine-looking book. And hefty too; it's a hardback, which I hadn't realised. I wonder if I could do anything useful with these books? If you'd like a free Italian copy and can give me some convincing reason to send you one - like for instance you have many friends and family in Italy and you promise you'll harass them all into buying it - then let me know.

Meanwhile I've been doing more email interviews for Italian magazines. This is good but it has led to world-record levels of sleeping on the couch afterwards, feeling that answering a few questions is probably enough work for the day.

The London Book Fair takes place at the start of April. My literary agents will be there, trying to make some more sales for me with foreign publishers. My agent did suggest that it would be good publicity for Lonely Werewolf Girl if I were to dress up in a werewolf costume and go around the book fair biting people. It's a reasonable suggestion. If I were to put on a suitable costume and deliver an energetic performance, maybe biting some publishers quite seriously and sending them to hospital, it would be bound to get some press coverage.

* Author bites publisher's leg *

* They never paid me enough royalties, says Millar *

It would probably do my career no harm at all. Sadly, I'm not really up to it. I don't have that killer instinct when it comes to getting publicity. It's a shame, really.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Zap! Boom!

This week I've been limping around with a sore hip, the result of either 1) Old age creeping up on me, or 2) Heroic sexual performance with supermodels - I'll let you decide - but anyway, one place I limped around was the comic shop in Croydon.

That was a long journey by my standards, and one that I wouldn't have made, except I started at a new therapist in Croydon last week. This is again courtesy of the National Health Service, which means it's rather like receiving therapy in a welfare office. In fact, I've been in more attractive welfare offices. I'm hoping it does the agoraphobia some good anyway. I haven't made any progress with my agoraphobia for some time.

I felt obligated to buy myself stuff on the way home as a reward for my efforts. Hence the visit to the comic shop. Emerged with bundle of Japanese manga, which I'm enjoying. I was confused at first till I realised these comics had to be read backwards. It does tell you this on the cover but I didn't notice for a while. As a result of enjoying this manga I've also taken to watching anime on TV. And this has been a good way of spending time, because obviously I don't want to sit at my computer and write anything.

There was an earthquake in Britain on Tuesday night. I felt it, but here in London we were far from the epicentre and I didn't even realise the vibration was an earthquake. At first I thought it was me, having some sort of seizure, which was worrying, then I thought it must be some giant vehicle going past outside, or maybe some neighbour's boiler about to explode. The vibrating didn't last for long. By natural disaster standards, I suppose this was a small event, though it was worse in other places. Still, it's the first earthquake I've ever felt.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Fairy Music

In The Good Fairies of New York, the young fairies Heather and Morag both play the violin, and they both pride themselves on their versions of Tullochgorum. This was a famous Scottish tune, back when traditional tunes were famous. It's a strathspey, a sort of slow reel. It was first recorded in a Scottish manuscript in 1734, and is presumably older than that.

The tune is important throughout The Good Fairies. Last time I did a reading, someone asked me what it sounded like. I considered humming it but restrained myself, fearing I'd sound ridiculous. Which I would have, undoubtedly. So that I may never be tempted to hum this tune to anyone, here it is on Youtube, played by Natalie MacMaster. Tullochgorum is the first tune here, it's followed by a few other reels.

After my tale of the injuries suffered during last week's life or death struggle with a spider in the kitchen, sympathy poured in from the general public. Most of it for the spider, I must admit. There was widespread anxiety about the spider's health. Apparently these creatures have friends and supporters everywhere. Hah. When giant mutant spiders are marauding through your home, spreading destruction, don't say I didn't warn you.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Household Accidents

Spotting a spider high up on the kitchen wall, I climbed onto a kitchen unit, clutching a rolled up magazine. (You may wish to tell yourself I was intending to shuffle it to safety) And then, as I approached the creature, it suddenly scuttled towards me in a very aggressive manner, causing me lose my footing and fall off the kitchen unit. I hit the ground, careered backwards till I slammed my head against an open cabinet door, then plummeted to the floor. Leaving me dazed and confused, and the final score standing at Spider 1, Millar 0.

Later, rather morosely drinking a cup of tea and watching cartoons, I reflected that I seem to have a lot of household accidents. I'm forever stubbing my toe on things, or breaking stuff. I have a Homer Simpson-like ability to burn my fingers by sticking my hand under the hot tap to see how hot the water is. Invariably, the water is boiling. Is it just me, I wonder, or does everyone stumble around their house from one disaster to another?

Fazi has made an Italian Myspace page for their edition of Lonely Werewolf Girl. And yesterday I completed a brief interview for an Italian teen magazine, so that's a good start to the release in Italy.

Arsenal take on Manchester United in the cup on Saturday. Feelings are already running high in the Millar household. Experts predict that abuse directed towards the TV may rise to dangerous and critical levels during this game.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Ragazze Lupo

Lonely Werewolf Girl comes out in Italy at the end of March, published by Fazi, under the title of Ragazze Lupo. Here it is on the publisher's website. So that will be the first foreign translation of Lonely Werewolf Girl and I'm very pleased about it. The Good Fairies of New York was quite successful in Italy so I'm optimistic about the prospects for this.

American and Greek editions are on the way. Annoyingly, the German publisher of The Good Fairies of New York doesn't want to publish Lonely Werewolf Girl. This seems strange, as their German edition of The Good Fairies has remained in print for many years. Anyway, my agents are actively looking for a new German publisher.

As recently threatened, I am now clad in a new Suzy Quatro T-shirt, and am wearing it at this moment. It's a really fine garment. I would put a picture here, if I actually had a working camera, which I don't at the moment. I may be the only person in the Western hemisphere without a camera. Must rectify this soon.

And now I must return to the couch, for a fortifying sleep, as I'll need my strength later for watching football. There are matches on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and this is quite a tough schedule, as I do a lot of shouting and shaking my fist at the TV.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Beau Millar

I'm currently reading a large biography of Beau Brummel, by Ian Kelly. Brummel was such an interesting character. At the time of the Regency (c. 1800) he was described as a dandy, but his dandyism consisted of simplifying men's clothes, rather than wearing anything outlandish. He was the originator of modern men's dress, and helped to re-define the way that modern gentlemen regarded themselves.

He was an intelligent man. After his classical education at Eton, he could fire off witty epigrams in Greek and Latin, which I admire. Not that you would have wanted to go to Eton in those days, a hotbed of beatings and abuse. Though apparently Brummel avoided most of the beatings by being such a witty character.

I wish I had a cool nickname like Beau. Beau Millar. That would be good. Of course, it would mean I'd have to dress well. Which obviously I don't. Am currently debating whether to buy a Marc Bolan or a Suzy Quatro T-shirt. It's a tough choice. Perhaps I will have to buy both. A re-incarnated Beau Brummel, of course, would not wear such an item. It's fortunate I don't have any children. I'd be a dreadfully embarrassing father. Soon my nephews and nieces will shun me when I arrive in my Suzy Quatro T-shirt, and deny being related to me.

Here is Suzy Quatro, in her 70s glam heyday -

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Biscuit Mystery Update

For months now I've been staring gloomily at the biscuit shelves in the local supermarket, unable to fathom why they no longer sell plain hobnobs, my favourite biscuits. And then trudging home rather morosely clutching a packet of some inferior brand to eat with a cup of tea.

There seemed to be no possible reason why these biscuits had disappeared from the supermarket. The finest minds were baffled. It just didn't make sense. Sources informed me they were still available in other locations but they had completely vanished from my locality. The shelves were bulging with chocolate hobnobs and all other types of cookies but there was just no sign of my preferred brand.

And then, yesterday, I wandered round into the next aisle and there they were! The supermarket had moved all the plain biscuits round the corner. I hadn't realised this. I've been staring at the wrong shelf for months.

Naturally, I was outraged. I was tempted to storm up to the customer desk and give them a piece of my mind for their frankly duplicitous behaviour. But I do have to be careful. Being agoraphobic, this supermarket is the only one within range, so I can't really afford to be thrown out of the place. Which did come close to happening on one occasion, during the great potato mis-pricing scandal of 2004.

So I controlled my desire to abuse the staff, and instead loaded up my basket with hobnobs. All in all, I felt happier as I wandered home. It was treacherous of the supermarket to move these biscuits - they should know I can't cope with this sort of thing - but on the other hand, normal service at my house has now been restored. I am now full of tea and biscuits. Possibly my writing will go better now. My sequel to Lonely Werewolf Girl has been coming along rather slowly, but this might have been because of an inadequate food supply.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Recovery continues from the life-threatening flu that almost overwhelmed me last week.

This illness didn't involve all that much congestion, being mainly high temperatures and aching muscles. However, there was a fair amount of sneezing and snuffling. Which leads me to a hypothetical question.

If - for instance - someone decided to use an old T-shirt for a week as a handkerchief - because tissues were very scratchy on his nose - and then throw the old T-shirt out, but, when it was time to throw out the old T-shirt, it turned out not to be an old T-shirt at all, but one of his favourites, used by mistake - should that person then throw this disgusting item out anyway? Or just stick it in the washing machine and wear it anyway because really, who's going to know? It's a problem.

I have another story in Skin Two fetish magazine soon, and must regain my health to be in good shape for anticipated stampede of glamorous fetish/gothic models to my door. When my modest flat is once again crammed full of the world's most beautiful women, I need to be healthy enough to make tea and be hospitable. I always like to be a polite host.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I Have Flu

I have flu. Not a cold, but your actual flu.

I haven't had flu since I was fifteen. I've always remembered how unpleasant it was, and hoped it wouldn't happen again. But here we are. Aching limbs, sweating, fever, nausea, and I can't even sleep.

Day 1 and 2 - Lay on the couch feeling like death. High temperature and aching everywhere. Entertained slight hope that it was just a bad cold and might start to get better. Despite considerable suffering, did manage to record all day Avatar special on Nicktoons. My favourite cartoon, which I need to watch for vital research purposes.

Day 3 - Fever gets worse. Unable to move. Unable to eat, sleep, or do anything. Can barely make it to kitchen for water. Abandoned all hope and lay on couch waiting to die. I live on my own. It might take weeks for my body to be discovered. I get so hot. I remove my blanket, my shirt, my socks, and I'm still burning up. I wonder what else I might do but I don't have any energy to do anything.

Taking ibuprofen helps a little. Eventually my temperature drops and then I become so cold I can hardly bear it. It's like my whole skin is aching. I have to put on more clothes, put on the heating and huddle under the quilt.

Day 4 - Alternate between sweating from fever and frozen shivering. Time really seems to drag, just lying there feeling ill, especially as I can't sleep. Unable to read or divert my attention in any way. Find myself lying dumbly in front of CNN International at 4 AM, watching Hilary Clinton win in New Hampshire. I like Hilary.

Day 5 - Start to feel a little better. Watch football on TV. Recovery almost scuppered by poor Arsenal performance against Spurs. Complete despair. Health worsens dramatically. Hopes revive after late equaliser.

Day 6 - Bad headache but flu symptoms definitely declining. Not feeling so feverish any more.

Day 7 - A little better. May survive the experience, and live to watch all the episodes of Avatar I recorded. Stupid flu.

Friday, January 04, 2008

2008. Hmm

Christmas at my brother's was less chaotic than I anticipated. My nephews - generally fond of rampaging around the house - seemed pleased with their presents, and retreated to their rooms to play with them.

One of these presents being a WWE wrestling ring complete with action figures which I would have quite liked to play with. But you know what children are like. Unwilling to do the decent thing, and move aside to let their uncles play with their new toys on Christmas day. Selfish, really.

Emerged from Christmas into a dedicated period of watching football on TV over New Year - Arsenal going well - finally poked my nose out the door yesterday and realised it's really cold out there, so retreated back inside to sleep on the couch and get over it all.

Plans are afoot to reprint Suzy, Led Zeppelin and Me some time this year. I'm pleased. It was a good book and deserved better than for the original publisher to go out of business, thereby sinking it without trace.