Friday, 18 February 2011

Burying Brian, the first review

My first review for Burying Brian has surfaced on the Internet over at Future Fire.

Future Fire

I don't like to comment too much on reviews, either about my writing or when I'm writing them for other people—it's odd but I like to feel a reviewer is a protected species; should never be questioned even if the news is bad.

I will say it's wonderful to get a non-horror-reader/non-British perspective on my writing—very illuminating.

Thanks to Carey for the review, and to Djibril at the Future Fire for hosting it…

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Mrs Mathews is Afraid of Cricket Bats

Well, let's be honest, there's rampant self-promotion afoot all over the Internet. And here's my bit. :-)

I've compiled a short chapbook—four short, humorous stories—and made it available for free download at Of course by making it free I hope to be read by as many people as possible, and then those people will be so taken by my writing skills, my blistering imagination, and my utter humility, that they'll be sure to look in on my novels Digging up Donald (itself available on Smashwords for a veritable pittance of cash) and Burying Brian.

That's the plan, anyway. Of course the exact opposite may occur, and folk might run screaming from Smashwords, vowing never again to download a suspicious looking ebook from that Pirie fellow. It's a chance I have to take.

It's called Mrs Mathews is Afraid of Cricket Bats. This is the cover:

It can be downloaded here: Mrs Mathews is Afraid of Cricket Bats

Go on, it's free. I've already downloaded it, and I haven't even got a Kindle or anything.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Pretty Little Dead Things

I was wandering the shelves of Waterstones in Liverpool, as one does, when I spotted "Pretty Little Dead Things", by Gary McMahon. I had read and enjoyed some of McMahon's short fiction down the years, and I'm always happy to support a small press author's push for greater things, so I bought a copy.

Overall it's an excellent read. Thomas Usher, following the tragic death of his family, finds he has the 'gift' of being able to contact the dead. Or rather the dead may contact him, for Usher's lack of control at such contact is a large part of the book's charm. Set loosely in Leeds, it's a grim story throughout, as Usher's battle with his own inner demons is nicely paralleled to those external ones bent on destroying the world.

McMahon displays great skill in weaving Usher's emotions into a story that's something of a page-turner at times. If I have a criticism then it's with the ending. Usher is spirited off to 'other places' for the final showdown, and events become somewhat surreal. I'd have thought given Leeds, or indeed any northern city, has enough nooks and dark corners for a final showdown between good and evil without resorting to such devices, the story could end where it is staged—sometimes painfully close to reality.

But that's not to detract from what is a very enjoyable book. And good luck to McMahon in breaking through into 'bricks and mortar' book stores!

You can buy Pretty Little Dead Things at

And here at