Tag Archives: interviews

Box 010: Number 9, Lynda Wilcox

Hello Ladies, Gentlemen, those who aren’t quite sure and, of course K’Barthans. Welcome, once again, to Box 010; a bit of light whimsy which is, in no way, inspired by the popular BBC programme Room 101. Here’s now it works. Every two weeks, my special guest will pop in and then present us with five things they would like to see consigned to the dustbin of existence. This week’s special guest is Lynda Wilcox writer of the children’s adventure books and light hearted whodunits, the latest of which, Strictly Murder.  You can find her website here .

Hello Lynda. Right before I let you rant, would you like to tell us a bit about yourself.

Of course, I was born in Derbyshire and, even as a small child, read voraciously, happily losing myself for hours in Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven and Famous Five books. Looking for a new source of income when my husband was made redundant in his mid-fifties, I turned to writing. In the beginning I wrote the sort of children’s adventures I’d been so fond of myself when young, and then turned my hand to old-fashioned whodunits, which I’d enjoyed since my twenties. I’m happy to say that both have proved popular, because I have a lot more stories yet to tell.

That’s interesting, I reckon Enid Blyton got a whole generation of kids into writing. Most of the early stories I wrote were Famous Five style, too. So, the time has come… What would is your fist candidate for Box 010?

Celebrity chefs or, more properly, TV chefs:  I learnt to cook at my mother’s knee, though I suppose I must have been taller than that or I’d never have reached the stove! In my day cookery was taught in schools. Now we have to learn how to prepare and cook our food from the likes of Delia Smith or Raymond Blanc. Everything is ‘fresh’, ‘crisp’, and ‘beautiful’ before it becomes ‘delicious’, exquisite, or ‘perfect’. Yes, well they’d hardly say their ingredients were stale, soggy or bland, now would they? Or that the resulting meals tasted disgusting. I’d love to be able to pout and flaunt my way around a kitchen the size of Nigella Lawson’s but I live in your average semi and cook in a kitchen where you have to close all the cupboard doors before there’s room to open the fridge. And we don’t all live in London with a bustling daily market just around the corner. Open my kitchen door and there’s a main road facing you, not a perfect pottager or herb garden. I’m as likely to get run over as I am to find a sprig of mint!

Hmm… I do enjoy a good cookery programme but I agree that many of them tend to make certain assumptions which are just plain daft! And Nigella does my head in.

What is the next item you would like to hurl, through a black hole, never to be seen again?

Chilli with Everything:  Not everyone likes chilli,  and even ordinary white pepper is too hot for me, but these days the wretched stuff turns up in everything — even chocolate and ice cream! Whatever next? Chilli flavoured Victoria sponge for heaven’s sake? I’ve no objection to those who like their food so hot they can’t actually taste it, but recently my local supermarket’s selection of barbecue meat didn’t include a single item that wasn’t hot and spicy or crammed to the gunwales with chilli, lime and coriander. Hey, all I’m asking for is a little choice, OK? Besides the idea of a barbecue is surely not to feel that you’ve cooked your own tongue on the damned thing.

Mwah ha hahargh! I am going to be thinking about cooked tongue for the rest of the day! Hmm another controversial one there, I reckon. I love chilli, but I do understand this, because I’m allergic to mushrooms and the amount of times I’ve explained this carefully and been served something stuffed to the gunwales with them are too numerous to count. Sorry, going off on one there.

What is the third verucca of existence that you would like to burn from the foot of time?

Council Profligacy and Council Speak:

Excellent, sounds like a good one!

Yes. It causes more chuntering, more dark mutterings in Wilcox Towers than any other. Less than half a mile from my front door, proudly displayed over the entrance to the District Council offices is a fancy sign saying, ‘Your District Council — Working For You’. I KNOW THAT! Who the hell else would they be working for? Patagonian llama farmers?

God know how many hundreds or thousands of pounds of tax payer’s money, MY money, they wasted stating the blindingly obvious. Just how dumb do they think the local residents are? Oh, OK, don’t answer that one.  Just tell me why, when the council have removed all the cameras from speed traps around the county, they need to spend several hundred thousand quid painting the empty boxes? It’s madness.  If you are thinking of going and working for them, you’ll need a degree in gobbledegook. A current vacancy calls for, ‘a portfolio holder for community engagement and wellbeing’. I’m applying myself — as soon as I’ve worked out whether they want an MC for bingo nights or a doctor!

Local Government Gobbledgygook excellent suggestion. I suspect we’ll all be voting for that one. OK, Lynda, what is the fourth item you’d like to put into Box 010?

Texting and mobile phones: Specifically those who insist on keeping their hands down, thumbs going nineteen to the dozen as they walk down crowded streets expecting everyone else to get out of their way or risk being barged into. They surge across busy roads, still typing Cul*r, oblivious to traffic and the world around them. Wherever they are,  in supermarkets, libraries, on the train, they feel compelled to whip out their Nokias (and there’s a euphemism, if ever I heard one!) and call someone to announce the fact. They discuss the most personal details, medical or financial, in plain hearing of all around them, forcing you to listen. I don’t want to hear about your attack of dysentery on holiday, your gynaecological examination or how you had to transfer money to pay for your son’s new car. Please, please, please,  just shut up!

Oh I heartily agree with this one. Come on readers, stuff it in! Right, Lynda, we’re coming to your fifth and final item. Please can you tell us what it is.

Rude people: whatever happened to common courtesy? To good manners? Don’t people bother with P’s and Q’s any more? I’m fed up with being barged off pavements, pushed out of the way in shops, and cut-up by other road users. For all that they get a bad press, it’s rarely young people who are guilty of such bad manners, either. While I was shopping last week, a forty-something woman cried, “Oh there it is”, and without so much as an “excuse me”, shoved out an arm right in front of my face to take something off the shelf. Similarly, whilst looking at the Alfred Jewel in the Ashmolean Museum, someone reached in front of me with a mobile phone to take a picture of it. Grr. I can find no excuse for such rudeness and it makes my blood boil.

In that case, readers, to reduce risk of Lynda’s blood boiling – which can’t be effecetious for her health, please, please, vote rude gits into Box 010.

Lynda, thank you so much for joining me. Readers, it’s now time to vote! Join me next week when we find out how many of Lynda’s choices are going into Box 010. To find out more about Lynda’s books you can visit her website here, more on her latest release, Strictly Murder, at the bottom of the page.

Strictly Murder

The Estate Agent’s details listed two reception, kitchen and bath. What they failed to mention was the dead celebrity in the master bedroom. Personal assistant Verity Long’s house hunt is about to turn into a hunt for a killer. It will take some fancy footwork to navigate the bitchy world of dance shows, TV studios, and dangerously gorgeous male co-stars. When Verity looks like the killers next tango partner, she discovers that this dance is… Strictly Murder

A reminder


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Box 010 Results: Number 8, David Haywood Young.

Hello everyone.

Last week’s special guest was David Haywood Young, who has two novels published; a supernatural mystery and a romance/mystery with a bit of Gypsy ghost story, along with a book of short stories which he says are ‘mostly strange’ and therefore, in my view almost certainly to be recommended. He’s been running a giveaway on his site so I hope you all went over there and tried out his books, for free. Keep ’em peeled for his a new book, too,  will be out in a few weeks. So, without more ado, David, here are your results.

You got two of your five items into Box 010 and, ladies and gentlemen, while I’m writing, I’m afraid I have to censure you. When you get a list of pet hates with well… lists on it,  it’s a pretty piss poor effort when it doesn’t get voted- Ah, yes, right, I see. On second thoughts thank you for not voting lists and therefore Box 010 into Box 010.

Congratulations David for persuading us all to vote for two of your items these are:-

  1. Mathematics.
    I’m rubbish at Maths, which means there’ll be one less thing I’m bad at out there, which means I get to look good.  Thank you.
  2. The Rule of Law.
    Yes, in it goes.

David, thank you so much for joining me and taking part in Box 010. Next week, Lynda Wilcox will be attempting to persuade you to hurl her pet hates into the abyss that is Box 010 and sellotape down the lid.


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An interview with Will MacMillan Jones, author of Bass Instinct

Here’s a nice interview with my friend Will, who writes very silly books, which are great fun. Have a look.

healthy, happy woman

This week I’d like to welcome Will MacMillan Jones to the Thursday Throng hot seat as I put him through his interview paces. The first thing that strikes you about Will is that reality is a very loose concept, something rather like being me on this blog 🙂 The second is that Will is really a stand up comic in disguise; oh and he’s also an Awesome Indies approved writer too.

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M T McGuire

Thank you to the Story Reading Ape for choosing today’s featured author!


Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

M T McGuire grew up on a windy down but now lives in Bury St Edmunds, in Suffolk with her partner, son and a large hairy cat.

She has apparently checked all unfamiliar wardrobes for a gateway to Narnia but is disappointed to report that she hasn’t found one yet.

If you like car chases, humour, quirky characters, a hint of romance and a nice simple battle between good and evil you may enjoy her award winning debut novel, Few Are Chosen, K’Barthan Trilogy: Part 1. It’s a fantasy cops and robbers – and quite a few other things – story. Actually, you might even like the second one as well, The Wrong Stuff, K’Barthan Trilogy: Part 2.

Warning: both books contain car chases, jokes, futuristic technology and sarcasm. Book 2 even contains romance!

Here are ten other things you never knew, and may wish you didn’t, about M…

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Box 010: Number 8, David Haywood Young

Hello everybody peps! Welcome, once again, to Box 010; a bit of light whimsy which is, in no way, inspired by the popular BBC programme Room 101. Here’s now it works. Every two weeks, my special guest will pop in and then present us with five things they would like to see consigned to the dustbin of existence. This week’s special guest is David Haywood Young, who has two novels published; a supernatural mystery and a romance/mystery with a bit of Gypsy ghost story, along with a book of short stories which he says are ‘mostly strange’ and therefore, in my view almost certainly to be recommended. He is running a giveaway on his site at the moment so you can try his books, for free, and it’s also worth keeping an eye out for his new release, which will be out in a few weeks.

Hello there David.


Thank you for visiting us today. Before we attempt to consign your pet hates to history, please can you tell us a little bit about yourself.

If I exist at all, there’s a good chance I’m a bit odd by nature. Even-tempered, though. At six years old I began writing (and binding!) books for my younger brother and sister. I taught them both to read, as I needed an uncritical audience. Eventually the day came when my parents no longer gave me lunch money. I considered burglary (I still consider it fairly often) but ended up combining software development and professional poker…for more than twenty years. But I shut down my company last year in favor of writing. We’ll see how it goes. It feels fairly wonderful so far.

As MTM mentioned, I’ve published two novels and a collection of short stories (mostly strange). All three are available, one per customer (on the honor system), via a giveaway I began on the solstice: http://davidhaywoodyoung.com/blog will get you there until 21 July 2013. Though leaving my site again will be entirely up to you, as there’s nothing in it for me.

Also, I’m @DHY_writer on Twitter if you’d like to say hello there. Which you can actually do twenty-eight times in a single tweet, and I think that’s awfully friendly.

Phnark, it is too… I will be trying it out shortly! Mwah ha hargh. Alright then, let’s get onto the action. David, what is the first item you’d like to throw into Box 010?

Lists: Yes, all lists. My wife creates them daily, and I love her very much, and this prohibition will resolve all related issues. Also, if it doesn’t, we won’t know. Besides, I once heard someone say that a plan is just a list of things that don’t happen. I figure it’s better to strike at the root than to attempt to model an entire universe—even supposing we only have the one to deal with—and all its myriad interactions on chewed-up tree pressings. Even Post-its, in my opinion, are not truly adequate to the task. Life should be experienced as is, not interpreted via coercive flights of predigested (and appallingly limited) fancy. Or so I suppose.

This is very true, McOther makes lists and thinks things through, I find that any list I make will be overtaken by events anyway… like my to do list for today, for example, which went pear shaped about five minutes after leaving the house.

Sorry, where was I, ah yes, Thing 2. What is your second candidate to set adrift in the darkness of Box 010, never to be seen again?

Constraints:  This certainly includes the list (see issue #1 above) of restrictions you sent me. I’m not to include items people have previously identified as unnecessary/hated/expunge-worthy?

Mwah ha ha hargh! No! Those were the things that are already in Box 010 so in theory you can’t throw them in a second time because they don’t exist, although they do because I’m in Box 010 now, because McOther was thrown into it with all other Lawyers last week. Phnark.

Fine! But this is the beginning of the end. Once we start down this path, we’re on a path, and that means we’re probably not paying as much attention as we ought to various less-than-obvious dangers I obviously can’t enumerate (see above, and also counting is by nature too limiting). So…excuse me, were you saying something? I was to make a point? Oh. Well, too bad. Now what?

You loony! Now, I think we should move onto your third item.

Agriculture: All right, enough fooling around. This one is serious. I’m a natural hunter-gatherer type, by which I mean I’m too lazy to do much until the need for food (or cash) becomes pressing. Yet another source of marital friction! She feels we should put something aside for emergencies—and once that’s done, well, we might need more for a more serious emergency. Fine! I declare an end, right here. If we can stage a zombie apocalypse (even if without actual zombies), and go back to proper societal norms (meaning I hunt when hungry and do very little else, but as a noble primitive rather than a slacker) I think the world at large will run much more smoothly.

Hmm… I get the logic in that but I’m a poor hunter and I like to know where the next meal is coming from. Being  a lazy slacker though… that sounds cool.

Mathematics: An easy one. Not that math-


Remember, I’m roughly American. Not that math(s) is inherently horrible, but so many misunderstand its function! It’s another system for modeling reality, sort of like—wait for it—lists. People start thinking the system we’ve made up can somehow override reality, as if two chairs are always precisely twice as good as one when a body wants to sit. Mathematics can model bits of the real world, but fails to replace them. Nonetheless folks believe they can prove things about the physical world via appallingly simple flights of mathematical whimsy…and so we develop perversely boring religions all over the place. No more! Leave the math to the computers, I say. And don’t believe anything they say either.

As someone who hasn’t passed a maths exam since the age of 9, think maths is a cracking candidate for Box 010. Then we wouldn’t need money, either and we’d swap stuff, which is so much simpler. OK, what’s your fifth and final candidate for the Box of Doom that is, 010?

The rule of law: Well, look, this one really applies more to the rulers than the ruled…and who could argue that their behavior (Yep, I’m still American) has been what it ought to be of late? Or at any other time. So, the heck with it. From now on, I say we all do just as we please—

Hmm… but David, what pleases you might be a complete pain in the arse for—

What, you’re interrupting me again? Yes, of course this will be mandatory. How else could it work? Giving orders is ridiculous, but come the revolution anyone caught following them will be first against the wall! Because I said so.

There, that told me! Thank you so much for joining us, folks, this week’s guest has been David Haywood Young, who you can also find on twitter, saying hello a lot so you can follow him here @DHY_writer. Now the time has come to vote. So, Ladies and Gents, do rules appal you? Is planning, like spare tyres, for whimps? Only you can decide…

Vote here.


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Box 010 Results: Number 7 Will Macmillan Jones

This week’s special guest was Will Macmillan Jones, writer of the acclaimed Banned Underground humorous fantasy series, fellow authorholic and petrol head. Will is also branching out into horror with his first book The Showing, out now and more promised. You can find his blog here .

Congratulations Will for persuading us all to vote for three of your items these are:-

  1. Lawyers.
    Bollocks. I’m going to be living in Box 010 from now on then as despite swearing I’d never marry a lawyer that’s exactly what I did.
  2. People who drive fast cars really slowly.
    It goes without saying that I am absolutely delighted to see this go in. After languishing behind a couple of old gimmers in an Aston Martin going at about 30mph the other day, in it goes.
  3. Drum n Bass.
    I think this is used to power cars. I’m not sure but in it goes

In an unprecedented change of the rules, I’ve decided to allow anyone who gets three items or more into Box 010 to choose another item to go in. And from now on in, that’s the way it will be. Will, which is going in, Estate Agents or TV?

Well, M T. I think it has to be Estate Agents.

Excellent choice. Will, thank you for joining me on Box 010. Next week… actually I don’t know who next week’s guest will be yet, but do join me for an exciting surprise, as someone else joins me, to hurl the objects they loathe and detest into the black hole of Box 010.

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Box 010: Number 7, Will Macmillan Jones

Hello Ladies, Gentlemen, those who aren’t quite sure and, of course K’Barthans. Welcome, once again, to Box 010; a bit of light whimsy which is, in no way, inspired by the popular BBC programme Room 101. Here’s now it works. Every two weeks, my special guest will pop in and then present us with five things they would like to see consigned to the dustbin of existence. This week’s special guest is Will Macmillan Jones, writer of the acclaimed Banned Underground humorous fantasy series, fellow authorholic and petrol head. Will is also branching out into horror with his first book The Showing, out now and more promised. You can find his blog here .

Hello Will.

Mary, good afternoon.  Unless you are uploading this in the morning of course.

Come on! You know me, consistently late despite being still alive.

True, but then as the song says, ‘It’s five o’clock somewhere’*.  That’s a good maxim to live by, I always think.

Very true, so, can you tell us a little more about yourself?

Those who know me are aware that I write fantasy, and a little horror. I’ve got a little horror too, only she’s becoming quite grown up now and will be away to University next year: I might get some peace and quiet to write a bit more then.  Alternatively I might suddenly come across the TV remote whilst cleaning her bedroom, and get distracted, although (as you will see) that’s rather unlikely.

Hmm… TV and procrastination, the two great enemies of writers everywhere, OK then, I’m dying to know, what’s your first candidate to go into Box 010?

So, what would I consign to Room 010?  Jim favoured beaurocracy. I can’t agree with him there – it has been a wonderful source of inspiration to me.  I remember once reading a provision in one of the Finance Acts in the 1970s that was approximately fifty lines of closely printed type, entirely devoid of meaningful punctuation.  Photocopies were being passed around the Inland Revenue – where I worked at the time – and there were rumours of a prize for anyone who could correctly interpret the intended meaning. It was probably a promotion, such a competition being the only remaining route to professional advancement at the time.

Mwah ha ahhargh. I can believe it. But stick with the programme, Will. Focus. Your first item..?

Yes, sorry, I digress.  My first consignee would be anyone who records those dreadful noises I hear occasionally when retuning the radio.  I think it’s called ‘Drum N Bass’.

Drum N Bass Artists: Everyone involved in any way within the music industry has fixed ideas about the musical qualities of those who play those instruments.  No smoke without fire, say I.  I loathe the stuff.  I don’t mind the fact it’s repetitive, just that every single track I’ve ever heard appears to be completely interchangeable.  There’s clearly some clever bloke in a cellar somewhere who recorded the initial track, and now leases it out to all the others who are too lazy to learn to play something different.  I must be getting old, and hankering for a time when musicians could actually play their instruments, and sing without the need to have their voices electronically altered, or even mime.

I have to say, I am absolutely with you there Will. I am a curmudgeon, I know but even when I was a kid, and supposed to like it, I loathed that kind of thing.

My next target will be dear to your heart too, Mary.  There is a particular breed of driver who should be shot.  I can cope with the elderly drivers in their elderly Nissans who bumble around the country lanes at fifteen miles an hour.  You can identify them easily, and know what you are dealing with.  It’s the same with farmers in their preferred transport, middle aged Freelanders.  You know that they are likely to stop at any or every field gate, and that brake lights are an optional extra (which being farmers, they are on average too mean to buy).

Oooh easy tiger, I can think of several people who are going to have stern words with you over your comments about farmers. Sorry, do go on.

My ire is reserved for those who buy reasonably quick cars, and then take them out onto lovely curving roads for a spin, and still drive them at what seems like fifteen miles an hour.  Just last week I was out looking for a bit of legitimate and legal fun (trust me, whatever you were using, if you drove along this road at the legal speed limit you would very quickly have been taking flying lessons.  The first lesson being: cars have a very poor glide angle) on a Welsh road that rather resembles the beautiful road used in the James band film Goldfinger.  And who should I end up following?  Some muppet in a convertible going round corners as slowly as possible.  Grrrrrrrrrrrr!

Actually, I completely understand this one as well, I got stuck behind a couple of middle aged gimmers driving an Aston at about 20mph the other day and I have to say, it was peculiarly distressing. So, what’s the third thing you would like to see scrubbed with Vim from the face of time?

And now we come to lawyers.  I hate lawyers. Come the revolution, let’s put them all up against the wall and open fire.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that the country would be a better place if everyone was given the right to shoot lawyers, on let’s say, one particular day of the year.  Maybe the summer solstice?  The druids would have a ready supply of sacrificial victims for their rites at Stonehenge.  Of course, this plan – clearly acceptable to all right thinking people – would have to be made into law, and that’s where the practical problem would arise.  The lawyers would have to be brought in to draft the law, and I’m sure they would make it as confusing as every other piece of legislation ever drafted by some lawyer with one eye on the enormous fees to be made from the subsequent need to work out just what the hell had been meant by the wording now enshrined in the ever growing laws that surround us.  Like everything else in our fair land, it started out with the very best of intentions with the Magna Charta (signed by King John), and has been going downhill for the last thousand years or so.

Mr McGuire hates lawyers, or perhaps I should rephrase that, he hates other lawyers. But then he works for inventors and scientists so they like plain speaking contracts that tell it like it is. What is your fourth item for Box 010?
Television:   Mostly, I cannot stand television. Endless soaps, stealing each others’ story lines and using interchangeable actors.  Endless episodes on how to improve your home/sell your home/buy another one.  They should be sponsored by estate agents.  Maybe they are.  When I’m writing, which I do rather a lot, I prefer to have some soothing music playing.  The sweet, pastoral idyll of ‘No Sleep ‘Till Hammersmith’* perchance.  Sadly my teenager commandeers the TV remote, and every evening I am subjected to the torture of endless repeats of American Dad and Family Guy.  I actually laughed at some of the jokes the first time I saw some of the episodes.  But not now.  When I was her age, I used to use some prog rock as a meditation device.  After all, if I dropped off to sleep for a few minutes and then woke up, I could be fairly sure I hadn’t missed much and would still be listening to the same track. Or at least something that sounded like the same track, even if it wasn’t.  Unless I dozed for too long of course, and the vinyl had ended.  Anyway, back to TV, which is spookily the same as prog rock these days.  Almost all the programmes are entirely awful, and quite often indistinguishable.  But then I suppose that there’s a danger that if the fools making most of these soaps and endless house improvement programmes were not allowed to do them anymore, they’d all go off and be lawyers instead and make the country even worse.  So maybe I’m wrong.

OK then Will, what is your fifth and final item?
Estate Agents:  Anyone who has ever bought or sold a house, or even rented one, will have come up against this pernicious breed. For one thing, they seem unable to fix a simple value to a house. When you are trying to sell, several slightly oily people will wander round your home with a critical eye, before pronouncing a number a wildly varying valuations, all based on their personal opinion of the property, or indeed of you yourself.  Mostly, they will all be trying to outdo each other to encourage you to sign up with them instead of their nearby competitor, of course. Then when a prospective buyer offers a substantially different and much lower sum for the house, they will all murmur:  ‘of course, the market is a little difficult at present’.  It’s always difficult, isn’t it?  And the descriptions they create of properties? I’m supposed to be a fantasy author, and I’m left gasping in awe.  Is there a training course they go on that helps them to invent these wonderful, mellifluous phrases and lie with less compunction than a lawyer?  ‘Splendid Outlook’ (a picturesque view of the local tip). ‘Unlikely to be overlooked’ (No one in their right mind would have built a house there in the first place, and even builders can learn from their mistakes). ‘Convenient for the amenities’ (there’s a car park for the local superstore and retail park on the other side of the road). ‘Excellent Access’ (If your lawyer remembers to wake up long enough to do the searches he will find that planning permission to demolish the house next door and replace it with a four lane super highway complete with roundabouts and flyovers was granted last week).  ‘Spacious Accommodation’ (The dwarfs I write about would consider it so, certainly.  The removal men tasked with teasing your expensive furniture up the narrow,steep and twisting stairs will have other views on the matter and will express them to you at length in return for tea).

So, there you have it.  My five suggestions for Room 010.

Marvellous, that’s grand! McOther will be casting his vote for this last one although, it’ll probably be from Box 010 by next week. So… Will Macmillan Jones, thank you very much for joining me.

Thank you, Mary, for the opportunity for a rare rant.

It was a pleasure.

Right, then everyone, if you’d like to vote there’s link to the poll further down the page. To find more about Will Macmillan Jones and his books you can visit his blog here,  the Banned Underground website, here and his Amazon author page, here.

Join us next week for the results, and in two weeks’ time, when we will be finding out what really ticks off Will Macmillan Jones when he puts his five most loathed items into Box 010.

Vote here….

*Motorhead’s live album.  Buy it.  Now.  See?  I even do footnotes in a guest blog.


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Box 010 Results: Number 6 Jaq D Hawkins

This week’s special guest has been Jaq D Hawkins, writer and film producer. You can find more about her books here and buy them, through her Amazon author page, here The website for her film work is here, and for general information about what she’s up to there’s always this site, here.

Blimey! There’s a lot going on there! Jaq, thanks for joining us and congratulations on your results. The voters have overwhelmingly endorsed three of your choices. These are:-

  1. Politicians.
    Excellent job, finally, someone gets the buggers in.
  2. Payment Protection Insurance.
    Here is goes.
  3. The Current 3d Film Fad.
    Special effects versus plot. Yes. Plot wins.

That’s pretty good going so thank you very much for taking part.

OK everyone, that’s it for now, please join me next week, when horror and humorous fantasy fiction author Will Macmillan Jones is going to try and persuade us to vote his most loathed items into oblivion.

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Box 010: Number 6, Jaq D Hawkins

Hello and welcome to Box 010; a bit of light whimsy which is, in no way, inspired by the popular BBC programme Room 101. Here’s now it works. Every two weeks, my special guest will pop in and then present us with five things they would like to see consigned to the dustbin of existence. This week’s special guest is Jaq D Hawkins. She does… well… Lots of stuff so I’ll let her tell you about it, over to you Jaq.

Oh and, hello.


A bit about me? Well, my most recent release is the final part of the Goblin Trilogy I’ve been working on which came out in May, but as well as Fantasy, I write Steampunk and non-fiction mind, body and spirit books and I also produce films.

Oh, so you’re not that busy then? Mwah ha ha hargh. Wow. So where do the lovely readers need to go to get information about all the things you get up to?

The best place for information about my books is my website, here and to buy them, my Amazon author page is here The website for my film is here, and for general information about what I’m up to, here.

Lorks well, thanks for taking the time out of your schedule to join me here, today. So let’s start with your first item.

3D: Hollywood has gone 3D crazy, and as if that weren’t bad enough, they’re moving more and more towards 3D animation instead of live actors. Even The Hobbit was ruined by extensive sequences of animated actors that look like gaming platforms.

But my main gripe is 3D. Every major film has to be in 3D these days, which leads to the gratuitous something-flying-in-your-face shots that take you out of the story. A lot of people can’t see 3D properly and anyone who wears glasses has a fiddle with trying to put the 3D glasses over their normal glasses.

For my own part, I’m just very aware of the effect and to me it detracts from the story. Granted that seeing Captain Jack Sparrow in near hologram effect had a certain appeal, but I haven’t gone to the 3D version of a film since. I can get lost in a 2D film, but 3D is too closely related to extended cgi effects that detract rather than enhance a film. It failed years ago, for those of us old enough to remember the earlier 3D films in the 1980’s. Yes technology has moved on, but 3D still looks un-natural and I’ve refused to go to the cinema to see some films because I knew I would enjoy the 2D DVD more.

Ah I am so with you there. Third time round and still… a bit crap actually. When a film is vaunted for its fantastic special effects I wonder if it’s the critics’ way of telling us there’s eff all else to recommend it. Accordingly, I assume there will be no plot, 3D is just that same deal with a different gimmick. I absolutely get you. Come on readers, I know I’m supposed to be impartial but what the heck, please vote this one in. After which impassioned plea, what’s the next item you would like to see sink beneath the waves of chaos of Box 010, never to be seen again?

Mushrooms: Slimy fungus things that infiltrate pizza and other foods that would be perfectly good if they left that spongy texture out. Yeech!

I’m allergic to them and when I eat out, I find them in places they don’t belong, like fish pie. Controversial though, a lot of people love them. I like the ones I can eat, it’s just the ones that make me hurl I don’t- her hem. Sorry. Moving swiftly on, what’s your third item for Box 010?

Quorn: Following on from mushrooms, who decided that processed mushrooms would make a good meat substitute? If you want to be a vegetarian, be a real vegetarian. I found when I was feeding film crews that I could make some excellent vegetarian dishes by adapting recipes to use courgette instead of meat. My Courgette Bolognaise even satisfies the vegans. If you want to be health conscious, processed foods are your enemy.

Blimey, mushrooms AND Quorn? There are going to be some very nettled vegetarians out there Jaq. I see where you’re coming from. Although I think Quorn looks quite interesting, like proper raw yeast which has the weirdest most bizarre flavour.

Politicians: Well this one is a given isn’t it? Politicians are lying scum who live in ivory castles of their own imaginary worlds and insist that they could live on £53 a week if they had to. Show me. First cold you get that requires over the counter medicine blows your food budget. And luxuries like a new toothbrush become expenses you have to plan in advance to accommodate. Gods forbid the mop needs a new sponge head, that’s nearly a fiver right there.

Hmm, you are clearly a woman after my own heart. The third guest on Box 010 came within a snadge of getting them in… let’s see if you can succeed where he failed.

PPI – payment protection insurance: Back in the days when I had credit cards, I actually had to lie to salesmen on the phone to make them shut up about ppi. I worked for the county and could have up to 6 months off sick at full pay, that was my payment protection. I didn’t want their nasty insurance and I don’t like to lie. Now it’s all spam about collecting from mis-sold ppi because a lot of people weren’t smart enough to send them packing in the first place. Let’s just put insurance salesmen, lawyers and politicians in room 010 and leave it, shall we? We can feed them Quorn and make them watch movies in 3D until their brains can’t perceive real life anymore. No one will notice the difference.

Mmm, now there’s a mental image. Jaq D Hawkins, thank you so much for visiting us on Box 010 today.

Any time.

Right then everyone, if you’d like to vote there’s link to the poll further down the page. To find more about Jaq D Hawkins here are those links again.  For information about her books, you should visit her website, here and you can find them all for sale on her Amazon author page here. To discover more about her film work go here, and for general information about what she’s up to, here.

Join us next week for the results, and in two weeks’ time, when we will be finding out what really ticks off Will Macmillan Jones when he puts his five most loathed items into Box 010.

Vote here….


Filed under Box 010, General Wittering

Box 010 Results: Number 5, Jean Gill

This week’s special guest has been Jean Gill. She writes… well, pretty much anything but she has asked me to feature Someone to Look Up To’ a story about a Pyrenean mountain dog, in search of his perfect human.

You can find Jean’s Amazon author page here or you can visit her blog here. So now, without more ado, here are the results of the vote!

This week’s vote is now complete so, without more ado, here are the results. Jean, congratulations, the voters have overwhelmingly endorsed two of your choices. These are:-

  1. Dog owners with no control of their off lead dogs.
    Excellent choice, voters! Jean I’m as glad to see the back of that one as you are.
  2. Cold calls and spam.
    Yet another of my own personal preferences is expunged from existence. Yeh.

Jean, nice going and thank you very much for taking part.

OK everyone, that’s it for now, please join me next week, when speculative fiction author Jaq D Hawkins is going to try and persuade us to vote her most loathed items into oblivion.

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Filed under Box 010, General Wittering