Sunday, 29 December 2013


I can't say I'm sorry that it's over. To be honest, Christmas is one of the low points of my year. I'm a bit of a Scrooge, though not so nasty, and feel thankful when it's done.
This year passed fairly uneventfully with the in-laws, in rural Dorset of all places (look it up in the map if you're not British and interested - it's very pretty when not submerged by flood water). The village where my partner has his roots is a three hour train journey from Brighton with a couple of changes on route - or at least that was the result going there. Sadly it took eight hours to get back thanks to the storms that hit the country over the festive season leaving havoc on the lines... but at least I got back the same day, which is more than can be said for many a poor sod. Gatwick airport was a very popular Christmas destination this year apparently where thousands were stranded due to the weather with few facilities available such as food and functioning toilets. What a great advert for Britain... we should all be proud!
Anyway, it's over and Brighton's in Brighton again, doing a blog which is some sort of writing and about to go for a walk because oddly enough the sun is shining (bollocks freezing as well, but who cares) and there are the makings of story lines running through my mind - some familiar, and one possible new adventure with Polar in the title - quite topical given the current climate. I'm going to mull it over and then see what I'll write.
Oh yes, Christmas is over and I'm done with turkey... Time to indulge in some prime cuts of BEEF!

Hope you all had a good one.


Saturday, 14 December 2013

I had an interesting night out... and it was one that made me think I'm a little out of touch...
The production I went to see was amusing. 'Oedipus in Boots' it was called. A rather whimsical take on the classic Oedipus tale where the tragic 'mothafucka' son is a cat. 'Puss in Boots' - get it! I thought it was funny - my partner thought it was amateurish crap. You can't please them all I suppose, which is something I've learned lately.
Anyway, as we were out and about, a visit to an old haunt seemed like a good idea. 'Doctor Brighton' is a bar just off the seafront and it used to be my favourite when I lived in Brighton before. With kicking music, a hunky bar manager who flashed plenty of flesh, and a real energy to the place - it was the perfect spot to meet up with friends and make some new ones before hitting the clubs. It even gets a mention in 'Burning Fire', such was my affinity. Sadly it has changed dramatically - all a bit tame was the impression I got, with disappointing bar staff and clientele that could hardly be described as hard core.. But that's fine - it's only right that things change.
One other change I noted was the number of beards on display - only on the men I'm glad to say. Now I have no objections to a bit of facial stubble - it looks good on the right type of man - the gentleman above being a fine example. But seeing so many beards in what is still arguably a gay bar - to be honest I found it a bit creepy. It reminded me of days thankfully long passed when moustaches and leather jackets were heavily in vogue - the uniform of 'clones'.
So is this the new clone look? Has someone decided that to be manly you now need to have a beard. I hope and pray not! The odd beard here and there is great - a bit of variety, and suggestively butch. But when everyone is sporting one, for me at least the attraction disappears. Everyone starts to look the same - clones revisited. Dear oh dear!


Tuesday, 10 December 2013


Having played around with some old short stories I have in reserve, thinking that perhaps I could polish them and make a collection with Mania as the main story, I decided against and am re-releasing the book in it's original state.
There's a new cover of course, which I think captures the manic state better that the old one, although the guy is nowhere near as pretty on this version. But trust me - there is nothing pretty about manic depression!
I have set the price at what I think is a reasonable $1.49. Unfortunately, as this falls below Amazon's rather bizarre minimum of $2.99 for non-US publishers, it means I have to go onto a different arrangement with them for this book and get only a pittance in royalty. But setting the price any higher seems wrong, so what the hell. The objective is not to make big bucks out of the book, just to have it out there, because I feel it deserves to be.
It also means I can now draw a line under 2013 with all the boxes ticked. Christmas is only two weeks away and it is time to turn my mind to happier things than mania...


Saturday, 7 December 2013


The taking stock process continues... and my mind is turning to fisting!
And why is that then?
Well, here's the lowdown...
With feedback now coming in regarding 'The Alpha Sparky' there is a wide difference of opinions, some being very positive, others less than enthusiastic. I still stand by the work and personally think it is one of my best, but if some readers don't agree I have to take note. And as a full time author who needs to eat, I have to take note of the sales figures.
And what sells well for me?
Here's a few notes...
My best seller almost from the outset is 'In The Dark'. It was one of my first books, so has been out there for some time which is a big advantage. But it keeps selling, success breeding success I suppose, and it's quite a good story with lots of eroticism and mind games. I think the book cover is the main factor behind its popularity however, so it's dangerous to use the content as a standard for writing that will sell well. Whatever, it was a one off, and is getting closed in on by more recent books.
Hot on it's tracks and for six months on the trot easily my best selling book on a monthly basis is 'B for Bondage'. A Tom Farrell book! So he can sell as well. Again a simple story, and not very original - guy offers sex to tutor to earn a better grade. It has some good twists however, and a great character in Ally the rather gormless student. I think it deserves to be up there at the top.
It won't make the number one slot though. Just as it was about to catch 'In The Dark', another, older book, has overtook it and will soon be installed as my best all time seller. No prizes for guessing... it's 'Fisted!'
Now why is that? Perhaps because this is the first of 'The Wild Side' spin off tales and as such has time on its side, added to the fact it forms part of a series which I have found makes for better sales. But when I look at monthly figures, this still outsells most of the other established Wild Side books, 'The Wild Side of Paddy McGuire' being the exception - it will eventually reach the top, and quite rightly so. But putting that epic tale aside (although writing Angus's even more epic story 'Master of The Wild Side' is still on the cards), I can only conclude that the subject matter is the reason for the success.
People out there get turned on by fisting! It certainly seems to appeal more than the Alpha/fag thing. So if I want to whore myself commercially then I should do some more fisting, get totally debase and up to the elbows in shit, instead of faffing around with cerebral shit. That's the message I'm getting - and I value these messages, I truly do. I'd be a piss poor author and idiot to ignore them.
Food for thought whilst taking stock... and perhaps a theme for tonight's fun and games!

As an aside, the fist on the book cover belongs to Eric Rhodes - a big name in porn for several years, and from what I understand, a very disturbed young man. He killed himself a year or so ago. I was saddened to read recently that another big name, Arpad Miklos, did likewise. It's a tough business... and every blow that we take with a fist or a word will have an effect, even if it doesn't outwardly show until enough becomes enough. May they both rest in peace.


Friday, 6 December 2013

I was experiencing formatting problems writing my previous blog - it all made sense shortly afterwards. It wasn't the website that was playing up, it was the darn laptop - it crashed a few hours later. This was not the first time sadly - there have been a few instances over the past month or so. But having restored it and got a day's use out of the thing, it threw a wobbly again yesterday evening. Another restore has allowed me to blog this morning but I fear there isn't much life left. A Christmas present to myself is in order!
So it is time to get organised, make sure all the backups are fine, etc, etc. They usually are, but with all this crashing and restoring, things may have got messy, so I need to be sure all is in order. It seems a good time to do this, with the year coming to an end, me taking stock, having spend a large part of 2013 sorting out my work.
Getting organised was the theme for this year. I decided when I was in India during February that there was too much mess around - books which were available that I had written years ago when my skills hadn't been properly developed. I'm still developing and strive to do better - I'm sure all of my books could be improved upon. But some of the older stuff was really poor and either needed to be removed from circulation or revisited to improve. I've pretty much done that across the board and am pleased with the results: re-edited books where the writing was embarrassing; given a new look and feel to the covers; removed some titles that were beyond redemption. All has been dealt with one way or another and a line can be drawn with satisfaction. But there is one glaring exception... Mania.
Mania doesn't need to be edited as such. I read it again a few days ago and was perfectly happy with the work. It's just too short at 7500 words! I made it free because of this but withdrew it as Mania isn't representative of the bulk of my work, so it might have been misleading... I withdrew it, but I haven't forsaken it. Mania is still there - the last book to be dealt with, and the last for good reason. It touches on a period of my life which was painful and destructive - a living nightmare. Writing it in the first place was difficult enough, and revisiting is not really something I want to do. I only touch on the subject matter, and do so light-heartedly - there's no way I could go into the murky depths again and deal with the topic of bipolar disorder properly. It's not my genre anyway. Yet it is written, and I think it is quite good... and one way or another I need to deal with it - to draw a line under the year and be able to move forward.
I know I could put it into a compilation, but I think it deserves better, and it would stand out as an odd piece because there will be no more similar works. Mania has to be on its own.
Perhaps I should just re-release with a clear note about the size in the blurb. One of my earliest books, 'The Pilot's Surrender', was originally the same size before I rewrote and extended it this year as part of 'The Beauville Trilogy'. But despite the low word count, it proved to be very popular - so perhaps it is quality, not size that matters, and I won't get slated for short-changing the public.
Anyway, enough rambling. I'll get organised today and as I do so, my mind will tick over in the background thinking about Mania. It will be faced and it will be dealt with... and then a line will be drawn.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Keep Calm, Take Stock... then Come Roaring Back
Apologies - it's been a busy week with not much time to blog.
We have now relocated to Brighton, which has gone fairly well other than the cat being very stressed, and at one point feared lost - it's amazing the places the little sods can find to hide - and the current issue of the boiler not working, which means no central heating or hot water, isn't much fun given the chilly temperature outside.
I also seem to have formatting issues with this blog and have no idea why - oh well, I'm sure it will all get sorted out.
On the positive side, we have started to embrace a bit of culture now here. Last night we took in Ibsen's 'Ghosts' - very high brow stuff, and good for the most part, then a sensational ending which had the serious wow factor. I thought the structure was brilliant: the first 'half' lasted 80 minutes, then a fifteen minute interval, followed by a very dramatic second half which could only have been fifteen/twenty minutes. Odd break up, but the impact of that second part was huge! Must think about that, and how I can use in a similar way. All in all very enjoyable, and it should counteract my next visit to Brighton's Theatre Royal where I look forward to 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert'. From high culture to high camp - you gotta love this place and it's diversity.
Anyway, all this activity has meant I haven't been too upset by the apparent failure of 'The Alpha Sparky'. A few early sales, but very disappointing. Do people want a production line from me - the same old stuff with minor variations? If it doesn't have Angus and Paddy then forget it! I did actually plan on doing another Wild Side book early next year, but now will have to seriously think about this. I'm not going to be stereotyped. Perhaps it was a mistake to release it under Jack Brighton, but I decided to be brave and appear to be paying the price.
I shall take a break from it all. There is certainly no inclination now to write another book, not with rejection so bitter in my typing fingers. I'll take a break, which is well overdue, take stock... and then one way or another come roaring back. But with infinitely more sales interest in my other line of work and some seriously good reviews being posted about those books, versus the kick in the balls that is happening with The Alpha Sparky, I have to ask the question, do I come back as....


Tuesday, 3 December 2013


It has been a lengthy, and at times tempestuous, process - but 'two fags for Gus... The Alpha Sparky' is now complete and ready for publication.
Rarely have I found a book as difficult to write, as challenging, or as enjoyable. It is such a deviation from my normal stuff and arguably not BDSM, although I'm labelling it as such as there is clear dominance in the story. It is written in the first person, and was originally intended to be a short story for inclusion in a new Tom Farrell collection. I started out with the Tom Farrell mind set, or at least tried to get there. There were so many reasons why I was going to release it under that name.
But no!
It has to be... Jack!
If I'm honest, one of the reasons to go with Tom was fear of rejection. I can handle a Tom Farrell flop and negative reviews, but take it more personally when it's Jack's name attached. But hey! I'm a big boy and can take a few knocks, so better to be brave that a coward. For me, the Tom Farrell stuff that I wrote over a couple of years ago was sort of experimental, and The Alpha Sparky is as well, but it's too important a piece to not put Jack's name to it. And being a tad arrogant... it's too good not to have Jack Brighton's name on it.
I have to say that I'm very happy with the completed book, but nervous as well. It's the public, not me, that defines success. But the reaction from my proof reader was so positive, saying that it's easily the most interesting and engaging book I've ever written, gives me some confidence that it will be well received by at least some other people... Not all though! As I say - it's not a typical Jack Brighton book. There are no whips or other instruments of torture, no masters and slaves, no bondage or sado-masochism. There are however some controversial views - not ones that I necessarily agree with - but that is neither here nor there. I'm sure some people will slate it, but I hope some others will thoroughly enjoy it, and that's what matters. I write for a niche market, and want to excel within it, not be mediocre to the masses, so taking risks is all part of that deal.
Anyway, it's ready, published and out to face the acid test - two fags for Gus... The Alpha Sparky, by...