Category: autobiographical


  • Library lurking for a living

    Library lurking for a living

    Most authors I know also have part-time jobs on the side as well as other means of making money. None of them are criminals or slum landlords. Not yet, anyway. But writing has never been the most reliable way of earning a living, which means we need to get out and find work in the […]

    Continue reading


  • Wogan, 1985. The Grace Jones Moment.

    Wogan, 1985. The Grace Jones Moment.

    One image has stuck to my brain from childhood, one of many, but this one stayed a little stronger and lasted a little longer. For years I remembered a figure wrapped in bandages in front of a microphone. The lights moved, the music started, and they – whoever they were – slowly began to unpeel […]

    Continue reading


  • Cut by The Slits

    Cut by The Slits

    Everything I learned about London came from an album called Cut by a band named The Slits. I bought it at Avalanche Records in Glesga, while at college, one eye on my work, the other on a city that always pulled at me. London needs no explanation. For me, London birthed punk. The real punk. […]

    Continue reading


  • A secret history of Cumbernauld Town Centre

    A secret history of Cumbernauld Town Centre

    Cumbernauld Town Centre eats pigeons alive. They find their way into the guts of the building, flying into windows and walls, slamming so hard they drop to the floor. Residents of Cumbernauld sympathise, because we often feel like we’re hitting walls too. It wasn’t always this way. Town planners trying to find space for the […]

    Continue reading


  • The Blair Witch Project ruined my childhood

    The Blair Witch Project ruined my childhood

    We were all far less sophisticated back in the nineties, which made manipulation far easier, yet it was a different kind of coercive dishonesty to the sort peddled on Facebook via shared posts, the sort taken for actual news. People are differently stupid now. These days, we know when something is being marketed at us […]

    Continue reading


  • Garbage by Garbage

    Garbage by Garbage

    Nineteen Ninety-Six was a year where I was slowly starting to form myself through music and art. Before that, music was something I listened to for enjoyment, something in the charts I bought because it was popular and catchy. The bands I’d inherited from my dad (The Smiths, The Cure, The Slits, Siouxsie And The […]

    Continue reading


  • Apathetic Fabulosity! *My years as an Electroclash fan*

    Apathetic Fabulosity! *My years as an Electroclash fan*

    While everyone else in the world infatuated themselves with The Strokes and their retro rock revivalism, I threw my lot in with Electroclash, which immediately appealed to me on the most basic of levels. The aesthetic was both shiny and tacky, reveling in it’s meretricious presentation. Electroclash was a brilliant mixture of super serious and […]

    Continue reading


  • Aurora Gory Alice by Letters To Cleo

    Aurora Gory Alice by Letters To Cleo

    Letters To Cleo are brilliant and this is my favourite album they did. Let’s take a quick look at how I found them – and how long I had to pause the tape to see their name in the credits!

    Continue reading


  • Return to Horror High

    Return to Horror High

    The school I spent nearly six years of my life has changed beyond recognition, but I’ve changed too. For years I wrote books for young adults, but somehow against the odds successfully switched the writing adult fiction. But while I wrote books for teenagers, I found myself touring, hitching my way around schools across Scotland. […]

    Continue reading


  • Lycanthropy by Patrick Wolf

    Lycanthropy by Patrick Wolf

    I saw Patrick Wolf very early on in his career at the original Stereo while he was touring Lycanthropy. The gig wasn’t very well attended, which made sense because Patrick was most definitely a cult artist at that point, beloved by critics and photographed for all the coolest magazines, who presented him as the coolest […]

    Continue reading