Hi, Frank here. How you doin? Things are about average down here in the bunker. I can’t complain. In my day job I work in creative for the payday loan company UK Cash Cowboys. I’m a copywriter. Before you go all snooty, there are worse jobs than sitting around doodling advertising concepts all day. I could be a garbage collector, a crack dealer or high school teacher, something really dangerous. Some days I wake up and the answer is just yes. Other days my car breaks down, I get this hooomungous electricity bill large enough to feed the starving of Africa and my soul-less corporate douchebag of a boss is making me eat his shorts at the office and I wonder, in those quiet moments between murder and suicide, if life’s journey is really living up to the trailer I saw at sixteen. Thanks capitalism, we really screwed that one up.
Some people who come on here think I write erotica. The ones who never get past the covers of my books. I don’t write erotica. The impulse to fill white space with words is very mysterious to me, but if I do have any goals as an author, making people masturbate isn’t one of them. I’ll leave that to my betters. If anything I spoof the genre. TBH, I mostly write to share the strange thoughts and feelings that life puts in my head, in the hope that reading them might feel like looking in a mirror to some poor misunderstood soul out there, so we both won’t feel so alone in the world. And if I can make someone smile along the way, even better. If I couldn’t write, life would be like being locked in a lunatic asylum by mistake.
Other days I think I must be a bit weird. Like I have some kind of internal tourettes going on. I never got much sex as a young man. It’s like my genes are paying me back as a grown up. “We told you not to fuck with us man,” they say. “But you wouldn’t listen. Now you gotta pay the price.” Sex is this horse’s head they leave on my pillow every day. It’s there when I wake up, when I go to bed. It haunts my dreams. It’s the prison tag I wear on my ankle, 24/7. I’m down for life. Doin time for the crime of being born.Truth be known I can barely hold a conversation with a lady without my DNA whispering wrong stuff in my ear. You know, bad stuff. That happens to you too? Well shit. I hope so. Otherwise I’m going to get really paranoid now. Of course I rarely get to say or do any of the things I’m thinking. Who does? Christ that would get us all locked up. We’d lose our jobs, our homes, everything. The sexual harassment gestapo would march us into small concrete bunkers underground and really go to work. We’d never be seen again. Even to whisper that shit in some girl’s ear is enough to invite ruin. As Freud pointed out a long time ago, what our innermost wishes and desires want is so disruptive to society that the only way we can attain them is by sublimating them to our sub-conscious. I.E. our dreams, day-dreams and fantasies. You just can’t say that stuff in public. You’d cause a riot. All you can do is think it, and write. As Ksenia Anske said, “I write because the page can’t tell me to shut up”. I kinda like that.
Carl Sagan put it better than most, when he summed up the power of books thus:
“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.” If that doesn’t make you want to pick up a book right now and start reading, you’re beyond hope.
Okay, so, if you got this far and you’re still wondering so what kind of stuff do I write and would you like it, here goes. On those rare rare days when the words aren’t total gibberish, and maybe I’m a little drunk, usually at 2am, I think, if you poured a shot of Nicholson Baker, added a splash of Henry Miller or Nabokov, two squirts of Martin Amis and a wild slosh of Charles Bukowski, you’d probably end up with the kind of fiction I dream about writing. I don’t mean that in a big-headed way. Just saying, we’re all made of the stuff we gorge on over the years. The rest is down to luck, talent, and hard work. Even talent is just luck, spelled differently, when it comes to breaking through as a writer.
In many ways discovering a new writer is like going on a first date. Will she like you? Will you have loads in common, the same sense of humour? Will she laugh at your jokes? That’s very important for a writer. What about her taste in things? Many find ugliness where others see beauty. What kind of music will she like? Don’t mention politics. Are we talking long-term relationship here, or a one night stand – some sordid tumble in the back of the car based on a physical attraction to your book jacket? Shit, say if she’s more of a third-person blockbuster fan? Will your long discursive first-person narratives make her look at you like some crazy stalker in the park? Maybe that creative writing class wasn’t such a great idea after all, filling your head with all that post-modern crap about stream of consciousness. If it turns out you’re incompatible, hey, thanks for hanging out. Happy reading, wherever you go.
You’re still here? I mean, can I get you a poem or something? A short story? Something stronger? Maybe we could hook up in one of my books. Hang out there for a while, see if we hit it off. Fancy a hug?
I know bragging about size totally sucks, but can I be really forward and suggest you start by checking out my humungous 700 page collection of short stories and poems, Sex on the Brain. Among the themes it explores, in no particular order, are relationships, loneliness, cosmetic surgery, gold-diggers, bimbos, reality TV, advertising, music, philosophy, movies, mid-life crisis, bigamy, adultery, the porn industry, prostitution, homosexuality, psychiatry, psychology, orgasms, erections, masturbation, office sex, date rape, Marilyn Monroe, Winston Churchill, the internet, erectile dysfunction, nymphomania, satyriasis, sex-addiction, Princess Diana, necrophilia, abduction, puberty, losing your virginity, Margaret Thatcher, beauty and ugliness. See what I did there?
There are no teenage werewolves in my books, no elves, fairies, trolls or vampires. Nothing against them, I just don’t do them. There is one dwarf. The way I figure, the world’s gone mad so let’s join the party.
It is my sincere hope that anyone interested in love, life, people, and laughter should find a few tales that press their buttons in Sex on the Brain. I’ve packed just about every human experience I ever had into its several hundred pages, from my very first orgasm while making love to a chair, to my discovery of the meaning of nihilism. That doesn’t even cover all the soul-sucking 9 to 5 jobs I’ve had along the way, kissing employers’ asses for the privilege of making them rich, nor the spreadsheet of relationships with girlfriends and lovers, of which more anon.by