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An Inteview with Kevin McAllion- Author of Moristoun

Kevin Mc Allion is my author of choice for this blog. His novel, Moristoun was published in 2016 and explores the taboo topic of suicide. It is a novel with many great reviews and has been described as…

‘Creative, funny and off the wall like Terry Pratchett.

‘And a mature Harry Potter set in the Scottish islands …

Pretty impressive for a first book…

Kevin has written and edited for a range of publications, including The Big Issue in Scotland, The Sunday Mail, The Herald, The Scottish Daily Mail and The Daily Record. He also dabbles in poetry, and is working on his second novel.

Kevin has agreed to answer ten thought provoking-head spinning questions that I hope will make your morning coffee bounce with happiness.

Questions you never heard of and may never hear again.

Happy reading…

Question 1:- Kevin- it Looks like we’re heading for a nuclear apocalypse. How would you spend the final day?

First on the to-do list would be to craft some effigies of Donald Trump and Kim Jong- un that I could smash into a thousand pieces with baseball bat. I’d then channel all my positive thoughts and energy into ensuring that Jeremy Clarkson is forced to spend the afterlife working as a taxi driver, eternally ferrying a series of ethnic minorities to their place of worship in a hybrid car. Hopefully, there would still be enough time left to watch a boxset of Nelson’s Column, the criminally underrated John Gordon Sinclair sitcom that gave a greater insight into the workings of a newsroom than All The President’s Men.

You have me chuckling into my decafe…

Question 2:- When it comes to writing, what are the excuses you use not to sit down and write?

In no particular order…
There must be a YouTube monkey video I haven’t seen yet
Why didn’t anyone tell me there was a Come Dine With Me for couples?

I wonder who’s top of the league in Norway…

The new series of Red Dwarf can’t be that bad, can it?

Red Dwarf…wonder what they are up to now?

Question 3:- What teacher inspired you to:

A: laugh in the face of adversity,

B: hide in the face of adversity

or

C: just how to spell it properly?

A: Mr Faulkner, a wonderfully intelligent man who was woefully miscast as an English teacher in a Dundonian secondary school. Softly spoken and well read, he should have been debating the merits of Proust and Dostoyevsky with university students instead of trying to stop unruly teenagers from Kirkton and St Mary’s from setting fire to his classroom. Mr Faulker didn’t last long at Lawside but he made a big impact on me and encouraged my dark and strange sense of humour.

B: There was a teacher called Mr Neeson who was far more suited to the role of instilling some discipline into the misguided youths of Dundee. An intimidating Glaswegian with a guttural voice, he seemed to be a teacher without portfolio and just wandered around without taking any classes, exuding a sense of menace. The shoulders of Mr Neeson’s suits were flecked with dandruff but nobody ever dared to point this out to him.

C: I can’t come up with an answer for this one so I’ll just add an amusing aside. We had a PE teacher at Lawside who, without fail, would turn up for work every day wearing a Le Coq Sportif polo shirt. Let’s just say, it’s doubtful any other item of clothing has ever summed someone up quite so succinctly.

I had one of those teachers with dandruff-must be unniversal…

Question 4:- Now, could you please name three celebrities who get on your tits, wick or something similar?

There’s so many to pick from, it’s like being granted access to a buffet breakfast at a five-star hotel. Jeremy Clarkson and Gordon Ramsay are a given but there are so many contenders for that final berth. In the end, Noel Edmonds’ overwhelming smugness irritates me fractionally more than Rory McGrath’s sneering sense of superiority.

Which leads nicely onto the next question…

Question 5:- Please pick the perfect method for torturing Jeremy Clarkson.

I’d work in tandem with a group of Vietnamese villagers to create a giant spear crafted from copies of the Daily Mail. We would then spread-eagle Clarkson at the bottom of a slope and send the giant spear hurtling towards his gaping rear end in a wheelbarrow while Ride of the Valkyries plays in the background.

Can I video that?

Question 6:- Who would you rather see keel hauled, Tony Blair or Margaret Thatcher?

While Thatcher definitely deserves a keel-hauling, preferably performed by the surviving members of a Fife miner’s welfare, I’d take more pleasure from seeing Blair have a close encounter with some barnacles. Thatcher, for all her insidious faults, at least had courage in her convictions and never tried to pretend she was anything other than a greedy, malevolent witch. Blair, on the other hand, was the enemy within and had the gall to masquerade as a socialist. Watching him destroy the Labour Party reminded me of Anakin Skywalker massacring toddlers in the Jedi temple. When Thatcher was in charge we had the choice of electing a progressive government and it was merely unfortunate that a large number of English people cared more about property prices and having a second car than building a fairer society. Thanks to Blair, we now have a political system like America where we are forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. For that, he deserves a keel-hauling more than the Milk Snatcher.

Which leads me gently but firmly on to the next two questions

Question 7:- You’re God for a day. What changes would you make to this planet of ours?

I’d render the internet irreparable. Those born after 1990 would be sent into such a state of shock that anarchy would ensue, sparking a global revolution. People would be forced to speak to each other again and those wishing to read the news would have to buy a newspaper, saving me from a seemingly inevitable kick in the balls from redundancy. Corner shops would report a huge surge in profits as sheepish gentleman empty the top shelves while pets and young children would regain some dignity as their every move would not be filmed for public consumption.

Question 8:- Ok, now you are the devil for a day?

I’d spend the day urging Cliff Richard to get back in the saddle, giving the police something to find on their next raid.

You are a man after my own heart…

Question 7:-  What’s the worst book you have ever read?

I recently read my first self-help book. It didn’t help.

Love that answer

Question 10:- And now what sort of comedy do you find not funny?

Anything that tries to ‘pay homage’ to 1980s TV. Total lack of imagination. There’s something incredibly unedifying about watching Skeletor being wheeled out to hawk car insurance. Leave the poor bastard to watch Bargain Hunt in his living room at Castle Greyskull, he’s earned the right to a dignified retirement.

Thankyou fellow humourist for a generous insight into the world of Kevin, and all the best for your next book.

Find out more about Kevin on his website http://moristoun.com

and

Scottish Book Trust http://scottishbooktrust.com/profile-author/125611

 Kerrie Noor

An Aussie ‘sunning it’ in Argyll

My First Guest Post -Jeff Gephart

The following is a guest blog post from humor writer Jeff Gephart, author of Accidental Adulthood: One Man’s Adventures With Dating and Other Friggin’ Nonsense.
Read Luagh and enjoy
Kerrie

As most of you know, my girlfriend and I now live together in an apartment. Undertaking this was the most adult thing I’ve done since I started wearing shoes that fasten with something other than Velcro. (Which happened in 2011.) What people don’t realize is that we share a 2-bedroom apartment, with each of us having our own bedroom. Of course we still have sleepovers occasionally, but most nights we each retire to a different room. When this comes up in conversation with others their reaction is generally split along age categories. People our age and younger are aghast–why would we do such a thing? That’s not REALLY living together! Older folks, however, usually brighten and congratulate us on our foresight. You’ll dodge a lot of problems, they say, that other couples sometimes can’t get past. After all, a lot of successful older couples have separate bedrooms, and that can’t be a coincidence.

Why did we make this decision? Well for one, where else would I exhibit my absurdly large collection of Pittsburgh sports memorabilia? She’s a Cowboys fan, and she wouldn’t allow it to be displayed in the common areas of the apartment. Incidentally, I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I knew she was a Dallas fan right off the bat, yet I agreed to cohabitate with her anyway, which I think shows an almost superhuman tolerance for another’s faults that speaks for itself. But seriously, a major reason for the independent bedroom situation is that I suffer from chronic insomnia. Medication helps a little, but when a leaf hits the side of the apartment at night, I jump up combat-ready wondering what kind of armored vehicle has plowed into the building. Sleep frustratingly eludes me the way Bigfoot dodges those losers on Animal Planet. And by the way, instead of “Finding Bigfoot” shouldn’t that show be called “Searching for Bigfoot” or even “Wasting Time in the Woods With Other Smelly Dudes”? Because they’re not actually finding anything except pathetic viewers that haven’t had a date since the Clinton administration. But I digress. The point is, we all know sharing a bed isn’t conducive to actual sleep. There’s the constant tossing and turning, the disagreements about room temperature, the not-having-enough-space in the bed–all of which still happen even when I sleep alone.

Ultimately, having our own bedrooms comes down to our basic personality types. She’s fiercely independent and likes having her alone time. And me, well I have an overall shitty disposition. Yeah. I make that rancor monster in Jabba the Hutt’s basement look like Jimmy Fallon. No, but seriously, I’m also dependent on a significant amount of solitude from time to time to keep me sane. I need my own space to retreat to when she’s watching yet another episode of Sex and the City. So, while having separate bedrooms at our age might be unconventional, it works for us. And if what I do seems weird and off-putting to you, hey, get in line behind the hundreds of my Facebook friends who don’t buy my books. I’m past the point of caring what people think. I’m too busy every night chasing that elusive butterfly called slumber.
Check out his website at www.jeffgephartwriting.com.]
Accidental Relationship Vol. III
Accidental Cohabitation

Loneliness Is Not To Be Sniffed At

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Writing a novel can be very lonely, especially if you have no friends about. You can spend all day on your own and in the end, feel completly bored with yourself.
My first novel; Sheryl’s Last Stand was fuelled by whisky, American wrestling and Belly-dancing. Sheryl’s Last Stand is about frustration and hope. At the time, my son was young enough to think American wrestling was great and I was frustrated enough to find men grunting in tights attractive.
It is a book born from loneliness and being close to a bully – who doesn’t quit.  I think we all have someone like that in our past – somewhere. Someone that in the end, you have to escape, just to get your sanity back. And I wanted to tell that story with a comic spin and unlikely heroine.
I first called the novel Nefertiti’s Prodigy because I saw myself as a profound, literary, genius who would soon to be discovered.
“Bit of mouth full,” a client said to me. (I was working in a café at the time) who went on to claim that “women, on the whole- didn’t like mouthfuls.’
I did; considering chocolate, marshmallows and other such gooey things disagree but as he was a good tipper, I kept my mouth shut.  Another great example of the gaping man and woman divide few of us manage to bridge…
I did, in the end, change the title. I got a complaint from a reader about the lack of pyramid pictures and took the hint.  Cryptic it seems doesn’t wash with readers.
Of course, now I am in the middle of trying to finish book three in the Belly dancing and Beyond series and the lack of friends about is getting to me. Wrestling doesn’t do it for me anymore, my son has grown up and is away and I have no one to watch it with.
So now I talk to myself on the computer and put it on U tube…
It is almost as much fun as driving across Scotland in the rain with my good old Sat Nav buddie telling me to turn left at the next roundabout.
Who needs a social life when you have technology and a hoover?
Having fun it seems can be done on your own, with or without a mouthful.
click below for my video:-
 
Kerrie Noor
Belly Dancer of the Clyde and beyond

 

Kerrie is a self published author with two novels and several short stories on Amazon. Sheryl’s Last Stand is the first in her Bellydancing and Beyond series.

A Little Chortle Never Did No Harm

I decided to enter into chorts.

A comedy competition where you enter a two minute, video of a comic character. I spent ages speaking into my lap top camera- with make-up and without; in the morning and the evening.

I had crazy ideas about my character being so lonely that she called her daughter’s stuffed toys her friends, and bribed the neighbour’s cat with fish. And so poor, that she covered her ‘roots’ with boot polish…and decorate her Christmas tree with Kit Kat wrappers.

Years ago, I tried stand-up and in between panic attacks and bouts of depression I would rise up like a mole from the ground- drive off into the night and mouth my jokes into the wet windscreen. It always rains when you’re heading out in Scotland. Sometimes it was brilliant, other times the silence from the crowd was deafening. I’d look out into the audience and see all these people staring back with a ‘what the hell is she talking about belly dancing, sheep and star fish’?

My sketches or ‘set’ as they say in the Bizz was inspired by my novel, (belly dancing); Kerrie; the early years (sheep). And this zany idea that star fish were full of hormones. Which basically was a joke revolving around me moving my breast for a laugh – a talent from belly dancing.

But then when I think about it perhaps I should stick to writing novels….

And if you want more then click on the link below and see the other aspiring comedians:- www.thecomedycrowd.com/chorts/

keeping it real

Kerrie Noor  http://www.kerrienoor.com

Kerrie’s latest novel  The Downfall of a Belly Dancer is out now on

Amazon :–https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MSOK7X1

Pantomine- It’s Never Too Late To Dress Up

I have been working on a collection of short stories, in between novels. Sometime I find I am in a bit of a block or, like now, overwhelmed with other things.
I have moved from sharing a tiny flat to living on my own with more rooms than necessary and I can’t seem to settle on the long haul of a novel.
The truth is I can’t stop playing house…
For the first time in five years I have my own bathroom and have developed a fetish for pretty soap and wandering around in a dressing gown.  Plotting my novel has been interrupted with trips to Asda, Ikea and Boots. I spend my days enjoying the luxury of a wardrobe big enough to hang a few coats along with more than one shoe, while co-ordinating cushions, candles and those new diffuser bottles, that hopefully don’t spill.
So I went for a quick fix, a short story- A Dame Called Derek, inspired by the few years I performed in a Community Panto.
The real people I met during those years were way more outrageous than I could ever create, but I have given it a good bash.
SLXLM
The Story goes live in a few days but to capture the spirit of Panto I have attached a picture of me (years ago) fulfilling a life long fantasy of being a principle boy.
Living the dream panto style…
MXLLS
Life is too short to share bathroom when you don’t have to and way too short not too feel applause if you want it.
If, like me, you always dreamed of being on stage, then jump into a panto-give it a go. You can cross dress, mime to your favourite song, and crack rubbish jokes…
Grab your dream even if it not quite the way you imagined it.
But just remember to also grab a photo along the way…so you have something to show your grandkids or at least blog about.
Kerrie Noor
Writer of comedy

Wrap up your bunions and try a little walking

I was walking by the sea today. The wind blew my hair into a right bird’s nest as I tried to explain to my other half the reason for writing the Belly Dancing And Beyond series.
‘It’s all about compromise,’ I said. ‘We all think we compromise and blame our partners for being stuck.’
My other half wasn’t listening.
‘Just look at the TV remote.’ I said.
‘What’, he yelled into the wind?
‘You always have it.’
‘But I work in the evening,’ he said.
We plodded past the sewage outlet, past a gull picking at a stray takeaway packet. I told him it was just a figure of speech- an example and then got cross and asked him about the days he wasn’t working. He pretended he didn’t understand and tossed a stone across the waves- the gull followed.
‘I am writing about misunderstanding and cross purposes,’ I said ‘and I am using my experience – working in the takeaway for my next novel, what do you think?’
He looked at his watch.
‘It all about break ups, how we have them over nothing,’ I said. ‘And that is what happens to Mavis and Lumpy in my new novel; they fight over something as stupid as a curry.’
‘Curry is never stupid,’ he says.
‘It’s is not about the curry- the curry is symbolic of bigger things. It’s more about the need to be right and how we destroy things in the name of being right. ’
‘What things,’ he said lobbing another stone.
‘Just things,’ I said, ‘But I can’t really say just now-don’t want to give the plot away.’
He sighed and told me he would be late for work, ‘you’ll have the remote all to yourself,’ he smiled. ‘But you’ll need new batteries.’
I asked him what happened to the old ones and he muttered something about a shaver, ‘you should know,’ he said. ‘You were the last to use it.’ And then he laughed in that annoying –I win you lose sort of way that every attached person hates.
I stared at the gull now perched on top of the barrier; one minute being right is in the palm of your hands and the next, like a good hairdo, it’s gone with the wind.
Kerrie Noor
Writer Of Comedy
SMLXL