Marketing And Creating That Killer Brand By New York-Based Consultant Theo Rand

Following the arson attack in Managua during the central American leg of Toten Herzen’s Malandanti world tour (unofficially retitled the Let the Insurance Cover It tour) Alien Noise brought in brand management consultant Theo Rand of New York firm Solid Gold to advise on damage limitation. Alien Noise, in an uncharacteristic act of altruism, invited … More Marketing And Creating That Killer Brand By New York-Based Consultant Theo Rand

Decent Writing Places

What makes a good writing cafe? Well, the one I’m sat in at the moment. Quiet, stylish, refined. Has a touch of class about it, which suits my status as a professional internationally acclaimed author. In fact, I should have worn my new watch, a Christmas present that sits on my wrist like something built … More Decent Writing Places

The Agent’s Cipher

No, it’s not a new book by Dan Brown, it’s an earth shattering discovery revealed on an obscure website so secretive I’ll be hung from Blackfriar’s Bridge if I reveal its name. Every UK literary agent’s rejection letter contains a secret code. You thought rejection letters were standard replies? You and me both. Assuming agents … More The Agent’s Cipher

Are We Idiots?

I recently wrote a post asking if we were weird, now I’m asking if we’re idiots. A lot of companies seem to think so, the latest being Lulu, the book publishers. They’re giving away free money. Read on to find out how you can get free money. In fact, not even free money: FREE MONEY!


I should start by apologising for the inclusion of football in this post, but I won’t because this post is not about football, it’s about apologies. Institutional apologies. But quoting Valencia football club (which some would say is still not about football) leads me to my conclusions on when things go wrong and someone needs … More Apologies

Are We Weird?

I’ve never seen myself in a film (not a big screen film), but a video, home movie or anything more flickering than a dropped photograph. And even photographs are rare. Until we see ourselves moving, walking and talking, we never really know how we come across to other people. It’s why there’s a big industry … More Are We Weird?

May Contain Nuts

Human civilisation has reached a point where it cannot survive without putting nuts into everything, which of course is terrible news if you have an allergy to nuts. And in our attempts to reconcile our nut frenzy with our nut allergies we place warning signs on everything from coffee bags to vacuum cleaners: may contain … More May Contain Nuts

Samlesbury Hall and Ancestral What-Might-Have-Beens

Many years ago, and I’m talking decades, like, last century dude when everything was in black and white, my Uncle George convinced himself we, the Harrisons, were related to another set of Harrisons at Samlesbury Hall in Lancashire. His proof, which probably wouldn’t hold much water in court, relied on the portrait of a man … More Samlesbury Hall and Ancestral What-Might-Have-Beens

Real Beer

Countdown to darkness. The frivolity is coming to an end as I move the Opening Sentence to ever gloomier subject matter. But there are still a few waifs and strays to publish before we hit the long dark night. Today, I talk about beer. Peculiar beer. Around the world, at any one moment in time, … More Real Beer

Motorbike Rider

There was a time when I got my thrills through intellectual endeavour. Deciphering a piece of architecture by Peter Eisenmann was a big thing, and then I bought a motorbike. The year was 1997 and it was the first motorbike I had ever owned. Prior to that the only two wheeled contraptions I had sat … More Motorbike Rider

Greece’s Humiliation

Even if you live under a rock in Guatemala, you can’t have failed to see and hear the ongoing farce that is the financial wrestling match over Greece’s financial predicament. I’m not a financial expert or an economist, but when has that ever stopped anyone thinking they had the answer to Greece’s problems? No, I’m … More Greece’s Humiliation

Writing By Numbers

We all love a hero, don’t we? Well, I don’t. I don’t see the point. One of the reasons why I read very few novels is because they don’t interest me. They’re boring. They’re all the same. But so many people advise writers to read. Well, that’s great if you want to learn how to … More Writing By Numbers

Why I Listen to Trance

At the risk of tempting fate I’m going to predict something: I’ll be struck by lightning before my brain falls to bits. Why? Because of euphoric trance. And before you start shouting ‘it’s uplifting trance, moron’ I couldn’t care less what you call it. I’m sticking with euphoric because uplifting trance sounds like a geological … More Why I Listen to Trance

Lost childhood

If you could recreate one element of your childhood, what would it be? Just one; not a single memory like that amazing holiday in Milnthorpe, or your first kiss with Sharon Fothersdike outside Grimethorpe Social Club. A real rose-tinted-spectacle general condition that made childhood so much better than the living hell that is adulthood. To … More Lost childhood

Raven Rants – guide to the British general election

With only days to go Toten Herzen’s number one fangirl Raven (real name [REDACTED]) gives you a guide to the British general election. I hate my life. And a lot of it is because of politicians meddling and scheming and turning everything upside down. But give them credit, every five years they let us decide … More Raven Rants – guide to the British general election

Supporting Valencia

You might not be interested in football (and let’s just pause here to remind our non-European friends it is football, not soccer), but Spanish side Valencia have in recent years transcended the sport to such a degree even die-hard football haters would sit up and take notice. Settled on Spain’s Mediterranean coast, Valencia Club de … More Supporting Valencia