Monday, 31 August 2009


From Thursday 3rd September, it will no longer be possible to buy signed first edition copies of The Hairy Plug Monster from the website. In fact Ebay will be your best bet, to get a first edition. However, in its place will be the brand new - bigger, shinier, cheaper second edition which, should slowly become available at all good bookshops and of course our website.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Book Distributors for The Hairy Plug Monster..... and other stuff

Apologies for the slow up date, but the Ashes are on, the football season has started and I have had a few more assignments to do. Its been a slow but productive week with The Hairy Plug Monster and other projects - Its difficult to know where to start.

Firstly the Theme for The Hairy Plug Monster is well underway and a visit to Darkline Studio's is on the horizon. As the family are still in Russia I took full advantage of the fact and spent the early hours of Tuesday morning writing music with my jamming buddy "Waterbear" and thrashed out 3 completely diverse but almost brilliant pieces of music one indy soul, one thrash and one Jazz n Bazz track.

I have been playing e-mail tennis with Wayne from Stephens and George with a pdf., and after the 6th Proof the HPM was finally signed off ready to be printed.

We reckon that in just over a week, the HPM will be ready to go national with 5000 copies waiting to be read. We still have a few first editions (with the punctuation mistakes) which will one day make a good return on ebay ( it might sound optomistic but everyone expects The Hairy Plug Monster to be around for years and those signed first editions are definitley going to be worth something )

I have contacted possible book distributors ( Scholastic, Bertrams etc.) and even managed to pre-sell SOR copies to TOYS n TALES in Bramhall. .

Now that I have no more deadlines for the time being I can concentrate more on The Hairy Plug Monster and getting it into libraries, schools and bookshops - even supermarkets (well every little helps ! doesn't it).

I was called by a young lady called Emily from Pure Radio 107.8 MHz who had been told by Kay from BBCBelfast about the book and asked if I wanted to do an interview for her radio show. o.k.

So off I popped to the Radio Station and had my first real interview,....thankfully it wasn't live, as my "media technique" is pretty poor. Anyway we talked a little about me and The Hairy Plug Monster and then read some of the book. There was talk of mum (Kul Cuthbert) appearing on Womans hour on Imagine FM Radio quite soon but I am unsure of the details. (but I will let you know)

So in a nutshell that's about it, as soon as anything happens I will write again, I am even toying with the idea of trying to make this blog a bit more " happening" by pictures and the like but its a little way off yet. I have started to include links for those that have them on the blog as a way of saying thank you for their support.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Christmas number 1 - The Hairy Plug Monster is letting his hair down

Buy one of the last remaining First Edition copies of the Hairy Plug Monster by clicking here.......

or here

but whatever you do


So with the family away for August, I have been given a set list of chores that need to be completed before they come back, and like every good husband should do.....I have completely ignored it. Preferring instead to spend all of last week pursuing my other passion....Music.

I cant remember if I have mentioned it before, but I am a bit fly (not too much mind) on the keyboard and enjoy nothing better than plugging in and losing myself completely with the headphones on.

As August seems to be the only time I can really play ( mainly because inspiration doesn't happen before midnight) I have not been going to bed until silly o'clock at night. This in turn has led to me missing the mornings... which unfortunately is when I tend to write mostly. Subsequently I have been waking up and then turning the keyboard back on and playing until dawn the following day.

Anyway, a few months back I answered an online ad from Swerve Records, who were looking for a keyboard player to work on a new project with them. After a quick audition they were moderately impressed with my abilities and offered me a contract.

(This might sound really good, but without an advance - a record contract is pretty worthless especially if there insn't a studio to record in. )

This week however, Swerve Records have bought Darkline Studios in Warrington and are now in a position to release my material. This is where I encountered a slight problem, - I haven't really got any new material ready to release apart from one really funky tune.

Not being content with launching The Hairy Plug Monster, I am also launching a musical career and have been stressing about how I am going to keep the two things seperate. Today though, I have decided to scrap that approach and join the two projects together and use this tune as promotional material for the book, and vice -versa.

So just as the Wombles did in the 70's I am going to release " The theme from The Hairy Plug Monster" ( quite a catchy title dont you think?) and hope that it can boost the profile of its namesake. In a perfect world it could be the christmas number 1 at the same time that the book is..... now wouldn't that be nice.. eh?


With most of the countries children on holiday, its been a relatively quiet week for the Hairy Plug of the few things of any note, has been the preliminary stages of getting the second book in the series "The Hairy Plug Monster goes Shopping" off the p.c. and for Sam Perry to apply his magic and bring the story to life, there is a chance that we could go into production and have them ready for distribution by November, although getting them into the shops before Christmas might prove a bit tricky.

After a slow start - being newcomers to the publishing business, HPM MEDIA Ltd are slowly finding their feet and should receive the next batch of books from the printers within the next two weeks. The illustrations and verse remain unchanged but the second edition should be slightly larger than the first ( making bedtime reading easier).

So thats really it for this week, apart from the second book and the new theme tune there isn't really much to tell you...

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Best Childrens Book in ages?

It's been a hectic week or so,

In the life I live when I am not the children's laureate-in-waiting I have had to juggle a lot of "stuff" most notably being my family going away for a month back to Russia, leaving me with a lot of free time to write,

one of the other projects I am involved in is freelance writing for a lady down in London, who sets me assignments to write which, then involves thinking up questions based on the articles (which is really hard).

So for the last two weeks I had 39 assignments to complete and quite amazingly I did it. 39 assignments is usually pretty tough going, but when you factor in the running around you have to do to prepare you for your family's vacation, it does place a lot of pressure on you. Nevertheless I soldiered on an look on schedule ( which is surprising for me) only to have my karma interrupted again by a surprise visit from my sister - (All the way from Australia) which again meant me rearranging everything.

So again I managed to juggle family life and subsequent family meals with my assignments hoping to steal a moment or so to write the blog.....only to be struck down mid week with a possible mild form of Swine Flu.

Unfortunately I don't have the time to be ill so I turned to my mystic healing sauces (olive oil, honey and Apple cider vinegar) and to my surprise, even though the illness stayed with me for a few days, it didn't get me down at all. So now everybody has gone, I am feeling a lot better and the assignments are finished, so I am going to write my blog.

To start off The Hairy Plug Monster went on the radio on Sunday on Canalside Community Radio based in the idyllic village of Bollington. Simon Edlestein the DJ asked me to come on and talk a little bit about the book and even offer a couple as competitions prizes. So that is good exposure

I then found out that a friend of a friend works for BBC Belfast , and she was very interested in The Hairy Plug Monster and requested a copy - I received her reply today
AHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I love it!!!! Bl**dy brilliant - clearly that cant go in a review but its true, fantastic.

Got to go into production meeting soon so I'll send proper review later - fab! x

*********** BBC Belfast Ormeau Avenue Belfast BT6 0GR T: 02890 338 186 E:

I blanked out her name for the time being just to give her a chance to write a real review.

Next came the news that 2 books i gave to Colleen Nolan's family have captivated her daughters so I am trying to illicit a review from her ...... apparently "Celebrity Sells"

Then I found out that the OWNER of Galaxy 102 Radio thinks the book is fantastic and his children are looking in the bath for The Hairy Plug Monster, then someone posted a video on You Tube of their daughter opening her birthday presents, and low and behold guess what was in the little bag of goodies?..........yep thats right The HPM again,

but perhaps the best thing to happen were the reviews I received from Kate 6, Molly 8 and Emily aged 8 who had taken the time to write to me and each tell me how much they like the book, pictures and illustrations. unfortunately I haven't had time to scan them in yet but I will do it tomorrow and add it to the blog and website. So that's it for today, but don't forget the hairy plug monster is available to buy from price 7.68 +P&P first edition and signed copies. There are only a dozen or so of the original copies left, and I am sure that they will go