Saturday, 31 July 2010

Is the HPM right for the BBC....... hell yeah!!!!!

In terms of success for the HPM, I would place this week pretty high on the list.  Starting off with a low key Monday spent mostly ringing round stockists.  I did sign a music publishing deal with Gulliver Music Publishing, which should bring in some royalties if some big multi national company want to use my music to advertise their " stuff".

 I woke up early on Tuesday to appear on the coffee hour at BBC Radio Manchester.   This time I gave a better account of myself and had more confidence when placed on the spot to give opinions about diets, sibling rivalry and nettles.  Hopefully I will get the chance to go on again, and again, and again....

Being a writer, isn't a lucrative job, and the time has come to go out and find a proper job, because after almost two years since its creation, the HPM is still bubbling under the radar. So on Wednesday, I had an interview with a firm that were advertising management positions  pah!!!!

It became immediately apparent that this wasn't the job for me...not that I am work shy but one thing I could never do is knock on the doors of the innocent and ask them to sign up for something that they don't want.  Its a pity though that when people advertise jobs they don't tell the whole truth.

This didn't put me off looking though, and on Thursday I applied for a job as a museum supervisor.  To land a job like that would be perfect for me, especially as the museum is adjacent to the gallery as well.  I will know next week if my application was good enough to at least get me an interview.  I was also asked to apply for a job as a call centre manager in Stoke...which I did, not because I love call centres - but it would give me the financial leg up to clear some debt and also give me 1 hour commuting everyday on the train, where I should still be able to write.

Later on Thursday I received an email from a lady called Mavis.... it seems that Kul had met her in a shop and passed over a book to her.  More importantly, she then passed the book over to her daughter - Michelle, who works as a researcher for Blue Peter.  The e-mail went like this

"Just so you know I am going to be doing a Cbeebies storytelling session at half 8 tomorrow morning.
Its where I sit with a group of kids and tell them all a story. I'm going to tell them the story of the hairy plug monster."

Michelle then went on to say,

" I will make sure I read it with loads of expression / enthusiasm and gauge how they react to the story and the pictures. I'm sure they will like it. They gave me some other books to chose from but The Hairy Plug Monster is best hands down."..

I am waiting for feedback from the even and will let you know. 

On the downside however, Zombie Aid 3 has been cancelled due building work at the proposed site, but the planned walk in October is still going ahead.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Faith, Hope and Charity,

I did my first proper charity event last week for Oxfam in Cheadlle Heath, and although they were advertising it for weeks as part of their own book week, the turnout was slightly disappointing.  Amongst the children who did manage to drag their parents down to the shop were Sophie and Maya, who were part of the workshop group the previous Thursday. 

They were eager to listen to The Hairy Plug Monster again and even more so to Golden Arm... as the morning went on I hung around and managed to sell a few more books to the odd customer, and one person even bought two, just because the were signed by the!!!

Due to the fact that I hung around trying to sell more books, (the proceeds of which went to Oxfam,) I ended up being 8 minutes late back to the car and subsequently got a parking ticket....

Now, although I am not a believer, I like to hedge my bets and generally live a very good, clean life doing little to rattle my conscience.  Subsequently I like to believe that although I have not bought a ticket, they still might let me in just because I am the type of person they would want up there, (besides if I am wrong at least I can still party)..I would also like to think that doing a good turn like supporting Oxfam and donating the proceeds to the shop would earn me extra brownie points in the great scheme of things.

You might say that the 'lord moves in mysterious ways',....... which again is fine,  but I want to know why he is moving around my car and checking the time on my ticket before slapping me with fine?

Perhaps it was a sign........

So off I went looking for the over zealous warden who obviously didn't know of my mission in the hope to reason with their better nature.  I tracked them down in the adjacent car park and presented my case.

 At first I thought I was in luck as the warden was a lady, and I figured that with my cheeky grin, a smile and a wink and hey-ho "job's a gud'un".  However as I drew near and saw the short cropped hair and several facial piercings (all of which looked like they hurt a lot) I knew that boyish charm alone is not going to get me off the hook lightly.

I changed tack straight away and presented myself as a really apologetic, sycophantic man whose only crime was to stay a little longer than he ought.... in order to raise a little bit of money to help build a library in Afghanistan.....

I even showed her the book, which she declined to buy on the grounds that she didn't have any kids and even turned down the offer of an "Xtra Strong Mint".  She did however invite me to present my case to the local council and wished me good luck....

So with regards to the title of this blog.   I am now putting Faith in my fellow man, in the Hope that on this occasion I am not going to be penalised for supporting Charity....

Anyone who wishes to donate to a specially set up fund can visit and leave a deposit with paypal and in return for your generosity I will send a signed copy of The Hairy Plug Monster..... ( traffic wardens are especially welcome).

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Children's Literacy Workshops

The literacy workshop went better than I could have ever imagined. Not being a teacher, I wasn't quite sure on the form it was going to take, but it became apparent straight away that providing you have good material and the pupils want to be there, the workshop will work itself.

 Pupils from years 4,5 and six were chosen to listen to the readings of The Hairy Plug Monster and the other stories and ask questions just like in previous readings.  However, for the last half an hour I read them the opening verses of "Miss Carr's pies" and then invited them to construct the next verse themselves working in small groups.

I was very impressed with the work that they did with more than one group not only constructing some brilliant prose but  also getting the "meter" as well. 

I think as well that the subject matter was appealing and they came up with many ingenious ways of disposing of a body in a pie. 

Hi Leighroy

Thank you very much for your visit yesterday. The children really enjoyed it and were full of enthusiasm for poetry in the afternoon. I asked some of them to write a sentence about what they thought. I hope this is useful to you.

I loved listening to the poems which told a story and enjoyed finishing his poem for him. It was interesting. .....Ellie C Year 6

The hairy plug monster was cool and I loved the spooky poems. I didn't think i'd jump when he told us we would but I did. Leeroy was brilliant he's a cool author. .....Haris Year 5

It was very kind of you to go into school. Your storys were great. I car't wait till zombliner comes out. Car't wait to see you at oxfam.

Georgia Year 4

I enjoyed listening to the hairy plug monster . it made me jump in the golden arm story.I had a really good time.thank you ....... Maya year 4

Thank you for your time


Diane Diamond

It came as no surprise that "Golden Arm" was a clear favourite, although the first few verses of Zombelina also went down really well.  Due to the time though, I wasn't able to finish - much to the dismay of the class.

Going of the response from Cheadle Primary School it may be another way forward for reaching a larger audience. 

And now for the sales pitch at the end of the blog....(in the form of an email spam letter)

Hello',  my name is Leighroy Marsh and I am a brilliant children's writer from the North West of England, and for a limited time and a staggering 95% cheaper than Charles Dicken's would have charged.  I am offering to visit YOUR school and read a selection of my work to the pupils and work with them to produce works of literary genius.  To take advantage of this amazing offer visit the website send or email to -   and while your there, why not buy one of the best young children's books written in ages?

Thank you

Leighroy Marsh

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Distractions, distractions

Following my holiday in Tuscany, I have found it hard to focus on The Hairy Plug Monster.  Not because I had better things to do....far from it.  Instead I have been glued to either the radio or the T.V. following the events in South Africa, for almost 3 painful weeks I have been watching the "world's best" battle it out - and to be truthful have had to endure some pretty dire stuff.

 Thankfully the Germans put me out of my misery at the weekend by inflicting a fatal blow to the hopes and dreams of the nation.  Much as I would like to rant on about the "who's, whats and whys" of the result, I am going to leave that for other much more informed bloggers to do.  Suffice to say....we were pants.

So with the need to waste my life in front of the T.V. now removed you would think I should be able to focus back on The Hairy Plug Monster and the other projects for HPM Media Ltd without any further distractions..........but again not so.

My trusty modem of many years finally keeled over and died leaving me without an Internet connection and subsequently felling like I was on the moon.  Without the Internet, I couldn't ring shops, or send emails or update the blog.  Life seemed to stop (briefly). 

Thankfully I remembered that the computer could do other things even when it wasn't talking to the rest of the world. I loaded up a music program and wrote 2 fantastic tunes in the space of two days.  It was a major breakthrough  moment because I know have enough good material to take out on the road and play live with. 

I even treated myself to a selection of blank CD's and created an 11 track album of sorts, and early reviews have been quite promising.

Without the Internet, I have also been able to reduce the distractions of Facebook, and chess which, I play on a regular basis....I did have a go at Miss Carr's Pies to see if I could get the final 8 verses but to no avail...I seem to have hit a wall with The Pot Bellied Cook and the Three Legged Dog.  ( This is slightly disturbing, because I have a literacy workshop on Thursday at Cheadle Primary School and no new material.

The Hairy Plug Monster has now been published for over a year now, and its about time I had a new book to tout around.  Perhaps more heartening is that the Gruffalo took 4 years to gain any sort of recognition...and I still agree with many of my readers that The Hairy Plug Monster is easily on the same level albeit at least 5 million sales behind.....but there is still plenty of time to catch up....

If you still haven't got a copy of The Hairy Plug Monster, you can order by visiting