Birmingham and all that!

It was good to be back in B’ham yesterday.

A quick in and out of WHSmith, 40 copies gone, smiles of all shapes, colours and creeds to help them on their way and plenty of reader ‘chats’ to finish off!

I spent six happy years messing about on the trams, getting drunk in Broad Street and going multicultural on lips from all corners of the globe. Divorced, full of hell and laughter, I had a grand old time. Urdu one minute, Punjabi the next and God knows what in between!

It was good to be back in open mental spaces and frightening city chaos, readers were interested and indulged Ruck’s written words – no doubt, I will find out soon enough if their ‘indulgence’ was well placed or not!

JR

‘Revenge Reviews’ on Amazon

I never fail to be astonished by how low some people can get. Now those who don’t like the truth are writing unpleasant ‘reviews’ about ‘The Bent Brief’ on Amazon.

It is obvious to anyone with even a modicum of intelligence, that you have not read the novel and that you are in dire need of help, but if such activity makes you feel better then by all means, do carry on.

JR

Book Signings!

London as usual, proved interesting and colourful.

Plenty of ‘Bent Brief’s’ flogged without too much flogging, sexy passes from a 68 year old and a desperate sort in an invalid scooter, reminded that my looks were going fifty shades of grey and beyond, but never mind.

For a while, a debate ensued about the unreadability of ‘literary’ perfection, the educated and pukka classes in particular seemed fed up with it all, but nevertheless hated the ubiquitous ‘beach books’ and hastily written clit-lit penny-packets that kept intruding upon their ‘good story’ lives.

Intelligent and sometimes saucy repartee was the order of the day, but who was I to complain – it sells books! Never mind the quality feel Ruck’s width! Damn that’s a bit near the bone eh? But only those in wrinkly twilight zones like me, will know what I’m on about!

These days, book signings are all about good looks, charm and a smile that can hypnotize a tiger about to pounce – of course the readability of one’s wares helps, sometimes anyway. At least, I wouldn’t like to to try doing them without a blazing sense of humour and a smart Windsor knot – my ‘looks’ don’t count for much after all!

It was good to be back in London, the mix, the multicultured chaos, the never-ending life. It was good to blend and be a passing face with nothing to say.

JR

Female First – an interview.

Have a read. It’s all good stuff.

A man ie me, writing in ‘The Bent Brief’ about infidelity from both sides of a betrayal, a clash between East and West love, lesbian infatuation and a damn great trial.

Have a listen to my other interviews with the BBC etc. Just click on the ‘Media” tab above. The article in the New York Daily News is rather interesting too, ‘Welsh Writing Sucks!’……….come to think of it, I’m supposed to be Welsh?!

I’m warming up for the launch of ‘The Bent Brief’ at Waterstones, Cardiff this Saturday, but I can’t help wondering how the ebook is going to effect hard copy sales.

I’ve always done well at signings but this time I’m not so sure. It’s eighteen months since I have done an event and during this time the ebook has really taken off.

We’ll see.

JR

Creative Writing Tuition by Julian Ruck.

Structure? Characterisation?

The priority of a novel is to offend – on a grand scale!

And you don’t need to pay  someone to tell you how to do it either, or for that matter enjoy another year’s doss at University being fooled into thinking you can write.

Ignore the politically correct tutors with their bland pontificating and generous sycophancy. Throw your work into the face of Joe Public and upset him.

Get your hands filthy dirty!

If you have to be told or taught how to ‘create’, then give up now. Writing comes from the heart, not the mouths of those who think they know ‘how’.

JR

Spreading wifely bums and Lunch Club.

Yesterday, the usual bunch of old farts were out for some good grub and a fine dose of wife bashing. As usual, we all had our individual tales of woe to tell, but the tale of the day came from our lawyer friend, whose face seemed to be twitching with more anxiety than usual. He was always a trifle downcast anyway, something to do with his saying ‘I do’ apparently, but yesterday more so than usual.

The night before, he and his wife had been sitting down having supper, when he noticed his wife eating an extra slice of bread with her soup. After thirty odd years of marriage (so far, the most I’ve ever managed is five!), you can imagine he knew her eating habits better than his own. Anyway, he remarked quite innocently,’ You’re eating a lot tonight, dear’. Well, did he just!

Up she leapt, ‘Are you saying I’m fat!’ She shrieked. ‘Are you? Are you? How dare you, you bastard. I’m not fat! I’m not!’ She then dashed to the kitchen sink and tipped the rest of her soup down the drain.

Well as you can imagine, he was slightly taken aback by this sudden outburst, and what he perceived as a thoroughly intemperate reaction, I mean throwing her supper down the drain, no need for that was there? But as he said, ‘Jesus boys, imagine if I’d said her rear-end was spreading faster than a cow pat hitting the pavement at Mac 2?! I wouldn’t be sitting here now, I can tell you. She would have bloody well knifed me!’

Now, for all you young ‘uns out there be warned. When women reach the sagging years of milfhood, for God’s sake never, never say anything about their weight or God forbid that their backsides are spreading uncontrollably – so, read and learn young ‘uns. It’s all true believe me. Ask any middle-aged man who’s been coping with the insanity of female kind for a good few years and he’ll confirm every word.

JR

PS And don’t forget my latest novel is out in September, The Bent Brief. Refined hanky-panky, loving lezzies, murder, a nail-biting trial and a good dose of chauvinistic offence for good measure – just to keep the feminists happy! Nothing like my previous stuff.

A Welsh Cremation.

Funerals are of course a solemn and dignified affair, and the one I attended the other day was no different, except that the Pastor administering  it  was of the old school, the old school that is, of Welsh hwyl (passion) and exuberant evangelical intent.

Half way through the service ( and I was actually starting to enjoy another womb-like re-entry), the old Pastor, let’s call him Dai Knox, threw up his arms in supplication and begged to know how many Welsh speakers there were in the Congregation.

Well now, this being as far south as you can get in South Wales, only three hands went up and a trifle gingerly at that – sadly, mine wasn’t one of them.

Undeterred, Dai Knox cast his fervour around and through the Sinners and howled, ‘ Never mind, the Lord will provide and I’m going to read this hymn out loud in Welsh anyway, so sod you all…..!’ Well, not quite perhaps, but not far off.

So there we all are, in respectful silence as Dai did his Welsh bit, when all of a sudden, the Lord touched his vocal chords and the bugger burst into song!

Hands waving, religious torment spouting forth and a damn all you sinners to Hell for not speaking Welsh! Seemed to be the idea.

Well, I was always taught that God loves a sinner, so I didn’t quite grasp what Dai Knox was getting so exercised about! Anyway, as we all left the Crematorium, an old uncle of mine sidled up to me and said, ‘You know, if you ‘ain’t struck oil in 20 minutes, bloody well give up……!’

I think there’s a moral in there somewhere?

JR

My Old Headmaster……

He used to swirl in, black gown billowing authority and a ‘damn your eyes!’ contempt for any boy daring to presume. He would shout a ‘Latin Homework!’ and exercise books would be opened and raised for merciless inspection. An evil eye here, an indulgent twitch of the lips there.

A  ‘Waster!’ and a ‘Get down to Woolworths, you spineless spiv! They’re selling plastic spines, 20% off!’, implied deliverence but an ‘Out!’ meant a wait outside his study for a bit of ‘touch your toes’ PE.

Those were the days, boys knew where they were and were able to spell and count when they left.

I went to my old Headmaster’s funeral, the boy had now become a man, but I couldn’t help smiling with a certain affectionate respect as his coffin passed me by.

There are no plastic spines these days and Woolworths is no longer with us.

But ‘My Old Headmaster’ still teaches, still reminds.

JR

Shakin’ Shakespeare!

Will was writing for a commercial mass market, right? Makes you wonder what all these academic types and Trojans of literary endeavour keep banging on about, doesn’t it?

I bet our Will, wherever he is, is yet another artist laughing his socks off right now, at all the stuff and nonsense that has been lauded and applauded in his name!

JR