Cover of Paper Tigers

Latest updates

The Art of Shelf-digging: Obsessive Book Collecting in the Digital Age

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

While browsing a local second-hand bookshop recently, it occurred to me that I enjoy the process of searching for books as much as the end result of finding something to read. If I'm honest, occasionally I will even buy books knowing full well I’ll probably never get round to reading them. Of course I could save myself the hassle and simply order online, get a tablet, use my phone, it's never…

A book, tight shut, is but a block of paper

Monday, 27 June 2016

Following the incredible excitement of reaching the funding target, it occurred to me that it’s high time I gave you all a quick update of what is happening with Paper Tigers. 

After one final emotional read through, I took a deep breath, and submitted the full manuscript. Things have now moved into the production process. This will include a structural edit, a copy edit stage and a proofing…

Paper Tigers; martial arts and misadventure in Japan, coming soon...

Tuesday, 10 May 2016


Stop the press! Somebody alert Richard & Judy. Paper Tigers has finally reached its crowdfunding target and is now 101% funded!

This is incredibly exciting, fantastic news and I cannot wait to get the ball rolling and begin the next stage. Specifically, the editing process, cover design, more writing, posing for black and white photos in front of bookshelves, staring into the distance meaningfully…

A journey of a thousand miles ends with a single step

Tuesday, 3 May 2016


There are now over 70 amazing, positive, beautiful, book loving people who have pledged their support to get Paper Tigers published. 

I know many of you have helped to spread the word, some of you have gone way beyond this and I am truly appreciative and grateful to every single one of you.

We are tantalisingly close to the crowd funding target. At the time of writing this, we only need…

The (publishing) Journey is my home - Basho

Thursday, 21 April 2016


It came as something of a shock upon completing my book Paper Tigers that getting it published was going to be a whole other game/almost impossible. I’d always naively assumed that if you actually finished writing a book you could simply send it off, don a polo neck, light a pipe and retire to an island hideaway and begin work on the tricky second novel. Well, despite being utterly wrong about…

A blustering harmless fellow they call a “paper tiger”

Monday, 11 April 2016


The title of this post comes from the earliest mention in English of the Chinese term ‘Paper Tiger’ translated in 1836 by the sinologist Sir John Francis Davis in his work: The Chinese: a General Description of the Empire of China and Its Inhabitants, Volume 2.  Chairman Mao used it to describe American Imperialism to a foreign journalist during the 1940's, thus ensuring its fame in The West…

The pen is mightier than the sword, but rarely so alluring.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Anyone who has ever held a real (live bladed) samurai sword will know, first and foremost, it is a weapon that demands respect. There’s an obvious and immediate awareness of the horrific damage it could do to an opponent, combined with the paralysing concern over the very real possibility of slicing off your own fingers, ears, nose etc. For me, it also brought into (sharp) focus the obvious skills…

How to Find a Decent Martial Arts Instructor: Ten Essential Pointers. (For every Mr Myagi, there’s a Mr Bean).

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Like many young men I spent a great deal of my early life as an armchair martial arts fan brooding over who would win in a fight between Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee.  Eventually, I decided “the student was ready”: it was time to find a real teacher. Once this momentous decision was made, it still took an inordinate amount of time to build up enough courage to walk through the door of an actual class…

It's not good because it's old it's old because it's good.

Sunday, 21 February 2016


This is a picture of the traditional house in Japan where Paper Tigers is set. Freezing in the winter, boiling in the summer, mosquitos all year round. Tatami straw mats, battered sliding screens and made entirely from wood it expanded and contracted with the elements. some nights it creaked like an ancient sailing ship. The 'ninja house' held many secrets, not least the constant visits from…

Kendo means the way of the sword

Thursday, 18 February 2016

(Bokken and Tenagui from the Yoshiwara Kendo School)

In the story of Paper Tigers the enigmatic Kendo Master Suzuki Sensei describes the way of the sword as ‘not just for fighting other people, but for defeating your personal demons. Kendo is a way of life, and it is life itself that is the real challenge. We’re not training for uncertain confrontation; we’re doing it for the here and now. The…

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Exciting news, Paper Tigers has reached the halfway point in just a couple of days! A massive thanks to everyone who has pledged support, if everybody could tell someone else about Paper Tigers we can get there in no time. 

I also just wanted to share a picture of some of the amazing old books about The Orient that I've picked up over the years that first inspired me to travel East in search of…

Thank you!

Friday, 12 February 2016

I’d just like to say a hugely heartfelt thank you to everyone who has made a pledge so early in this journey to getting published. I am genuinely humbled by your generosity. You guys rock!

I will be doing a lot of blogging about Paper Tigers in the coming months and have already started referring to myself in the third person. Also, I will be posting some ninja related articles and pictures that…

Publication date: August 2017
101% funded
101 backers