Latest updates

Weightless in the Wild

Saturday, 12 May 2018

It has finally happened. After more than two years, Weightless Fireworks is arriving through letterboxes, appearing in pigeonholes and, in one case, handed through an open window on a sunny morning.

Here are just a few of the many photographs that have been sent to me, or shared on social media, showing the book in the wild.

Someone even managed to unearth my very first poetry collection…

One of Ten

Thursday, 26 April 2018

I wanted to show you the beautiful art prints that have been created based on Vaughan Oliver's designs for the book. We opted for a landscape print showing the full cover - front, back and flaps - so that the eventual owners would have every bit of Vaughan's work on the page.

I now need to nip round Vaughan's place and get him to sign them. Then they can be sent to the people who pledged for them…

Writer's Cramp

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Yesterday I popped into the Unbound offices to sign copies of Weightless Fireworks. There were just over eighty of you who had pledged for levels that included the need for me to scribble on copies of the book, so scribble I did.

I had a bit of a pile to get through.

I know authors usually sign the title page of a book but just before the title page we have this rather splendid illustration…

The Weightless Wait is Nearly Over

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

As some of you may have seen on social media, Weightless Fireworks actually exists. I was sent a couple of advance copies last week and it is a fine-looking volume.

Here, take a look...

I tried to get away without a barcode seeing as the book won't be in any shops, but sadly that was not to be. I think it is only there so that the printer and warehouse can scan it in and out. Modern technology…

Brace Yourselves

Friday, 23 March 2018

Several years ago, when you were all a lot younger and far more naive, you pledged some money to help take a random bunch of haiku and turn them into a book.

It is entirely possible that you have forgotten about this, what with so much time having passed. In which case, consider this a reminder. I hope not an entirely unpleasant one.

You see, copies of the book are due from the printer any day…

Another Year Gone

Sunday, 17 December 2017

This is just a short update to wish you all a Merry Christmas or Happy Winterval or whatever it is you may be celebrating/ignoring this festive season.

I am about to go offline till the New Year but when I return I hope to have some firm, or firmer, news about when you will be receiving your finished books. Vaughan has completed all of his work. The pages have been proof read. The production team…

A Look Inside

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Following on from last week's post about the book cover, I can now share with you some of the typography from inside.

Once again, Vaughan Oliver has created the design for these pages and we have gone proper minimal. One haiku per page.

Here are a few double-page spreads as a little taster of what is to come. If you click on any of the poems you'll see them in their full resolution.


The Vaughan Oliver Archive

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Just a quick update to let you know about a very special project.

Vaughan Oliver, the designer of so many classic album covers over the past four decades, as well as the cover and typography for Weightless Fireworks (surely a highlight of his career?), is crowdfunding at Kickstarter for his own book. It is going to be a lavish two-volume celebration of his work, and there are lots of bonus extras…

An Absence of Words

Thursday, 9 November 2017

One of the advantages of making Weightless Fireworks exclusive to Unbound subscribers is that it has given us the freedom to create a cover without the need for many of the bits and bobs that are essential if you intend to sell your book in bookshops. Such as, for example, words.

This book doesn't need a blurb as we are not trying to sell it to anyone. A short, pithy biography of the author…

Unavailable in All Good Bookshops

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Every author who successfully gets their book funded at Unbound is given the option of having a separate edition produced for bookshops. So there is a beautiful hardback exclusively for supporters and a slightly less fancy, although still very handsome, version that will appear in bookshops and online a couple of months later.

I have asked Unbound not to create a second edition of Weightless Fireworks…

So, some things are happening...

Friday, 9 June 2017

No, really, they are.

Here are some of those things.

Words. All of the words for the book have been written. They are with the production team at Unbound who will press some buttons and tweak some files and suck the end of pencils and make some calls and shout across desks until the words get printed onto pages and are turned into lots of books.

Pictures. According to his recent Facebook…


Friday, 24 March 2017

Do you remember The Christians?

Not the God-fearing ones that the Romans fed to lions. I mean the soulful pop combo from Liverpool. Big in the 80s and all that. Some of you are probably too young. 

I was never a fan myself, I was too busy listening to Love & Rockets and The Cure at the time, but I was reminded of them recently when I was putting the finishing touches to Weightless Fireworks.…

Did You Miss Me?

Thursday, 13 October 2016

So I am back in Windsor following a wonderful trip to New Zealand.

I met lots of amazing people, many splendid writers among them. I was taken out to lunch by a Dame, who is also a recipient of a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour from the French government, so I mingled with the finest that New Zealand has to offer.

I ate lots of amazing food. The ice-creams at Giapo in Auckland are the finest…

A Postcard from New Zealand

Monday, 29 August 2016

Greetings from Aotearoa!

I am currently in New Zealand for a series of literary festival events and talks. I have just arrived in Auckland after a wonderful few days in Christchurch for the WORD Festival during which time I received conclusive proof that I am, indeed, a writer.

Christchurch is a remarkable and unusual city, and not only because it is still recovering from the earthquakes…

Tea and Cake with Vaughan Oliver

Monday, 15 August 2016

On Monday I pootled down to Epsom to meet up with Vaughan Oliver. Vaughan is, frankly, a legend to many people, including me. His cover art and design work with 4AD in the 1980s and 90s is about as iconic as iconic can get. Shit, he was the man who created this classic album cover.

And this one.

This one also.

Anyway, my record collection is full of his work. Yours may well be…

Patience is a Virtue

Saturday, 16 July 2016

A few people, or as I like to call them, impatient bastards, have been asking me when they'll be taking delivery of their hauki.

The sort answer is: when I've finished writing them.

The slightly longer answer goes like this.

I wasn't expecting the book to be funded within a month, I thought it would take 3 or 4 at least, so I had always penciled in this autumn for completing the book. I have…

Haiku. In a Toilet. In Brazil.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

There is an independent bookshop in Brazil that I had not heard of till last weekend. It is called Boto-cor-de-rosa (it translates as 'Pink Dolphin', apparently) and they are currently running a crowdfunding campaign in order to stay afloat. One of the rewards on offer was to have a poem of your choice on the chalkboard in what they call their 'bathroom', but which I assume is their toilet.

I coughed…

Composed on a Train

Sunday, 19 June 2016

What a Difference a Word Makes

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Or two letters, to be more precise.

A couple of weeks ago, struck by a rare moment of inspiration, I composed the following haiku:

blossoms have fallen

these brief days of early spring

are crushed underfoot

I was in the garden, our cherry tree had shed its petals, the words came to me, they scanned without much effort. It was an easy poem to write.

But then I started pondering that…

Editing the Rewards

Sunday, 5 June 2016

This is just a quick post to say that as of the end of this week I will be closing down some of the editorial rewards that are on offer with Weightless Fireworks. As some of you know, seeing as you paid for them, I have been offering bargain deals on my editorial services with offers ranging from a review of your submissions package, making sure it is ship-shape before it goes off to agents, for …

Lost in Translation?

Saturday, 21 May 2016

In the same way that it is generally accepted that Shakespeare is the greatest playwright to have ever picked up a quill — he may not be your favourite playwright, and others may have written better individual plays, but his work has endured better, is studied more intensely and is performed more widely than any other — the finest haiku poet to ever pick up an inkbrush is Bashō.

Matsuo Bashō…

So, What Now?

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

​Now that Weightless Fireworks has hit 100% funding I am no longer shouting about it every couple of hours on Twitter and Facebook. No, I am much more restrained now, only mentioning it once a week or so.

But last time I did mention it, someone asked me why I was still plugging the book seeing as "you're funded now, aren't you?"

It is a fair question, so I thought it might be worth explaining…


Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Isn't crowdfunding wonderful?

Let's face it, there is no way a collection of haiku from an unknown poet would get published as a beautiful hardback by a traditional publisher in this day and age. They'd be mad to try it. It just wouldn't work for them.

Crowdfunding, on the other hand, has helped make this book a reality. We hit 100% last night and that means Weightless Fireworks will go into…

Publication date: Winter 2018
133% funded
250 backers