Tuesday 30 December 2008

What would you like to know?

Is there anything about Christmas or the festive season that you would like the answer to? Perhaps it's some tradition that you've always followed or some curious fact you've been told but were never sure about. Well here's your chance to have that question answered.

Simply reply to this post or email me at whatismyrrh@hotmail.co.uk and I'll do my best to answer it for you. I look forward to receiving your questions soon.

Friday 26 December 2008

Dom and Danny Do Christmas - the morning after

As any regular reader of this blog will know, I was on the radio yesterday along with Dom Joly and Danny Wallace.

Now being busy people on Christmas Day, you quite possibly missed it or - as in the case of the Green family - couldn't hear it over the inordinate amounts of noise produced by over-excited children. Now if that's the case, have no fear for Dom and Danny Do Christmas is available for download via Radio 5 Live's Listen Again facility. Simply follow this link to access the site.

But in the meantime why not enjoy the sight of Dom Joly in an inflatable Santa suit partaking in a not-so Silent Night?

Thursday 25 December 2008

Season's Greetings!

Merry Christmas!

Yes, Christmas Day is here at last, and hopefully some of you are waking up this morning to find that Father Christmas has left you a copy of What is Myrrh Anyway? in your stocking!

I hope you all have a wonderful day and remember you can listen to me, Dom Joly and Danny Wallace deconstructing the midwinter feast on Radio 5 Live from 12 noon.

So we keep the olden greeting
With its meaning deep and true,
And wish a merrie Christmas
And a happy New Year to you.

(Old English saying)

Tuesday 23 December 2008

Promoting What is Myrrh Anyway? - or - Musicial Studios

I spent the morning taking part in a number of radio interviews at Western House (the home of Radio 2). This involved me sitting in a small studio by myself, in front of a microphone, with a set of headphones on, waiting for various radio show hosts to talk to me and carry out their interviews. Some were live, some pre-recorded.

Me in Studio GB

However, due to the way in which studios have to be booked by the half hour, and the fact that (at least technically) several slots overlapped, I had to move from one studio to the next and back again. Not that it mattered - I was the only one in!

Me in Studio GC

But I have nonetheless been suitably quizzed and (think) I acquitted myself fairly well. If you heard me on the radio at all - or you have a Christmas question you'd like answered - why not drop me a line?

Oh, and Happy Christmas Eve Eve.

Monday 22 December 2008

As welcome as a warm glass of mulled wine on a wintry night

This is what December's edition of The Good Book Guide has to say about What is Myrrh Anyway?

'As welcome as a warm glass of mulled wine on a wintry night, Green's guide to Christmas enhances the pleasures of the festive season, offering a witty cornucopia of Christmas facts and folklore.'

Sunday 21 December 2008

What is Myrrh Anyway? on your radio - again!

Just a few more upcoming radio 'appearances' to update you on this evening. In addition to those mentioned in my comprehensive blog of Thursday, you will also be able to hear me in the run up to Christmas on BBC Radio Three Counties, BBC Midwest Radio, BBC Warwickshire & Coventry (that's a definite now), BBC Radio Cumbria, BBC Radio Southern Counties and BBC Radio Stoke.

Don't say I didn't warn you!

Christmas Past

There's more news from Abaddon Books of a vaguely festive nature. However, what's probably of most interest to readers of this blog is that the fourth Pax Britannia novel (and the third featuring dandy adventurer Ulysses Quicksilver) is all ready for a January release. And what's more, Human Nature comes complete with an original novella, especially commissioned for the festive season, entitled Christmas Past.

As if that wasn't enough to to save you from those post-Christmas blues, you can also meet me on 9 January 2009 at the Shaftsbury Avenue Forbidden Planet store in London, where I will be signing copies of Human nature from 6.00pm to 7.00pm. Maybe I'll see you there.

What is Myrrh Anyway? in the Sunday Post

Should a 37 year-old man really be seen by the public looking like this? What was I thinking?

This morning I find myself asking if there's anything I won't do to promote What is Myrrh Anyway? To find out what I was doing, allowing myself to be photographed in this condition, click here.

Thursday 18 December 2008

What is Myrrh Anyway? on your radio

With Christmas Day now only a week away, I've been busy promoting my book What is Myrrh Anyway? hoping to cash in on some of those last minute panic purchases. As well as there being items in the press, I've been interviewed for various radio stations up and down the country.

This morning I was on air live for Graham Torrington's show on BBC Radio Bristol and this afternoon I've already been on Pat Marsh's show for BBC Kent. I should also be on Drivetime on BBC Leeds this evening. (I pre-recorded that interview this morning!)

Next week you should hear me on TalkSPORT Radio with Adrian Goldberg, BBC Radio Three Counties, BBC West Midlands, BBC Newcastle, Highland Radio, BBC Radio York, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Southern Counties, BBC Radio Shropshire, BBC Radio Stoke, BBC Radio Manchester and BBC Radio Warwickshire & Coventry.

It's all a bit manic, and at the moment it rather feels like I'm going to be popping up in almost as many places as Father Christmas this year, so you'll hardly be able to miss me. And then, of course, I'm going to be on air on Christmas Day for Dom and Danny Do Christmas.

And on Boxing Day... I'm going to be putting my feet up!

Wednesday 17 December 2008

What is Myrrh Anyway? update

Thought I'd pass on a few links to articles that have appeared recently in the national press regarding What is Myrrh Anyway?

First there was a piece in the Glasgow Daily Record yesterday by Samantha Booth about the book, which you can read here, and in the Daily Star, on the same day, there was this piece by James Moore. (Be warned - this is the Daily Star we're talking about. Apparently, even Danielle Lloyd was impressed. I didn't even know she'd read the book!)

I also got a mention in Dom Joly's column in the Independent on Sunday, as 'man... who'd written a book called What is Myrrh Anyway?' following the recording of Dom and Danny Do Christmas for Radio 5 Live a few weeks ago. For more on that particularly unusual festive experience, follow this link.

Tuesday 16 December 2008

Buy now in time for Christmas!

Don't forget, there's still time to buy your own signed copy of What is Myrrh Anyway? through this very website.

These hard-to-come-by signed copies only cost £6.00 each, and post and packing is free!

If you would like to purchase one of these future collector's items, simply email me at whatismyrrh@hotmail.co.uk, and I'll let you know how to proceed.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Monday 8 December 2008

Get your own signed copy of What is Myrrh Anyway?

What would make the perfect Christmas gift for the man or woman in your life who has everything (or the sibling, parent, family friend... for that matter)? Why a signed copy of What is Myrrh Anyway? of course.

I have a few signed copies of the book available for discerning customers. They cost £6.00 each and post and packing is free.

If you would like to purchase one of these hard to come by collector's items, simply email me at whatismyrrh@hotmail.co.uk, and I'll let you know how to proceed.

A writer writes

That was the simple, straightforward advice given to any would-be writers by Tony Jordan (EastEnders, Hustle) on this week's edition of Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe.

Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe is brilliant. That fact is not up for discussion. Brooker (a screenwriter himself with the recent Dead Set) is rude, downright offensive, acerbic in his comments on television, and painfully funny. This latest edition of Screenwipe was off the scale of brilliant-ness.

Okay, so I'm going a little over the top here, but for a struggling writer it filled me with renewed confidence and enthusiasm. Hearing Graham Linehan (Father Ted, The IT Crowd), Paul Abbott (Shameless, State of Play), Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain (Peep Show), Tony Jordan and the incomparable Russel T Davies (Doctor Who - as if you needed reminding) talk about the process of writing was fascinating and filled me with hope. For one thing, it's always good to know it's not just you who has problem X, Y and Z. Writing is a lonely profession, so it's always good to hear from other writers about how they deal with the day-to-day challenges of the job.

If you have any aspirations to be a writer yourself, you should check the programme out for yourself. It was a fascinating insight into what it means to be a writer and was full to overflowing with good advice. There was (of course) the fact that you have to repeatedly re-write to be a writer, you have to be able to finish something and that the harder it is, the better the outcome - probably.

And it was amazing how many of the writers featured hate the process of actually writing (at least the first draft of something) and will procrastinate like an eight year-old not wanting to do his homework. Tony Jordan put it very well. 'I hate writing. I love having written.'

I particularly liked Graham Linehan's comments about 'feeding the subconscious' and the analogy that 'writing is like having a poo'. So do check it out but this blog's younger viewers should be aware that there is strong language used throughout.

I'll leave you with comment paraphrased by Tony Jordan. 'Writing's easy. All you have to do is stare at a blank piece of paper until your forehead bleeds.'

And on that note, if I want to call myself a writer, I'd better go off and write something. Conqueror Worm awaits.

Thursday 4 December 2008

JG Forbidden Planet Pax Britannia signing

The book's in and edited, it's gone off to the printers and the news has been made public, so I can now tell you that I will be signing copies of my latest Pax Britannia novel from Abaddon Books, Human Nature, at the Forbidden Planet megastore - 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London - on Friday 9 January, from 6.00pm - 7.00pm.

Come along and say hello, find out what I've got planned for the future of Pax Britannia, and get your copy of this brand new steampunk thriller signed by yours truly or, if you can't make it, order your signed copy now by following this link.

I look forward to seeing you there.

JG's Top Ten at the Book Depository

If you were asked, 'What are your Top Ten books?' what would your answer be?

Well, you can find out what I said over at The Book Depository, when I was asked, as part of the whole promotional machine for my latest book What is Myrrh Anyway?

Meet Radio 5 Live's Christmologist - at Acton Christmas Fair

I will be at Acton Christmas Fair, this Saturday, 6 December, from 11.00am until 6.00pm, selling and signing copies of my book, What is Myrrh Anyway? Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Christmas.

I will also be happy to (try to) answer your Christmas questions. And you can hear me doing just that on Christmas Day, at midday, on Radio 5 Live's Dom and Danny Do Christmas.
So, maybe I'll see you there.

Dom and Danny (and me) Do Christmas

I spent a rather surreal afternoon yesterday, enjoying an early Christmas in the company of Dom Joly and Danny Wallace.

I was at BBC Bush House for the recording of Dom and Danny Do Christmas for Radio 5 Live in my capacity as a Christmologist (or expert on Christmas, for the uninitiated) having written What is Myrrh Anyway? Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Christmas.

It was an afternoon of mirth, merriment and mayhem, spent in the company of a couple of comics and included a live phone call from Roy Wood of Wizard fame and the arrival of a proper a capella choir.

Highlights included the call to Major Reddish of NORAD, who is responsible for tracking Santa as he flies around the world on Christmas Eve and the moment when Dom Joly forced me into eating a mince pie, and breaking the law at the same time. (You'll have to listen for yourself to find out what that was all about.)

And then there was the moment when we were told that it was the choir who sang on the Darkness's 'Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End)' who were coming into the studio. I said, 'Oh, from Haberdasher Askes' and Dom Joly turned to me, with a look of amazement, and said, 'You really do know everything about Christmas!'

Dom and Danny Do Christmas will be broadcast at 12 noon on Christmas day on Radio 5 Live and will also be available online via the BBC's listen again facility, but in the meantime, here's some music...