The Books

I am the author of three children's books, and the guide to the Glasgow they didn't want you to know about called "Fantastic Glasgow".

The first children's book is, "The Dark Knight's Blade" and was inspired by a wonderful movie called "A Chinese Ghost Story", basically about a tax collector who shelters in a house inhabited by a woman in the service of a demon who lures people to their death. He falls in love with her and thus begins an adventure packed with monsters, wizards, martial-arts and creaky special effects. I liked it enough to try and write my own roller coaster adventure set in Ancient China, as a novice of the Grand Order of Jade Knights chooses their most sacred weapon - the sword of the Dark Knight - from the Hall of Blades to accompany him on his travels across the country where he encounters ghosts, gold-spinners, magicians, rats, water demons, fire demons, and a few things that supposedly died years ago. The artwork of the book was done by the wonderful Ed Noon, and adorns this website.

The next children's book is called "Lipstick Lass", inspired by my children's liking (at that time) for the adventures of Captain Underpants and The Powerpuff Girls. In this book, Samantha Stubble and Socks, her faithful, Doberman Rotthound, rescue an alien and Samantha is rewarded with a set of sparlking lipsticks which transform her into Lipstick Lass. In this first adventure, she has to save the town from the villaineous Stiff Underpants (Master of the Boggy Boxer Short) and The Burp, although the evil mastermind that is the Purple Turtle does get a look in too. The cover artwork and the interior artwork for the cast of characters was done by Steven Hart's class at Cumbernauld college. Heads up to Laura Watson et al, for doing such a terrific job, and Lipstick Lass will return in "Lipstick Lass 2: the revenge of the Puple Turtle".

And in "The Magic Mousehole", the four kings of Mouseland, Ratan, Catatonia and Elephant Country go off on an adventure around the world, and while they are away the rats and the cats invade Mouseland and take control of the country's supply of cheese. With the Royal Family under lock and key and the mice forced to build a giant wall of cheese to stop the elephants coming to their rescue, it's up to Prince Falin, and Nerlim (the world's worst mouse magician) to save the day, along with the help of the notorious Mousehole-In-The-Wall Gang, led by Smooch Casually and soon to be joined by the Sunflower Kid !

"Fantastic Glasgow" on the other hand was inspired by the Neil Gaiman/Gene Wolfe collaboration "A Walking Tour of the Shambles", which is the name of that part of Chicago which survived the great fire of 1871. "Ya can't burn Hell" they said at the time. I urge you to buy their book, it's a great - and funny - fusion of two imaginative minds. "Fantastic Glasgow" is lovingly (and brilliantly) illustrated by Bob Covington, and Bob is a previous winner of the British Fantasy Society's Best Artist Award. This guide to the alternative Glasgow recounts the early history of the city's Necropolis, the lethal game called "Dem Bones belong to Kelman", the wide (and lethal) variety of deep fried food once available in the city, the Graveyard of Trolleys, the true origins of the "Glasgow Kiss", the to-be-avoided Thirteen Street. Glasgow's Other Sacred River, the city's vampire population, the mysterious "Unicorn Head's Inn", the Dark Lodge, and the animal killer known as "Jock the Ripper".

No wonder the tourist board tried to ban it, especially with Bob's great cover, below: