Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Oooh! Look! ML Stewart Got Off His Lazy Arse and Updated His Blog.

Ten months. TEN BLOODY MONTHS! Forty weeks of my life I've been pregnant with this frigging book. And yesterday, the 28th November, 2012 at precisely 5:03 am GMT, the bastard was born.

It was delivered by email cesarean to its rightful mother in London. The woman who planted the seed. The lady who made me gain a stone by sitting in a chair for ten months while this 600-page monster grew inside me. The editor who, on the 2nd February, got me up the duff by asking whether I'd thought about writing a book for a commercial publisher.

But now it's over. The torment of surrogacy is at an end. Little Hunter has been shipped off to the HarperCollins family, and now I'm just waiting to see if he'll settle in. Will they love him, or decide he's not worth the paper? Will they send him back to me saying he's shit all over the place and can't even punctuate properly? Or will they decide he's deserving of a good home, and ask me to make more babies for them? Let's wait and see. Worst case scenario, I'll give him to my tax-avoiding Uncle Amazon and Aunt Apple to look after.

Well, it's almost Christmas again, and I haven't tallied my book sales for months. But I promise I'll get round to it before the 25th. The monthly cheques are still coming in, so I know somebody's buying them.

So what now? I hear you cry, with genuine interest. Well that all depends whether or not HarperCollins want to sign me up. If they do, then it's back to Europe, a million emails, more editing and start work on the next book. If they don't, then I'll self-publish Hunter and crack on regardless.

There's a certain freedom that comes with self-publishing. It's a little like owning your own pub (I don't think I need to elaborate on that one). Having said that, for your average Joe Bloggs to spend ten months writing when he could be working and earning decent money. It makes one wonder how they manage to do it. I know many self-published authors write in their free time and have day jobs, but Christ! Could you be arsed coming home after eight hours down the factory to decide whether to use a chainsaw or an axe on Mr Biggleton's head in chapter 7?

As for my next book. It's already drafted out (the synopsis that is). DS Liz Porteous - of Facebook Killer 3 fame - leads the way in Hunter and so she shall in the next novel, too. She's a little like me after gender reassignment surgery. Just that she doesn't smoke. Not yet anyway.

I've talked about it for a long time, but I'm definitely going to work on a collection of short, sharp, shocking stories, too. After I get back from the factory, that is. Stinking of fish. They're going to be totally self-indulgent. Stories and anecdotes from my past, carefully crafted into unreadable crap for the masses. Shit! I think E.L. James already beat me to that one.

Anyway loyal readers. I shall have to love you and leave you, as I think I need stitches.

Until I can be bothered to write another blog post, take care of yourselves and remember: Never trust a man with bleached hair and a big cigar.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ponderings of the Mind.

Imagine you've been sentenced to a year in prison for a crime you didn't commit. Not just prison, but solitary confinement. A box, with a window through which you never look. A window, on the other side of which life goes on as normal. Flowers bloom, wilt, then die. Your friends enjoy life and grow older. But you miss it all stuck in your little box.

Then imagine those twelve months served in total silence. Part of your punishment is to be strapped into a chair, staring at a headache-inducing light for ten hours of your waking being. When your daily chastisement is over, all you want to do is sleep, but you can still see that light. It plagues your dreams and its the first thing you see when you awake, unprepared, but resigned to the fact that you will be strapped into that chair again, and again and again.

There is no early release for good behaviour. You've started your sentence and you have to finish it. Every last day, hour and second.
Sounds pretty shit, doesn't it?

Well, for those of you that have never done it. That's what it's like to write a book. A solitary, silent vacuum in which your brain bleeds as it tries to create, conjure and perfect, attempting to juggle 26 little letters into an original and entertaining order. You spend ten hours writing something that can be read in ten minutes. Like a bridge which took twenty years to build, where ten men lost their lives, and you can drive over it in a minute, not even thinking about the million nuts and bolts which went into its construction, nor the blood, sweat and funerals.

I shy away from this ongoing debate regarding e-readers versus paper books. I find it a little like berating your grandfather for still listening to his gramophone when you bought the old bugger an I-pod for Christmas.
Does it really matter how the media is delivered? After all, it's still made up of the same million nuts and bolts.

And as for price. If an author has slogged his guts out, built his bridge, and wants to let people use it for free, then so be it, that's his choice. Or if that same author wants to install a toll for passage from A to B, start to end, then that, again, is his choice and his alone.

Okay, perhaps it does devalue the bridge, and maybe it does make other bridges look expensive, or their builders greedy. But at the end of the day, the free bridge will attract far more traffic.

The Amazon™ is a mighty, raging river, washing a lot of debris out to the Sea of Obscurity as it goes. And to those who are able to reach the other side safely. Well, I wish you all the luck in the world.

Best regards,

Twitter Rubbish - @AuthorMLStewart
E-Hate Mail -

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fifty Shades of Marketing.

Now, call me what you will, and say what you like about the 50 Shades series, but one thing emphatically can not be denied, and that is the marketing machine behind the books.

I'm currently, for my sins, still in Australia, and even here the bookshops are full of the stuff. Admittedly they are selling them off cheap now. In fact the refugees have abandoned the idea of coming from Indonesia on boats now. They're building rafts from 50 Shades books and rowing across. It's saving them a fortune...allegedly.

Anyway. This hyped-up media machine has got one thing wrong. Now, I know I'll be hounded down for this, and I probably shouldn't say it, BUT, I will anyway. The big mistake they made is pictured below...

 That's right. Her face, in my opinion, doesn't quite fit with the subject matter. I mean, she's a lovely looking woman and I'm sure she has a personality to match, but to be reading all this kinky sex action and have the image of the author at the back of your mind is a little ... well, a little off-putting, perhaps. Like opening a copy of Playboy and finding your mother spread across the centre pages.
Now, I am not being rude here, so calm down and put away your poison pen letters. I have oodles of respect for the dominatrix pictured above and I'm pleased for her newfound wealth. I just can't help thinking she should have gone the same route as myself, to remain a little more anonymous, maybe. Or, better still, to lie and use a double.


Now, the reason I can get away with saying this is because of my bio picture. When I published my first e-book I was warned not to scare the readers, having once been described as 'thugly', so I took heed and used a digitally altered photograph.
I see, amongst the slew of erotica now bombarding the world, there is an author called Anonymous. I like this approach. She's probably an eighteen-stone American gentleman with chronic skin disease, but we'll never know. He/she is an enigma. A Banksy. The person that stole my car in 2004 and never got caught....You get my drift? No?
Well, having just successfully slagged off the most successful author of all time, I'll move on to my little endeavours.
I've just been contacted by Israel's largest publishers, Kinneret, with an enquiry about purchasing the Hebrew tarnslation rights for the Facebook Killer series. Astonishing, I know. Strange? Perhaps a little. But I'll keep you updated. If anything happens I may even give away a few copies. Who knows? I'm sure I have followers who can read Hebrew. If not, it's quite an easy language to learn...if you plan to live until you're 310. I like the way they described my style as "Geurilla Publishing".
Apart from that, nothing! I'm just plodding away. 'Hunter' is up to 90,000 words, with around another 30,000 to go, and sales are okay, considering it's the slow season, at a steady 2,000+ per month. Nothing to bang on about really.
Well, that's it from me. I'm off to write an erotic novel now, involving a stallion and a Dutch woman in a wheelchair.
Regards, as ever,


Friday, August 3, 2012

Give a man a fish and he will feed himself for a day, give him a rod and he will sell it for beer money.

"A bit bloody dusty in here, innit?"

Shit. I just checked the date of my last blog entry. The first of June. So let me begin, even though I already have, by apologising for not motivating my lazy arse and letting my thousands of fans know what's going on in the f+cked up world of the ML Stewart monster.

As I mentioned on Twitter, I have been asked by HarperCollins UK to submit the full manuscript for my current book project "Hunter". This is on a strictly 'no promises' basis. In other words don't sue us for wasting your time if we think the book is shit.

One of HC's editors first contacted me earlier this year after reading The Facebook Killer (which she absolutely loved) and asked if I would consider writing a book for them. And so, after several emails, phone calls and storyline changes, I am now approaching 70,000 words of my latest novel, Hunter.

Set in London, it's the story of a serial killer whose horrific crimes were never rationalised, even though he was captured and is now imprisoned in the high security unit of Belmarsh Prison. When, twenty years later, another victim is found, mutilated in the exact same fashion, DS Liz Porteous is assigned the task of solving the riddle surrounding the original murders in a effort to stop the modern day body count rising.

If that sounded like a sales pitch, I'm sorry, it wasn't supposed to. I am writing Hunter in the same style as FBK. There are manic moments, dark (almost sadistic humour) and I defy anyone who eventually reads the book (whether it is published by HC or self-published) to work out the plot before I allow it.

One or two people have pointed out that FBK was a little two-dimensional, and my reply has always been - yes, it's supposed to be. You have one man and a laptop computer. That man's psyche becomes three, but they always belong to Dermott, and his apples, his victims, are just that. Victims. The reader doesn't need to know any more about them than what they give away on their Facebook page.

Hunter on the other hand delves much deeper. We learn a lot more about Liz Porteous, the serial killer's mind is opened up to us and, Edward King, a freelance journalist, makes a clumsy entrance to add to the storyline. But be warned, I do still indulge in moments of literary insanity.

As for book sales? Well [gets out the calculator] In a nutshell, I have sold (and given a few away) 81,384 books. Across the board I am currently selling a little over 1,000 books a month through Amazon, and around 1,700 per month via Smashwords, 99% of which go to Apple readers.
FBK 1 & 2 have been numbers 1 and 2 in the UK Apple Horror charts for over a year now, and are still fighting off the likes of Stephen King. FBK3 managed #17 in the Overall Apple Top 100, but that lesser known Fifty Ways To Beat Your Bitch opened the floodgates for an Erotifest and Apple buyers lost their minds, their principles and quite a lot of skin from their arse cheeks, too.

To be honest I rarely check my book sales nowadays, let alone the reviews. I just hammer away, day in day out on my next piece of work. I have a strict regime. Get up, read the paper online, drink horrendous amounts of tea until my kidneys scream, begin writing, smoke cigarettes until my lungs scream, move on to red wine until my liver screams, and keep writing until my characters scream.

I would just like to add that I have done no self-promotion whatsoever for almost five months now, and book sales have remained constant. It may be snobbery, but I now tend to look at the self-promo-prostitutes with an air of disdain...which, reminds me, I have a date with DS Porteous. It would be rude to keep her waiting.

Best regards,

Twitter Rubbish - @AuthorMLStewart
E-Hate Mail -

Friday, June 1, 2012

Life Imitating Art.

Straight out of the pages of The Facebook Killer...

The man in the latex mask: How BLACK serial armed robber disguised himself as a WHITE man to hold up betting shops

  • Henley Stephenson wore the disguise during a 12-year campaign of hold-ups at betting shops and other stores across London

Read more:

Friday, May 25, 2012

I'm Going To Prove That Even A Scumbag Like Me Can Write A Bestselling Book

Okay, here's the scenario. FBK3 has only been available to Apple buyers for 24 hours. It just entered the UK Top 100, and went straight into the Mystery & Thriller Charts at #22. I haven't done any self promotion, just a note here or there saying the book is available. As the Lord is my witness, I am going to knock the world's bestseller "Fifty Shades Of Porn" off the top of a chart...any chart, it doesn't matter. It's Christian Grey versus Dermott Madison time. The gloves are off, and I reckon Albert and Norman are going to lend a hand kicking that sick son of a bitch's arse off the number one spot.

I feel the world has had enough of 'mommy porn', it's time for violence and revenge to reenter the global arena. My book doesn't have a boring picture of a tie on its cover. NO! It has a laptop and a man with six arms. I haven't been on Breakfast Television or British radio parading my wares. NO! Because I don't need to. I know what the British book-reading public want, and it's not Fifty Shades Of Porn and a box of Kleenex, it's gratuitous violence, torture, and the incorrect use of semi colons.

Prepare for battle my friends and may the best man win!

Onwards and upwards,

Monday, April 23, 2012

M.L. Stewart Voted "Author Of The Week" By Upper Poppleton Model Aeroplane Club.

Well, since no one else is going to offer. Today, I have decided to interview myself.

MLS: So tell me, Mr. Stewart, when did you start writing?
ME: Do you mean today, or in my life?
MLS: In your life...twat!
ME: Well, if you discount the graffiti, and the ransom note for little Timmy Johnson's bicycle, I would have to say...I can't actually remember. I suppose my first attempt at a serious literary manuscript was during an O level English exam. My English teacher was a giant of a man, with a cumulonimbus hairstyle, and a well-educated, Etonian type voice. As part of my coursework, I had already written a horror story. I can't remember the exact plot, but I remember the villain being struck by lightning at the end. When he handed it back to me, I'd never seen so much red ink in my life. He had destroyed my work of art and marked it a FAIL. So, me being me, I decided to piss him off with my exam essay. I wrote it in the first person, and it was about a boy, stuck in an English exam without a clue what to write about. It was full of observations on what the other kids were doing, about the feelings of anxiety as the clock ticked away, and cloud head's squeaky left shoe. I never did finish the story, as the bell rang for the end of time, which I duly noted in my essay.  I received an A+ for that story. The equivalent of an early 5-star review, I suppose. And I never wrote a thing for the next ten years. Except for cheques and signing police bail forms.

MLS: In literary talent circles, you have been compared to Jeffrey Archer. In fact, I read that lately on this very blog.
ME: That's correct, and it's not something I'm particularly proud of. Archer's use of punctuation is too traditional for my liking, and he's too afraid to break basic grammar rules, unlike myself.

MLS: The Facebook Killer series has taken my Great Aunt Doris's Octogenarian's Reading Circle by storm. In fact, old Hector Postlethwaite dropped down dead after reading the part about the Bridgewater twins. Can you tell the sad person reading this blog what gave you the idea for such a ridiculous storyline?
ME: I actually stole the idea from the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, then reworked the theme so no one would notice. Instead of a flying car, I used a laptop computer. I changed the characters names too. Truly Scrumptious became Dermott Madison, and Jeremy & Jemima Potts became Albert and Norman. I dumped the musical score too, opting for torture instead. It's a much more family-friendly product than the original.

MLS: Did you know that when you Google FBK3 it comes up with a German vacuum cleaner bag?
ME: That was purely intentional. It's called cross marketing.

MLS: You've sold over two thousand copies of the Facebook Killer on Amazon alone this month...
ME: And fifteen vacuum cleaner bags!
MLS: ...where do you go from here?
ME: Well, I sent off my two synopses to HarperCollins and received a lovely email, from Princess Babutu Mahadi. I assume she's one of the editors. Anyway, her father, the King of Kobutoland, was killed in a horrific plane crash last year and I'm in negotiations with her to launder a billion dollars through my account. So the writing might have to go on the back burner while I travel the world on a flying carpet.

MLS: Have you considered writing a comedy?
ME: No.
MLS: Good!

MLS: A group of DJs were recently arrested in Wolverhampton for uploading music onto iTunes, then purchasing vast quantities with stolen credit cards, and pocketing the royalties. Do you think this happens in the book world?
ME: Undoubtedly! I think Stieg Larssssssssson is actually a mafia-backed money laundering scam. I don't think anyone has actually bought his books, apart from Don Mario Calabratti and his boys. It's definitely stolen credit cards that are keeping him at the top of the charts.

MLS: If you were Prime Minister, what changes would you make?
ME: Which country?
MLS: England, you knob!
ME: On environmental grounds I would immediately outlaw all petrol and diesel vehicles. The entire country would have to go electric, and the petrol stations would be replaced by Stella Artois stations. Obviously I would relax the drink driving laws at the same time. I would also overhaul the prison system. To save money I would introduce 23-hour suicide watch.

MLS: Do you think your reader has grown bored with this interview yet.
ME: Definitely.
MLS: Me too.

Below is a lovely post a reader place on the Amazon UK forum. The Amazon FBK thread

L. Brine says:
As an avid reader of many different genre of books (but thrillers/horrors by far my favourite) I was absolutely astounded by how much I enjoyed your Books The Facebook killer...It is by far some of the best books I have read in a very long time, and kept me glued to my kindle till silly o'clock in the morning because I just couldn't put it down, Having just finished part 3 of the series and loved the ending just depressed there are no more to read lol... I also saw that The Facebook Killer had been made into a film but I'm unable to find it or any information anywhere regarding this...Can anyone help please.... Just to say again you are and amazing author and I wish you well with your future writing and I look forward to reading more of your books.....

Thanks L, but I'm not going to reply, because authors aren't allowed to, and I don't want Adolf Amazon banning me from his site.

Well, that's about it for today. I'll keep you all updated about my dealings with the publisher and the Stella Artois stations. Until then....

Thank you my friends.
Best regards,

Twitter Rubbish - @AuthorMLStewart
E-Hate Mail -

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Should Have Got A Proper Job!

My latest book, which is currently up to 11,000 words (44 pages), is coming along nicely, but I can't tell you anything about it, because I have to keep it a secret until HarperCollins have read it. If they tell me to shove it up my jacksy, then I'll let you know what it's about (I can tell you it features a serial killer.)

On the subject of serial killers, I have a book at the moment entitled Without Conscience, The Disturbing World Of The Psychopaths Among Us, by Robert D Hare, Phd. Which is quite scientific but gives an excellent insight into behavioural patterns of the aforementioned.

The Facebook Killer series is still selling well, with over 2,000 sales in the past fortnight (Amazon & Apple) FBK3 is still not available for Apple readers because Smashwords informed me that chapters 22 and 38 did not have a Cnox. What the hell they mean by that, I don't know, but someone is on the case and I hope when FBK3 is eventually published it will rocket up to the number one spot. When I first self-published, I thought a book would have a lifespan of maybe two - three months, especially if it was selling well, and especially in the UK where the official number of ebook readers stands at 415. But I'm pleasantly surprised to see FBK1 is back in the Apple top 100 today, after eight months. Anyway, that's the trumpet full of saliva, so I'll put it down.

For me, today is a day to celebrate. Did I buy a new Ferrari? Another beachfront house? No. Nothing like that. Today I connected to an ADSL landline. Having spent years connecting to the internet via satellite, and spending embarrassing amounts of money in the process, I can now unashamedly enable pictures and not worry about a £20 top up only lasting an hour. I feel like a blind man who has been given the gift of sight, a deaf man who has received an iPod implant. To quote the famous song, I can see clearly now the white box with the little red cross in it has gone. I'm in picture heaven. I can Youtube to my heart's content, I can see how beautiful my Twitter followers really are and, more importantly, I now know what David Cameron looks like.

Which leads me on to a point. I will, one day in the future, embark on writing a book in the old style. It will be done without the use of any electronic apparatus. I'll research the story via libraries, telephone calls made from public phone boxes, and handwritten letters. The final book will be written on a typewriter, and published in 2042. It will be priced at five shillings and available exclusively from Woolworths.

As my diehard followers know, this blog began as an experiment for self-promotion. Little of which, if any, I have done lately, preferring to get on with writing books. When I published my first book, "The Sunday Club", ten months ago, I was part of a gaggle quacking on about our new releases. I've noticed since then most of those geese are still going on about the same book, whereas I've managed to write a further four since then [ML Stewart picks up trumpet]. Don't worry, it's still sopping wet. My point is, we can waste our time banging on about our books, or we can write a new one.

I've wasted enough of your time. I must finish this synopsis. Time's running out.

Thank you my friends.
Best regards,

Twitter Rubbish - @AuthorMLStewart
E-Hate Mail -

Monday, April 2, 2012

If You Have Absolutely Nothing Better To Do In Your Life ... Read This, Then Go Out And Find A Hobby You Might Enjoy.

For some reason my spellchecker keeps reverting back to its place of origin, U.S. So I apologize beforehand for any Zs that creep into today's blog.

So...where is the ML monster at the minute? I hear you cry, reaching for the large bottle of pills and vodka. Well, since you ask, I'll tell you. I'm in a very weird state of limbo. I've been writing solidly for almost two years, and now FBK3 is out, and I have to prepare the synopsis for my next book, I'm just kind of hanging around. The synopsis doesn't need to be submitted until later in the month, and I don't want to start writing another ebook before then. So I'm sort of thinking and twiddling at the moment.

As I wrote in my last blog, I would love the publishers to take the next book. But it seems strange already. As you know I work from one basic idea and model the plot and characters from there. An ebook can be as long or short as you like. So planning an entire book in advance has been a little weird, but enjoyable nevertheless. Having said that, the idea is absolutely brilliant, if I do say so myself. In fact it leaves me a little worried about my own imagination.

I actually have two books fully planned out. If the publishers take them, then they'll be incredible works of art. If they say "no, bugger off" then they will be hobbled-together ebooks like my readers love, and have grown to expect from me. Either way the readers win.

The Facebook Killer: Parts 1,2 & 3 are all in the Amazon Top 20 of Horror. Part 2 is actually now outselling Part 1 at around 60 copies a day. 1 & 2 are still in the Apple Top 100 and FBK3 is still going through the publishing process, but will hopefully take the Number One slot again when it's eventually Apple-ized.

I telephoned Spain last week, and my villa is still there, as is Rooney the cactus. I feel like an absent father. Apparently he has grown two extra needles in my absence and I wasn't even there to witness it.

I've decided to apply to take part in the next series of the UK's Dragons' Den. I'm going to pretend to have invented a revolutionary new machinegun. Obviously the Dragons will take the piss out of me when they realise it's the same as any other machinegun, but that's when I'll steal their huge piles of money, leaving them with zero equity. I can just see it now. When I get back downstairs in my ski mask, Britain's strangest-looking television presenter will say to me, "So, M.L, it seemed to go pretty well up there, and you got all the money you came for. Well done."

On the subject of Dragons' Den, I've written the basis for a literary version. The panel of investors would be publishers, a rich author, and me, of course. Then wannabe authors would turn up and pitch their book. I would be a little like Duncan Ballantyne and never invest, just pull stupid faces and yawn a lot. But I think it would be a hit show. You would have to explain why your book is different from anyone else's, so the authors of vampire books would immediately get a hard time from JK Rowling. Me? I'd just yawn and pull a face. You would have to bring your own desk to the studio, and dress in the exact same manner as when you write. Can you imagine? You would have thriller writers in their underwear, a bottle of whisky in front of them and a full ashtray, romance authors with a cat on their lap and a cup of decaf, and a science fiction writer wearing his Darth Vader suit whilst surrounded by his inspirational army of galactic characters.

Am I rambling again? Yes I am. Sorry. Anyway, I must get back to the synopsification of my future books. And I know what you're all thinking. You, ML, are a little like Van Gogh. You won't be famous until you're dead...and I can't wait.

Best regards,

Twitter Rubbish - @AuthorMLStewart
E-Hate Mail -

Friday, March 30, 2012

Well, that's it done. All 420 pages of it. Finished, complete, and published. "The Facebook Killer: Part 3 - The Finale" is officially available here ► FBK3 for only 99 pence. I figured if I kept the price down it might sell well and generate even more interest in parts 1 and 2, which are still in the Apple Overall Top 100 after seven months. Let's see.

If you are one of the handful of people who have already bought it (i.e. before Friday 30th March. What you have in fact purchased was the formatting test, which was live for only a couple of hours. It does contain a couple of errors requiring correction, so please return it, then email Amazon customer service and they will send you the final version. I think there were only about twenty people sneaked in there under cover of darkness. That's why I made the official release date Sunday, 1st April.) Okay. That's the disclaimer over and done with. What happens next? Well, I'll tell you...

I've been asked to send a synopsis for my next book to a lovely editor at HarperCollins UK. Will it be accepted? Will I get a book deal after all these months of mental anguish, misspelling and incorrect use of semi-colons-and-hyphens-;;? Who knows? Am I excited? Yes, of course. Did I send a synopsis off the next day, followed by a barrage of emails asking if they had read it yet and where is my multimillion-pound cheque? No. Am I lying awake at night dreaming of red carpets, movie premieres and telling anyone who'll listen that my book would be a much better film than the Starvation Games? No. And why not? Because I'm a realist. The world of the author is like any other. It's a tough business. It's not just talent or ideas. It's about slogging away, day after day. A commitment to something you love, and a desire to progress; to learn the difference between a semi-colon and an anal irrigation procedure. Would I like to see my books on the shelves of W.H. Smith instead of Amazon's bargain bin? Bloody right I would...(Is it a crime to shoplift your own book?)

I'm currently 13% of the way to meeting my goal of delivering 500,000 books to the unsuspecting public by the end of this year. The tally sits at just over 65,000 books so far. For my Apple readers, FBK3 should be available in a week or so on your expensive reading devices.

It's now 1:00 a.m. in Australia so I must say goodnight, until we meet again.

Best regards,

Twitter Rubbish - @AuthorMLStewart
E-Hate Mail -

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Facebook Killer: Part 3 - The Finale.

Here's the second draft of chapter one. The 420-page book (105,000+ words) will be available on Kindle by the weekend (1st April) and available to Apple readers the following weekend.

The Facebook Killer: Part 3

Seven years they kept Albert and I in that asylum. Seven whole fucking years. Can you believe it?  Eighty-four months of listening to Twinkle, twinkle, little star. Two thousand, three hundred and fifty-five days and nights with nothing to do except taunt our next-door neighbour. Over sixty-one thousand hours to sit and think about what we'd done, think about Laura and Anna waiting for me in our house in the clouds. Seven years being called Norman, or Mr. Johnson, all because I had that damned passport in my pocket.
The lines had become so blurred and Albert had become the biggest pain in the arse imaginable. I didn't know who I was any more. Like when you constantly tell a child they're worthless. They inevitably grow up believing it, and that's how I felt. I had grown up to be Norman. Only our neighbour knew the truth. Only that bastard knew the real me.
But do you know the worst part? Well, I'll tell you. It was the day they inserted that big old iron key into the lock of Abdul Hamid's cell door.
Albert and I listened in silence. It wasn’t mealtime and it certainly wasn’t evaluation day. That was always the last Sunday of each month. We could hear the mechanism creaking as it turned, the rattle of cogs engaging. What was going on? Why were they opening his door?
We should have realised earlier. The clues had been there. He'd been receiving more frequent treatment. His reaction to Albert’s singing had decreased gradually over the recent months, the screams and head banging giving way to mere whimpers, then silence, and then the worst of all. The laughter. The bastard started laughing when we sang. Fucking laughing! At us! 
That was the day they declared that little bastard Abdul Hamid no longer a danger to himself or others. That was the day the birds stopped singing in the trees, the day our long lost friend returned. Mr. Rage.

It wasn’t supposed to be like that. It was supposed to be forever. Jesus Christ, we'd failed all those evaluations on purpose just to stay in that god-forsaken place, next to him. And then one day they decide to just let the bastard out. Where was the justice in that?
Eventually, we got a new neighbour but he wasn’t half as much fun. Ronald he was called, Ronald Hughes. They locked him up after he tried to commit suicide by lying on a disused railway line for two days. Apparently a woman walking her dog found him suffering from hypothermia. Now that is one mental bastard.
No, it wasn’t the same when they set Hamid free. It felt like Albert and I were being punished instead. I'll never forget the day they let him out. It was a Monday in January. As he walked past our cell door he stopped, tapping lightly on the steel. Albert and I put our ears to the cold metal. “Dermott,” he whispered, “It’s been a pleasure, Dermott, but your daughter was much better company. I hope they keep you in here forever, you fucking maniac.”

Chapter 1.

Our evaluating psychiatrist was a chap by the name of Wilson. An anorexic-looking man with jam jar spectacles, framed by a mop of sandy hair and a ginger beard. He reminded Albert of a meerkat, but I just hated his fucking guts.
We'd met with this man eighty-four times before. Each session lasted two hours and it was almost always the same damned questions. But this time would be different. It had to be. We no longer belonged in that place. We had to get out.
Wilson thumbed through our brown manila file as we sat, arms strapped to the chair. The room had once been painted white, but was grubby now and the paint peeled from the damp corners. Bright fluorescent strip lights buzzed and occasionally flickered overhead. The meerkat sat behind a large metal desk, which was bolted to the floor.
“So, Norman,” he began, “ we're now entering your eighth year of incarceration.” Like we didn’t bloody realise. “So, tell me, are you still having thoughts of murder, self-harm or suicide?”
“No. Nothing whatsoever. In fact we've been... I mean, I've been considering doing the Lord’s work when I get out of here.”
“The Lord’s work? Interesting. Tell me, how is Albert?”
“Albert. Your friend.”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Wilson, but I don’t have the faintest idea what you’re talking about.”
More paper shuffling.
“According to our records, Norman, since your arrival here it appears you've been suffering a distinct case of split-personality disorder. In fact, looking at some of your previous evaluations, you have clearly stated that you are not in fact Norman Johnson but Dermott Madison, or, on occasion, Albert Wallis. Do you recollect these sessions?”
“I have no recollection of them whatsoever, Mr. Wilson. It sounds like the ranting of a madman if you ask me.”
“We prefer to avoid using that phrase in this hospital, Mr.... Johnson. Now, I'm going to ask you a series of questions...”
And so, we went through it all again. The only difference being, this time we had to get out of there. We had to lie.
“Is your name Dermott Madison?”
"Would you be so kind as to tell me your full name?"
"Norman, Norman Johnson. That's with one Norman, not two."
“Do you know where you are, Mr. Johnson?”
“Yes I do.”
“Would you like to tell me?”
“Oakland psychiatric hospital.”
“And do you know why you're here?”
“And why's that?”
“I'm told I suffered some sort of breakdown.”
“Can I speak with Albert?”
“Albert Wallis.”
Shut up Albert. Just shut the fuck up or you’re going to mess things up here. We agreed, I’m going to do it this time.
“Never heard of him!”
“Mr. Johnson, during our last interview together, you said if you were ever released from this facility you would, and I quote, kill the first person I see and eat them for breakfast.” The meerkat just stared at us.
“That was Albert.”
“But you just told me...”
Jesus, I couldn’t stop him. He flew across that table like a fucking maniac, and after everything we’d discussed. I tried to stop him, as God is my witness I tried, but it had him. I was helpless. Our old friend was too powerful. I felt physically sick when Albert sunk his teeth into that poor man’s ear. His screams almost deafened me. I tried to pull Albert off him but the rage was too powerful. It was feeding him like a drug he'd craved for these past seven years. He was like a wild dog, a wolf, a  bloody rabid wolf.
Well, that wolf cost us another three years of our freedom.
We were transferred to Rampton high-security hospital, near Nottingham. Manacled like some piece-of-shit murderer on death row, they threw me into a cage for the long journey north. I was forced to wear my burns mask for the first time in years. Albert and I didn’t speak throughout the whole trip. To tell you the truth I slept most of the way, missing my chance to see the real world again. I still couldn’t believe what he’d done. We were so close, so bloody close.
My parents took me to Dartmoor once when I was a little boy. We drove up onto the moors. My father wanted to see the prison. I remember there was a misty rain and it was windy. Jesus Christ, I'd never seen such a frightening looking place before. It was like a gigantic haunted house stuck out in the middle of nowhere. Its chimneys stretched skywards like huge stone fingers. When I thought about the sort of people who were living in there, I got really scared and started to cry. I remember my mother picking me up in her arms and telling me not to be afraid. “They can't get out,” she said, reassuringly.
As we drove through the security points and passed beyond the high metal fences into Rampton, my mother's words echoed in my ears.
Albert breathed a sigh of relief when he realised this was no Dartmoor. Quite the opposite in fact, the brick built property looked like a small stately home. It maybe had been at one time, but we never asked.
As we approached the entrance, Albert and I glanced around at our new surroundings. Nothing but car parks and high fences, topped with razor wire. “They can’t get out,” said Mother.
A Dr. Harvey, head of psychiatry, met us at the entrance. He was probably about Dermott’s age and had obviously been a child of the revolution. He had a grey beard and matching curly hair, he wore spectacles that were probably purchased back in the seventies and dressed like he was about to do a spot of gardening. No white coat and no waiting straitjacket.
Our ankles had to remain manacled during the “induction process and evaluation,” but they took off the handcuffs. It was procedure, the gardener told us.
He had our file from Oakland open on the table. We sat in silence for fifteen minutes. The gardener read. The male nurse, built like a brick shit house, stood guard at the door. Albert and I just waited.
Finally he closed the file, pushed his antique spectacles up on his nose and clasped his hands as though in prayer.
“Well, gentlemen," he began. Gentlemen? Albert and I looked at each other. What the fuck? “Which one of you is in charge?” he asked. Silence. “Mr. Johnson, please raise your hand,” I raised my right hand in the air. “Now, Mr. Wallis, please raise your hand.”
Jesus Christ Almighty, I had to hold my left arm by my side, it was shaking, I clasped it with my free hand.
“Just as I thought,” said the gardener; “Your file says you suffered a traumatic period in your life several years ago, Mr. Johnson. Would you like to talk about it?”
Don't tell him shit, whispered Albert.
“Not really,” I replied.
“Mr. Johnson, there are two ways of life in this hospital, the easy way and the indefinite way. Let me make myself clearer, we have patients in here who range from murderers to members of the public with severe learning disabilities. You, sir, are midrange. You obviously have a classic split-personality disorder. Now, you can cooperate with us, you can take the medications we provide and include yourself in our therapy classes, or you can deny the fact and remain in here until you're deemed, if ever, to be fit for release. The choice is yours.”
Take it, said Albert.
Take the easy one. Let’s just get the fuck out of here.
“If you think discussing my past will help, then I think that’s the course of action we should follow, Dr. Gardener,” I said.
“It’s Doctor Harvey.”
“It’s all right, you’re new here. Before we talk about that, I need you to answer some questions, so as we can ascertain whether to remove your ankle restraints.”
Looking good, whispered Albert.
“Firstly, do you feel that you're here as a prisoner or a patient?”
B, B, B, said the whisper.
“As a patient.”
“How would you describe your emotional state at this moment? Angry, frightened or hopeful?”
The last one. Tell him hopeful.
“I feel hopeful.”
“Very good. Now, tell me, Mr. Johnson, are you currently hearing any voices or whispers, which you cannot explain. Perhaps telling you to do things?”
“Currently? No, nothing.”
“Okay, moving along. The reason you were transferred to this hospital is because you attacked a doctor in Oakland. Do you remember that, Mr. Johnson?”
Oh Oh. What are we gonna say now?
“Mr. Johnson?”
It was at that moment my left hand raised into the air, “It wasn’t him doctor, it was me.”
“And you are?”
            “Albert Wallis, sir, at your service.”

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

ML Stewart Found Dead In A Pile Of His Own Words.

Not content with lowering himself to cleaning prison toilets with a toothbrush, little known author and mass murderer Jeffrey Archer has sunk to a new low. Interviewed on Australian radio channel, Triple M, at the weekend, he revealed how he has stolen world-renowned literary genius ML Stewart's formula for writing.

Talking to a fat sounding presenter with a strange accent and penchant for sausages and beer, Mr. Archer claimed he was a free-flow (©MLS) writer.

"When I begin to write a book," MLS misquoted him as saying, "I only ever have the start and nothing more, no middle or end. If I don't know what's coming next," he continued in a posh accent, "then how can the reader?"

"Isn't that a bit of a rip off," asked the sausage-muncher. "A bit like everyone's favourite, ML Stewart?"

"Never heard of him," replied the criminally insane Archer, as he squirmed in his seat.

Archer (known in certain circles as the angel of death) continued rambling on about his pilfered method of writing, but was lost for words when the fat man pointed out the similarity between the great author's work and Archer's: The use of identical punctuation, and quotation marks when the character enters and exits dialogue. The jailbird audibly cringed when it was pointed out that chapter numbers, used by both authors, matched exactly, and denied plagiarism of the entire sentence "The End," not to mention Archer's use of a book cover with pictures to attract the reader's eye, an idea not too dissimilar to that used by Stewart.

A spokesman for ML Stewart said, "Piss off, I've already got double glazing," and hung up.

Wannabe author, Mr. Archer (Prisoner 66548747) released a statement via his literary agent, Myra Hindley, which read, "Accusations have been brought to my attention that my client, Jeffrey "Jeff the blag" Archer, has stolen the intellectual property of ML Stewart. My client refutes this in the poshest way possible."

A full copy of the 320-page denial is available from all major bookshops priced ₤29.99.


That's true actually, well, not the whole thing, but the bit about cleaning the floor with a toothbrush is.

Sales figures are in for 2012. The MLS readership (excluding pirate copies, the bastards!) stands at 62,095 after six months. In January and February Amazon gave away 7,509 books and sold 3,151. Apple sold 3,650 books (mainly FBK 1 and 2) So actual cash sales for the first two months = 6,801. Payment is expected in 2029.

I have two predictions. The first is that the film adaptation of Eric Lomax's "The Railway Man" starring Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz will win every Oscar known to mankind. I read this book many years ago, before I went blind, and I have actually met the author. An amazing story from an amazing man. The story of a real prisoner, unlike Archer the book thief.

My second prediction regards things happening in threes. First we had the grounding and subsequent sinking of the Costa Concordia, now we have the Costa Allegra deciding to self-combust in the middle of nowhere. The Costa Grande Holiday will be next, it will break up in rough seas somewhere. Watch this space. If and when it does happen, I'll explain why.

FBK 3, or (the Facebook Killer: Part 3) if you're a search engine, is now over 200 pages in length and about eight inches wide. It's almost as long as FBK1 but still only halfway through the story. It is the end of the Facebook Killer legend and I am sure it won't disappoint. It is written, primarily, with two fingers and each chapter accomodates approximately three glasses of red wine and ten cigarettes.

I hope to have FBK3 published in about three weeks, but this can't be guaranteed as there is a shortage of red wine in Australia at the moment, but once the situation is rectified normal service will be resumed.

Well virtual friends out there in liquid crystal display land, it's time for me to get back to my hungry family: Dermott, Albert and Norman.

Best regards,

Twitter Rubbish - @AuthorMLStewart
E-Hate Mail -

Friday, February 10, 2012

Today's Nonsensical Ramblings From The Mind Of ML Stewart

Global warming? My arse!
Europe's cold enough to kill a herd of wooly mammoths wearing spacesuits and Australia's summer is wet, flooded and not exactly summer at all.

As of three o'clock, Sydney Opera House Time, my readership is sitting at 57,415 people. Since nothing really happened until September, 2011. That averages about 11,500 readers per month.

The figure is actually higher than this, but I won't know my Apple sales until the end of March. 49,000 readers are via Amazon, the other 8,000+ are buying through Smashwords distribution channels.

January has seen the best Amazon sales to date, with over 7,000 sales (and giveaways, of course.) The final cheque, when the bloody pigeon actually delivers it, via Africa, will be around ₤1,400 or $2,800 US.

Now, as I stalk certain forums in the middle of the night, I notice a lot of new authors asking, can you actually make a living from self-publishing? Well, if I were to buy a tin shack in the mudslide regions of the Philippines and grow my own potato (singular) using local dog poo as a fertilizer (and dessert), then the answer would obviously be yes.

However, if you are a parent of twenty-nine children, with a former National Express coach as your runaround, a serious cocaine habit, and an addiction to caviar and truffle smoothies, then basically, the answer is ... bouncing around somewhere in a large tunnel beneath the Swiss - French border, inside the Large Hadron Collider.

Now, if I was back home in Spain I could certainly live well from my book royalties. I have no mortgage, I steal my electricity from a blind neighbour's supply, and I send the local orphans out to shoplift my weekly supplies. Life is good. But here in Australia, well, that's a different story altogether. The orphans have organised themselves into drug cartels and don't show the slightest interest in hardcore grocery theft anymore. Electricity is so expensive that all the neighbours have been cut off and rely solely on one form of activity for heating, fighting off the bailiffs. I kid you not. Since the day I moved in, I was convinced my closest neighbour was morbidly obese. I would only ever see him on a Sunday, looking like a walking Space Hopper. It turns out that's the day he does his laundry, apparently, he wears every item of clothing he owns and waddles up to the closest car wash. He uses the basic wash cycle (no wax, polish or wheel buffing) and gets his laundry done for $2. Sadly, he lost an eye last week. And the manager is still refusing him a refund.

Where was I? Oh, yes. Can you actually make a living from self-publishing? I think, if you have the imagination, the commitment, and a blind neighbour, then yes, you can.
I have just spent a week re-editing my first book, The Sunday Club and, my God, there were some howlers in there. But the story's a cracker, so I still managed a 4 and 5-star review. When I first self-published, last July / August, I didn't have a clue about grammar, sentence structure, formatting or semi colons. But I have learnt the hard way. I've studied long and hard, re-edited all the books, and now I'm making a couple of quid out of them. If I went back to Spain now, I could easily live off the earnings. Albeit a little less extravagantly than I normally do, but it could be done (If I recruited new orphans for the wine and cigarette runs, that is.) But I won't, and do you know why? Commitment, that's why. Pure and simple, unadulterated commitment to being in Australia to attend the Formula 1 Grand Prix.

With regards to the latest book, The United Kingdom of Islam, there is a small discussion going on over in the Mobilereads forum as to whether a non-Muslim author should be allowed to write about Sharia law. I write about serial killers, but at the last count my personal death toll was zero. UKI's lead character is a girl, but the last time I checked ... You get where I'm coming from, I'm sure.

Anyway, I have to go. FBK3 won't finish itself.

Best regards,

Maybe I should have let these guys write the book. (Daily Mail online - today)

Muslim fanatics who called for execution of gays and wanted to set up a 'medieval state' under Sharia law in Derby are jailed for up to two years

Twitter: @AuthorMLStewart