Okay hush up back there.

Cool it. We’re reviewing the past three months cos that’s what we do in a corporate setting at this time of year.

And – if you’ve been paying any attention – you’ll know that Danny Bird, Caz, Ali, The ASBO Twins and I are very much a corporate entity.

A sort of MarqCo if you will <emails lawyers to get MarqCo copyrighted>

So: how’s it been for you?

I mean, seriously: how’s it been for you?

Yeah, I imagine I’m in a Similar Space: The world is fucked up, and here we sit, trying to figure out where we go, or what actually matters.

Well, I think what matters is that we’re here, and that we’re going to keep battling – whatever happens – to stay here in a world where difference is a thing to be celebrated, not feared, where community is about gathering together the whole tribe and figuring out collectively where we wanna be going, and where the ultimate crime is hurting the innocent.

Lots of Danny stories involve hurting people who are far from innocent, but as the repercussions slam outwards, it becomes obvious in the books that a crime against one of us is, basically, a crime against all.

Which brings us to Death of an Angel: Who Is innocent? Who is guilty and what – quite frankly – the fuck is going on? This is my most complex plot, my most personal one, and my most heartbreaking story yet.

I cried several times while I wrote it and in the few weeks since it’s been released it’s had brilliant reviews and feedback that’s made me happy as can be.

And – in Q1 – while Death of an Angel has been making waves, smiles, tears and all ‘round impact – I’ve not been sitting on my widening arse.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been reading books, listening to music, going to theatre, gigs, movies and all around living.

So what stands out for me in 19Q1?

I’m glad you asked.


Twisted” by JT Le Beau (aka Steve Cavanagh) is one of those books you cant actually believe got past the gatekeepers: Colvoluted, Self- (and genre) – referential, and too humorously adoring its own insanity. And yet, it’s a page turner that makes you love it even as – every few pages – you go “Get the fuck out of here!” I adored it.

Dead is Beautiful” by Jo Perry. I’ve discussed this previously on my blog. Suffice it to say this is a book for anyone who has ever wanted to see a rightwing shitehawk set upon by a crazed raptor. Also perfect for fans of dogs, ghhosts, Dirk Gently, Douglas Adams, humanity or Beverly Fucking Hills.


Leave to Remain.” Musical theatre makes me cry all the time, but it rarely makes me sob, choke up a week – let alone a month – later, go to war with friends about the use of the score as a means of seduction and genuinely feel I’ve seen art that hit my soul. Leave To Remain – the story of an Anglo-Nigerian man with intimacy issues marrying an American man with substance (not to say intimacy) issues of his own, and of their families* is possibly going to be one of my ‘I remember this’ pieces all year.

(*and you know how I love a family piece)

Pirates of Penzance”. All Male production of the G&S old timer. At Wiltons Music Hall – the oldest working Music Hall in London. It was in a beautiful venue. Performed beautifully by beautiful young men who had been beautifully choreographed and I got to see it with beautiful friends. Nuff said.


I love music, and most of my time this quarter was spent listening to music from last year. Top of the list (and likely top for the whole year at this rate) is “A real good kid” by Mike Posner. Not someone I have a long history with, but proof again that a piece of work that comes from the heart can actually break hearts. Posner lost a parent, a best friend and a relationship in a year and wrote an album that’s filled with songs about what it means to be a man, a son, a friend, and alone. And I may have developed serious crush on him as a result.

Also on my playlist this Quarter was “Social Media” by pet shop boys. Words fail me when it comes to how cleanly the kings of social observation skewered the phenomenon on their song.

Unapologetically ep by Monet x Change openly references Sylvester Beyonce and Janet Jackson and is fucking fierce. I’m watching Ms Change.

Chaka Khan’s ‘Happiness” album, Troye Sivan’s “I’m so tired” (w/ Lauv), Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s orchestral revisitation of her back catalogue on “The Song Diaries,” and Will Young’s return on “All the songs” rounded out my Noises I can’t live without Q1.


I went with my besties (including a certain black sleek dog who will be familiar to anyone who’s read Death of an Angel) to Suffolk. We lived in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere, went to the pub, eyed each other up when the piano stopped, then went to visit a fabulous country house and meet up with an old and much loved mate we hadn’t seen in ages in a restaurant that we were convinced was a money-laundering operation for the Moscow Mafia.

All of which is mysterious, and made more mysterious by the fact that part -if not all – of the trip was a research trip for the next Danny, which has been pitched to the publisher as “Danny does to Christie what the Luftwaffe did to Coventry.”
I am currently concerned by both the pitch and the speed at which they said yes, but even more concerned at the spreadsheets, post-it notes, photos, National Trust leaflets and random words (“Gerald!” “Debutante,” “Wedding dress,” “Peter Fucking Grimes” and “Shit happens in a pantomime horse”) that currently constitutes my next book.

Ah well: Onwards to Q2.

Have fun, Marquies!


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