Blog of Laurence Donaghy

Fantasy Word Dizzy

So, weird. Now when I google my own name it doesn't just bring up restraining orders and court injunctions. Now it brings up an page with my book available for sale on it.

We use the phrase "dream come true" all the time and better writers than me - C.S. Lewis, the venerable Sir Terry Pratchett (doffs cap) - have pointed out that we toss that phase about with reckless abandon, and that if dreams really did come true we'd all be being chased down streets by giant pairs of scissors or a hungry wardrobe from our bedroom when we were kids, where the knots of wood on the front made an evil face leering at you in the dark. What we really mean when we say dreams are daydreams; little fantasies where we're in control and nothing untoward happens, i.e. your teeth don't fall out and grow little legs and then start speaking in your uncle's voice while a giant ball of hair on legs is out to get you.

Exciting New Racing Game Set To Be Released!

Smicks everywhere are frothing at the mouth to get hold of what's sure to the year's biggest game release. Thousands of pre-shoplifting orders have been registered in Game in the Park Centre for "Aye, Yer Mario Kart".

Bedraggled Game staffmembers said "it'll be sure to vanish off the shelves (literally) faster than anything since Super Playground Wrecker 3".

The game, set in the housing estates of West Belfast, is an edge-of-the-seat racing extravaganza with an eagerly anticipated "Career Mode". Players can choose one of the game's two main characters destined to enter the gaming lexicon in the same breath as Sonic the Hedgehog or Solid Snake.

Might as well face it, we’re addicted to snuff

Not the powdery tobacco-y thing that Victorians used to sniff when they weren’t invading the Congo and repressing their sexualities, of course. I’m talking about death, or more specifically celebrity deaths and the culture of wallowing around in them like grief-hippos with tusks made from the ivory of vicarious remorse.

(Don’t you love it when you type a sentence and you’re quite sure that the combination of words has never, ever been typed by anyone else in the history of the world? Anyway…)

How Scary Am I

If I may address my fellow males for a moment. Generally speaking, the title of this piece is not something we ask ourselves too often. When we’re young and preparing for a night on the touch and preening ourselves in the mirror, ominous is, by and large, not amongst the list of adjectives we wish to leap to mind when we behold ourselves there.

A few years ago, working in a callcentre, HR guidance was distributed with its usual soul-pulverising inevitability. Strikingly for something distributed in December in a callcentre, this particular piece wasn’t called For the love of Jesus don’t cop off with someone from work at the Christmas do.

This one - Personal Safety – contained the usual stunningly obvious snippets – avoid dark alleys, don’t have a wee on ancient Indian burial grounds, that sort of thing.

Here is the Shipping Forecast

There are certain things in this world I will never understand. The appeal of personalised number plates. Why we have to be so damn exact about everything when telling people about a new baby in the family. Try telling an auntie that the kid was born “around six or half six-ish” and its weight was “pretty heavy” and see what happens.

Another thing that baffles me, truly and genuinely baffles me, concerns fan fiction. I love fan fiction. I wrote my first piece of fan fiction when I was ten and at that point I didn’t even know enough to call it fan fiction. It was just something that I had to get out, I had to do. It was a Doctor Who story were the Daleks battled the Cybermen (how stultifyingly original, I know) and then about halfway through it – being ten, remember – I threw in Indiana Jones and the Ark of the Covenant for good measure. Five years later, I was trying and trying to come up with an original idea for a story and then, and I shall never forget this moment, I actually said very loudly “bollocks to it” and I wroteMaelstrom, a story where the Enterprise and the Millennium Falcon end up in orbit over Earth and then Death from the Discworld shows up and the xenomorphs from Alien and Indiana Jones (again) and Ace Ventura has a cameo and-

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