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Jack Samsonite – The Movie

When my first book came out I didn’t bother with a book trailer, mostly because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I have learned a lot since then. I now know that I will never know what the hell I am doing, so I shouldn’t let that stop me. That is why I went and made a book trailer for my new book (One Seriously Messed-Up Week-End in the Otherwise Un-Messed-Up Life of Jack Samsonite, published 7th March 2013, in case you’re wondering). It is also the reason that it’s only 12 seconds long.

Have a look!



{a little glimpse} #2

{a little glimpse} - a single sketch, photograph or work in progress.

Inspired by Cupcakesforclara 


No.2 (Part 1)

I have my 2nd book coming out this year. Having a 2nd book coming out is exactly like having a baby coming out. Only less painful. I guess. And you don’t have to feed it. And… Okay, having a book coming out is NOTHING like having a baby coming out. But it is a bit like pooing out a really cute kitten that may or may not come out as a zombie – it’s really crazy exciting, but I’m also really scared that it might totally turn round and bite me on my bottom.

I now understand the ‘second _______ syndrome’ completely. There is a lot of pressure, and the more you focus on the pressure the worse your work is, so you try to ignore the pressure, but then you worry that you’ve been ignoring the pressure too much, and you’re not trying hard enough, (in a ‘hey, I’ve already been published, I can write any old crap I want, because I’m king of the wooorld!’), so, to avoid feeling like king of the wolrd, you begin to listen to some of that pressure, and by then you’re not sure if it’s you writing or the pressure writing, or what the hell you’re even doing at all, and then you suddenly realise why 99% of all sequels made are completely crap – they either try too hard or don’t try hard enough, when in fact they shouldn’t even be thinking about trying, they should just be making the best ______ they know how to.

I did have loads more to ramble about, and I may have eventually made some kind of point, but I’m worried that human brains can only withstand so much of my mind-poo at a time, and now seems like a good time to stop, so I’ll save the rest for another time.

(Cliff hanger writing at its best huh?)


{a little glimpse}

This post, (the first in a series, which forces my doodles upon you all), was originally titled ‘When You Run Out of Words’, but then my lady-wife began this thing called {a little glimpse}, which, coincidentally is designed to showcase your doodles, sketches, work in progress stuff etc.

So here it is…

The Boy With a Pan on His Head.

The end.


Ask Jack

Ever wanted to have a conversation with a fictional character? Imagine if you could ask Gandalf what his favourite flavour jelly is, or if you could ask Batman how he felt about being in Batman and Robin, or if you could ask Hermione and Harry if they wish they’d ever gotten it on?

Well, now’s your chance to do a really much less exciting version of all of those things! Yes, Jack Samsonite will soon be appearing in an exclusive interview (not for this blog, but more on where at a later date), and there is an opening for a few guest questions. So if there is anything you fancy talking to Jack about, anything - about his personal life, about why he writes his stupidly long diaries, about his latest messed-up weekend… anything – then send a question this way before next Monday (Jan 28 2013). Your question can be in the comment box below, as an email via the contact me page, or even as a tweet or a facebook comment. Just get it to me by next week for a chance to be included in the interview.

Happy question thinking!


Have fun, be creative,


Here’s The Pitch

‘Here’s the Pitch’ is a post inspired by a twitter conversation between Viv from and Andrew Hall from pewterwolf

Viv wrote this tweet:

Been asked to come up with some ideas for a script about zombies. You know how that pains me Twitter. #hateszombies
Vivienne Dacosta

Andrew wrote this reply:

@ zombies? Dull. Do something you like. Zombie unicorns or whatnot....
Andrew Hall

Then I thought this:

And then my brain wouldn’t leave me alone until I’d written this down…

Title: Bunheads of the Dead

The hook: Zombies do ballet (what’s not to like?!)

The pitch: The war against the undead has been dragged out for far too long. People have tired of it. Most of the population are at war, the remainder (those too feeble to pick up a weapon) are left to run the country. Electricity is on its way out. Supermarkets are gone. And luxuries of the soul, like entertainment, are all but a distant memory. Worldwide morale is at an all time low. Until… Bernard Hopwell MP (Basingstoke) comes up with a jolly splendid idea!

“If we can’t beat them, we can certainly utilise some of their slower and more feeble ones in our factories, power stations entertainment industry.”

Bring on the Shufflers. ‘The Shufflers’ are what is left of the first generation of the zombie uprising. Unlike the newly evolved ‘Sprinter’ breed, the shufflers are now considered to be, in Bernard Hopwell’s words, ‘relatively harmless, (if managed from a distance and fitted with the appropriate muzzles and leashes).’

With TV and radio once again up and running, Zombies are soon the stars of every show. But before long the nation begins to tire of crass fodder like ‘The Z-Factor’, ‘Zombie Wipeout’, and ‘The Weakest Limb’ and a yearning for culture becomes an insatiable thirst – a thirst that only two people can quench…

Margot Hetfield and Dorothy Bainbridge, formerly of the Women’s Institute, have never produced a ballet before. Nor have they ever had creative control over three dozen zombies. So, when they are entrusted with the task of helming a full scale production of Swan Lake With Zombies they are faced with somewhat of a challenge. Nonetheless, they give it everything they’ve got (with varying degrees of success).

Most quotable line: Margot (picking fallen limbs from the stage) – “It’s useless, Dorothy! Useless! That was our third prima ballerina I’ve shot in the head this month!”

Anyone wishing to pay me large quantities of money to develop this idea… is an idiot.


Discover What You’ve Been Missing

I’ve been looking around the world of blogs, seeing what there is to see, and can report that, despite the wealth of talent and the never ending fountain of information they provide, I was sadly left feeling a little empty inside, unfulfilled, as if the blogosphere were missing some vital ingredient required to further the existence of the human species. Luckily for all of us I have managed to put my finger on what exactly that missing ingredient is, and I am about to share it with you all…

My Top 5 Favourite Toilet Papers

The strength and general quality of bog roll never really bothered me much until I had kids. The whole phenomenon of bum-wiping was all a bit of a mystery, a bit like fishing for sharks with fluffy sheep – unless you have a camera submerged below all you see is something soft and fluffy going down below, something horrible then happens, and, if you choose to, you can hoik it back up and have a look as the ugly result. But when you have to wipe someone else’s bum, you actually see what happens to the paper when you wipe. So I have drawn on all of my bum wiping experience in order to bring you this – a must for all poo-paper enthusiasts.

1. Triple Velvet: It’s thick, it’s soft, and it’s strong – no disintegrating, no tearing, and you can usually get away with using 33% fewer sheets per wipe than the other brands. Plus, if you shop around you can usually get it at a bargain price (£3.99 for 18 rolls).

2. Cushelle: Soft and strong, but just misses out on the top spot when it comes to thickness.

3. Co-op soft cream toilet rolls: not perfect and sometimes tears or disintegrates on a moist plop, but softer and stronger than most.

4. Andrex with Shea Butter: This isn’t actually one of my favourites at all, I just wanted to put it in the list so that I could have a little rant about how crap it is. At first it seemed luxuriously soft and noticeably gentle, but, as with every other Andrex toilet roll, at the first sign of friction or moistness it just begins to crumble and tear. Total rubbish, and the most expensive on the list. How can anyone justify spending £6 on 9 rolls of something that they are going to smear in poo and flush down the toilet? This seems insane to me! We pay all this money for something and then we poo all over it! You could hire a bum-wiping-butler and his silken hankies for three minutes a day and still pay less than that!

5. Tesco Luxury: Not luxury. Fuxury. It’s the roughest, crumbliest loo-roll I’ve used in ages. And it’s not even a bargain price.

That is the end of my list. Your life is now complete.

P.S. Unfortuntely this list is not definitive (since I haven’t actually tested every brand of bog roll) so feel free to add any favourites/worsts of your own in the comments.


One Seriously Messed-Up Weekend… Cover Reveal


I’m extremely pleased to announce that the cover for One Seriously Messed-Up Weekend is now on-line, and I REALLY like it!

It’s designed by the same awesomeness behind the cover of book 1 ( who also designed the covers for Charlie Higson’s Young Bond and The Enemy books, Percy Jackson, Spud, and Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now to name but a few) and it’s really rather cool. Take a look for yourself if you don’t believe me…

I have to admit, if I saw it on the shelf I’d have to pick it up. Now if only the inside were as good…


Last Week’s Tweets

  • “@Coach_JC: Evil Prevails When Good People Do Nothing! What are YOU doing?”

    Built a trap last yr. Just been sat here waiting to catch evil. #

  • I've been enjoying #manmadehome on Channel 4. @Kevin_McCloud is the @theJeremyVine of the design world. #


Last Week’s Tweets

  • Turning down tickets to Frankenweenie cast & crew screening because we can't afford the train to London. Boohoo! #
  • I was genuinely too big for my boots this morning. So I cut my toenails and now they fit again. #DisgustingButTrue #
  • Ooh, look, @cupcakes4clara is in Cross Stitcher magazine!
    It's true, she does sew angry. #
  • Today I drank tea in a coffee shop. I hadn't done this since 2007. I don't know why I remember that. #
  • Since it's National Poetry Day and stuff I thought I'd treat you all to a little slice of my genius… cake…. #
  • I fear that coffee may have been too strong…


  • HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY @midnightreads !!!! #

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