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Wood, Talc and Mr. J – We never had it so good…

It’s a time of great social and political upheaval – industrial disputes and bullying unions, racial discord and the National Front. 1978, it’s a Britain on the brink. It’s also a Britain of definite youth cultures, when the wrong attire on the wrong street might equal a beating for your blunder, often regardless of your football allegiance…

A look back. Without the rose-tinted spectacles, but with hindsight and humour, and with poignancy and affection.
The North.

Phillip sees life in a simplistic if passionate way: up or down, us and them, black, white and nothing in-between. When not doing his ‘thing’ in Wigan’s Casino Club – voted ‘The Greatest Disco in the World’ by Time Magazine – Phillip hates the world. Or at least he thinks he does. He longs for the weekend, or a greater, permanent escape from the daily grind of factory life in an industrial town.

With a little imagination, he might realise things midweek aren’t that bad: there’s the loving family, the secure job amid mass unemployment, a relationship with the perfect young woman… Or maybe he realises too late. And all he’d deemed important was only ever an illusion, his reflected image included.

Coming full circle by way of loss and more loss, you would hope lessons are learned…

The book progresses through myriad dream sequences, interwoven song-themes, a father’s philosophical ramblings, ever blackening wit, leitmotif – or seemingly recurring scenes; is someone laughing at our hero? And Phillip’s own, lyrical, strut-like, black or white manner.
Dancehall adventures via train rides to Heaven, scooter cruising almost coast to coast. Beneath the pier encounters with the opposite sex, et al… set against the birth of Scargill and Thatcher feuding…

"There’s elegance in its grit, morality in its liberation, pathos in its humor, discipline in its anarchy"  * * * * * 

"An absolutely amazing feat of writing prowess"  * * * * * 

"Mind-blowing prose!"  * * * * * 

"GROUND-BREAKING"  * * * * * 

"a gritty and unvarnished impressionist masterpiece"  * * * * * 

You can read a chapter or two here < <

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Nancy Boy: for one year only…
(The Rowlings Years, book 2)

A new dawn approaches – “the real out-with-the-old-and-in-with-the-new,” deems Emmaline; “the shedding of crinkly baggage.” What with a tired and tested Conservative party spiralling downward, and the emergence of a New Labour drawing near, the writing is on the wall; things, as they’d say in time, could only get better. And how better might this majestic isle express herself than by her ever innovative musical sons! Oasis? Blur?

The ’80s are gone and good riddance to them, that’s what Phillip thinks! Or he would, were he to think at all. Yes, Phillip Rowlings is back… all grown up.

Save that he couldn’t give a garlic snail about emerging British dawns – he wants out. And has invested years applying himself to that end – he’s heard the calls, conveyed, of all the eccentric ideas, by no other than T. Rex’s Marc Bolan, and Blind Date’s Cilla Black.
France. 1994-’95: ex-Soul boy goes Nancy Boy, for the one year only…

And while it all looks lovely on the brochure, “poor Phillip”, as someone once said, may not be as skilled as Emmaline in the shedding of said crinkly baggage. Further to which – and here lies the real question:


Yours to find out. But let’s get one thing clear from the outset – dès le départ, as they say in the old hexagon – this isn’t A Year in Provence…

"A beautifully written sequel to the wonderful Wood, Talc & Mr. J"  * * * * * 

"Another triumph from this most original of writers..."  * * * * * 

"Eloquent & delightful !"  * * * * * 

"Read Nancy Boy and rejoice in what fiction is meant to do"  * * * * * 

"a rara avis"  * * * * * 

You can read a chapter or two here < <

Or you can buy the book by clicking on the above title or here < <

The All-clear – an anti-romance novella… (book 3 of The Rowlings Years, novella 1)

‘I may have come full circle. And in order to continue, on my route… I need out...’

Out of what? You may ask.

Well, it wasn’t too many months ago Phillip Rowlings was living in France, in Nancy – was indeed a Nancy Boy, for one year only – by the end of which he obtained une carte blanche, or a permanent gig: the chance to tour the country on a professional footing, forming part of an acting troupe. For theatre has become his one true raison d’être; and not since the days of Northern Soul has he been imbued with such a passion. Deems he, at least…

Save he, Phillip, the actor, didn’t take it, the permanent gig, given the many holes to be refilled back in England. Responsibilities, most people call them; like, i.e., looking out for his son, whom, as it so transpires, Phillip’s unable to visit until the ex-wife sees fit; or, say, the rekindling of a love-affair with his psychiatrist, who’d been waiting patiently at home; and let’s not forget that returning to England entails completing his undergraduate studies, they being the very basis of his year in Nancy in the first place.

The list, in effect, is somewhat longer. Though Phillip may soon beg to differ. That is, once having been given The All-clear…


If theatre, if music, if learning to grasp the very essence of life, is your thing, then this is your kind of book. For Phillip Rowlings is back once again, with all the trimmings, if in shorter form this time around; as part of the series The Rowlings Years, and in the first of three novellas…

"Phillip is at it again in something ever outstandingly original !"  * * * * * 

"Excellent"  * * * * * 

"Clever and compelling"  * * * * * 

You can read a chapter or two here < <

Or you can buy the book by clicking on the above title or here < <