The Top Ten Books I Should Have Written in 2018

Some I nearly finished writing, some I abandoned before I’d even started work, all would have probably been terrible, but these are The Top Ten Books I Should Have Written in 2018…

1. The Terrifying Horse

A dark, neo-gothic horror/romance set in a haunted North Yorkshire Moors village at the turn of the century. And there’s a ghostly horse, or similar.

2. Something Something Landscape Algorithm

Accidentally William Gibson-esq/Thomas Pynchon-ish waste of my and everyone else’s time.

3.Tiny Dioramas

A psychogeographical survey/walkthrough of classic model railway layouts (I still think this could work).

4.Fists of Grit (formerly Fists of Coal)

Brooding, violent, manly tale of 18th Century prize-fighting in the harsh Calder Valley. Would have made the Booker long list, no problem.

5.The Girl Who Was the Murderer All Along

Innovative but formally unthreatening – and potentially best-selling – Ghent-based euro-thriller. One to revisit if the day job doesn’t pan out.


The first in a very poorly conceived (and badly named) Sheffield-set detective series. DCI Ted Dangler is a hard-drinking, twice-divorced, rock-climbing police officer who etc etc.

7.The Old Man Who [TBC]

Allegorical, hopefully prize-winning novella about an old man who lives alone in a shed in the Black Forest during the Second World War or something. Might work better in translation.

8.The Model Railroadist

A mostly unfocussed essay collection/memoir about my Very Northern Childhood. Aimed at the Hipster Dad market.

9.Everything I Know About Being a Man I Learned From Watching 1980’s Action Films

Badly over-extended magazine article.

10.What We’re Teaching Our Sons 2

More comic hijinks as all your favourite characters return in the next instalment of the popular franchise, and this time it’s–