‘Nice’ is one year old!

Would you believe it’s been a year since my first collection, Nice, came out? It hardly seems it. I’m immensely proud of it and every time I see the cover I really have to remind myself that it contains all my own work. 
I was a weird kid. While all my friends wanted to win the FA Cup or Becky fighter pilots, the only thing I wanted was to be a published writer. I just loved the idea of holding a book knowing that it was representative of me and my imagination. And all through my teenage years I would write, bashing out short stories and novels on an old typewriter, which I still have, and all to no avail. But the dream persisted.
I was in Bristol when I got the email saying that Nice was going to be published. I was getting ready to support Vanessa Kisuule at Hammer and Tongue. I did a camp little dance around the hotel room, and Vanessa was the first person I told.
So Nice was launched last year, the official launch being on January 8th. I’d chosen the date specifically because it was David Bowie’s birthday and that his new album was coming out the same day, so that I could always remember the date. Naturally, people remember the date now for different reasons, but it was a great night, performing poems from Nice supported by all my friends. I’d had a book signing a couple of weeks before in my home town of Paignton, but the official launch was the big event that I’d always dreamed about.
The book still seems fresh. There are stories behind some of the poems, of course. Personal stories. I purposefully only chose upbeat, vibrant, funny poems because I imagined the book as being similar to a dance record. Clive Birnie told me that he saw Burning Eye as a record company and the books as albums, so I thought, well, let’s have a dance record, with computerised disco beats and flashing lasers. Let’s give it a throwaway title. Let’s not get too bogged down. And I think Nice has achieved this.
The last twelve months have been amazing, I’ve been all over the Uk with a back pack full of Nices and it’s been so well received. I’m still incredibly happy with it.
So pick up your copy of Nice today! It will help you get through those winter blues, I assure you!

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