A few weeks back I was a judge at Literary Death Match. You can read about the build up to it here. Yes, I was anxious about it, but I needn’t have been. Everyone was lovely, all the performers were top notch, and I did my best to be be whatever I was meant to be.

Ok, yes, well, there was one moment of trauma. I think that is why I haven’t been able to write about it until now. I’d hidden it away. But, today, thanks to the guardian, it has come back. Reading the Review section I came across this.

Anyways, you’ve read that now. Go on, read it. No, do.

So back to my trauma. When it came to voting, we (the judges), maybe we didn’t pick the crowd favourite. In fact, when we announced Lee Rourke, author of The Canal, as a semi-final winner over Nikesh Shukla, author of Coconut Unlimited, there was  silence. Did we hear right? Can that be? Simon, repeat what you have just said. Yes, he did say Lee. Well… ok… if that’s who you’re picking… idiot… pant-swinging fool…

Made worse by one of the judges saying “Simon had the deciding vote”. I did not! I just voted. The same way as you! Two to one. I decided nothing! Nothing! I’m no Cowell! Please, let me leave. (No, not the event; that was weeks ago. Just let me leave leave).

I never wanted to judge anyone.  I’m sorry ok? You were both great. If I could, Like Cher, turn back time, I’d make it a draw… or just not judge. I’d abstain, tear up my ballot paper, go to the toilets and throw up, not arrive, stay at home, go back to Salford, regress, back further, to Hope Hospital. I’d ask them, plead… don’t let me be born. Not today.

It’s too late for that. Good luck with the books. Well done Clare Pollard, Milly McMahon, Lee and Nikesh. You are all winners. And losers. And thank you LDM’s very own Tyler Durden, Todd Zuniga, and Nicki Le Masurier and Suzanne Azzopardi for inviting me along.

Here we all are, having fun.


Literary Death Match

July 14, 2010

I’m off tonight to be a judge at Literary Death Match. How did this happen? Well, I was asked by Suzanne on Twitter. But I don’t mean that. I mean how did this happen!? Or maybe I don’t even mean that. Maybe I mean why did this happen?

I scrape by doing bits of writing, here and there. But judging others? That’s not for me. I was always taught, by someone or other, judge not others lest ye be not judged by thee thyself but by those. Something like that. Just don’t judge, ok? Leave that to judges. In wigs.

Now I see what’s happened. I’ve been mistaken for a judge because I’ve been known to have a thing for wigs. Ok, I’ve worn a few in my time. But still. How? Why? When? Tonight. Where? Concrete, below Pizza East, Shoreditch.

I hope I get a pizza.

What do I know about writing?

I’m nervous now. But I might enjoy it. I may enjoy it. I don’t even know the difference between the two. I can’t judge!

And I’ve got to dress in an 80’s style. That’s because we’re celebrating the launch of Bret Easton Ellis’s new book and even though it’s new it’s 80’s set because that’s what he does best.

Books of his I’ve read: Less Than Zero, American Pyscho, Lunar Park. Oh, and I’ve seen the film versions of The Rules of Attraction and The Informers. I wrote about that here.

I hope they don’t quiz me. All I can remember is the rat in the tube and Phil Collins.

I’m naked at the moment becuase I have no 80’s clothes. I have to leave soon. I once had a “Frankie Says… Nay, nay and thrice nay” T-shirt. This was Frankie Howerd’s jokey version of the Frankie Goes to Hollywood T-shirts. I wish I had it. I’d wear it. I do have it. It’s in storage. I don’t have the time, or the stomach, to face my belongings.

I’ll have to go in a suit. That’ll do. I don’t have an 80’s suit for fancy dress times, I just haven’t bought a suit in a while. If I turn up the sleeves I’ll look like Crocket and Tubbs (is that right? I’m getting confused. I’m panicking. I’m messing up Miami Vice with The League of Gentlemen.)

I’ve got to get dressed. I’ve got to go. Hell, I am a judge but I’m starting to feel like the accused.

It’ll be fine. I’ve just been picked as a judge for my novelty value. All I have to do is say “swing your pants” every now and then.

Swing your pants. I wrote that (along with Trev). Two people writing three words.

At least back then I knew how to edit something. Can’t say the same of this post.