Is David Lee Stone Truly BETTER Than William Shakespeare? Discuss.

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So…..I’m surfing Red and Proud this week when I suddenly  - what – what do you mean you haven’t heard of Red & Proud? The USA’s online hub for all gingers? Seriously? Where have you BEEN? Take a look at this bad boy:


If you zoom in on the page, you will see an etching of Damien Lewis in the ‘Colour Me Ginger’ app: I have no idea what this does, but I’m assuming it makes a modified image of all those people who have longed for ginger hair but never been given the chance to wear a truly convincing hair piece. Just in case you think I’m blowing smoke, here, I should show you evidence of my own entry as one of the world’s famous author redheads (I write children’s books for Disney, Hodder, Sony, Open Road, etc):


There I am at the bottom of the page, just under William Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw: three of the greatest writers in history all crammed together on one page as token gingers. Of course, my entry is bigger than Shakespeare’s, but you can understand that. What did the guy ever do that was worth remembering? Sure, Romeo and Juliet fell in love and sacrificed themselves for passion….but my Illmoor characters frequently fall on their swords and kill just about everyone they meet: I’m a better writer than Shakespeare was, and I have a better haircut. Seriously, check out this comparison:


I am SO much better looking: my hair flows long and free, my beard is (frankly) magnificent and my eyebrows, necklace and expression suggest that I’m not only a windswept, interesting and all-round great guy…but that I’m also pretty terrific in bed (which is true, as I sleep like a legend). Also, if you look at the little wretch on the right, you will see that he’s actually HIDING his ginger: he’s gone for giving incredible forehead, instead. Hiding your redness with a pathetic little no-sided goatee shouldn’t earn you a place on Red and Proud.

I’m sorry, but he couldn’t write either: not compared to me. The Tempest wants to be The Illmoor Chronicles when it grows up, Gladiator Boy would kick seven shades out of Richard III and, as far as I’m concerned, if Undead Ed and Davey Swag had made special appearances in Midsummer Night’s Dream, he might have got a decent film deal out of it.

Oh, and Macbeth is rubbish.

Truly, it is.



Father’s Day Gift Idea: The Best Hoobynoo World Product EVER

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I’m no mug, but this Father’s Day I would LOVE to receive one from my wife’s awesome gift company, Hoobynoo World. Here it is:

You don't have to go for the ginger option....but I'd be unpleasantly surprised if my kids didn't!

You don’t have to go for the ginger option….but I’d be unpleasantly surprised if my kids didn’t!

I think that of all the products we’ve designed over the years, this one is definitely my favourite. The message and face options are among the best we’ve created for gift items, and the price point is incredibly competitive for a fully customisable finish. You can choose your ‘hero’ text from pretty much anything you feel is appropriate, or select one of our options:


Our hero because……you are great at the voices when you read stories…..you’re not afraid to be silly with us…..we love you.

To create your own mug and select your message, click HERE to go directly to our Father’s Day Mug page! We also have a matching card available, so have a look around the site to check out our other gift ideas.


Our hero doesn’t wear a cape





Custom Father’s Day Mug
custom father’s day mug

Playing Knightmare at Home…..

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The things we do for our kids….

It’s the Easter Holidays, and the world’s least-prepared father forgot to arrange an actual trip for his family. It’s just as well, as these particular holidays have included tonsillitis, torn knee sections, damaged shoulders, haemorrhoids, sickness bugs and at least twelve nightly coughing fits. We’ve been so sickly that most of the chocolate eggs are still on the sideboard, awaiting the total onslaught we’re usually all capable of.

Still….now everyone is better, so we ride on through the holidays like true heroes. This Easter Monday finds me falling down a flight of stairs after Sebastian decides he’d like to play Knightmare indoors with me as the intrepid dungeoneer (see picture below). Fortunately, United Health Kent have done a great job of fixing my back, so I can take the odd tumble and spring straight onto my feet again…but I’m not sure plunging down a flight of stairs is exactly what they had in mind for my general rehab program.

However, I’ll be honest: when you’re escaping from a trap designed by Hordriss the Confuser in your own house, sometimes diving headlong down the stairs is really the only way to go. I tried spell-casting, but Bast has decided that any spell he can’t actually understand is immediately disallowed.

I won't lie to you: I got hurt.

I won’t lie to you: I got hurt.

Memo FREE on Amazon

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Right, folks: I’m pleased to announce that Memo is FREE to download on Kindle at Amazon UK and USA for the next five days only. Info and links below!


A short SF story by David Lee Stone, first written in 1998 and originally published in a slightly different form in Sierra Heaven magazine. 

“Captain, I just don’t know where to start. We’ve been through the ship with a fine tooth comb, and it’s a big old mess. We found a corpse hanging in the engine room, but only the gods could shed light on exactly what happened when, or why. To give some idea of the level of insanity we’re dealing with, I’ve included the memos we found for your perusal. These were in every corner of the ship, all written out on paper apart from the last few which were emailed in. They’re numbered in the order that we assume they were written, not in the order we found them.” (from Memo)

To download Memo from Amazon UK, click HERE

To download Memo from Amazon USA, click HERE

The Most Unfriendly Town in England

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Welcome to Chipping Campden, the most unfriendly town in England.

It’s no good: it’s been two years, and I still can’t let it go.

Our holiday in the Cotswolds was fantastic – and, I repeat, fantastic - but I can’t shake the memory of that fateful morning we spent in Chipping Campden: the only town I have ever walked out of in complete loathing and disgust. We were so looking forward to going there, as it’s a place renowned for the beauty of its traditional buildings and country atmosphere. Here’s how excited we were before we arrived:

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Here’s how excited we were WHEN we arrived:


This lasted until we tried to ‘pop into a nice cafe/restaurant for lunch’. Unfriendly just doesn’t cover what the lovely owners of eateries in Chipping Campden have to offer holiday makers, especially if said holiday makers happen to be parents. The first greeting went something like ‘We’re FULL!’ (barked at us against a backdrop of several empty tables with no reservation signs on them. The second was equally pleasant, when a woman with an extremely pinched face failed to offer any welcome beyond pointing straight at our pushchair and saying ‘Are you going to fold THAT up or leave it outside?’. Seriously, no ‘hello’ no ‘sorry, we don’t allow pushchairs in here’ – nothing. I smiled, folded up the pushchair, considered being extremely rude back, managed to rise above that and calmly suggested to my wife that we eat somewhere else. Three further, and – shockingly – equally asinine snubs later – we ended up in a small, student-run cafe in a neighbouring town.

Chipping Campden is a beautiful place made ugly by the attitude of its residents to visitors. The local attitude, perfectly described by Eddie Izzard as the strokey-bearded, folks from round here aren’t from round here, mentality made me sick. Here is the face I pulled when I left Chipping Campden:



…and here is the face I have for the people of Chipping Campden now:


Easter Holidays

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It’s Easter, and we decided to take the children to Leeds Castle. Sure, it costs the same as taking out a small mortgage, but it’s still a very beautiful place and a former haunt of the lovely, singular and extremely late King Henry VIII (you must remember him: he’s the ginger bastard who murdered two wives, cut another two loose, lost the one he actually loved and ended up withering to dust at the feet of one who finally decided she could outlive the shrivelled carcass he’d mutated into).

Sebastian wanted to go because he knew a lot of Knightmare (series 4) had been shot against the backdrop of Leeds Castle, and he wanted to get a photograph next to the Dunnswater: Evie just wanted to be in every photograph, because she thinks the camera makes a new frozen Evie every time it clicks. Here they are:


Evie took a long time deciding how she wanted to look for the trip. This particular look was swiftly rejected:


….though, personally, I thought it was AWESOME. Anyway…..off we went. The Easter Egg trail at Leeds Castle is a tiny bit misleading, it has to be said. It costs £1 per child (on top of the £64 family pass) and you’re promised two Easter Eggs at the end of it. In truth, the two eggs you get are actually the size of a smurf’s testicles, but you’re basically so worn out by the 500 square mile trek that you’ll gratefully take what you’re given and then simply stagger back to the 18000 capacity car park where you will try (and fail) for several hours to find your car.

Before all that, Bastian made a firm effort to out-muscle a tree:


The kids made unfortunate faces while mummy held out for a ‘lovely family photograph’:



Chiara and I were in heaven when we discovered that Leeds Castle (integrity restored) now has a Costa:


and Evie told us – through gurgles, burps and giggles – that her favourite part of the holiday was finding THIS weed on the drive:



Awesome fun.


Bloke Called Dave: Celebrating 10,000 Views!

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As we just reached our 10,000th view for the year, I thought it might be an idea to list our most popular posts for those of you who might have missed them!


1. Fire! Arson! Shock!


2. St. George’s School & The Estate Agent From HELL


3. In Public…


4. Holy Trinity School: The Forgotten Years



5. The Reason I Don’t Do Pubs…


6. Taking Your Small Children Out For Pizza…


7. Smoking Frogs….


8. He Thinks You’re Okay


9. Wetting Yourself in Public: Your DIY Guide



10. PAIN…

AMPAS Gold Standard Series









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