Thursday, 16 October 2014

Thursday 16/10/14

The Independent did publish a review of my book in the end. Do you think they will mind if I copy the review here? Who can tell.

Will this make you buy the book? Probably not. It did make my Mum really happy and really proud though. Thanks, Independent.

And it made me happy, because it called me both highly intelligent and psychologically damaged in the same sentence. Who doesn't want that?

It also prompted my main boy TN to advise me that unfortunately if I want to sell any books, I probably have to write a novel filled with gay sex. Maybe he’s right. Maybe I will.

In the meantime here’s the review online and here it is copied and pasted below if clicking on that link is too much hard work.

Highlights of My Last Regret by North Morgan, book review: A Romeo and Juliet for the 21st century

Parke Hudson, the wealthy narrator of North Morgan’s second novel, closely resembles Maine in his first; he’s simply moved to Los Angeles.

The author has revealed that Parke is Maine’s son, though this works emotionally rather than temporally. It is business as usual in Morganland: high intelligence, deep self-loathing, and psychic damage combine in a dark morality tale.

The slender narrative concerns the push-pull of Parke’s relationship with his girlfriend Ryan. At 28 she is “five-and-half” years older than him, though you’d think it was at least couple of decades the way he goes on. Not only is she elderly, she comes from a “ranching background” – practically redneck as far as Parke is concerned. Surprising her at home in Albuquerque, Parke is amazed at how ordinary people live.

Like Maine, Parke holds down a job though he doesn’t need the money. A freelance games designer, he mainly sends clever emails to similarly embittered members of staff, and conducts low-level warfare against the new boss. “Oh how we loathe this guy. Theo Rothchild. No, not Rothschild, like the banking family … Never has a glorified middle manager originally from fucking Minnesota carried oneself [sic] around with such ceremony before.”

A series of wonderfully funny and appalling characters wander through this short novel. There’s Parke’s best friend Markus, who “looks like a crazed Nazi homosexual”. “Moneyed apathetic sociopaths … Markus has been my case study for that demographic throughout my life.” Perennially drug-addled, Markus’s  attempts to look after Frost, his new pedigree kitten, are as alarming as they are funny.

Dumping Ryan, Parke decamps to Coachella (deliciously described). Ryan’s pathetic attempts to monitor him via social media and texting make painful reading; I can’t recall a more devastating account of female neediness. For Ryan no capitulation is abject enough in return for male attention. But does she deserve rapey Parke? The story lurches to a halt with a shock ending which underlines the idea that Parke and Ryan are a Romeo and Juliet for the 21st century, where narcissism, solipsism and self-delusion have eroded the romantic ideal of love.

Despite being cold, snobbish and softly cruel, somehow, through his witty narration, Parke remains likeable. His vicious dismissals of Ryan’s family are hilarious, but the true satiric bite occurs when her brother turns on him. For once we get a glimpse of Parke from the outside, and it’s not pretty. This feels slightly less worked-out than his fine debut, Exit Through the Wound, but Morgan’s prose is as glitteringly alluring as before.

You can buy the book here

Kindle in the US (out now)

Kindle in the UK (out now)

Physical copy in the US (out 15th November)

Physical copy in the UK (out now)

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Tuesday 14/10/14

In the early hours of Thursday morning I’m lying in bed watching the final of the Great British Bake Off, maybe a new episode of The Middle, and I get an email from my publisher, who’s saying that The Independent on Sunday is going to publish a review of Highlights of My Last Regret this weekend, though this, of course, is not confirmed and I’ll believe it when I see it in print in the newspaper. This is enough to stress the hell out of me anyway, not that it really matters in the bigger scheme of things, because you don’t need me to tell you that you no one buys novels, but what can you do when the only thing you want to do in life and makes you feel like you’re creating anything that’s useful to the world, is contributing to a dying art form that peaked around three quarters of a century ago.

Then I pass out and the next thing I remember is Friday afternoon, when I come home from the gym, shower, and meet Austin at my place. Austin and I go out and buy two pizzas and then come home and eat them, though I did forget to buy some Coke and I really like drinking Coke with my pizza.

It takes a good couple of hours to get through this and I continue eating way past the point where I’m completely full, but I’m doing this thing at the moment where I’m trying to enhance my importance and impact on this planet by increasing my physical mass, seeing that this seems to be the only thing anyone cares about. I could have spared you the previous twenty-seven words by just typing, “bulking”, but you don’t want that from me, you don’t want me to simplify things like that.

On Saturday I go and have lunch at my third favourite restaurant in Santa Monica and then I go to the gym. There are two very important things that happen at the gym.

The first important thing is that the most beautiful man who has ever lived on the entire planet turns up. I will spare the physical description, but it suffices to say that any human male that I ever come across from this point onwards will be judged and compared against this gentleman, because I really needed to increase my physical standards even more, guaranteeing that I will die miserable and alone.

The second important thing that happens in the gym is that when I go to the locker room after to get changed and leave, two bros are stood there talking and those two bros are: 1) the pizza bro from last week who was doing sit-ups and simultaneously ordering a pizza for delivery on the phone, 2) another bro I see every evening who has a blond beard, nice muscles and exclusively listens to some stupid hardcore metal shit that makes him headbang consistently throughout all his workouts. The conversation between those two bros, who seem like they haven’t spoken before goes like this:

Pizza bro: “You look so big, bro.”

Hardcore bro: “Thanks man, I been bulking, so.”

Hardcore bro after a brief pause: “Do I really look bigger?”

Pizza bro: “Yeah, you look huge.”

Hardcore bro: “Thanks man. And I haven’t even been training as much as I want.”

Pizza bro: “How many days do you lift?”

Etc, etc.

Then I leave before they start making out and punch myself in the face for not being man enough to ever speak to either of them, though perhaps they don’t want to speak to me because they can tell I’m gay and they prefer their homosexual banter safe, hetero, and leading nowhere.

When I come out of the gym I text Austin and tell him exactly what just occurred in the gym (both with the most handsome man in the world and the locker room bros) and finish my message with: "EVERYOBE IS BULKIN. EVERYONE IS A BRO. EVERRYONE IS PERFECT. I WANT THEM ALL".

The Austin texts back: "Can we just get them all together (possibly drug them if we have to) and have an orgy. And why do you disappoint me by not getting a pic of this beautiful man?"

Me: "I thought about it but his beauty was paralysing. I didn't want to do anything that would infiltrate his perfect existence."

Austin: "If you see him again, you must."

Me: "I'll try. I'm so glad we're ahead of the curve with our bulking though. I feel like for once, we've tapped into a real trend early on and we're making good progress."

On Saturday night I go to the cinema with Austin to watch This Is Where I Leave You and I dare him to ask for two tickets to “Dis Where I Leave You” but he doesn’t and this really disappoints me, because I know that hardcore bro would.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Friday 02/10/14

On Saturday evening I ride my bike and I go to the gym and the best thing that happens at the gym is that right at the end, when I’m doing my sit ups, some genuine bro with pale, white skin, a very nice straight nose and spectacular biceps comes and sits next to me and starts doing crunches…then gets his phone out and orders a pizza for delivery.

I have no idea where these bros are going to stop, where they’re willing to push the limits to, but they can rest assured that I will always fall for it. I also don’t even know how they come up with these inventions. Ordering a half Hawaiian, half Meat Lovers pizza with extra cheese in the gym, mid-abdominal crunch. They are killing me.

Then I go home.

In the middle of the night I wake up with a bad dream about somebody that I used to know, which has become a new nightly routine, and stay up for a couple of hours, during which I make a sandwich, obsess, watch a couple episodes of Frasier and freak out some, before passing out again around 7am.

On Sunday I meet up with Henry and we book a trip for New Year and then go bowling, because this is something that counts as a sport, barely, and I will try every sport until I find one that I am not terrible at, so that I possibly reassure myself a little bit about my own masculinity.

During this bowling adventure we talk about vacations, pool parties in big bungalows in the California countryside where people have only water and pills to sustain them, and the futileness of existence despite great wealth, because what else would two white, North American, adult gay men with no real problems talk about, and then we get to relationships.

I tell Henry about a guy I was recently crushing on who is 6’3”, wears button down shirts, visors and boat shoes and has blue eyes and is therefore a god, plus he’s insolent as fuck and ignores me, but then goes and likes all my instagram pictures, which means that he’s a sociopath who loves games and consequently made for me.

Henry asks me whether I would like perhaps to date somebody for once who’s not completely wrong and trying to blackmail my emotions, and I ask why I would want to do that. Henry says that maybe that way I will live a perfectly peaceful life without heartbreak and the only reply that I can think to that is that I want heartbreak, I want emotional highs and lows that will torment me, I want intense, passionate love affairs that make me want to kill myself and the other person OR abduct them and keep them locked up in my basement, but nothing in-between, I want surface, trophy boyfriends that elevate my status and make me self-loathe equally, I want to feel.

Then the game comes to an end and I’m not very good, though I might just need to keep practicing, and we leave.

On Monday at some point during the daytime, somewhere between slumber, sunbathing and depression, my friends DA and DJ message me and tell me about this website where you pay a bunch of cash, they send you a test kit to collect your DNA, you send it back, and 4-6 weeks later they send you an ancestry report, breaking down what your ethnic background is.

The list of potential results is:

Obviously, I immediately pay for this online.

I was born in Greece. As far as I know and as far as my parents know, all my ancestors are Greek. There is no reason whatsoever as to why the result will not come back as 95%+ Southern European.

As soon as I’ve ordered this, I text my friend Sterling.

Me: I have ordered a kit from a website that analyses your DNA via a sample of saliva and tells you which parts of the world your ancestry is from.

Sterling: I have heard of this thing. I am predicting 75% Greek, 25% bro.

Me: I am aiming for a Northern European result of 50%+. If I don’t get this, I will hang myself.

Sterling: Why are you putting yourself through this?

Me: I need more reason to self-loathe. But I also have a secret hope that I’m not genetically Greek

Sterling: Fingers crossed

Now we wait. What would you do if you had 4-6 weeks left to live?

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Tuesday 23/09/14


Last week my new book was released. It's out in book stores in the UK now (it will be out in book stores in the US in November) but it's also available on Kindle everywhere right now.

I guess here's a blurb:

Highlights of My Last Regret is a satire focusing on the lives of privileged young Americans from the West Coast. It's primarily an account of the turbulent relationship between 24-year-old Parke (the beautiful but cruel offspring of Maine and Sadie from Exit Through The Wound) and his girlfriend Ryan (a smart, vulnerable girl from small-town America) and the effects its ups and downs have on each of their lives. The story is written from Parke's perspective with the intention to give a jarring, uncomfortable to read, but hopefully captivating insight into a character with an unusual moral centre

This is a picture of the book in a book shop, as proof that it really exists.

And here are the links to buy it online.

Ever since I started writing this blog it's had 274,313 unique visitors come and read the posts that I've written, visiting a total of 1,457,767 times. I expect this book to sell at least 274,313 copies, because, you know, it works exactly like that. Anyway, thanks very much.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Monday 22/09/14

On Thursday afternoon I get on a flight to Atlanta and this, I suppose, is my first time in the American South. I have a very romanticised version of the South, primarily via Tennessee Williams, but also the South and particularly Atlanta causes me to have this very tight grip around my stomach for personal reasons, which are best left unexplained.

On Friday night I go out with my friends that I’m staying with and I suppose the one thing to say about the Atlanta gays is that fratty is the main look and there are more people wearing boat shoes than not. Also college football is an actual thing that people are interested in. Everyone is masc musc non-scene, even the people who are not musc and definitely those who are in the scene. My feelings about masc musc non-scene fratty bros have been extensively discussed and they are very, very mixed, so let’s also leave this here. I think if I lived in Atlanta I would probably fall for every second person just by virtue of them wearing backward baseball caps and long-sleeved button down shirts and having a sports obsession and I would have my heart destroyed about twenty-five times as frequently as I do now.

On Saturday I go to this music festival called Music Midtown, where the only act that I want to see play is Lana Del Rey. My friends that I’m at the festival with don’t want to see her though, so I end up splitting away from them and going to watch her by myself.

As the last song is playing, which is National Anthem, even though you already knew that, and I’m stood there alone in my little spot on the grassy field, this group of straight guys and girls come up to me, tell me that I look badass and that I shouldn’t be standing there by myself, and should instead go hang out with them. There are four guys in the group and maybe three or four girls. It is, in fact, one of the guys that comes and has this conversation with me and by “looking badass” he means that I have muscles and so do they.

I join their group and two of the girls throw themselves at me and start flirting quite blatantly and take about ten pictures with me and generally act like they want it really bad. Then one particular girl starts putting her arms around my neck and more or less trying to make out with me, so I tell her that I’m gay. This results in her squealing with excitement and increasing her body contact and taking more pictures with me, because I am now her gay BFF.

We continue talking for a while, me and a couple of the girls, then one of the guys comes up and mentions something about me being a fag. I tell him that he probably shouldn’t be using that word. He laughs and goes up to the other guys and tells them what I said and they all look at me dismissively, because I am now not badass anymore, just gay. I ask the girls if this particular guy is a bit of an asshole and they say that, yes, he is and they don’t know him that well anyway. They continue to hang out around me and talk enthusiastically.

Then the guy comes back and says that I should just go and fuck some guys in the ass, or whatever it is that we faggots do. In fact, he doesn’t come back, he just shouts that from a few feet away. I then shout back asking him what the fuck his problem is and he retorts by calling me a faggot a bit more and a bit louder and I’m sure some other insults that I can’t remember anymore. I scream back that he’s a dumb redneck and should fuck off and this infuriates him, so he tries to physically attack me. At this point we both have people holding us back from trying to punch each other and we keep yelling at each other, before I start walking away with one of the girls.

I go and buy her some freshly squeezed lemonade and she takes my number and invites me to the house party she’s having later, but I tell her that it might just not be such a good idea that I attend, seeing that her friends are violent homophobes who want to beat me up. Then I walk her back to her group and the guy who tried to attack me is still there and making eye contact with me and flexing his arms, because this is his way to intimidate me (which is ironic, because having muscles is what brought us together in the first place, now he wants to use them against me) and then I say goodbye to the girl and go see Bastille who finish with a cover of Rhythm Of The Night, which is pretty gay.