The twinkling lights of the city spread out below me, as far as I can see. Between the lights are great black shadows where the buildings are. Inside the buildings I imagine the people – eight million humans, most of them asleep.

Do you ever get the feeling that your life isn’t your own? Do you ever feel like everything you do, or everything you ever can do, has been chosen for you already? That it was all planned out before you were born, so all you can do is go along with it? Have you felt that way?

I have news for you. It’s true.

I work for the people who mapped out your life for you. They rule you and they rule me too. Every second of my life has belonged to them. But that will end tonight – one way or another.

My name is O. Not zero. It’s O like the letter that comes after N in the alphabet. My parents are called M and K. We were bred for our… talents.

Our masters call us the Blanks. We spy, steal, kill – whatever our masters need us to do. Apart from our masters (and now, I guess, you) no one knows we exist.

We are trained to have no identity – to be nothing, a void. We are like clay, for our masters to shape as they wish. That’s the lesson I was to learn.

But they failed to teach me it.

Alone, in secret, I learned the hardest skill of all: to make myself. I built a personality, a me, from whatever scraps I could snatch when no one was looking.

My name is O. Not zero: O. I am not nothing. I am fabulous and spectacular. And tonight, at last, is when I get to prove it.

-Find out more at

The one thing I didn’t like about being in Japan was that I missed my old friends. Then I discovered one living in Tokyo.

This giant monster looming over Tokyo Tower is Maman, by Louise Bourgeois. I’d last seen Maman at a wonderful exhibition of Bourgeois’ work at London’s Tate Modern on the day of the launch of my second published book, Tim, Defender of the Earth. Here’s that entry on the Tim News Page, and here’s a pic I took of her attacking St Paul’s Cathedral.

As you might be able to guess, Louise Bourgeois’ viscerally sinister oeuvre was a massive influence on Crawlers, which I’d just begun writing at the time. So with the Crawlers News Page soon to come to an end and the My Name Is O one about to begin, the timing of my second meeting with Maman was eerily perfect.

I wasn’t totally convinced by her current setting in Roppongi. Surrounded by trees and skyscrapers and Christmas trappings I felt that Maman didn’t look quite as imposing as she should.

…But the angles were there if you looked for them.

If you’re reading this on the Crawlers News Page then the time has come: as happened with my previous News Pages for Tim and Black Tat, we’re now at a fork in the road. Though this site and page will remain live for as long as possible, future posts will appear elsewhere. If you’d like to keep following what I’m up to, the next place you can do that is the My Name Is O News Page. Hit the link and take a look.

Thanks for following me this far. On with the sinister masterplan!


The MY NAME IS O launch party was a HOOT. :D

Here, below, is a video I just uploaded of the two-minute reading I did from the book.

Do you see the web address at the bottom of the screen – Click through and take a look!

Yes, thanks to the sterling work of Katie WebSphinx the all-new My Name Is O website is live at last! Katie is making final adjustments (and doing maintenance tweaks to my other sites) as I’m typing this. SNEE HEE HEE!


…Ahem, sorry, rather excited. What I mean is, these are finished copies of my new novella for Barrington Stoke, MY NAME IS O. I knew about the stickers, which (NB) are fully removable and come off without leaving a mark. What I didn’t know was how the mirror effect on the cover was going to turn out. The answer is, very nicely indeed.

To celebrate the book’s launch I’m having a party - tomorrow night (Fri Feb 3rd) from 7.30 at The Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green, London, England. For those who don’t know about the party already, if you’re reading this and you’re available then consider this a formal invitation: please drop by for a chat and a glass of something, it would be great to see you there!

If you can’t make the party, then signed copies of MY NAME IS O (and my other books!) will be available to order from The Big Green Bookshop (here’s their website) from tomorrow night onwards until I’m back in Japan. The book’s cover price is £6.99. Samurai booksellers Simon and Tim will gladly arrange delivery to anywhere in the world, and postage inside the UK is free.

Now another pic. Look at the middle one, so shiny that in the right light / right angle almost everything disappears except the O…

…Mmm. SHINY! :D

Happy Year of the Dragon!

While I was in Japan I saw this smiley dude all over the place – not the gurning loon on the right or the lady taking the pic, I’m talking about the dragon. Isn’t he great? :D

Physically I’m back in London; whether I’ve arrived yet mentally remains an open question. After sleeping on a low bed or futons these last three months, being in my bed at home feels like floating in space – and being outside it kind of feels the same way. But I’m back, all’s well and normal service (or what passes for it with me) will resume shortly.

Big in Japan:

(A bathroom doorway, Kyoto, seriously)

This weekend I’m going home to London. It’s going to be lovely. But I hope I don’t get too used to not having to dip my head for doorways while I’m there, because I’m already looking forward to coming back. ;D

This month marks the launch of my novella for Barrington Stoke, My Name Is O. I’m coming home to London for party to celebrate. More news on that soon.

Meanwhile, my new book is coming along nicely. In fact things here in Tokyo are going better than my partner Laura and I had dared to hope – so we’ve decided to stay longer. After the launch of My Name Is O we’re coming back to Japan until summer 2012 at least.

Here above, with some grinning fool standing in front of it, is The Great Buddha of Kamakura.

I miss home and friends and family, of course. But, well, I’m in Japan, with the person I love most, writing the most awesome book that I can possibly think of.

I’m having one of the best bits of my life so far. I feel very lucky and very grateful.


Look at this beautiful piece of art by Faye W., 13, from the UK:

It shows Esme, Jack (and the Chinj!) and Charlie – characters from my debut novel, The Black Tattoo. I’ve just added it to the slideshow at the Black Tat Reader Art Page.

I consider it a huge honour when people use my stories as a starting point for great creative work of their own. And I adore the Chinj’s raised eyebrow! Thank you, Faye.

Still with awesome art, for a guest spot by ace illustrator Phil Harvey check Trapped By Monsters.

Just posted to TBM: The Hounds of Feet.

One of the most surprising things I’ve enjoyed in Tokyo is Flamenco.

The scene here is small but dedicated: I first came across it in a bar in Golden Gai, Shinjuku then last week I saw the performance in these pics, which was every bit as passionate and spectacular as anything I’ve seen or heard in Spain.

It was part of an amazing evening of music and dance taking place on two floors of an art gallery in Shibuya, organized by Megalo Theatre. As well as the flamenco there was traditional (and some decidedly non-traditional-!) Japanese music played on shamisen and tsuzumi, a ritual swordfight accompanied by a biwa-playing storyteller, and all kinds of other good stuff. The climax of the evening was a Mizu-Nagashi

…a New Year ceremony for which everyone anonymously wrote down a mistake they’d made during the past year, or something else they wanted to forget. The pieces of paper with the mistakes on were read out before being smacked with sticks and then consigned to water.

My mistake was ‘I ate all the okonomiyaki.’ But it’s ok, I’ve forgotten all about that now. ;D

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