- Richard Haywood
The Loss of Humour…. The Delio Curse
I wrote a blog article yesterday about how I decided to take the weekend off. I explained that I had been doing research into The Undead and needed to buy a reference book and after checking local stock levels – I popped over to my local Waterstones to get that book – which then made me see the Shiny New Hardbackfrom the top name author – that being the main subject of the blog article.
During that article, I also wrote that I spent a good hour perusing the shelves in Waterstones and getting lost in the magical kingdom of new realms and new worlds. Being in a bookshop makes my brain sizzle at the same time as releasing huge amounts of dopamine, or serotonin, or some kind of happy body juice anyway.
In fact, the only thing better than books is dogs.
Oh god. Imagine a bookshop doghouse café. Big sofas and big armchairs and rugs and dogs everywhere getting head rubs from people lost in books. Dogs snuggled up with heads on laps. Tiny dogs on the backs of big dogs. Chew marks on the corners and edges of every single table and shelf because of the puppies.
A bookshop puppyhouse café!
Flipping heck. Sod the writing. I’m opening one of those. But the coffee has to be in sealed cups cos we don’t want hot drinks spilling over the puppies while they chew the bookshelves before all piling on top of each other to fall asleep. Apart from that little fat one that splays his legs out behind him and kicks and yaps in his puppy dreams.
But the only way that would actually become a happy place was if there were no people, but I’m guessing that wouldn’t be such a sound business model.
Okay. No. I’ve got it.
People are allowed, but they have to literally Shut The F*ck Up. No talking. No speaking. Apart from making doggy noises and quietly saying who’s a gorgeous puppy? You are? But only in a puppy voice and not loud and don’t be one of those weirdos who says things loudly and then looks around to see who is watching because you can’t cope without having constant attention you sick deranged shit. We’re all here for the puppies. Not you! Actually - just get out. You’re barred. Someone get Crusty. This gobby attention seeker won’t leave. Ha! Now they’re running.
Anywho. Shush. Stop nagging me. I’m getting to the point.
The point being that I wrote that blog and diverted off, like I normally do, into weird tangents, which also involved buying yet another book on Nietzsche. (Nietzsche was kinda like Jordan Peterson from the 1870’s. He was a gifted thinker. I mean the guy was off the chart genius and came up with the some of the most incredible theories about life and living – just as Jordan Peterson does. Nietzsche also courted great controversy with his views, as Peterson does, and I think it’s fair to say both Nietzsche and Peterson suffer with debilitating mental health.)
I then toddled off to a non-puppy café and read Nietzsche over a coffee like a completely pretentious writer twat. In fact, the only way it could have been more pretentious was if I smeared organic avocado pulp on my bald head and threw sourdough toast at the middle-class mums who safely made it from their SUV’s into the coffee shop in their yoga pants and ankle length puffa jackets. Miaow! Shut up. They do that. We’ve all seen them.
Although in all honesty I did actually hide the book cover in case anyone thought I was a total fuckstick, and if asked I would have said it was about football or some other manly pursuit. Bricks maybe. Manly men like bricks apparently. Who knew.
And that long rambling nonsense eventually looped all the way back to being unable to read the Shiny New Hardback on the day I bought it because I had chores to do. One of which involved getting a ferocious German Shepherd, that being Crusty, into the shower so I could use a turkey baster to squirt cleaning solution up his bum.
No. You did that read that right.
He has a bad bum, or rather, he has an infected anal gland thing going on. Poor chap stinks a bit and he’s very sore and can’t poop properly, so he’s on lots of meds, and because the infection is very stubborn his anus and the surrounding areas have to be washed with medical cleaning liquid – which is best delivered by way of a turkey baster. Which is a nice explanation but really when it comes down to it, I’m still in the shower squirting his bumhole with a baster, while he stares at me all like what the actual fuck do you think you are doing?
Crusty can do this whole Clint Eastwood look sometimes. Even Deli backed off. She’d wanted to come into the shower and play with the turkey baster at first. I guess it looked like fun. Then Crusty’s tail went up and his puckered hole puckered up a bit more and she thought fuck that, byeeee!
But then Deli probably had flashbacks to that day when that thing happened.
Which we don’t talk about.
Cos it’s private.
We all said we’d never mention it.
I said don’t ask!
Look. It was Bear’s fault. He was the mucky sod. We were all just there. And he needed cleaning. We didn’t mean for it to happen.
Oh god. Now it sounds like really bad.
Okay. Right. What happened was… Bear was losing control of his back legs due to the X-ray he’d had which caused a slipped disc and possibly the onset of DM, and because of that he needed more care and attention. So Hannah and I had started taking him into the garden during warm weather and giving him a good scrub and clean. Which he loved because it meant lots of fuss.
So I was doing the back end and Hannah was at the front end and Deli and Crusty were helping by literally not helping at all and it was all going along nicely in a good clean Christian way when I reached down and gave him a clean around his bum to his balls and willy.
No. Shut up.
He couldn’t reach them by then to clean himself.
Or maybe he could. I mean, he said he couldn’t. But whatever. I cleaned his bum and balls and willy and Bear being Bear, he instantly did that thrusting humping thing that dogs do and his peepee popped out and he shot his load at Hannah’s face. Cos she was bent down cleaning his front end.
Of course, she gasped and jumped back, as you would, or rather, she cried out did he just jizz in my fucking face?
At which point Deli rushed in and also got sprayed with doggy semen, cos by then Bear was spraying the whole garden with his DNA.
It went everywhere, and I couldn’t just let him go. I would have dropped him. So I was holding this ejaculating dog while Hannah wiped the goo from her forehead and Deli was licking it and Crusty was joining in and Bear was grinning and it just kept coming out. It was like pints of the stuff.
Right. Honestly. No. We’re not talking about that ever again.
But the point is Deli saw me squirting turkey baster stuff up Crusty’s arse and clearly had a flashback and legged it, all of which meant I didn’t get round to reading the Shiny New Hardback until Sunday. The result of which is in the previous blog article.
But then the strangest thing happened.
I read the blog article back and then stripped nearly all the side stories and tangents and humour out.
Because I had this voice in my head
“This isn’t funny.”
“This is too long.”
“What does any of this have to do with the book you bought?”
“Get to the point. Your humour doesn’t work. Nothing you say is interesting or funny. Every other writer is better than you. You’re not a professional. You’re only an Amazon author. You’re not good at this.”
It was horrible. It made me second guess every word I wrote and so I cut it all back and put the blog out and then later Hannah said I read your blog. I asked her what she thought. She went quiet for a few seconds, then she said, yeah, it was short though. I mean. You normally write more than that.
She was right and she didn’t need to say anything else.
Hannah saw what happened during the edits for The Elfor One and DELIO.
They were too harsh. Too forceful. They were wayyyy too much.
It made me realise The Curse Of Delio still lingers.
I’ve always made 95% of the changes editors want. Their job is to make the book better – but then the last couple of years I’ve been growing in confidence and remember – I write The Undead which is raw and not edited by anyone and I get direct unfiltered feedback from my readers about what does and does not work. (We're talking about editing, not proofreading and commas you grammar Nazi.)
Plus, I’ve been doing it for over ten years now and I’ve written over 35 books – and since The Undead Day Eleven every single one of those books has been a bestseller. Not just The Undead but all of my books. A Town Called Discovery was at the top of the charts for weeks, and that wasn’t edited either.
So yes. I have grown in confidence, but I’m also always mindful that when working with publishers it’s their money and so they can choose to edit in ways I might not agree with. For the most part I do what they want. It’s cool. I’d rather keep a good relationship. But it got too much with Delio. I re-wrote that book for them so many times it made me get physically sick. I still did 95% of what they wanted, but they couldn’t handle the 5% I resisted on and so they got very forceful. I mean, who was I to question them?
Urgh. It was nasty. And now, nearly a year later, I’m still feeling the trauma and there are times I’ll slip into the memory of that time and second guess every bloody word – and I did it with that blog and stripped all the humour and me-ness out of it. The stupidity. The twatishness.
Hannah didn’t need to say anything either. I felt it inside. I couldn’t quite settle all day.
So, just now, I made a brew and figured I’d also write about that in a weird writing about writing kind of way – and do you know what? I’m glad I did.
I like sharing my stupidity with my readers and the inane crap we all go through, and the weird dog jizz experiences, or whatever is going on. It helps process and file the memories and thoughts.
You know what else?
This is the first time I’ve been able to write about Bear like that since he died. In a way that remembers the incredible character he was, and also a mucky pervert. Honestly! He was literally always giving himself doggy blowjobs. I went to the kitchen for a drink once and came back and he was standing on the sofa squirting it all over my plate of chicken and rice. I was gone for like ten seconds. He was fast asleep! How does that even happen?
So yes. Please do forgive my terrible breach of etiquette by daring to release two blog posts in as many days. Especially from a half-witted unfunny awful Amazon author.
Funny thing is…. those editors are also employed by Amazon - but we won’t tug that thread.
I’m off to play with the turkey baster in the shower.
DELIO. Phase One is out 3rd March on Kindle & Pback. Audio version to follow soon.
"A gripping story. Harrowing, and often hysterical."
"This book is very different to anything else out there - and brilliantly so."
"You'll fall so hard for these characters, you'll wish the world would freeze just so you could stay with them forever." A single bed in a small room. The centre of Piccadilly Circus. A street in New York city outside of a 7-Eleven. A young woman taken from her country. A drug dealer who paid his debt. A suicidal, washed-up cop. The rest of the world now frozen. Unmoving. Unblinking.
From RR Haywood, the author of the worldwide bestselling Extracted, and The Code trilogies, and the phenomenal Undead Series - DELIO PHASE ONE is a heart-pounding, relentless, often laugh-out-loud blockbuster adventure. When nearly every person on the planet becomes frozen a small group of survivors must navigate the darkest sides of human behaviour while learning about the creation of the world's first fully self-aware Artificial Intelligence.
In London, Yelena is trapped in a room after being sex-trafficked from Romania, and Alfie has one more drop to make then he's free of drug dealing forever. In New York, Detective Joe Stephens is working a case. Life has worn him down. He's ready to end it. Poppy is a film-maker desperate to never go back to the UK, and Tripal is a clerk in a 7-Eleven that has a secret. A secret that might be connected to why every human being on the planet just froze.