I, Smith is a sort of multiple pile up of comedy influences, from Ealing Comedy, through the Goons, the Pink Panther, Tom Sharpe, the Young Ones, and an unhealthy does of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.
It was originally written 25 years ago as a collaboration between me and my best friend, David Mitchell. (David has gone on to become a bit of a mainstay of UK television and radio, in particular on "panel shows." I'm vaguely conscious that a significant proportion of the people who read my blog are not British... and I suspect for the non British this book will be rather like an anthropological expedition rather than light entertainment.)
A few years ago the original manuscript—printed on dot-matrix fanfold—resurfaced in my attic and I convinced Ray Fripp to help me make it into an actual book. I'm still waiting for him to forgive me.
Anyway, if you like a lot of silliness, and don't have the kind of exacting standards of storytelling you'd expect of your editor, you might quite enjoy reading it.
If you've been looking at my Youtube channel lately, you might have noticed that I'm talking a lot about fables - and telling them. This is not for nothing. I'm setting up a new project, and part of it is my new book (as opposed to I, Smith which is very definitely an old book). Who Owns Your Story? is both a collection of fables, and a fable in itself. But if you've seen my Youtube ep. on the subject, you'll know that doesn't mean it has a simple moral.
Instead, my book raises some complex but important questions about not only the role of stories and storytellers in our culture, but about what stories mean to everyone. Part of that is why you, as a writer, matter. And part of it is about how stories matter to everyone.
Who Owns Your Story? Will be available to buy early next month. If you want a reminder on launch day, enter your email address at the bottom of this page.
(The gorgeous picture, for the cover of my new book, is by my friend Heidi Love. She's available for designs and illustrations. Contact me if you want to know more.)