Reading in 2012

I’ve read a lot more this year than last year – partly intentionally, as every writer needs to be reading, but partly due to a period of illness where I was sitting around trying not to be bored.

So, without too much comment, here’s the list in no particular order:

Salmon Fishing in Yemen – Paul Torday

The Guernsy Literary  Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaefer

Taliban Cricket Club – Tameri N Murari (incomplete)

Unreliable Memoirs – Clive James

The Name of the Book is Secret – Pseudonomous Bosch

And the self-pubbed:

MOD – J C Allen and Shirley Hicks

Shot of Tequilla – J A Konrath and Blake Crouch

The Fall of Billy Hitchings – Kirkus MacGowan

Are We Nearly There Yet? – Ben Hatch

Yesterday’s Gone – Sean Platt and David Write

Thy Feifdom Comes – David KO Chin.

10 Days to Tell the World about The Queensberry Rule

The Queensberry Rule has been on sale for a couple of weeks, and now there are just ten days left until Christmas.

So, here is your challenge, dear readers – Tell the world about it in the next ten days.  You might Facebook it, tweet it, put it in your Christmas newsletter, give it as a Christmas present, chalk it, wear it, shout it, tell people to sign up to my enewsletter.

Leave a comment with what you’ve done to promote The Queensberry Rule, and the Top Ten ideas will each receive a free ebook.

The competition will be judged by yours truly, based on:

  • Imagination
  • Reach

and the prize – a free ebook from my catalogue – will be emailed to the ten winners on Christmas Eve, just in time for some holiday reading.

So, get your thinking caps on and share it with the world!

What are the Rules?

The Rules were drafted by John Chambers in 1865, and published in 1867 as “The Queenberry Rules for the sport of boxing” with the support of John Douglas, the 9th Marquess of Queensberry.

The Queensberry Rules were intended for use in both professional and amateur boxing matches, thus separating them from the less popular American Fair Play Rules, which were strictly intended for amateur matches. In popular culture the term is sometimes used to refer to a sense of sportsmanship and fair play.

Here are the Rules:

  1. To be a fair stand-up boxing match in a 24-foot ring, or as near that size as practicable.
  2. No wrestling or hugging (clinching) allowed.
  3. The rounds to be of three minutes duration, and one minute’s time between rounds.
  4. If either man falls through weakness or otherwise, he must get up unassisted, 10 seconds to be allowed him to do so, the other man meanwhile to return to his corner, and when the fallen man is on his legs the round is to be resumed and continued until the three minutes have expired. If one man fails to come to the scratch in the 10 seconds allowed, it shall be in the power of the referee to give his award in favour of the other man.
  5. A man hanging on the ropes in a helpless state, with his toes off the ground, shall be considered down.
  6. No seconds or any other person to be allowed in the ring during the rounds.
  7. Should the contest be stopped by any unavoidable interference, the referee to name the time and place as soon as possible for finishing the contest; so that the match must be won and lost, unless the backers of both men agree to draw the stakes.
  8. The gloves to be fair-sized boxing gloves of the best quality and new.
  9. Should a glove burst, or come off, it must be replaced to the referee’s satisfaction.
  10. A man on one knee is considered down and if struck is entitled to the stakes.
  11. That no shoes or boots with spikes or springs be allowed.
  12. The contest in all other respects to be governed by revised London Prize Ring Rules.

The Rules and the Marquess both feature in The Queensberry Rule – more on them later.

Margin Call 2

I recently saw Margin Call for the second time and if anything enjoyed it even more than the first time.  You can read my original review here.

Context is everything, and this time around I saw the film as part of what is known as The West Pymble Thinking Person’s Movie Festival.  It’s really just a bloke’s book club, except we don’t pretend that everyone (anyone?) will have time to read a book in the same month – so we eat, watch the film and talk about it.  Our first film was Enron – The Smartest Guys in the Room, adn the third is likely to be MoneyBall.  We’re planning to choose films about business and ‘or ethical issues, to stimulate discussion.

The quality of conversation, both film related and otherwise, has so far been top-notch.  The signs are that the Festival is going to evolve into a supportive and challenging event that will play its part in encouraging those present to be better dads, husbands and business people.

Try it yourself – we can’t recommend it highly enough.




The Queensberry Rule On Sale Now!

It’s now five years since Steve McAlpine uttered those fateful words “I’ve got an idea for a film script” one night in Perth over a beer.

With a few twists and turns, some dormant periods and many skype sessions, our cross-continental collaboration has finally yielded The Queensberry Rule.

It’s a short novel, with an accompanying film script already underway.

It’s available now at and