‘Susan Shocks’ my new book for children. Get it now for £2.30 ($3)

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Seven brand new stories for children. Strange things are happening in the seaside town in which Susan lives. The seagulls have grown tired of begging for food from humans and have taken control of the promenade. Most of the grown-ups have run away screaming in terror. Eight-year-old Susan is not running away. She enlists the help of mysterious odd job man Mister Sixty in order to save the town from danger. The pair go on to face such weird threats as rebellious TV sets, out-of-control baths, and giant goldfish in order to defend the sleepy coastal town.. Finally, they must pit their wits against The Happysad in order to win the battle once and for all. The stories are exciting, funny and heart-warming and will captivate children from eight years old and upward.

Get it from (USA)

https://www.amazon.com/Susan-Shocks-Jon-Kenna-ebook/dp/B01II8D4TO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1468624011&sr=8-2&keywords=jon+kenna

Get it from (UK)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Susan-Shocks-Jon-Kenna-ebook/dp/B01II8D4TO/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1468626296&sr=1-4&keywords=jon+kenna

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Will you let him in?

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“He comes to my room at night…”

In 2014 ‘Mr. Mad’ was published.

Imagine a box. Imagine putting all the darker aspects of yourself, all the things you would rather no-one knew about you, into that box and imagine closing the lid. Feel better?

Doctor Georgina Barnes is a respected psychiatric consultant on a busy hospital ward. She knows exactly how to convince people that she is confident, capable and in control. All of the darker aspects of herself are safely locked away in a box. No-one can threaten the façade. Not even Junior Doctor Billy Craig?

A year ago, Redman was a detective with the police. Now he’s an in-patient on a psychiatric ward. When a fellow patient falls to his death from the hospital roof, Redman’s cop instincts re-awaken. People say the old guy took his own life. Redman is not convinced. But if the man was pushed from that roof… who pushed him? And why are the hospital authorities so keen to avoid an investigation?

The doctors have suggested Redman imagine a box. They say he should imagine putting the symptoms of his illness; the voices, the hallucinations, the paranoia… into that box. Redman battles his symptoms in order to uncover the truth about the man who fell from the roof. Everyone on the ward is a suspect, even Redman himself. To solve the mystery, he must face his own demons. He must open the box

For a limited time you can download ‘Mr. Mad’ FREE. Click the link.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00THCJ11Q?keywords=mr.+mad&qid=1455055683&ref_=sr_1_2&sr=8-2

Stories or Chapters?

‘I initially wrote these as separate stories for children age 8-13 but found that, even though most of the stories can be read independently, there was a definite plot progression which meant that they were best read in a particular order. So it may be that the stories end up being called chapters or maybe I’ll just have a list of titles. Anyway, here’s the stories/chapters/titles in the correct order.’ JK

Contents

  1. Evil Seagulls
  2. Susan Shocks
  3. Bad Television
  4. Talk Talk
  5. Inside the Machine
  6. Ice Scream
  7. The Happysad

New look for jonkenna.com

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I have an official writer’s website which has just got a bit of a make-over. I’m going to try to use it a bit more than I have in the past so I’d love it if you’d take a look by going to

jonkenna.com

The first of the planned regular posts is a list of my top 5 books of fiction. How does it compare with yours? It would be great if you could become a subscriber at that site as well as this. If you do, I’ll come round to your house and bake you a cake.

Why Money Doesn’t Matter. Much.

ghostMost of this post is a joke, remember. Most of it. This first bit is not a joke, though. For a limited time only my book Ghost Road is available to download on Kindle for £0.77 (or for absolutely nothing if you have Kindle Unlimited apparently. What is Kindle Unlimited anyway? Is it anything like The Milk Man Unlimited ? I subscribed to that and he now brings me Muller Fruit Corners any time of the day or night. Sorry but can’t figure out how to do those two little dots over the ‘u’ in ‘Muller’).

Even though this post is mostly a joke, the book isn’t. It’s more scary than funny (I hope so anyway!). Have a look at the description at Amazon.

 

Now, I must draw to your attention the blood, sweat and tears that were spilled in the creation of this masterpiece of fear (my book Ghost Road, I mean, not this post). Four hundred pages and God knows how many thousand words…  they don’t just write themselves, you know. All those days when you were out there running through fields of flowers, cavorting on sun-kissed beaches or laughing as you prance naked through a Cumbrian mountain stream with Lord Melvyn Bragg… all that time, I was crouched, unshaven and clad only in string underpants, punching words into a moist keyboard.

All that effort and the bloody thing ends up selling for 77 pence!! Even the Pound Shop specifies a minimum quid charge for the (auto) biographies of Robbie Williams and Joe Pasquale (sorry but can’t figure out how to do an accent over the ‘e’ of Pasquale)

This is pretty much all a joke, remember. Actually, if someone wants to pay 77 pence for anything that’s emerged from the fevered brain of yours truly, aka me, then I’m happy. To be honest I’m happy if anyone reads anything I’ve written even if they haven’t paid a penny. Maybe it’s better if people haven’t paid to read my stuff because that means they can give an honest opinion, untainted by the exchange of filthy, stinking cash which was probably obtained through drugs or blackmailing minor members of the Royal family.

So feel free to help yourself to an almost free copy of my book Ghost Road from Kindle any time you like and don’t worry a bit about the ridiculously low pricing. I needed to draw my horns in a little anyway; cut down on all that food for the kids, forget about repairing that hole in the roof of our meagre dwelling… And just so you can do that, here’s where you can get it;

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghost-Road-Jon-Kenna-ebook/dp/B00OL13GU0/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1420241756&sr=1-1&keywords=jon+kenna

Of course the other alternative would be to pay a valiant £10.99 for a beautiful paper copy. It’s sold quite a few at that price so I really don’t mind about the 77 pence thing. No really. NO REALLY. You know this post was mostly a joke, don’t you? It really was JoKe.

 

 

The Evil of Nudity

nude suit-front-1This blog got 6000 hits in two days recently. It was on the day when all those nude celebrity photos got leaked. Apparently, I posted a film review years ago which mentioned Jennifer Lawrence and nudity in the same breath. There was also a picture of her in the nude. This post had evidently appeared on Google whenever anyone searched for ‘nude celeb pics’ or similar (the post is still up if you can be bothered searching through the archives of this blog).

All this excitement got me thinking about nudity. And nudity creates excitement like nothing else. It’s hard to talk about this without feeling a bit sleazy. I thought about posting a few shots of celebrities with their kit off but it just felt wrong. So to make myself feel a bit less like an exploitative slime ball, I will post a photo of myself in the nude; just to show even-handedness (and show some other things too). Some of you may not be ready to face the sight of me with my clothes off so I’ll post it on the ABOUT ME part of this blog so that you at least have a choice about whether to go there. It will be the first photo at the top of the page so… brace yourself.

To be honest, I’m not completely naked on the photo; I do have a minimum of clothing on. And that’s the interesting thing because Jennifer Lawrence wasn’t nude in the picture I posted, not technically. She was wearing an alien suit which simulated nudity; alien nudity. In fact, there was hardly any of her actual naked skin visible at all. But the photo makes it feel like we’re seeing her naked. Does it matter that we’re actually seeing less skin than would normally be on display if she had just been wearing regular T-shirt and jeans?

Come to think of it, what’s the big deal about nakedness? After all. we’re all naked under our clothes. Why are certain parts of our bodies deemed to be unsuitable for general viewing? Who decided which of our body parts should be rated 18? Why don’t we get upset when someone puts a photo of a celebrity’s bare elbows online? Why don’t bikinis have special pieces of fabric to cover belly buttons on the beach? You might think it was the bodily parts which have a sexual function that cause us to get all embarrassed but what is the sexual function of female breasts? You might think that it’s the male/female bodily differences that we want to cover with clothes but males and females both have buttocks so why are we all so reluctant to show off our arses? (except students and football fans of course). Even more puzzling, the specific body parts needing to be covered change from culture to culture and from time to time. In Victorian England it was deemed shocking to reveal a female ankle, for example. Another one; when I was a kid I went on holiday to Malta and no-one was allowed into any religious building without first covering up their arms. So why do certain parts of our bodies need to be covered for reasons other than keeping them warm or protecting them from the elements and Hessian sofas?

I don’t know the answer except to say that it seems to be a peculiar quirk of human nature that if we are forbidden from seeing something, our curiosity is automatically triggered. It’s what drives us on in all spheres even space travel and scientific advancement. Like everyone, I looked at those scientific diagrams of the human form in school text books and felt curiosity, yes. But when real live girls told me that I could see this much but no further… I felt that the purpose of my entire life was to get to the forbidden fruit. Nudity itself isn’t really that arousing (visit any nudist club or naturist beach and see how unsexy, not to mention nauseating, nudity can be)

The whole thing is ludicrous given that we all have, pretty much, the same bodily bits and pieces hidden away. Why are we so curious about how celebrities look naked when we already know that they’re going to look roughly the same as any other person of the same sex that we’ve ever seen? It’s not like we’re going to see, instead of the usual breasts and vagina combo, two ice sculptures and a Toblerone.

I suppose it’s all part of the enigma we call human sexuality. We’re hard wired to find the opposite, and sometimes the same, sex attractive so that we will think it’s worth mating and thereby continuing the survival of our species. This is done in a variety of ways but the specifics are not that important so long as we keep finding other people interesting. This means that, regardless of continuing the species, we’re driven to come together (ha), to socialise, to live side-by-side with each other, to not kill each other (not all the time anyway), to make contacts, to find life rewarding enough to carry on at all.

So I didn’t post any photos of nude celebrities because I’m a hero. Instead, I posted a couple of pictures of people wearing nude suits. Weird though, some readers will probably object to those and find them offensive in the full knowledge that they are complaining about what are essentially pink duffel coats with dangly bits. The only true nudity you will see posted here today features me on the ABOUT ME page. Like I said, I’m a hero. Brace yourself.

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Frisked at the Flicks

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“What great food they offer at this cinema! And so reasonably priced!”

Has anyone ever uttered those words ever? Of course not. These days, if you buy a packet of M&Ms from the cinema shop you could find yourself in debtors’ prison by the end of the film. Not to mention the Pick & Mix; you can’t get a sugar dummy for less than £5. No-one ever goes in that section more than once. You occasionally see some poor fool wander in and fill a paper cone with a few liquorice allsorts, a handful of chocolate raisins and a sherbert dipdap. They saunter over to the counter and you see the sales assistant mouth the words ‘eleven pounds ninety four please’. You then see the customer stiffen into a semi-comatose state; mouth hanging open, eyes staring madly. They pay up of course because they can hardly put the sweets back into their individual plastic boxes. Their hands are often trembling as they hand over the cash.

I’ve started calling at the supermarket before I go to the cinema now. You can get family packs of most of that stuff for a quarter of the price. The cinema authorities forbid this of course. They would dearly love to strip search you as you go in; you can see it in their eyes. They’d love to discover a packet of Minstrels tucked down your skirt or a can of Coke in your handbag. But they’re not allowed to frisk you. Instead they glare at you as you shuffle past. It’s more of a shuffle than a walk because you’ve got a 6-pack of lager and a cooked chicken down the back of your jeans. Carrying that kind of weight it’s hard to portray nonchalance.

I’m Going Backwards

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I’m surprising myself by what music I’ve started to like. First, I couldn’t stop playing Walking with Elephants by Ten Walls and now I seem to be liking Disclosure’s album Settle. I didn’t like this stuff when I was seventeen and supposed to be going to Ibiza, clubbing all night. My musical taste is developing backwards; when I was in my teens, I liked Elvis Costello and The Pretenders and even some classical (old people’ s music!) whereas now I’ve started liking the mellow Ibiza club tracks (kids’ music!). It’s all going wrong.

Settle is the debut studio album by English electronic music duo Disclosure, released in 2013. The album includes the singles Latch, White Noise (I’m playing this one over and over and over), You & Me, F for You, Help Me Lose My Mind and VoicesSettle got critical praise and was nominated for the 2013 Mercury Prize, apparently. I read that on Wikipedia but I didn’t know it when I first heard it; I just played it accidentally, the way you do on Spotify. And I’ve been playing it ever since.

Spotify influences people in a way that TV used to in the days when we had a small number of channels. Each channel would show a wide range of contrasting programmes so that you could see a documentary on politics followed by a show about knitting jumpers followed by a sci-fi drama followed by Top of the Pops. You never knew what you were going to get (who said that, was it Forest Gump?). Spotify is like that. Even though it suggests music to you which is broadly of the same type as that to which you’ve just been listening, the variance is enough to lead you down totally unpredictable alleyways. TV isn’t like that any more; we have channels for sport, channels for films, channels for quizzes… You always know exactly what you’re going to get. It’s ghetto-ised (that can’t be a real word!)… over-organised in order to make as much money as possible. There are never any surprises. It leads to entrenchment and stagnation.

I watch less and less TV these days but my musical taste is going bonkers. So what’s happening to me? Not much actually. I still like all the old stuff I used to like but I’ve now seen the light with some of the more clubby music. I think it’s happened since I went on holiday to Ibiza last year and they were playing all that kind of stuff. I wasn’t clubbing; God forbid! I heard it in beach bars and on people’s radios and just circulating in the air as I was sitting in my bath chair, with a scotch blanket over my legs, doing a word search. I was so enthused by it (the music, not the bloody word search) I even considered taking off my duffel coat.

Truth is, there is no old people’s music or kids’ music; there’s just music. The music you like depends on where you’ve been, who you’ve been with, what you’ve felt, who you’ve felt, and an infinite number of other variables that go together to make up the person you are. And it’s always better when you haven’t got a clue what you’re going to get.