The Man Behind Head Porter – Paul Butterworth

The Man Behind Head Porter – Paul Butterworth

More from Lucy 😉

Lucy Brazier

Many of you will know Paul Butterworth as our own, dear Head Porter. You may even recognise him from both the big and small screen in The Full Monty, Frank, Doctors and – perhaps most impressively of all – the Country Life Butter advert with John Lydon. Here he is, in his own words…

It all started after a particularly smelly biology lesson when we had been dissecting a rat, in those days schools bred their own rats for A level dissection. The chemistry lesson when we secretly made some liquid concoction that would explode on contact when dry was fun as the teacher skipped about the classroom… but what really did it was pulling apart a daffodil.

In one of those revelatory moments it suddenly became clear in my 17 year old befuddled brain that I’d much rather be reciting Wordsworth’s…

I wandered lonely as a cloud

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Nothing is ever new…

I know, I know – more advice for you…

Have We Had Help?

…just endlessly rediscovered!!!


With the simple fact that these days your book will have an upward struggle to be seen on Amazon, considering there are slightly over 38 million other books there already, each one vying for your attention. Does the product of all your hard work stand a chance? One thing is blindingly obvious. It must be an attention grabber, and I’m not talking about the cover!!!

There was a time when I used to write several thousand words per day. In fact I subscribed to the idea that unless I wrote at least five thousand words a day, I wasn’t really writing, merely dawdling. Oh how wrong I was! These days I barely write two hundred words in one day.


Simple – I spend the rest of the day and the one after, even the one after that, endlessly checking each word, often substituting a far…

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Book Covers – Guest Post by, Andrew Joyce…

Book Covers – Guest Post by, Andrew Joyce…

Wondering why your book isn’t selling? Read on…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

By now I’m sure most of you know how important a book cover is for selling books. I’d say that the three most important things in getting someone to plunk down cold hard cash for one of your books are: 1) word of mouth, 2) your book cover, and 3) your blurb. However, you’re not going to get any word of mouth unless you first sell a few books, and to do that you’ll need to have a dynamite and unique cover … and a great blurb. But the cover has to come first.

I’ll stipulate that you’ll get people to your sales page on Amazon through marketing, social media, etcetera. But what’s the first thing they’re gonna see? That’s right, an image of your book. And what about the casual browser looking for a book in a genre they like? What are they gonna see as they scroll down…

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It’s short story time again…

Another goodun of mine… 😉

Have We Had Help?

6190443806ef41eabcbf7e5061975384Eye of the Storm

“What ye got there, give it me, give it me now blast yer eyes,” One Eye snarled, as he snatched the pretty bauble from my grip.

Ever since I had become his unwilling slave aboard this stinking, barely seaworthy, ancient pirate hulk a few months ago when his captain and crew captured our ship, One Eye had made my existence sheer hell. No matter what I did to please him it was never enough. Whenever I found something I thought I could call my own he instantly took it from me. He constantly beat me, telling me that it, was for my own good. “Now get below and fetch me vittles – quickly now blast yer eyes, else ye’ll be sorry!”

I scurried below, relieved to be out of his cruel reach, however briefly. I searched among the debris of the food locker and the bilge.

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There But For The Grace of God Go You

Just a reminder for those who think it won’t happen to them! I’ve been there. I know…

Have We Had Help?

homeless_1836463cThe inch-high conical spikes, with pedestrians in the background

We may live in the twenty-first century, but for millions of us poverty is a daily reality. Here in the United Kingdom, we are appalled by the endless stories in the newspapers and on television about millions of people in other countries living in squalor, wondering where their next meal is coming from while our very own homeless are worrying about where they can find shelter and something to eat.

While England is one of the richest countries in the western world, we currently have one third of the population (eighteen million) living below the poverty line. Of that eighteen million, several hundred thousand people here are homeless. This makes no sense at all when you consider that currently there are over seven hundred thousand empty homes across the nation. It begs the simple question, why don’t we take care of our own poor and starving first, before sending millions…

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The sweet remembered ghosts of the past

Here’s another absolute cracker of a tale from Jim Webster…

Tallis Steelyard


Sometimes I feel the need to be discreet lest my tales cause embarrassment or disillusionment to those who remain. In this case my discretion is based on a justified suspicion that if she thinks I’m taking notes, the stories that she tells will be even more scandalous.

If you are lucky you will doubtless know ladies like Maljie. Of indeterminate age, but unlikely to see sixty again. Indeed, given the quoted ages of their daughters and grandchildren, they were obviously child brides.

Maljie is one of those ladies whom I meet at the various soirees and entertainments I am asked to organise here in Port Naain. Sometimes she is present at one where I merely turn up to perform. She is rarely a friend of the hostess, instead she is a friend of the mother of the hostess and has been invited at mother’s insistence so that she does at…

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Come On, Own Up, How Many?

More advice for you to pay attention to or ignore…

Have We Had Help?


Here is a question for all my fellow writers, both published like myself, and those who just love to write for the sheer joy of doing so. How many hours do you spend writing each day and how many words is usually involved?

Ever since I changed the way I write from how I used to in the past, when I would spend hours to achieve a daily word count in the thousands, I now stick rigidly to a short but extremely intense daily session. I find this is the method that works best for me. If you are wondering how long, these days I limit myself to adding no more than one to two hundred words per day. In my case I start writing at five in the morning, finishing promptly at eight am. I find that to continue beyond that three hour working window of 100% concentration, means…

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When Sales Dry Up

More hard won advice for you…

Have We Had Help?


No matter how vigorously you may advertise your books. No matter how many advertising outlets, sales gimmicks like giveaways and any other method you may dream up, inevitably your book sales will dry up. It stands to reason that the good times cannot last forever, despite the fact that your books are still available.

From 2012 when I first dipped my toe into self-publishing until January 2014, I enjoyed monthly sales in the low thousands.

No more!!!

Am I rich because of the thousands of copies sold? Very definitely no. The total amount of earnings via royalties from all of my books still hasn’t broken through the £1000 barrier to this day. Nor will it. These days I consider myself fortunate indeed if I manage to sell one or two units per month.

Despite what some people may believe, when it comes to royalties, they are a tiny percentage of…

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