I tweeted a dumb story about my Skyrim dog and I went viral and it’s insane

So, basically a few days ago I was very hungover and trying to write an article about Parks and Rec, and decided to procrastinate by going on Twitter and talking about Skyrim. Cut to a couple of hours later, and my phone literally shut itself off because I was getting too many notifications. I’d gone viral. Over the next few days – up until about now basically, although I think it’s dying down – I watched it spread around the world. It seemed to take off in the UK first, and then got picked up by Buzzfeed UK:

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 11.48.51 am


and then spread into the US when they all woke up, getting picked up by Imgur, Daily Dot, Kotaku, all the other Buzzfeeds, and then basically everywhere. It was the front page of Reddit, it’s doing the rounds on Tumblr with a billion reblogs, it was even shared by New York Magazine?

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It’s just been ridiculous and hilarious, and has meant I’ve spent the last few days chatting with really excellent people (except for a couple of gamergaters who I joked about summoning AND THEN THEY CAME and then I blocked them all bc it was all too much).

And some legend sent me 10 Euros for ‘dog food’ to my Paypal account, so it’s been pretty lucrative for me.

Going viral is just a weird experience, because literally more people than I can actually imagine have read something dumb that I’ve written. It’s not the dumbest thing, but it’s also a story about being overly committed to a video game. Oh, and my mum sent me this amazing message:



Internet success.

Anyway, here’s the whole ludicrous story, or you can read it on Twitter here.



Merry Batmas – get my book for cheaps

Hey, look. I’ve been banging on about my book a lot, for like an entire year and I’m frankly sick of it. You’re probably sick of it. We’re all sick of it. There’s been a metric fuckton of amazing people who have bought the book, supported the book, come to see me read and just be plain amazing. I want to thank you. You’re amazing.

But I also understand that it’s hard to make cash dollars in the big city, that times are hard, that books are expensive, that sometimes you just can’t buy a goddamn book, even though you really have the best intentions of doing so. I do that all the time. I apologise to all the amazing books that i’ve wanted to read this year, but have been tooooooo poor.

So anyway, because of all this, I have reduced the price of the ‘Bats ebook to 99c, for a week or so in December.

Whaaaaaat? Are you mad? That’s like five red frogs. Basically, here’s my book. Just have it. I want you to read it. I hope you enjoy. I’d really be flattered if you could take the time to have a read, and maybe share the link around and let anyone you know who is the kind of jerk who likes stupid short stories about funny supermans about it.

Here’s the link to Amazon Australia: http://bit.ly/BatsAmazonAU

And Amazon US: http://bit.ly/BatsAmazon




Thiel Online Writing Grant shortlist!

I am very very excited to announce that I’ve been shortlisted for the inaugural Thiel Grant for Online Writing! It’s super exciting and I’m amongst some really fantastic writers.


If I win, I’ll be doing a massive blogging project where I visit people all around the world who I used to play an online roleplaying game with as a teenager, and discovering what happens when you take a relationship from online to IRL. Is there a massive difference? Is there some kind of inherent truth to meeting someone in person that you mightn’t get in a chat room? Or does the internet maybe free you to forge a different kind of relationship? But mostly it’s about how funny and awkward it is to go on a road trip with people you technically haven’t met before.

Some of you may remember this as the project I pitched to the 2013 SOYA awards, in which I was a finalist – it’s been a project I’ve been working towards for a long time. You can also read a kind of prequel to the project over at Seizure’s Alt-Txt called ‘People I’ve Never Met from Places that Don’t Exist’.


But it’s a huge honour, and I think it’s amazing that Philip Thiel created this grant for a medium of writing that still isn’t entirely understood or taken seriously by a lot of people.


So I’ve published a book, oh my god what now?

On Sunday March 1st, A Man Made Entirely of Bats burst forth unto this world, shrieking and pissing furiously as literally dozens of onlookers watched in horrified awe. Let me say this about the entire publishing experience: it’s been an unmitigated joy. I feel so warm and protected by all the people who have supported me and my tiny rabies-filled baby. From the good people at Spineless Wonders, to all the amazing folk who bought a copy of Bats during our pre-release drive and are currently staring baffled at my personalised message, to the gorgeous hordes that came to my launch, to the people who have written nice things about the book… it’s just all been amazing. Thank you.




THIS BEN JENKINS GUY IS JUST SO NICE AND FUNNY and helped launch the book, what a goddamn prince.

THIS BEN JENKINS GUY IS JUST SO NICE AND FUNNY and helped launch the book, what a goddamn prince.


Look at this fuckface

But there’s been a kind of unstoppable momentum up until this moment, all aiming towards the publication date. I’ve been annoying on social media, I’ve been wandering around thrusting my book into people’s faces. But the fact that it’s now published and in some bookshops and online doesn’t mean that it’s all stopped. Oh no, now it’s just began.

For me, I’ll be doing a lot of things. I’ll be doing readings and events and festivals. I’m heading down to Canberra later this month for the Noted Festival, I’ve got some exciting events at Giant Dwarf next month, doing something AWESOME with the Sydney Writers Festival, a comedy reading with some of my favourite authors at Better Read Than Dead in April… I’m going to be unstoppably in your face. That is what I’m going to be doing next. It’s not that I expect to make money from this collection of weird short fiction – I’m not trying to support my starving rescue dogs from the proceeds, or buy myself a white leather tuxedo. But I worked really hard on this book, and I’m proud of it, so I want to make sure that as many people as possible read it. I want to make sure I don’t sit idly by while it slowly fades away into nothing. Maybe it will be only read by a few dozen of the best people on earth, but it’s not in my nature to be complacent about anything to do with stuff I’m passionate about.

There was a great article in Seizure about what people can do to support a debut book, the weakest and most likely to die of all the books. I suggest you go and read it, because it’s just wonderful and 100% true: http://seizureonline.com/agony-aunt-friendly-fan/

Sometimes it is hard to know how to show support for the writers in your life. You toast them at the launch, slap them on the back or tell them how much you like their book. Don’t get me wrong, this is good moral support but it is very likely that the author you know is sweating it out. They are sitting at home staring at a crack in the wall that has begun to symbolise their life, because after years of slog, submission, acceptance and then sweet, sweet publication, nothing much really happens.

You may see a review or two, even in the serious literary supplement of a serious weekend newspaper, and assume that they are now your famous and successful author friend. This is most likely not true. From the outside they appear upbeat but their ears are ringing with deafening silence, punctuated by the odd review or mention.

So what can family, friends and fans do to help? Plenty.

This is what has rung true for me – it took me ages to realise that just because my published friends were famous to me, famous-to-me is not a position that sells books. One of my favourite things to do is only give Australian/friend books to people for Christmas. It’s an easy thing to do, and the recommendation that comes with it usually means the gift means more.

Anyway, this article has a list. I’m going to post this list.

So basically it is quite a challenge to get noticed as an author and the one you know is probably too bashful or prideful to ask for help. Here are some things that any friend, family or fan of an author can do to help raise their profile and get that clap-o-meter to move:

  • Buy a copy at the launch
  • Buy a copy from a bookshop
  • Buy a copy from a bookshop that doesn’t stock it and have them order it
  • Sneakily move your friend’s book to face-out when bookshop staff aren’t looking
  • Bring some friends to the book launch. There will, after all, be free wine and maybe even some cheese.
  • Depending on how close you are to your author, you may like to offer assistance to plan and execute the book launch (since this is often the author’s responsibility these days).
  • Say something online; Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, to name a few*
  • If you’ve got a blog, write a blog post or run an interview; after all, you’ve got access to an author!
  • Take your author out for a drink. Ask them how the publicity trail (trial) is going and encourage them to keep going, to reach out to more bookshops, libraries and bloggers if they seem to have lost steam. Which they may well have, because trying to get attention for their book may seem like banging their head against a particularly unresponsive brick wall.
  • Brainstorm networks for the author to tap. These could be local schools if the book has relevance, media contacts or events planners – to name but a few. Publishers are trying to promote a roster of books all year round – an author’s networks are invaluable.

Such a good list! In my job as Digital Marketer, we’ve found that reviews on Goodreads and Amazon etc are just really important. They’re the internet version of word of mouth. And word of mouth is king. Anyway, watch this space if you want to find out deets of any of these events and stuff, and also now that things have calmed down a little bit, I’ll start actually writing some shit for this blog, instead of endless self promotion. Speaking of which:

If you want to buy Bats, you can buy it in print from many places like here at Spineless Wonders, here at Amazon and here at Booktopia or you can buy it in ebook from Tomely or Amazon.

But seriously. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone for all the support. You’re all golden dolphins swimming in the sun.



Launch Made Entirely of Bats

Come to A Launch Made Entirely of Bats

Hello friends – if you’re in Sydney, it is a week until the launch party for A MAN MADE ENTIRELY OF BATS! And you’re invited!



It’s going to be such a good night – launching the book will be friend, former colleague, actor, comedian, writer, good guy and secret spy BEN JENKINS, who you might know as the host and co-creator of ABC’s Story Club, or his work on The Checkout, or maybe his podcast Free to a Good Home. He has so many facets to his bow.


I don’t actually know what this is, but it came up when I googled Ben so… legally I have to include it.



The art of Daniel Lethlean Higson will be displayed and on sale as well. You might know him as the designer who created the amazing cover of A Man Made Entirely of Bats.


Some of Daniel Lethlean Higson’s art: mountforeverest.tumblr.com


And I’ll also read a bunch of stories while you drink free booze and have some snacks and it will be a blast, a goddamn blast I tell you. Please come! Bring friends! See you there!


WHEN: Wednesday 18th February, 7.30pm

WHERE: Alpha House Gallery, 226 Union Street, Erskineville (Just off King Street, near The Union Hotel)





2014 Crowd-Favourite Bullshit from this Blog

Hey, 2014 was a year that happened. For me it was a pretty grand year, which involved all sorts of nicenesses, but also there was some bad, it’s almost like a year is an arbitrary hunk of experiences sliced from the formless chaos that is existence by the math boffins who secretly run the world! Almost like. Anyway, I wrote some stuff on this blog and I’m going to look at the stats and see which ones people liked the most/ clicked on!

1. Valentimes Day Cards for non-suckers



You guys. Love is a funny thing, and Valentimes day is a stupid thing. If anybody ACTUALLY gave their significant other one of these cards, I will send them a hamper.

2. Urgh, Writing


So this year I wrote A Man Made Entirely of Bats and started submitting it to places and then was lucky enough to have it picked up by Spineless Wonders. I’ve been blogging about the process of writing and publishing a book – and will continue to do so – and have put it all under the series name ‘Urgh, Writing’. I do some things like explain what an editor is.



This is one of my favourite things I’ve started doing on da blogue this year. Writers I Real Like is a little series I’ve been doing where I wax rhapsodically about some writers I goddamn like. It’s a real treat to potentially introduce people I like to other people! So far I’ve had this host of legends: Kat Muscat, Michelle Law, Scott McClanahan and Jack Vening.

4. Curriculum Worstae


A ten part series of micro-fictions about some of the worst jobs I’ve ever done! It’s like an anti-resume!

5. 10 Potential Spinoff Shows from Game of Thrones


 1. How I met your Mother of Dragons

Fun and sassy sitcom about Daenerys Stormborn, living in New York and falling in and out of love. Jorah Mormont played by Neil Patrick Harris.

 2. Jon Snow’s Feelings for Snow

Jon Snow solves murders in the cold wastes beyond The Wall.

3. Melisandre’s Puppy Rescue

Because the night is dark and full of terriers.

Read more.



Five Books from 2014 that I Can Remember

Hey, look, if I had even a hope of remembering all the books I read during 2014, I’d goddamn do an end of year best of 2014 style list. End of year lists are my jam – I unapologetically love them. I frequently go and read ‘best albums’ lists, and then spend the subsequent year really enjoying them, but being unable to discuss them in cool bars, because they are so last year. Anyway, I’ve decided to just fucking go with the flow and list five books that I read this year that spring to mind, because obviously they mean a lot to me.

1. Yes Please by Amy Poehler


I love Amy Poehler, so it wasn’t really a surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed her book. What was the surprise was the method in which I enjoyed it. Yes, I laughed. I did this weird thing where I grinned really widely on public transport and just breathed through my nose a lot. It is goddamn funny. But it was also entirely genuine, and gave advice in the manner of someone you trust telling you something really relevant and truthful. This book came at a very good time for me – there’s all sorts of racks you flay yourself upon when you’re putting something as momentous as a book out into the world, even if it’s only a teeny-tiny book. Amy’s views on art making were refreshing and revitalising. And to be honest, her whole chapter about prize winning and ‘almost getting the pie’ was SUPER timely for me. God this book. I feel like I’ll be reading it once a year for sanity.

2. Dress, Memory by Lorelei Vashti


I’ve been a fan of Lorelei’s for a while, having been introduced to her blog by my girlfriend, Bridget, who very rightly pointed out that it would be right down my alley. I enjoyed everything about this memoir – the tactile memories of the dresses themselves, the honesty, the humour, the style of writing. But this was also a very important book for me, because it helped confirm the direction I was going on with my own manuscript ‘Will You Look At All These Things?’. If you read this blog a lot, you’ve probably read some bits from it, but I’m basically writing a memoir, or as I describe it ‘a bunch of anecdotes from my life worth telling’. At various points while writing it, I’ve been filled with doubt about whether it’s worth writing – there’s no overarching narrative to adhere to, I’m not a celebrity, I’m relatively young and people are being mean to Lena Dunham about writing a memoir while young, and SHE’S a fucking celebrity with a TV show – what the fuck have I done? But the very description of this book salved some of those fears: ‘Dress, Memory is Lorelei Vashti’s piecemeal memoir of her twenties in dresses.’ Piecemeal memoir – I love that.

3. The Rook by Dan O’Malley


Yep. Most fun had in book form. A really humorous yet still suspenseful urban fantasy, it just ticks all my boxes. Oh man. Basic plot: woman wakes up surrounded by creepily gloved dead bodies, has no memory of who she is, but finds letters to herself hidden in her clothing from before she lost her memory. Then basically has to play out a high placed role in a kind of Hogwarts style secret service. I didn’t want to stop reading this, it’s just so wonderful.

4. Crapalachia by Scott McClanahan


Beautifully written, disturbing, playful, just absolutely excellent. I already talked a bit about this when I raved about how much I liked Scott McClanahanahanahan, but I can honestly say I haven’t stopped thinking about this book since I read it.

5. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett


I read this book as part of my Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge, and in doing so totally confirmed why I started doing this ridiculous challenge in the first place, and why I’ll probably be doing it for the rest of my life. But this book is breathtaking – and I don’t mean that in the trite, over-used way we’re used to hearing breathtaking. This book made me hold me breath in suspense, and release it in wonder. It was just gorgeous.

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A Man Made Entirely of Bats: LOOK AT THE COVER


Jesus, Mary and Tim – I’m so frickin’ excited to reveal the cover of my collection A Man Made Entirely of Bats. Oh my goodness. Without further ado, here it is:

front (1)

I just love how in many ways it’s saying ‘I’m a decapitated head. I may not be able to form words through my severed vocal cords, but I still have something to say’. I love how there is a ‘man made entirely of bats’ in the background. The bat ground. I love how it says my name, like I’m a real person, and not a robot.

This is the work of the ultra-talented Daniel Lethlean Higson. Bronwyn, my publisher showed me his work right at the beginning of this process – ‘I’ve seen this guy and I think he’d be perfect for your writing’. And it is totally true – I absolutely adore this cover. He’s also done amazing interior illustrations in the book. Daniel’s work is colourful and weird and endlessly fascinating. You can check out more of his art at mountforeverest.tumblr.com

A Man Made Entirely of Bats is coming out on March 1st 2015, but we’re doing a super cool preorder drive at the moment, which means you’ll get it much earlier than everyone else. Also, you get it for the cheap-as-free price of $17.99 instead of $22.99, and it will include a personalised message/story/litany of insults from me, and a free 6 month’s subscription to the Spineless Wonders Bookclub – that’s a download every fortnight for 10 weeks starting in Feb 2015,  valued at $15.

It would be really, really great if you considered getting in on this pre-release offer, perhaps as some kind of Christmas present – what do you get the person who has everything? A really weird book. What do you get your weird nephew? A really weird book. What do you get your enemy? A really weird book, which will dismay and disorient them!

But what is it even about, you ask? Well, why don’t you listen to one of these handsome experts who wrote nice things, which is just such a lovely fucking thing to do.

‘Despite – or, perhaps, because of – a recurring preoccupation with the television show Friends, A Man Made Entirely of Bats is a consistent laugh-riot.’


‘Featuring a colourful assortment of superheroes, mutants, zombies, bank robbers and boy bands – these stories are wonderfully bizarre, original and hilarious. A new and original voice, Patrick Lenton’s short stories bring qualities rare in Australian fiction; inventiveness, humour, and a fine sense of the absurd.’
RYAN O’NEILL, The Weight of a Human Heart

To order, you just need to go to the Spineless Wonders website: here. You’re so great.