When you have a public platform of the magnitude of Idle Blogs it seems churlish not to announce today as the day I hand in my notice at work. If I was a total idiot, which I’m not, although this might be validly contested in certain circles. Today marks the publication of my debut novel the Life Assistance Agency. The day has finally arrived, despite more acute observers being understandably surprised it hasn’t happened sooner. It’s your typical 19 year overnight success.

It was called something else for a long time, until the title that had been staring out at me finally revealed itself. It was never intended as a social commentary or heavy tome. If it had then I’d happily declare it a failure. The Life Assistance Agency is not the sort of book involving vast Irish families with dubious historical secrets and a silhouetted park bench on the cover. It’s an entertaining escape involving an Elizabethan alchemist Dr Dee and Bruce Springsteen . It’s the sort of book I’d like to read, (if I hadn’t already  done so at least 50 times).

The Life Assistance Agency is an organisation that has no modus operandi, so therefore avoids painting itself into a corner, (although will do so if a client pays them enough to do so). It sounds more like a dodgy business plan mis-heard during a pub lock-in, which it was.

My plans for today involve writing a more robust blog recording a blow-by-blow account of publication day, which is likely to differ little from other days besides wearing an insufferably smug smile putting those on the faces of beach hut owners in the shade. I am also getting out of London to avoid the media scrum and paparazzi for the day.

This is a fabulous opportunity to declare how incredibly supportive SO many people have been. Readers of this blog, followers of my Twitter account at TomAngel1 (the reason for this will reveal itself to readers of the novel), so many of my friends, a Psychiatrist I work with, Faber Academy, my Publisher, and even the courier who delivered ten copies from my publisher this morning. I was so delighted I almost gave him one. He retreated to his van with only seconds to spare.

This support is the sort of thing giving social media a dangerously good name. I say this before the reviews come in; some of which are bound to read like the vitriol of someone who’s missed every bus since last Wednesday and recently had their own novel manuscript rejected.

I also apologise in advance for the imminent use of social media as a tool for nothing else but flog my book. I will keep it to a minimum, as it’s unbecoming. The novel needs to take on a life of its own without requiring me to take it for a daily walk, but for the next few weeks I shall be shouting from the roof tops, and it won’t be ‘Can someone please get me down?’

the Life Assistance Agency can be bought from local bookshops, Waterstones and from here :


Many thanks. x