Yes, yes, I know. You’ve seen me at Reading, Winchester, and Portsmouth Comic Con. I’ve appeared in EGX’s Fringe Theatre lineup twice. I’ve spoken at the International Agatha Christie Festival, Portsmouth BookFest, the Hampshire Writers’ Society, and basically any local event that will have me, no matter how small.
“A recluse?” you might be asking. “Are you high?”
The answer is yes (and yes).
You see, the truth is that I’m simply not a people person. It’s not that I’m antisocial – I just don’t like talking to people, or even being around them for that matter. The reason I’ve put up with it so far is, essentially, that I wasn’t famous enough not to. Sure, it’s easier to avoid people if nobody knows you exist, but it’s also way less fun. There’s no challenge! But now – having appeared on panels at some of the larger local events and some of the more niche national ones – I think I’m finally in a position to become a hermit. That’s why I’ve cancelled all my upcoming appearances.
Also, now that I’m a big-shot reclusive author, I have a few eccentric demands:
- Stay at least two metres away from me at all times. I mean, preferably much farther, but definitely no less than that.
- In fact, stay at least two metres away from everybody else too. I don’t like crowds.
- No handshakes (even if your arms are somehow long enough). But wash your hands anyway. With soap.
- Stay at home unless you’re buying food or, like, absolutely have to go to work (and can’t work from home). I guess you can go out for one walk a day too. Just try to do it at a time when I’m not around.
- Seriously: wash your hands, you filthy gremlins.
I realise some of these points might seem like a big ask, but bear in mind I was at Portsmouth Comic Con – barely more than 70 miles out of London. That makes me approximately as famous as the extras from Star Wars, and my whims should be treated with all the gravity that entails.
It’s natural that you’ll have questions at this time, so I’d like to take the opportunity to assure you that it would be best to keep those to yourself. I’m much too eccentric and reclusive to answer them. Don’t worry, though: you’ll hear from me again just as soon as The Simpsons offers the inevitable cameo appearance.