I release a book!!!

Or at least I’m having one released for me this summer by The Friday Project, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. But I did all the writing an’ stuff. If you missed yesterday’s unhinted-at announcement then the book’s website is here and it’s now available on pre-sale at Amazon here.

This is all clearly both exciting and scary and pretty well everything in between. But I’m hoping to get to grips with all that.

One question that a lot of people have asked so far is: is it the same as the blog? The answer being: no. It’s written in the same style, and covers the same sort of ground, and being a memoir it’s inevitable that longer-term readers (hullo!!!) will recognise some of the events. But it’s not a collection of blog posts, if that’s what you’re asking. I suppose it’s the back-story, if you like. Mixed with – erm – the front story.

Statistically, blogs have been demonstrated to become less interesting just as soon as their author finds a more glamorous outlet for their talents, before picking up again as the writer realises that online diaries are still quite fun after all (known as the ‘belle curve’ effect.) I will try not to let this happen, but do bear with me when I start trying to write amusing things about sales figures.

It is odd writing as me online, so I am retaining JonnyB, who has been my friend for years now. I suppose it is a bit like pop musician David Bowie. He adopts an assumed name and persona as Ziggy Stardust, in order to do lots of gigs and a record ‘in character’ – but when it is all done, he reverts back to his original real name, David Bowie. So there you go.

Thank you – everybody – for reading, commenting, linking and saying nice things over the years that this little Private Secret Diary has been on the web. I got my millionth visit a month or so ago, which I hadn’t really anticipated when I started writing little inconsequential snippets about nothing particular. It has been… gobsmacking, and the book wouldn’t have happened without you. It seriously wouldn’t. You are like – so to blame. Thank you also to all the people who twittered and linked and stuff yesterday. I got a bit overwhelmed. Booooooo.

Oh and the LTLP’s pregnant. But back to me. That’s all for now. Obviously it would be lovely if you all ordered eight copies and told all your friends to as well – but really I’m just happy with peoples’ good wishes.

No – who am I trying to kid? Sex and Bowls and Rock and Roll is available to pre-order from Amazon (UK), and internationally (with free postage) from The Book Depository.

I will stop going on about it now.

59 thoughts on “Sex and Bowls and Rock and Roll.

  1. Bob ‘rugless’ would be very proud of you.

    Congratulations from

    Steven, Sally, Arnold, Marianne and all at Devil’s Toothpick Lighthouse

    Top work Fella!

  2. Martin Q says:

    Perhaps I shall put the jokey-cheeky-sarky remarks to one side for a moment (though, let’s face it, they’ve made this blog what it is), and say that I think that publishing a book is an excellent idea and I hope it will bring you all the love and appreciation you undoubtedly deserve. Congratulations and I hope all goes well.

    Wait, did I say “publishing a book”? I meant “having another baby”.

  3. chairwoman says:

    (known as the ‘belle curve’ effect.)”

    Tee hee.

    One should be complimented for one’s subtle jokes as well as for producing two ‘babies’ simultaneously.

  4. durakje says:

    And here I thought that when David Bowie went off tour and out of character, he reverted to being plain ol’ David Jones.

    Oh no!!! Is there another layer of abstraction here at Private Secret Diary?

  5. Z says:

    Oh, sorry, I was busy yesterday and completely forgot about your big announcement.

    I feel completely disconcerted. You mean you’re a real person? With a name and everything?

    No, can’t take this in. I’ll just pre-order a few copies of the book and then I’m going to pour myself a stiff drink.

  6. orla.gogg says:

    I see this “Alex Marsh” character has claimed copyright of Jonny’s Blog now.

    Admit it, Jonny – he is just the mad creation of the fevered imaginations of the currently indisposed LTLP.

    Oh – and well done.

  7. brom says:

    Oh, jolly good stuff. Glad to see you have lasted the course (what of, I’ll leave that to you) and are doing something whorthwile with it all. Congrats – you have inspired me to accelerate my cd creation, a bit!

    You are also correct about the bell end effect, I am considering a return to the old land of the blog myself, if so I’ll be in touch 😉

  8. Leslie says:

    I pre-ordered, looking forward to it.

    I like the name Alex better. (Of course my horse’s ass ex-husband is named Jon, so there’s backstory there.)


    Your fan,

  9. lom says:

    sorry to pop in like this, but do you know where Keith has gone, is he OK?

  10. lom says:

    sorry again, I am in the wrong place

  11. JonnyB says:

    Haha! Thank you Vince – I promise to stop springing surprises on you now. Give my love to Marianne – in particular.

    Hullo lom and welcome – I have enjoyed your rather left-field interjections.

    And hullo durakje and welcome – I was hoping somebody would make that comment sooner or later!!!

  12. Mr Angry says:

    Wait? It’s NOT a collection of blog posts? But I’ve just spent 24 hours printing out and stapling together everything you’ve written on here in order to save myself £6.74 (P&P is free on Amazon).

    Are you telling me I’ve wasted my time?

  13. JonnyB says:

    Your time and two staples, Angry. And loads of my fucking bandwidth.

    Chairwoman – I appreciate the appreciation, likewise. (I hope that line’s seen as a joke not a dig. It’ll be me… I know it…)

  14. Z says:

    What’s LOM doing here? No, this is all too much. I’m going to pour another drink and take it down to the greenhouse.

    That’ll have to be the last, every time I have a glass of wine I order another copy and I haven’t got any more non-blogging friends.

  15. Diana says:

    Well done, have pre-ordered and so you have at least one copy going to Switzerland for what that’s worth. Really looking forward to reading it and CONGRATULATIONS on baby no 2 – goodness, you will be busy!!

  16. guyana gyal says:

    Oh mayn, now I’m really confused. You’re not JohnnyB in real life, Alex is not one bit like him; the book is not based on the blog and…

    …which is true, the book or the blog?

    Are the chickens real?

    Do you have an LTLP and a baby Servalan and a boy on the way now?

  17. Tchoh! What a sell-out. Commercializing your intimate private secret diary, and exposing your friends and family to the ridicule of all for associating with you. Some thank you that is. For shame, Jonny – for shame!

    At least Servalan, so scarred so young, can help shield #2 from the horror of realization as long as possible. It’s the only glimmer of hope we can salvage from this wreck. Sauve qui peut

  18. maddie says:

    I don’t understand. So you’re really David Bowie?

  19. Kevin K says:


    Well done! Book pre-ordered; I’m looking forward to it.

    Just do me a favour, alright? Don’t do like Twenty Major did; published his book and then buggered off with the loot. I enjoy reading your blog very much!

    Oh, and congrats on the v2.0 sproggage.


  20. kim says:

    Congratulations! I have read you for years and will most certainly pre-order the book. You’ve earned this – good job keeping up amused.

  21. spazmo says:

    Good luck and congrats to you and the LTLP on teh bebeh newz.

    Also, speaking of the new family addition, why not let your faithful readers have a crack at naming this one? I think it only fair, after all we’ve done for you.

    My vote is for “Darkseid”, or “Morbius”. Those are both unisex names, so you don’t have to wait for it to actually show up under the cabbage leaf before you start using it. You’re welcome!

  22. arch stanton says:

    I’ve enjoyed your blog for a long time and your chicken ‘n bowls antics are most amusing but could you explain to me what’s the difference between ordering something and pre-ordering it?
    Congrats on the baybee.

  23. JonnyB says:

    Hullo arch and welcome.

    I actually haven’t a clue. In fact Amazon is a complete mystery to me. It seems all sophisticated on the outside, but once you get inside it a bit more it’s all a bit like British retailing in the seventies. I’m surprised it doesn’t shut for early closing on Wednesdays.

  24. SophieW says:

    Duly pre-ordered – can’t wait!

    V. disappointed with this Alex character though, truly thought Jonny was your real name 🙁

  25. Brennig says:

    What? The LTLP is pregnant? I can’t think what got in to her. Did you go to the same weekend party as The Camerons?

  26. Cliff says:

    I eagerly await your Tin Machine period.

    Congratulations on the news! They say everyone’s got one inside them.

  27. eclectech says:

    Yay! Splendid news on the book and the baby MrB (am ignoring name change as I am perturbed by it).

    Congrats to you and LTLP.

  28. Cogidubnus says:

    Having run out of (live) ducks I think I’ll pop out and buy some more…

  29. peach says:

    well well well, congratulations – to both you and younthebookdeal.


  30. Dave says:

    Have the chickens changed their names too?

  31. Paul says:

    A book is all well and good, but how will comments work?

    Rather than pay for it, should we all borrow the book from the library, and then write in it with a pen before giving it back, so that the next person can read what’s been said?

  32. Pat says:

    Ha! I was right to get excited. No not the book silly – the baby. Hooray!

  33. JonnyB says:

    Oooops – bit of an emergency – disappearing for a bit…

    Thank you once more everybody – do keep chatting away whilst I’m gone.

  34. ajb1605 says:

    Just spotted my “tweet” was signed off “Andy” – so just in case you were confused – assuming you bothered to read it – twas me! But to reiterate – the same well-wishes as the rest of the Gang, on both events

  35. spazmo says:

    Jonny making himself scarce during an emergency.

    At least some things haven’t changed.

  36. Sheppitsgal says:

    Well Done.

    Unlike some others on here, I am a skinflint, so have not pre-ordered. I’ve put it on my ‘wish list’ though.

    You’re welcome.

  37. Diana says:

    A JonnyB baby/chicken/bowls emergency or an Alex book/sex/rock and roll emergency?? Oh dear oh dear this is all soooo confusing!!

  38. Martin Q says:

    Jon-er-Alex, some (sensible) advice please.

    What are the proportions of sex vs bowls vs rock-and-roll in the book? I’m wondering how suitable the book will be as a present for various bowls-playing old relatives/vicars/small children/rock stars/Norfolk residents/etc and so on. Would you rate the book U, PG, 12, 15 or 18, and if one of the latter ones, what little warning(s) would they put on the back of the box?

    Fun though this subject is, I am actually pondering this question, and so a serious answer would potentially result in more royalties for you – I’d rather buy several well-directed copies than none at all because I don’t know who it’s best for.

    Thanks and I hope you’re enjoying your crisis.

  39. Zed says:

    Congratulations on the baby, Alex, and I wondered when the book would come out seeing as you decided to avoid bumping into me at TFP about 3 years ago. I still hate you for that, David.

  40. Quick everyone while he’s gone get that bucket of whitewash in the corner and balance it over the entrance to this site.

    Now all act as if nothing has happened.

    ♩♫♪ lum de dum ♬♪♬

    Shhhh here he comes…

  41. Blimmin’ ‘eck, and there was me thinking you were pregnant or something!

    I am, like, totally surprised. I mean really. Didn’t see that coming at all. Very pleased for you indeed. And of course I will buy at least one copy.


  42. Blazing says:

    Wonderful stuff on many fronts there maestro. Book looks like it could remind me of years spent playing cricket and football with some of the biggest rockers around, and realising with some disappointment that they weren’t all drug-fuelled, property damaging, heavy-drinking, sex pests.

    Most of them were, but not all!

  43. Alison says:

    I will recommend this for my book club when it comes out. I will feedback they’re opinions, but be warned they are a tough crowd.

  44. Strop says:

    Way to go JonnyB! Have you sold the film rights? Was Hugh Grant first in the bidding queue?

    Oh, and early closing is on Tuesday. Wednesday is market day.

  45. Steve says:

    I know its pedantic but if David Bowie reverted to his original name, wouldn’t it be (I think) David something else.. Jones seems to be familiar.

  46. Debster says:

    So is it any good?

  47. What’s it about?

  48. JonnyB says:

    Back again. Things are never simple, are they?

    Erm – reading back through the comments I should answer Martin’s question as that will explain quite a lot about it. It is basically about bowls and rock and roll and chickens and stuff, but the title sounded better if I put sex in there. There is very little sex in the book, and the sex scene that is in there isn’t very graphic, and took me longer to write than the actual sex act itself. I think that I had better stop there.

    So you shouldn’t worry too much about people reading it. Unless they are my mum.

  49. anxious says:

    Well done.
    I am coming to Norfolk next week as a tribute to your good self.

    (Actually, it’s just a coincidence, but I shall wave in your general direction. Except,I won’t know which general direction to wave in. Hmmm)

    Yes, well done. I have met a famous writer – woot!

  50. josephine says:

    Will we get a full etymological* explanation of the origins of JohnnyB? Why Johnny? Why B? Why Alex (you might have to ask your Mum that). After all this time, I think we have a right to know.


    *like entymological but with less insects

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