Friday, April 26, 2024

Welcome to the Pixelloverse

 This is the Facebook profile picture of my guest on the blog today.

This is the least worrying thing about him.

Scott Pixello. I kid you not.

Here's a bit 'stolen' from somewhere. Scott is like a hospital doctor, both everywhere yet hard to pin down.....

"I have extensive plans for world domination but don't worry, this is not in a Hitler-invading-Poland-sort-of-way. Every three months or so, a book with my name on the cover should be unleashed upon an unsuspecting world. These are mostly mindless pieces of nonsense but with a serious underbelly. To me, life's a bit like Donald Trump's hair- the closer you look at it, the more absurd it seems."

So now to the goatman himself-

Can you introduce yourself and the MIE readers to the Pixelloverse?

Well, I’m a bit of a shadowy figure. Not according to my doctor who’s told me to lose weight or die but in more general terms. I’m a Brit currently living in Germany for reasons of cake. I do have a day-job but if I tell you that or my real name, then I’d have to kill you and no-one wants that. I write books in lots of genres (30 so far!) and they tend to coalesce around historical topics, which I often find hard to take entirely seriously.

The Pixelloverse is a parallel universe inhabited mainly by me and my strange sense of humour. Other people come and occasionally I let them go.


MIE readers like to hear what life is like in another country. Are you English but now living, writing and working in Germany?

I draw M’lud’s attention to my previous answer. I’ve written a whole book about the differences between living in the UK and Germany, so summarising this is difficult but if I had to put it in a word, that word would be…cake. Luckily, I don’t have to very often. Basically, imagine Britain with better transport, food and things that worked. See, it’s hard. No homeschooling is impossible for Americans to wrap their heads around but it has the interesting consequence that all schools have to be equally good- the rich cannot opt out. Could be something for Keir Starmer’s Labour Party to ponder.


You write about London with the same affection as Christopher Fowler.

I do like London. It has much of the best of Britain- not just there are always things going on but folk from all over the world wash up there and mostly rub along together. My son seems to have inherited this predilection and took part of his Law degree there but whether he will, only time and property prices will tell.

 Did you stay in Dorset for a while? Did you know the Famous Five? No point in asking if you knew the Secret Seven as they were secret.

I never met the FF in person and The Secret Seven never really took off in Germany (some problem with the initials). I lived in the SW for several years and had my fair share (and often other people’s share) of pasties. I even started talking like Natasha Kinski in Tess of the D’urbervilles for a while but a dose of anti-biotics seemed to do the trick.

 Your sense of humour is always pushing back the boundaries of comedy i.e. sometimes it’s beyond a joke (to quote Ronnie Barker.).  Did it get you in trouble at school?

Well, I did spend quite a bit of time outside classrooms, outside the Headteacher’s room and quite often outside the school altogether. I was actually banned from the premises at lunchtime for a while, as I was causing so much mayhem. And that was just primary school. Another time, I had to sit in the centre circle of the netball court at breaks but eventually everyone came and sat with me, so I kind of won that one. I’m just not very good with rules. Strange that I should end up in Germany, which, stereotypes aside, has a very rules-based culture.


Who were the comedians that shaped your sense of humour and can the rest of us seek compensation is some way.

I like all kinds of comedians but I’m quite a tough audience- I don’t laugh easily. Right now, there’s a Finnish comedian called Ismo (check him out online) who does lots of interesting material, often about the peculiarities of English. Other figures I come back to include Jim Jefferies, Bill Burr, Stewart Lee and of course, Frank Sidebottom.

Address all queries about compensation to Dan Brown. He owes us all.


I’ve loved reading Never Is a Long Time and once I’ve finished the books I’ve to read for Crime fest I’m going to go back and read the other books. Beautifully written and rather enchanting tale of a teenager who wakes up dead in Highgate Cemetery…. with Karl Marx.

I don’t want to ask where you get your ideas from but, what inspired that book?

There are lots of interesting dead people in Highgate Cemetery (Douglas Adams, George Eliot, Malcolm McClaren…the list is endless). I just wondered what they did all day. Or all night. I’ve also always been fascinated by the concept of ghosts and the logistics of how being dead might be. Marx is there just for comic relief.



You also write a lot of young adult books, how to they differ from adult books?

Shorter words & big pictures. These are just two of the things you rarely find in my books. They tend to appeal to precocious children and childish adults. Find out which one you are and commit.


Living in Germany as you do, are Bavarians like Scottish people? Good at drinking, singing and castles?

No, no and yes.

You are very active on social media. You have a day job, and you write very good books. I like to think I manage 2 out the 3. What’s your secret?

I once killed a badger with a cricket bat.


Why is your Facebook profile a goat?

Just kidding.

And the final words?

Just realised that MIE doesn't mean 'Missing in Edinburgh'- a few of my titles do relate to crime: the Shirley Burly books (directly), the Leonardo & Shakespeare books ( indirectly) and the Keith Ramsbottom series, which are criminally underrated.

I live in fear of the humour fest if Jeff and Scott ever meet in some alternate reality. Perhaps not- it'd be a fun place to be!


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