Revamped ‘About’ about me

MJG Life, Writing Leave a Comment

Thinking about my post from a few days back – about thinking more about mentoring – I’ve rethought my About and updated it on the site front page. Here it is: Michael John Grist is a bestselling British/American author, adventurer and teacher. His 9-book Last Mayor zombie apocalypse series has sold over 10,000 copies and was optioned for a movie, while his Ignifer Cycle epic fantasy series is being produced for audio by major publisher Podium. For 11 years Michael lived in Tokyo exploring and photographing Japan’s modern ruins, such as abandoned military bases, ghost towns and underground bunkers, gaining …

Red Dead Redemption 2

MJG Life Leave a Comment

Hoo boy, I am playing some serious video games today! Red Dead Redemption 2 just came out, and it’s being called the best video game ever made. I bought it at Sainsburys along with some bagels and curry flavor baked beans. I’m only 2 hours in, still locked into the strict story/tutorial mode, but it is fun. It’s also gorgeous. Graphically this must be the greatest, deepest virtual world ever created. That’s something. I also have Witcher, but it hasn’t grabbed me like this. Maybe it is the extent to which Red Dead has put the training wheels on. You …

Doctor Who series 11 episode 4 – Arachnids in the UK review

MJG Doctor Who, Life, Reviews, TV Leave a Comment

After the intense social commentary and emotional social justice warrior-ing of episode 3 Rosa Parks, Chris Chibnall’s Doctor Who goes for a simple ‘monster of the week’ episode – in this case, spiders. But this new Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) can’t leave PC politicking well enough alone. It’s everywhere you look, and I admire that enormously. The episode begins with the Doctor, Yaz, Ryan and Graham arriving back in Sheffield, and facing their imminent dissolution. The Doctor is about to go off on her own, the others back to their lives. It’s quite a sad moment, because sure, the Doctor leads …

Highgate Cemetary West

MJG Churches / Shrines, Life, Ruins / Haikyo Leave a Comment

A few months back we went to Highgate Cemetary West side on a guided tour with su’s family. We had her sister and two boys staying with us in the living room for 2 weeks. The whole trip was crazy fun, unlike anything we’ve done before, except for maybe big family events when WE were the kids! How odd to be on the other side of that… Highgate West is pretty fantastic – except for the areas where they’ve been cleaning and conserving. They see their mission there as being to bring the cemetary back to its original glory. My …

How to become an author mentor?

MJG Life, Writing Leave a Comment

I’ve been thinking more recently about trying to use what I know about writing and publishing to help other authors write, publish and market their books. This is often called author mentoring, but for me also includes creative writing teaching. I’m doing research to figure out how to get into this field. As far as I can see, there are two parallel tracks – this is what they look like: TRADITIONAL ROUTE Get trade published (ie – not self-published). Get an MA in Creative Writing. Maybe get a PhD. Possibly some courses on editing? Leads to university lectureships, work at …

Wonder Woman 2 filming outside my school!

MJG Life Leave a Comment

Yesterday teams started setting up Christmassy grottos, fake snow patches and giant snowmen outside my workplace, Birkbeck college in London. I figured it was going to be an ongoing Christmas fair, similar to the farmers’ market that runs there every thursday. Then I came in today, and saw they have added a couple of giant nutcrackers to the building entrance, more fences are in place, along with some signs directing the crew not to take photos or walk on the snow. Nutcrackers not normally here. Huh? Crew? I came in to the office and rumors abounded. One said that this …

Writing Update 1 – Thriller book 2

MJG Life, Writing Leave a Comment

It’s time for a writing update! As I’ve probably announced, I’m writing thrillers now, set in the real world. After 9 books in the Zombie Ocean/Last Mayor series, and two books reworked in the Ignifer Cycle, I was ready to try something different. Now I’m sitting on a thriller already written, currently on submission with 10 agents in the genre, and I’m working on book 2 in the series. It is going to some dark, grim places. I got feedback on book 1 from a trusted reader/writer who said it was much grimmer than the norm out there. Bloody and …

Re-evaluating Peep Show – is it misogynistic?

MJG Life, Politics, Reviews, TV Leave a Comment

I have always loved Peep Show – the story of two lovable uber-losers Mark and Jeremy (Jezz) living in a flatshare in Croydon, struggling to make their way in the world today. The humor is almost entirely built on their pathetic, small-minded pettiness, often combined with their very English sense of embarrassment. It’s done knowingly, of course. I always wanted to cheer these affable sadsacks, even as you wince along with them. For example, Mark accidentally kills a person’s dog – but can’t ppossibly admit to that. He tries to dispose of the body by burning it, but fails. He …

Korean study update 1 – Harry Potter progress

MJG Korean study, Life Leave a Comment

My language study is an ever-evolving beast. For the last year I took 3 terms of Korean study at SOAS university, with a class and a teacher. It was definitely good, but after 3 terms I was starting to feel a little left behind. I needed some time to absorb everything I’d learned, and to see it in context multiple times. How to achieve that? Su’s sister brought me a lot of baby study books when they came over to visit. That was very generous and I thought an awesome chance – but actually each one is not so grammatical, …

Doctor Who series 11 episode 3 – Rosa Parks review

MJG Doctor Who, Life, Reviews, TV Leave a Comment

Last night’s episode of Dr. Who, in which the Dr. and her merry band went back in time to meet and protect Rosa Parks from a time-traveling rogue white supremacist from the future, absolutely shattered TV boundaries and thoroughly nailed its unabashed, bold, and beautiful progressive colors to the mast. Image: BBC It blew my head off completely. I feel like I’ve never seen anything like this on TV before, and certainly not within the world of Dr.Who. Where before it was always frivolous, empty, frothy escapades with a pointlessly manic Doctor, whizz-popping like LSD balls in a tombola through …