How to Write a Book, by Paul French

So here’s a story.

In 2010, I sat a supremely talented performer called James Brown (seen here on ITV’s Penn & Teller: Fool Us)  in front of a dictaphone for three straight days, asked him simply to talk and only let him leave the room for occasional toilet breaks and food.

Then, I enlisted the help of a transcription service. They came back a week later with a monstrous 135,000 word document which I had painfully failed to specify should not have been verbatim.

It was a horrible sight; as long as a dozen university dissertations strung back-to-back and flecked with stuff like ‘Where’s the bog?’ Not a good start. But, a year and a half later, we have a book.

A book that has SOLD OUT.

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Saudade ~ A Virgin’s Look at Burning Man

There is no English translation for the first gift I received at Burning Man. It was not a necklace or a bracelet or other trinkety item of raiment. Instead, it left me exposed, across a stretch of seven extraordinary days on the playa, to both brutal sadness and the gates of personal freedom. It was gifted to me by Mitch, from Chicago, when I told him of my plans to travel to the Northern shores of Brazil.

It was a feeling.

A single word.


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‘Mind Twists’: The Greatest Speech You’ve Never Read (and why I quit my job)

The Magic Circle headquarters in Euston, London

In October 2011 a man called Ian Rowland, who is a member of the Magic Circle and has taught the FBI to read minds, gave a talk to a small group of people at The Comedy Pub in London. Ian was “pleasantly amazed” by the responses and made a written version of the talk available on his website, resulting in similar praise and thanks  from people all over the world.

When I first read ‘Mind Twists’ earlier this year, I was wrestling with the idea of packing in my job. My reasons were no more specific or complicated than anyone else who reaches a crossroads. Sometimes, it’s just time to move on. The difficult bit is letting go.

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Top Tips for Recovering from a Broken Leg

(Photo: bunchofpants)

I broke my leg playing football. The pain, which is extraordinary, is not something it’s easy to misdiagnose. You know when you’ve got a broken leg. You also know that you’ve got a lengthy spell out of action and on the sofa, during which the daily habits you adopt will significantly effect how quickly your bone heals. Here are some tips (some legitimate science, some not) for making the most of your recovery period…

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Something I Once Wrote About Zinedine Zidane

(Photo: markeb23)
I wrote this a few days after the 2006 World Cup Final. It’s some celebratory guff regarding a player who I’m lucky enough to have once seen play. The article originally appeared on, but after a site re-launch it appears to have been discarded. So, to appease my ego and in the interests of diligent archiving, I’m just going to keep it here instead…

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