A bit about me, Michael A. Duffy

In normal life people just call me Michael. As an author I have to sound posher than that – ‘Michael A Duffy’ – just because there is already an Australian author using the simpler ‘Michael Duffy’ form. But I was probably born before him, so how come he gets first dibs? Besides that, my wife calls me other things from time to time less pleasant than ‘Michael’, but I shall not dwell on it!

Anyhow, I was indeed born thankfully, but in an industrial part of North West of England – so long ago that all of our eyesights were set to black and white. We didn’t start to get colour until about the Mid 70s, but only rich people could afford to see in colour to begin with. Us plebs were monochrome only until about 1980.

Back as a baby, my parents failed to realise that by adding ‘Anthony’ to my given name, my initials would spell MAD. This became a bit of a pain for me, for example, when I was a teacher back in the 80s. Kids would go along corridors looking at their timetables sniggering – ‘Hey look, we’ve got English with MAD!’ Mind, it has to be said some teachers were called worse.

That’s why I’d now rather be called MADwriter than Michael A Duffy, and that’s why my website is called as it is. But as for you, I don’t mind what you call me so long as you are kind enough to read one of my books. They did take quite a long time to write, after all. But I was only good at English, not maths, so failed to work out that 1000 words per sessions meant very many sessions to get to 120K words or so. More than 50, probably. OK, I suppose the books could have been shorter, but I tend to waffle on a bit, as you can see here. If you do buy one of my books, though, I suggest you just read only every one page in two – it’s a lot quicker that way.

Once as an English Lit student, I read the 900 pages of David Copperfield by concentrating mainly on the most important 90. Very efficient I thought, as I tried to catch the eye of sweet but swotty Dawn next to me. (She’d read all 900 pages. Twice!) But come on, I’d already seen every Dickens book on the telly, so easily blagged my way through seminars.

After getting bored with teaching I tried my hand in commercial life, but don’t bother if you’ve never tried it. It’s all stress frankly. I ended up being quite high up in Marketing, mainly because my bosses failed to spot the real talented ones amongst us – and nobody else wanted the daily grief of being the one in charge of all the ‘marketing department’s mistakes’. Of which there were many.

But it was during those years that I came across a number of pretty terrible bosses (plus some lovely ones, on occasion too, so don’t sue.) These dreadful tyrants seemed to relish making their underlings’ lives a misery. I used to dream of taking bloody revenge on them, my creative mind in overdrive. That’s why in my black comedy novel ‘Gavin & The Bodysnatchers’ a terrible boss may very well get his come-uppance. Writing that one has saved me many years of expensive therapy, I can tell you.

So if you’ve ever been hung up by a terrible boss experience, then rest assured, that book might be a big help.

But I’ve enjoyed my life, here in the North West, only broken by occasional stints of working away on projects. I agree with the wider perception of us as a tribe that we are very friendly – but tempered with a quite blunt sense of humour that sometimes takes strangers from afar aback. That said, I’ve enjoyed shamelessly stealing some of the wickedly acerbic wit I’ve witnessed and inserting it into the two novels I’ve written to date. Most readers take to my characters, which they say are well-rounded, believable and often funny. I take no credit for this. I’ve just recorded what I’ve seen. So thanks to all my unwitting contributors!

I’ve now retired from commercial life – well partly all the stress didn’t see eye to eye with my old ticker, apparently. Plus, without realising it, I suddenly realised I had got old! How did that happen? I want a refund!

But always having a passion for writing and for books, I now like to spend time indulging myself in creating the stories that I’ve always wanted to write. I’m lucky enough to live in a stone built cottage in semi-rural West Lancashire with my lovely wife Sue – who puts up with a lot, but says I am her ‘work in progress’. I also write silly songs, do the garden and put the bins out every Wednesday – which is about all the responsibility I can handle these days.

You don’t have to buy my books, of course. It’s very nice if you’ve even read down to here and are now going to bugger off! But if you do buy one, then you will make an old man very happy.

Have a lovely day. And don’t do anything too strenuous that might put your back out. …Oh, don’t get me going on the subject of weeding!