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About Sedley Proctor
Sedley was born in Poole, Dorset and grew up in West London where visits to the local library instilled in him a life-long love of books. Sedley always loved writing and English. In fact, when he was eleven, he began a historical novel, now lost to posterity, but, if memory serves, in the style of Henry Treece and Ronald Welch. At school in Winchester he started to dream about a writing career, and was even lucky enough to win a prize for a short story, the title of which he has now forgotten. For some reason, however, the final line sticks in his mind. “Was it a living or waking dream? – No, she must be dead.” After a brief flirtation with archaeology, he studied English at Nottingham University where he was tutored, for a term, by the Northern Irish poet, Tom Paulin. In the 1990s, he worked in fringe theatre and was involved in productions of Macbeth and Bertolt Brecht’s In the Jungle of Cities. His own play, Salt Lake Psycho about the notorious murderer, Gary Gilmore was put on at the now defunct Man in the Moon theatre in Chelsea. Salt Lake Psycho was directed by Sean Holmes, current associate artistic director at Shakespeare’s Globe. For the best part of two decades, Sedley lived and worked as a teacher and translator in Southern Italy. Here he collaborated with French writer, Claude Albanese on the screenplay of Dirty Waters. Dirty Waters, which is a political thriller, written with Italian blood, English sweat and French tears, received a commendation at the 2003 Montpellier Festival. In Italy Sedley continued to experiment with his writing, devising an invented dialect for a novel about a young female brigand of the Risorgimento. He also experimented with performance poetry, accompanying local blues band, Big Daddy Lawman on their tours of Apulian taverns, churches and bars. Returning to Britain in 2013, Sedley wrote The Half Days (2015), an ex-pat adventure set in Southern Italy. He struck up a writing partnership with Tony Henderson. Together they quickly published two books: Over & Under i (2015) and Over & Under ii (2016), a series of naughty tales, inspired by the tales of the Arabian Nights. The Over & Under Series has subsequently morphed into the Naughty Stories Series. The first in this series, Ten Naughty Stories was published in 2019 under the pen name, M. T. Sands. Sedley has also published the sequel to The Half Days under the title, Accidental Death of a Terrorist. Accidental Death of a Terrorist (2019) is the second part of the Mezzogiorno Trilogy. Sedley and Tony have written a children’s book, The Wolf Garden, under the alias F. M. Frites: A Totally, Completely, and Utterly Bodacious Adventure with Unicorns and Gnomes.
Inside the drowned man, Hobbes found the whale. Inside the whale, Hobbes found nothing but junk.
Among the cardboard boxes and bin-liners, outside a restaurant called perplexingly Le Chat Noir, someone had dumped a manikin, which appeared to have been super-glued with angel wings.
A large black dog or possibly werewolf springs and snaps off its head. In the ghoulish celebration of the dismemberment of the manikin there is in fact no blood, just the crunching of prosthetic limbs.
Here in the junkyard it is often like this - moments of violence and high strangeness, followed by hours of what seems futile wandering.
Was it the junk that made him creep? Or something itching at his soul? No matter, there was no solution other than to trigger the gun. - On the brink of fame and fortune, Jimmy Quentin, poet maudit of the Q-tips, leaves it all behind and takes to the streets where his life continues to spiral out of control.
"We survive in the confusion of a life reborn beyond reason." Pier Paolo Pasolini.
What reasons can there be beyond the reasons of love? Now married to successful businessman, Achille Lombardo, Julia appears to have it all until her she embarks on an ill-fated affair with Arturo, and her ex-pat adventure morphs into the crime of passion.
"The very heat of the South, its calore, soars off the page in this story of sex and death among the olive groves and abandoned coves of the Mezzogiorno." M T Sands
Young, English teacher, Julia arrives in a vibrant Southern Italian city where she takes up with happy-go-lucky street seller, Cofi. When Cofi is caught up in a smuggling ring, the question of her own future arises. But as the half days stretch into the summer nights, the future is forgotten in a round of carnival pleasures.
"The Half Days captures the very spirit of the Mezzogiorno (of Southern Italy)... and truly dazzles in the spectacle of its appearances." - MT Sands
Is it acceptable to run out a team-mate? Should you bet on your Captain’s downfall? Would you tamper with a cricket ball to gain an edge? Do you think girls can bat, or would you send down your fastest ball? Have you ever dreamed of hitting the winning run only to have your bails removed and your stumps flattened? Are you a pie chucker, or a natural tail-ender? Are you superstitious? Do you believe in the power of a mystical bat, or essential piece of kit? What would you do if a cricket ball kept landing in your greenhouse? Or someone messed with your box?
MT Sands teases and delights with Ten Naughty Cricket Stories that echo with summer laughter and the sound of leather on willow.
WHY READ THIS BOOK
Me and my Pommie mate, Beef wanted to say a few words about cricket. First off, even if you do not know anything about cricket, we think you should read this book because it tells you about life. To coin a phrase cricket is about life, and life is exactly like the cricket, innit. Secondly, Mary Sands writes like she plays cricket. She has all the best shots. She can hit you for six, or stroke you for four. Not only does she write funnily and well about the cricket, but she gives it all a wicked spin of her own. Finally, there is something magic about a cricket field whether it is a dusty strip in the African veldt, an Indian gulley or Jamaican Beach, the finest lawns of Melbourne or the lovingly trimmed squares of the English shires. We hope these stories will tell something about the magic and the love so many of us feel for this special game.
Lance and Beef
Is it acceptable to have sex when your husband can’t watch? When does neighbourly affection go too far? No matter how charming you are, do you think you can get away with anything? What would you do if you see a monster in the ring? If you are always waiting for the right one, will you wait for ever or sacrifice yourself on the altar of never? Can you keep your dignity when things get out of hand? Is your father always right? Beg, borrow or steal, is it worth it for a deal? When revenge is a dish, is it best served hot or cold? Are you really good at what you do best, or is it time to admit you should be told? – Be wary of those who are led by their stomach…
The unexpected, the cruel, the frightening and the absurd, M.T. Sands teases and delights with Ten Naughty Stories that makes us reconsider our human foibles and frailties.
From the M T Sands Interview
(As Told to Kurt Brown)
“I always had such a wonderful time in the bazaars. You know I once hid in a carpet shop.”
“Darling, I merely record. I don’t judge or criticise. It’s so ghastly when everyone starts wagging their fingers. And shouting each other down. I must say, I don’t like all that shouty writing that’s telling you what to think or do. We have to make up our minds about that ourselves, don’t we?”
“Sometimes one has to do what one has to do, especially to take one’s mind off one’s predicament.”
We talk to MT Sands about her life on the road, her love of the bazaar; her writings and affairs, but not her diet or beauty tips.
We meet in Belton House of the Braceless Country Estate, Lincolnshire – very kindly made available by her new boyfriend, the horse-mad Sheik, Ali Al-Buti. “No relation to the terror family,” I am told as I am ushered into the Nineteenth Century Salon. “He’s been so terribly sweet but rather shy and retiring on a Saturday morning. Would you care for something to drink? – A cup of tea. Lapsang Souchong. Gunpowder Tea, there’s bergamot in it, hits you like the charge of the light brigades. If you prefer coffee, there’s instant, or Sainsbury’s own brand espresso.”
All this comes tumbling out before I have time to scribble in my notebook. “You’re not taping me. Don’t tell me you are one of those gentlemen of the press who still knows how to do short-hand. I always wanted to learn, though I have to content myself with the phonetic alphabet and the schwa. You do know the schwa,” she says. “It’s everywhere in the English language.”
M.T. Sands ers at me and rolls her eyes. Then, as if this is still part of the joke, feigns death throes.
“What about that drink?”
“I think I’ll just have a glass of water,” I say.
“Still or sparkling.”
“From the tap is fine.”
(To be cont'd)
Read more of Kurt Brown's Interview with M.T. Sands in Ten Naughty Stories, also available in paperback.
Dreamy tomboy, Laila meets Cyril, a rebellious gnome and passes through a charmed gate into the Wolf Garden. Here, she does battle with the shape-shifter Smarm and his army of wolves. When Smarm captures her gnome friends and steals the magic strawbs, Laila and Cyril help the Mistress Dido win them back.
A Cautionary Note
When you enter the Garden, inevitably, and perhaps none too surprisingly, you will find that you leave something behind. When you are in the Garden, you may find – to your surprise or indeed unwittingly - something different. That something different you may take out of the Garden if you so please. Some people may be lost in the Garden. And yet some people may find themselves in the Garden. Others may leave the Garden and never come back. Not all people will remember the Garden. Although if they do, they may find they will be curiously, indeed remarkably enriched by having visited it.
From Mr. Whizz’s Notebook: Concerning the Garden, a thing rarum.
It was a matter of some urgency; a wolf was loose in the woods. And being loose in the woods, he could get into the garden.
“Whatever you do,” said Dad. “Don’t go out the gate. You don’t want the wolf to eat you.”
“By the way,” said Mum, “don’t forget to take your apple.”
She went out the door, but the wolf was already in the garden.
She turned tail and ran.
“I must reach the Beech House,” she told herself. “It won’t get me in the Beech House.”
The wolf snapped at her heels as she scampered up the tree and onto the platform of the Beech House.
After a while, the wolf went away. She climbed down from the tree and ran back towards the house, but the wolf was waiting for her.
“There you are!” he cried. “I was wondering where you got to.”
“What are you doing here?” she said. “This is my garden.”
“It may be your garden,” said the wolf. “But once I turn you, you’ll be in my garden.”