Dedication and disclaimer: Killing Hapless Annie

For Dixie Delicious. Because you loved her when she was Hapless

And you love her now she’s Annie

And for those who struggle with mental illness in its many forms, I am thinking of you x

Disclaimer: this is a work of fiction and, while real authors and musicians are characters in the book, they are in the role of imaginary friends and are the author’s interpretations only. Resemblances to anyone else living, dead or undead but still quite lively, are drawn as literary creations only. I did, however, write regularly to Tony Benn and once sent him some rock cakes.

WARNING: this book contains quite a lot of swearing and also graphic accounts of suicide attempts, self harming,funerals, deaths and brutal culinary episodes.

Killing Hapless Annie was always going to be an unusual book. Do you think this works as  the bit before it starts? I can see my editor now, with a big red pen! Dixie Delicious will always be a mystery of course, but he gets the dedication because he saved my life. I was thinking: I’d written before, in my posts ‘Say Boo!’ and ‘Keeping Going’, about how easy it is to be dissuaded. Not just from writing, of course, but from opportunities, friendships, love, intimacy. If your internal narrative runs, ‘I am aberrant. I should never have been’, then it stands to reason that chit chat might be a bit harder for you too, or that, when you try, you over-compensate and know folks are looking at you in a funny way.

But here’s the thing: even if your head is full of ‘not me’ or ‘I suck’ or jangling bereavements and things gone awry, I wonder if you can learn to live with it and to get past the sense of being dislocated from the outside world. You don’t really know what anyone’s reality is, you just know what they show and tell. Also I do believe now that some terrible experience can be transmuted into something altogether less so. I said before that if one person reads Killing Hapless Annie and feels better, less alone, then I am happy. My millstone, as I wrote in the book, has become a star (would that these were my words, but they are from Patrick Kavanagh’s poem ‘Prelude’). This is a work of fiction (yeah, yeah, yeah –  I keep saying); its purpose is to entertain – with considerable sauce, fellatio after evensong, in caravans of evil that smelled of bacon fat, at funerals which shouldn’t have been funny but were and at….well, you’ll just have to read it. But there is a serious purpose behind it: take my hand – you are not alone and you never were. I couldn’t have written this book before; I would have been too scared of exposure – worried what others thought.

But things are different now.

For Dixie Delicious. Because you loved her when she was Hapless

And you love her now she’s Annie.

And for those who struggle with mental illness in its many forms, I am thinking of you x

Disclaimer: this is a work of fiction and, while real authors and musicians are characters in the book, they are in the role of imaginary friends and are the author’s interpretations only. Resemblances to anyone else living, dead or undead but still quite lively, are drawn as literary creations only. I did, however, write regularly to Tony Benn and once sent him some rock cakes.

WARNING: this book contains quite a lot of swearing and also graphic accounts of suicide attempts, self harming,funerals, deaths and brutal culinary episodes.

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