My books

Cleghorn: the man who wished his son were a haemorrhoid

Kindle e-book – 2016


This is the revised second edition of a novel originally published in 1995.

In normal circumstances Jonathan and Lorraine Cleghorn would never get to meet the likes of Arthur and Shirley Blasdale, but when the Cleghorns’ son and the Blasdales’ daughter start meeting for goose-pimply sex under the night sky, circumstances cease to be normal. This is not just the story of two families, however, since there are plenty of other characters involved, some whom are merely wacky, others certifiably insane. They include the most toxic best friend anyone could have, some decidedly odd teachers and their horrendous pupils, an Italian couple whose suspect English only permits them to talk their way into trouble, a bunch of delinquents employed by the tabloid press, an embittered police sergeant who has devised a unique system for categorizing people, a sex-crazed and nondiscriminating Jack Russell terrier, and quite a few more. And when their various fates collide, the result is quite literally explosive.



The Role of Motivation in Second Language Acquisition

Abramis – 2011


Some very intelligent people never manage to learn a second language. Others of average intelligence can speak two or three foreign languages. It is likely that motivation – or the lack of it – plays a key role in success or failure in second language acquisition (SLA). This book provides a summary of the main theories regarding SLA and motivation that have emerged over the last fifty years, then those theories are applied to a longitudinal research project involving students of English at the University of Cagliari in Italy.



Necessary noises – An Introduction to English Phonology

Abramis 2007 – (Paperback)

As the title makes explicit, this work is an introduction to phonology for those who have little or no previous knowledge of the subject, including people whose first language is not English. We begin with a look at how the sounds of the English language are produced, then investigate the role of those sounds in the way English functions as a communicative system. In addition, ongoing changes in English pronunciation are considered, as well as the historical reasons for the fact that English spelling and pronunciation as so badly out of sync.




Permission to leave and other stories

Richmond Publishing – 1999 (Paperback)


Three stories in simplified English for language students (elementary/pre-intermediate level).

Permission to Leave – It is 2147. Indira and Craig live in a very protected, very organised society under the Earth’s surface. Why do they want to escape? Why is it dangerous to do so?

Can Helen Escape? – Helen must escape from her father. Can she get out of the house before he wakes up? And does she really know where she is going?

Raimundo Sánchez Superstar – Raimundo has the solution to a boring lesson on world geography. He escapes to a world of his own imagination, one in which he is a super hero.




New Millennium – 1995 (Paperback)


The Cleghorns are a normal middle-class family, contending with the usual trials of everyday life: disruptive adolescent children, envious friends and potential infidelity. The Blasdales have tried to abandon their working-class roots, but find that money brings its own problems. And when their paths cross, the resulting mayhem makes for an amusing and witty tale of the ups and downs of suburban life and a wry observation of the people who live it.