Amazon, Wall Street Journal & Washington Post Best-selling Author

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R R Haywood

Written by R R Haywood, June 13th, 2020

Posted in Blog | Currently 170 Comments

Win An Undead Mug…they’re pink and awesome!

What a strange time to be alive. Toxic politics fuelled by a toxic media fuelled by toxic hordes on the toxic web. Just whatever you do, don’t voice an opinion. On anything. Ever. Shush. Don’t do it, because whatever you say will be wrong. No matter what your intentions, but this is the new new. The new normal. Social distancing. Get fined if you go for a drive. Don’t get fined if you’re connected. Pandemics. Climate change. Forest fires. Worldwide protests. A surge in anti-racism. A surge in racism. A surge in anti-authoritarianism. Another step in democratic governments abusing their power. A surge in right wing, left wing, alt-right, alt-left. A surge in the funnelling of profits that strengthens the strongest and weakens the weakest because you can’t buy clothes from a clothes shop. You can’t buy books from a bookshop, but you can buy those things from a supermarket.

Blimey. It’s all a bit much, isn’t it. And there’s no end in sight. Best have a brew then. What do you reckon? Let’s have a cuppa and a biscuit. Digestives? Custard Creams? What’s your tickle?

Or, how about some flapjack? I made some. Do you want one?

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They’re just oats, sugar, golden syrup and butter. Very sweet, but moorish too. Help yourself. Ooh, or, do you know what we could have instead? We could have a rock cake. These didn’t turn out perfect, but they’re not too bad.

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Tell you what. We’ll pop them on the table in the garden then you can choose what you want. We can sit and watch the birds. I get a lot in my garden. But then I put a lot of food out for them. I get up early, you see. Normally about 4:30 this time of year. It’s nice. I walk my dogs on the beach and watch the sunrise. Then I head home, feed the poochies, make a coffee and put some food out for the birds. The pigeons and doves love the peanuts. The tits, finches, robins and smaller birds really go for the sunflower hearts, and the starlings chomp all the mealworm up.
It’s cool watching the way they interact with each other. It’s interesting. The pigeons are big and a bit clumsy, and a bit thick if I’m being honest. The doves are very graceful. The way they move and fly is a pleasure to watch. The smaller birds are just fast. Flitting here and there. The blackbirds work hard too. Especially around this time of year when they’re all raising young. The starlings are cool. They come in mobs. Sometimes just a dozen. Sometimes fifty or sixty. I love watching them. They move with incredible synchronicity.
The older starlings are darker with spots and stripes markings. The younger ones are normally brown. They follow the older ones and slowly learn how to fly and land, how to peck and forage. The elders feed them for a bit, then back away and make the younger ones do it for themselves. Starlings have big feet too, so it’s quite funny watching them walk when they’re young. Like they have big oversized clown feet and haven’t quite got used to their own bodies yet.

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Then there’s the magpies. They mate for life and they’re generally always within calling distance to each other. That’s why it’s considered unlucky to see one on its own. I’ve got a family that frequent my garden. They actually think the garden is theirs, and they’re super smart too. They love eating the scraps left in the dog food bowls. They’ll land on the fence and shed when the dogs are eating and clack about. They’re pushy birds, and if they don’t get fed quickly they get noisier. I normally put the finished bowls on top of the shed for them.
The magpies tend to dominate the other bird species. They’re very territorial, and they can be highly aggressive. I was writing the other day. Just last week actually. My desk is next to a window that overlooks the garden. It was all very peaceful then suddenly I heard this terrible noise go up. It was the starlings all screaming out in panic and creating a right hullabaloo. I thought maybe a cat had snagged one.
I ran out to see Maggie (the lady Magpie) attacking a baby starling. She was all puffed up, but she backed away and hopped around me while the other starlings screamed out. The baby wasn’t quite dead. Maggie had ripped a whole in its neck. I picked it up and tried to stop the bleeding, but the shock and the injury were too much and it died in my hands.

I was cross with Maggie after that. At dinner time she jumped on the fence and starting shouting for the dogs to hurry up so she could eat. I went out and told her no.
“Feed me!” she said. “I need food.”
“No! You killed that bird. I’m not feeding you.”
“Feed me! Put the bowls on the shed and go away.”
“Don’t shout at me, Maggie. You killed a baby bird.”
“It wasn’t me.”
“I saw you! I was there. You pecked its neck and the poor thing died in my hands.”
“Whatever. Put the bowls on the shed. I need to eat.”
“No! I won’t feed you. Not after that. Find another garden. Stop cawing at me. You killed a baby bird! Why do that? It was no threat to you. You chase all the other birds away. This isn’t just your garden, Maggie. That food isn’t just yours.”
“Put the bowls on the shed!”
“I will give you nothing. You killed a baby. It was defenceless against you. You’re like five times it’s size. Why did you do it?”
“I owe you no explanation, Human. I’ll tell you none either. Give me the food.”
“No! You’re not even grateful for what I do give you.”
“Gratitude? I have no gratitude. If you die now I will peck our your eyes and dance on your corpse. Put the bowls on the shed and go inside your house. I’ll give you no explanation. You see us and you think we’re cute. You think we live in harmony and all the birds co-exist in peace. We don’t. Foolish man. Die right now. I’ll eat your flesh. I care nothing for you. The starlings come fifty or sixty in number, and they eat everything. I chase them away because I have young, and my young need to eat too. The starlings will take everything. Do you think I want to kill them? There is no desire. Just life and death. It was young and slow. I killed it. The others saw and they will learn to move faster, and they will learn to go away when I chase them so that my young can eat. You see life only through your lens. The pigeons peck each other to get the best food. The doves do it. The blackbirds fight and squabble all day. This is an eternal war for us. And if I don’t move fast enough the crows will hurt me, the cats will kill me, the foxes will eat me. Put the bowls on the shed and die. I care nothing for you. We are not friends and I give you no gratitude.”

I put the bowls on the shed.

Maggie was right too. The other birds do peck the hell out of each other, and the family of crows that come now and then do make everything else go away.
Birds exist around us only because we are here. If we were not here, they would exist without us. As would everything else. Some species would die. Others would live. It’s life. It’s what life is. It’s never still or static. Nothing in the universe is ever still. The planet is spinning at 1000 miles an hour travelling 940 million km a year in orbit of a burning sun that takes up 99% of our solar system. A solar system that contains 8 planets, more than 200 moons and over 750,000 minor planets and over 4000 comets. And that’s just our solar system, which is one of billions of systems within the Milky Way Galaxy. A galaxy that contains hundreds of billions of planets and trillions of moons, all of which are orbiting a super massive black hole. The universe could have trillions of galaxies, with each one trapped within the gravitational pulls of other black holes. That means that everything within the universe is in motion all of the time. Nothing is ever still.

Do you want another brew? I’ll make one. Have another rock cake, or some flapjack. It’s peaceful here, and at least we can’t hear all the angry TV and internet people all shouting at each other.
But then we’re all so different, aren’t we. We’re all so diverse with differing needs and expectations. It’s not like we’re each 37 trillion cells inside a body held together by 22 square feet of skin. A body that contains over 200 bones and 650 muscles with one heart pumping 5 litres of blood through 100,000 km of veins. I mean, it’s not like we each breathe 30,000 times in one day. Or in that same day 360,000 new ones of us are born while around 150,000 die. Don’t think about it. Because you’ll also think 50,000 other thoughts today, 80% of which will be negative, and 98% of which will be the same as yesterday.
That’s in between blinking 9 million times a year, or shedding 3 kilos of skin while taking 2500 wees and producing 145 kilos of poo. That’s a lot for one year. But in your life you could read over 4500 books, speak 860 million words and have sex 5000 times. A life during which a woman may have 350 menstrual periods while a guy produces over 500 billion sperm cells.

Aye. We’re all so different. Each one of the 7 billion alive right now, and each of the 107 billion that have ever lived.
All of whom had a life. A life in which the average person might see over 40 million faces and touch the lives of 80,000 other people. All of whom were born to hear, see, fart, think, blink, shed, wee, poo, copulate, menstruate and make sperm to evolve our species before also dying, because it is not only the duty of every living thing to seek life, but also to die and give space to those that follow.

Crikey. But governments eh? How bad are they? Best have that brew then because the planet will spin on and the birds and bees and men and women will all fuck and kill each other the same as they have always done, and the same as they always will. These rock cakes aren’t that bad actually. I like the flapjacks though. Let’s watch the birds. It’s peaceful.

Aaaaand, if you read through all of that to win an Undead mug then you are a superstar awesome human being! They’re nice mugs. All pink and cool. Just leave a comment saying hi and I’ll draw a couple of winners.

Much love x

Rich

*The WSH book 2 is done and with Audible. We’re waiting for the lockdown to ease so it can be produced.
*There will be an Undead 25 just as soon as I can do it.
*The Undead audio and written books are all caught up to each other.
*I really hope you liked A Town Called Discovery. Leave a review if you did!
*A Town Called Discovery has been commissioned by Audible. But again, we’re waiting for production to start.
*Those flapjacks really were very nice.

170 thoughts on “Win An Undead Mug…they’re pink and awesome!

    1. With days so uncertain and what we ca say and do , having coffee and watching the grass grow is the safest way to spend the day. I hope your days are happy!

      1. Well, I read it all with a mutual dislike for magpies! They kill our lovely song birds in our garden and I hate them for that! A few years ago, a magpie actually got into my hen house and killed a chick! You can imagine how upset I was and why I hate them. But then, I read your story, and suddenly I felt a kind of compassion for these birds! I don’t think I’ll ever truly love them like the rest of my birds that visit our garden every day but, I have a completely different view on them now, they, like all the rest of our wildlife need to eat and feed their babies, we may not like it but its nature! And nature does what nature does. They are just trying to get by and survive like all the rest of our wonderful wildlife. So thank you, thank you for opening my eyes and seeing these birds in a completely different light.

        Katt

        1. Hi
          I love your books so much.
          I have read chapters 15-21 in lockdown.
          So much for a nice clean decluttered house, well if we have an apocalypse it wont matter.

        2. Hi, I love The Undead series. Just finished A Town Called Discovery – Awesome- unfortunately devoured it in one day.

        3. Hi,
          Just finished Undead 24.
          Wow!
          I’ve read all of your other books too.
          I’d love a mug.
          I’m also currently watching the interplay between the birds that visit my garden.
          We have tiny little sparrow chicks that can’t yet fly so I’m keeping my dogs in and my eye on the magpies, crows and ever present, ever circling, sentinel seagulls!
          I too walk my dogs on the beach and have been baking a lot during the lockdown.
          We have so much in common ….. except I can’t write books that make people laugh, cry, get really angry and feel like they know the characters personally.
          I live in Scotland so it may be too far for you to send a mug but I really would love one
          Warm Regards
          Dee

      2. Have started reading the Undead books for the 2nd time during this lockdown. They are fantastic and have kept me sane whilst homeschooling my two children and all the fun that comes with it. Just need the mug now and will be all set. Stay safe

      3. I’m sorry that the world is decidedly shit right now. Feel for you. We care about you and not just about your books, though they’re fab. Love to you. Chin up. And fuck it we WILL win x

      4. Id like a mug and a rock cake please. I would try to bake myself but i am shit at it and its much easier to ponce from friends. Thank you x

    2. Hi Richard. Just wondering. If I would win a mug, would I get on of them lovely flapjacks with it. No being greedy, just wondering. Can’t wait for your next book. Andrea from across the solant. Waving now from Gosport.

        1. Hi
          Your garden sounds so relaxing, I would love a decent sized garden rather than the postage stamp one I have. Still a garden is better than no garden, so I am grateful for my tiny garden.
          I did read through your entertaining waffling, keep it up!

        2. I thought for a moment you were going to bring Cookie into this when you mentioned tits, but then went on to talk ornithology. I guess that’s just my childish mind though.

      1. Gee, thanks for inviting us round. A cuppa and a cake are always appreciated. I think tea would taste so much nicer in a lovely pink undead mug

        1. Im feeding birds small ones out the back big crows in the front all the magpies have been chased off by crows haven’t seen any in a couple of weeks now. Would love an Undead mug for my morning coffee please (and day 25 )

          1. Hi Richard,
            I would love to win a mug. Your garden sounds wonderful. I wish we had more birds come to our garden but there are just too many cats. Looking forward to all of your next releases

    3. Hi!!! I LOVE the Undead! Cookey is my soulmate I swear! Lol Well since I’m married to my soulmate, maybe Cookey is my long lost twin brother!?!

      1. Hi RRH…I’m really wondering if you’re still doing those mugs…?
        I’m on the last few chapters of the final book…the entire series kept me sane through lockdown…I honestly don’t know how I’d have got through without plugging in daily, becoming dependant upon the teams struggles and japeries during an even worse but emotionally challenging scenario. It was so entirely gripping, the minute I got to the end I started from the beginning again, now with just an hour or two remaining. This leaves me a little fearfull and worried that I’ll not have anything to plug into that will keep me entertained like Howie et al. Looking forward to the next installment and WSH 2, which is pure genius. Thankyou, you really did help me through a dark time x

    4. I’d love to be able to write like you. I currently feel like The Undead, I work in pharmacy and it’s been a long hard 12weeks…. still going strong, living on fudge and coffee….

    5. Flapjacks look delicious, don’t let the birds get them! Save one for me! Pour me a cuppa in an undead mug please

    6. Hi, just read the entire series of The Undead. Amazing – but now I’ve finished, what am I going to do. I laughed, snorted, cried, raged and grammar checked. All the lemon drizzle cakes and flap jacks I made can’t compensate for no more undead. Seriously a fab story.

    7. Oh I feel for you with Maggie and the baby starlings – {oh good name for a band} but I’ve learned not to try to rescue the one Maggie grabbed – chances are it will probably die but then Maggie will still be hungry so will go off to kill a second baby starling. I run out and chase Maggie’s like a mad banshee! Anyway, thank you for the news about what’s going on with our favourite stories. I can’t wait! Please send me a mug?

    8. I’m sooo glad I discovered your books, the day I read the first undead was like the best day, ever! I started in January, on equilibrium at the moment. Blinky and Mary are my fave characters I think, or at least they make me laugh out loud the most! Thanks for all your hard work.

    9. What a mug… I have just found you as an author.. Just finished A town called discovery.. I didn’t want it to end.. What a book.. Loved every page and didn’t want to put it down.. Just downloaded The Undead ‍♂️ The first seven days.. And if its as good as I think it will be after reading Discovery.. You”ll be my favourite author I am rubbish at writing reviews but I love reading …thank you for now giving me some decent books to read during lockdown .. You have saved me with time away from my lockdown partners – 2 feral boys and the other half.. Love them dearly but 13 weeks has been a long holiday.. A very long holiday..

  1. I got so wrapped up in reading that, I forgot about the mug but I’d love one, because it’s pink and cool.

  2. They are pink and awesome but mostly they allow me to drink a cuppa and brag to all the world about my not-so-secret awesome club I’m in. If you know, you know ‍♀️

    1. Looking forward to more of the lovely books you write and if I am lucky enough to get a mug can you please send me a rock cake as they look awesome ow and I like magpies even if they are nasty bustards

  3. Hi, just wanted to say cheers for writing a series that I actually wait on the next book being published and have gone back to time and again (especially in these crazy times) which I have never ever done before. Normally Ill like a book and move on to something else and very very rarely read a second novel by an author and enjoy it as much as the first let alone read all novels written by one person. So yeah, well done on the fabby books and please keep them coming as I’m currently reading The Undead for the 3rd time and can’t wait for The Undead 25!

  4. Hey rich hope your having a good rest of the day on the island of white. Its quite miserable weather wise in Derbyshire today hoping it picks up next week as we have a massive shed to dismantle
    Anyhooo just thought I’d say Ello whilst drinking my coffee in a chipped mug ( thought I would add that fof dramatic I’d quite like a mug effect ) not a fan of flspjack or rock buns so I’ll make lemon drizzle for next time. Much love Lynds xx

  5. Have got hold of some free pallets and challenged my 2 teenage boys to build a garden bar to get them out of their rooms! Is a hive of activity. I’m in charge of decor – an Undead mug would be perfect for my…ahem…tea…!

  6. Hi Rich,

    Hate to tell you (as I love magpies too), but killing and eating baby birds is kinda their thing when they are raising their own young! Totally normal for her, so can’t really blame her.

    Thank you for all the books, I’m saving A Town Called Discovery until I’ve finished my HR Apprenticeship (final exam on 30th June). Which will be read with gallons of coffee (check out Paddy and Scott coffee brew bags – local small company to me) and bourbon biscuits.

    Also, what have you done to your flapjack? Mine doesn’t come out that dark! Lol

    Big love, always.

  7. Pink is my favourite colour
    Your my favourite Author
    I’d love this mug to drink my favourite beverage … Coffee coffee coffee out of
    And also thank you for being fabulous

    1. I don’t care if I win or not, but wanted to drop a comment that maybe you’ll read. Caught one of your books for free, Extraction, from Kindle and immediately read the whole series followed by the Undead series. Your writing enthralled me and wouldn’t let go. It got me a short deployment overseas. I appreciate your work and can’t wait to read more.

      -just a silly crayon munching US Marine

  8. Everyone is unique – just like everyone else.

    Hi, glad to hear another book is Imminent, and grateful for Discovery too, cracking book that.

    Keep doing what you do, because you make a lot of people happy doing it. I hope what you do makes you happy to.

  9. Christ! That just confirms my bird phobia is completely justified! Very entertaining read though once I got past the goosebumps and sweats.

    1. I’ve really enjoyed watching the birds in the garden while I am stuck at home – such a nice distraction from my work and research project. Lots of crows and jackdaws around currently, but a few smaller things do make a visit. The best part is seeing them all scatter as a red kite swoops into view. Poor buggers.

      About half way through Discovery so far and loving it. Something totally different! Maybe some Blake Crouch vibes, which can only ever be a good thing.

      Keep it up!

    2. Yep I’m a superstar & an uber undead fan! I’ve made no comments about current events despite feeling strongly! I’m a flat dweller – no garden with birdsong & stuff plus I’m menstruating so mug with autograph please :o)) lol

    1. Oh yes please I’ll have a cup of tea and a rock cake, and a good natter excluding anything that has to do with the crazy world out there.

    2. Hi Rich, love your books, especially the Undead series, can’t wait for the next one…

      A mug would be lovely.

      Thanks!

  10. I don’t like magpies much, or is it Mondays? Actually it’s neither, magpies shout too much and one used to tap on my window at 5am and then stare at me fearlessly, Mondays are my only day on the rota at work. Anyhoo, your flapjack looks nice, your garden sounds like a lovely place to be, your books are awesome and you are clearly a nice guy. Give me a mug 😉

  11. Hi Rich, wow, you must really be struggling with the lockdown! The only thing that was missing from your ramblings was your shopping list! Oh and that magpie was a bastard! Lol
    Can’t wait for WSH 2, I’m away to reread WSH in anticipation, oh and I would love one of those fine mugs! Cheers

  12. I love the undead series. This post has spurred me to read these books again. A mug would be great company for this.

    Please ignore my previous comment. The excitement of the mug left me temporarily illiterate.

  13. With days so uncertain and what we ca say and do , having coffee and watching the grass grow is the safest way to spend the day. I hope your days are happy!

  14. Birds *shudder* they terrify me. A mug to cheer me up after having to think about the feathered beasts is a must 🙂 oh, and I’ll mentally scoff the entire tray of flapjack. My trousers may not allow for anymore expansion!

  15. Good thing I came across this. Such a nice read and made me think about other things that are not the rave of the social media. I had a baby rabbit in my back yard and tried to feed it carrots the other day to amuse my kid but the magpies came in and chase it away and they didnt even want the carrots. Havent seen the babbit since but I have my hopes up 🙂

  16. The only birds I get to see lately are the seagulls that come to my hospital window. If I close my eyes I can almost imagine I’m as the seaside!

    Re-listening to the undead series is what’s getting me through the long boring days so an undead mug would make my day, especially as they are pink & awesome!!

  17. I’m excited for WSH 2, but honestly I’d read a primer on washing machine repair if you wrote it. Have a beautiful bird watching day. The blue jays are the bastards of my back yard, beautiful birds but mean as hell.

  18. Aaagh! You made me think of all the starlings that pick the mortar out of my stone barn for nests and they also try to move into the bluebird boxes and chase the bluebirds away. But my heart still aches for the babies that fall out and I find their little broken bodies ( before my chickens eat them). Wow, sorry for the morbidity (is that an actual word?) Time to hug my doggies now

  19. Hi, I love the Undead books and I’d love the Undead cup for my coffee to drink while I read all the books for the 4th time over!

  20. I WANNA MUG ….please
    In 20 days it’s my birthday, a big one , a shit one , a half a century one boooooooo ! And my hair looks shocking and I won’t be in Ibiza ( But im gonna go to the Zoo Instead to annoy the animals ) so to cheer me up I would like a mug pretty please, oh go on I will even eat a rock cake ( nasty!)

  21. Some of these greatest philosophers has struggled to capture the human condition as perfect as this..

    Men and women will still fuck and kill, but the world just turns..

    Okay I paraphrased..but it was a long essay.

    I have the Green Undead mug from the last meet up. But my wife uses it occasionally to which is not cricket..there a beautiful Pink one for me would perfect.

    1. I love reading your ramblings…always gives a new perspective to the world around us. It would be such a delight to sit in your garden and watch the birds while munching on a biscuit and drinking coffee…
      Ah, well…back to Saturday chores! Thanks for always keeping us thinking!

  22. Hi Richard.
    Love watching the birds in my garden too. Best bit of working from home in lock down.
    I’m trying to tame the blackbirds, they got pretty tame at my old house & my Nan had a pair that would knock the door for food & then come into the kitchen to be fed. My uncle said they followed him up the street, going from hedge to fence & then sat calling until he came out with their raisins.
    Enjoy your flapjacks.
    Sharon

  23. I’d love a strong tea no sugar please Boss and a flapjack as it looks lovely. Sitting in your garden watching the birds for hours is just my thing, and of course my tea in a pink undead cup would be the cherry on the cake .

  24. I spend my days chasing birds off yelling “save yourselves” because my cat is death machine and I feel so bad when she eats one. I saved one just last week by letting it recover in my cat basket before wondering if my choice of bird hospital had psychologically damaged it something to ponder with a mug of coffee maybe?

  25. Love pink,and can I please have a rock cake with my cuppa?I watch and feed the birds everyday,there are so many starlings on the island at the moment,I get lots of tits and a robin and a jay too xxx

    1. I didn’t need a mug to read through that, it was like being with you, chilling in your back garden, watching the birds, drinking tea and eating flapjacks. That would be something.

      I saw that too, heard a racket and looked up to see a magpie steal a baby starling right out the nest, the Ma an Da starlings tried to fight back dive bombing the magpie, but they couldn’t get it to release from it. then the crows started attaching the magpie, the crows jumped in then, seeing it was lunchtime. I went in then, it was enough, I was upset, but then realised its nature, shit, see lions killing all the time on TV, but when it’s on your doorstep it’s a different, but nature none the less.

      Lockdown has enabled me to see so many things I normally would not have, a forced pause in where I have been able to read, witness nature and get to know my houseplants.

      Anyway, thank you for letting me into a moment in your life, and expanding my mind with all those cool facts.

      The mugs are pretty cool too.

      Cheers for the brew 🙂

  26. Tired as usual. A brew wakes me up. I’m a key worker, my home is an office, and my noisy neighbours never shut up.

    I get a bus to my visits, with gloves and a paper mask. I spend tedious amounts of time waiting, but I do as I’m asked.

    On the bus I do crosswords, and often read a book. No matter how many times I read through them, Mr Howie and his gang keep me on the hook.

    But inside I’m fed up, in my heart I want to cry. I have clients who depend on me, so for them I don’t give up, I just try, and try, and try.

    I don’t know how long this will go on, how long I’ll be indoors. I have a job, a partner and and friends. That’s more than most, and I’m grateful for those.

    Music and books are a source of salvation, Messers Haywood, Tolkien and Pratchett keep me going, and stimulate my imagination.

    So for the authors and artists: creaters of hope, love and dreams, keep up the good work. You’re also key workers, important, and part of my team.

    PS can I have a mug?

  27. Sitting here watching the bees buzz by, could do with a nice pink undead mug to slurp my tea from – milk last – with a custard cream.

  28. I too sit out in my garden watching the birds, I love the elusive, tiny wrens and the big colony of house martins that nest, well, in our house.
    The magpies are beautiful and funny, honestly if I don’t pick my dogs’ poo up quickly enough they love a game of rugby with it, chasing each other from one end of the garden/pitch to the other (really they do, I shit you not!). I got very angry with them this year though because they killed the blue tit babies just as they were fledging. The parents have another brood now & I’m hoping to guard them.
    Nature, so harsh but it’s all about survival I guess.
    Anyhoo boss, I would love one of your mugs to have a brew in & will make flapjack to go with it if I am lucky enough to win one.

  29. I came to try and win a mug… but I read through “all of that” not to win the mug but because it was worth my moments in time… I’ll now share the post to share your thoughts … alas this might increase the odds of winning a mug, which I would really like, but feel the words are worth sharing… maybe soon I’ll be able to share rock cakes and flapjacks too… while supping a brew for a cool new mug

  30. Would I’ve to win a if! Our cupboards are full of Starwars and avengers mugs. Need something else to balance out the geekiness

  31. Hello from across the pond! Seems it’s a good thing I’m caught up with The Undead, as it appears to soon be an instruction manual… Keep up what you’re doing; you’re a beakon of light for so many of us!

  32. You too are a superstar awesome human being for writing it all, sharing your musings and thoughts with us.
    Due to my dog thinking he’s head of security & ‘your names not down you’re not coming in’, not many birds frequent my garden but we do however have squirrels or squiggles as we call them.
    2 grey & 2 black, not joining in with a racism or anti racism anything just hadn’t seen a black squirrel before last year, moved here in Feb & now have 2 in the garden.
    I named the black 1 – Ali G because he is black and the grey 1 – Dorian. Then realise that we had 2 of each!
    Anyhow I’m off to make some fudge that would be lovely with a hot drink if only I had a nice mug to drink from . . .

  33. Mr H
    You broke my heart when Blinky died. I would love to sob quietly into my coffee…. in an undead mug obviously.
    P.S. I saw a magpie kill a beautiful thrush and have hated them ever since.

  34. So new stuff on its way, Audible and Undead all in sync and WSH2 on the cusp of release. All sounds pretty bloody perfect to me, and yes a rock cake and a cuppa would be lovely thank you very much!!

  35. I love your writing and the garden sounds perfect – nature is brutally beautiful. I have a blue tit family which has just fledged it’s family – one didn’t survive and died in my hands too. A magpie again! Would love a flapjack with you and a cuddle with your dogs

  36. I’ve really enjoyed watching the birds in the garden while I am stuck at home – such a nice distraction from my work and research project. Lots of crows and jackdaws around currently, but a few smaller things do make a visit. The best part is seeing them all scatter as a red kite swoops into view. Poor buggers.

    About half way through Discovery so far and loving it. Something totally different! Maybe some Blake Crouch vibes, which can only ever be a good thing.

    Keep it up!

  37. I can see maggie is not be trifled with – such a sage though, however much I would love to have either the rock cake or the flapjack I am fighting to reverse type 2 diabetes (and successfully so far so good) so its no sugars and low carb all the way for me, however I will have some berries and a cup of coffee (no milk or sugar) thanks and hope we (hoomans) dont totally feck up this planet for those beautiful birds and the rest of the creatures.

  38. I think I’m getting to the point where you could write a recipe on a napkin (or serviette since I’m British) and I would happily read it. It’s been an odd few months in this crazy world we live in and I am forever thankful for the escape your books offer. Never stop writing.

    P.s You’re always welcome at mine for a brew, I make good coffee and South Wales isn’t that far from the Isle of Wight but you’ll have to wait a bit, in till we start welcoming visitors again.

  39. Pink! Undead! Oh my!

    The drama in your garden is enough to write a book. Please can we have more? But only if you want…

  40. I messaged you once telling you that your books gave me more courage, which with severe, complex, PTSD has been so important to me. I was devastated for days after the recent murders in the US, but when I got up … I got up fighting and haven’t stopped yet. Facebook is my tiny sphere of influence and I’m working it as hard as I can, taking on challengers until they quit responding or remove their whole line of comments. The lies, the deliberate blindness, the unbelievable actions of our President, the Republican lackeys who enable him and won’t even comment … my own family of origin … it’s a bit to much. I feed the birds, too … no bloody magpies thank goodness … and the squirrels raid their feeders. I don’t mind, I feed them, too. In a way, isn’t that what it’s all about? Compassion? And isn’t that what we are all seeing is utterly absent in so many people, including the media, who only hunger for power with no care for the harm they are causing? I don’t have a beach, so I sit outside with my coffee and dogs and look at the sunlight filtering through the trees and watch the birds and the squirrels I choose to care for, knowing there will be no reciprocation. I fight all comers on Facebook. Today I will plant flowers and scrub my flagstone patio and marvel at the beauty that has been hidden under decades of dirt. And I will continue to look for metaphors for hope. As I said, your books give me courage. They allow me to face all of the triggers that should render me paralyzed with anxiety and fear. Thank you. You have made a difference in my life.

  41. Your rock cakes look rocky – mine look like sandstone they are always so soft! We could swap. I’ll show you mine if….. no, better not go there Loving the mug but would love the next Undead more. Please don’t make me cry again though, my husband doesn’t understand how vested I am in the people.

  42. Love the post.

    We have a family of starlings nesting in our eaves. They wake us having a domestic every morning. Love watching when we put out food. Family of wood pigeons as well who are just a bit clumsy.

    I’d love a mug would be a great addition for my new house!!

  43. Love your writing style, and yes, an awesome pink mug would really go down well for my afternoon cuppa and maybe some homemade biscuits of maybe some cake, can’t decide…..can’t stand dithering but there you go…I dithered

  44. Hi Richard,
    Big fan of all your writing, have just started A town called Discovery and not disappointed, just a but scared.
    My favourite mug at the moment is my The Who, The kids are alright mug but I’d drop that like its hot for an undead mug.

  45. You have a great view on life and if more people were of similar opinions, the world would be a happier and safer place to be.

  46. It’s writing like that which makes your books so enjoyable. I’m looking forward to reading your next book. If I win a mug it shall be called Blinky.

  47. Hi Boss,

    So our love of the garden birds binds us. I sit in my makeshift office at the back of our house in Hertfordshire and their antics make me smile. The blue tit family this year is seven and I’ve watched them grow from tiny little fluffies to the fastest flying maniacs zooming around the garden.

    Be safe.

  48. Hi

    You are my favourite author,
    And you’re now my favourite cook,
    But it’s time to stop the baking,
    And write an Undead book

  49. I’d love to win a mug, but just getting more writing from you was a win In my opinion.
    Those flapjacks do look yummy, if I just have a little bit, it won’t really hurt my diabetes… will it??l

  50. Well Hi! I also have a mini bird theatre I’ve cultivated on my balcony! I have about 4 pigeons who sit and stare at me through the window. About a thousand starlings who monopolise the bird feeder so the tits don’t get a look in. An ad hoc woodpecker and a greedy magpie who is far too big for the feeder! Keeps me going on lockdown and working nights from home!

  51. Hi
    Poor baby birdy, how can Mother Nature be so amazing and yet so cold and cruel?
    We have a very busy bird table too, with a robin named Bad Bird because he’s so aggressive to the other birds, a psychotic dove – who is not at all graceful, especially when he puffs up his chest, raises his wings and charges at the other birds and very large wood pigeon who is scared of both Bad Bird and Psycho Dove.
    The starlings and blackbirds are both very industrious parents, still feeding their cute and fluffy feathered offspring who are sometimes bigger than their parents, capable of pecking their own seeds but still insist on being fed by their increasingly knackered looking Mum and Dad.
    Is that the avian equivalent of a teenager constantly asking to borrow a tenner? I’m not sure, but I’d love a mug to sit and drink my coffee from whilst I consider it!

  52. Hi,

    I absolutely love reading your blogs, gives me a real insight into your mind. Plus you always seem to capture the general mindset of us average joe’s. Great stuff, thanks you for keeping us entertained.

    Much love

  53. Hi
    I would love a cup. To fill with tea while I gaze up at the universe at night and ponder why I’m here
    Mainly to pee poop and fart I think

  54. Hi

    I love your books. My lovely Dave introduced me to them. We are forever saying “Come let’s go” “No pee in car” I’m really looking forward to reading more of your books.

    I’m not very articulate when it comes to writing my own stuff, I do love that I can’t guess what’s going to happen in yours unlike in others and also tv series!

    Undead is my favourite as I live in Lymington and enjoy visiting the Island! Recently got my own little pup and would love to sit in my garden with my very own mug for all the coffee that I drink again another reason I love the undead series my love of coffee.

    Fingers crossed I can enjoy the forest and drink a cup in one of your fantastic mugs.

  55. Can’t wait to read the next Undead installment! Any plans on doing A Town Called Discovery sequel too? Equally brilliant characterisation and story telling…..maybe I’m sounding like a brown nose now so I’ll shut up!

    Oh and it’d be great to have a mug for my desk, whether that be at home or in the office!

  56. Hi! I absolutely love your writing. Though long, your blog post was very wonderful to read.

    I just finished the Undead series and absolutely love it! I might have to start again. I’ve never been much of a reader but your writing has changed that for me. Thank you! Can’t wait for more Undead in the future.

  57. Hi Boss! Please let me be one of the winners of a pink undead mug. I would be most grateful, and would give you an explanation as to why I did deserve it, and a rock cake. My daughter once caught a bird, a duck to be specific, on her fishing pole when I took the wee bairns to a pond. T’was a sight to see her flying the bird like it was a kite… We reeled the catch in and practiced “catch and release” so that no duck was harmed in the process.

  58. I’d love a pink mug and so would my wife! I too love looking at the birds in my garden and am lucky enough to currently have a Red Kite doing laps above me. Keep up the awesome books.

  59. I would love a mug! It reminds me of when Dave was standing in the doorway with a coffee for Howie while he was in the street fighting all the infected And I think Hitchcock was right about the birds…..

  60. I think you should be prime minister!! Naaaa stick to writing cause if you were Prime Minister then the books will stop and that can not happen!!
    Put the kettle on and I’ll have a cuppa in my new pink and cool mug… please!!!!!

  61. Hi rich that was a funny yet informative read, it took a little longer than it normally would have due to holding a rather miffed and shouty four month old good luck all

  62. Hi
    I’d like a cup please. I’d like it full of flapjack too please. I’ll also steal a rock cake but I warn you now, I’ll be spitting the raisins out.
    I’ve been off work during The Virus. I’ve used the time to catch up with your other books. I’m a long time undead fan, not bothered with the others. How blinkered was I?! Tried a town called discovery first. Loved it. Need another. Then I tried worldship. Loved it. Need another. Now I’m reading extracted. Love it. Need another (for after the next 2 obv!) wish I didn’t read so fast!
    You’re awesome. Health, happiness, flapjack, dog nuzzles and magpies to you for a very long time.

  63. I have been working from home since 24th March and was furloughed for some of that time, but have begun working again two weeks ago. I have started baking again, flapjacks, lemon drizzle cake, bread, two birthday cakes. I have also spent a lot of time watching the birds from inside the house and whilst gardening. I have seen so many birds that I didn’t know visited the garden, including a wren and green finches, but most exciting of all, a sparrowhawk. It is very interesting how differently all the birds behave, robins are very bossy, but confident and would come really close to us to obtain mealworms. A pair of blackbirds built a nest in our clematis, but I think a magpie scared them off if maybe ate the eggs :(. We do have a pigeon nesting though. My husband has taken down the bird food because he is fed up with the pigeons as they broke or ate one of our dahlias! Sad as all the birds have their place in bird society. I would be really chuffed to get an Undead mug, especially a pink one!

  64. Oh I had that with a crow and a spuggy! The crow was attacking the wee spuggy and all its wee friends were crowded round trying to scare the crow away….didn’t work can still hear the noise of them trying to save their friend

  65. Well, you have been busy haven’t you. Your flapjack look a bit of a funny colour, not golden as I would expect. I’m sure they taste delicious though. My dogs bark at the birds, especially the Chihuahuas, chasing them out the garden. The bird feeder is at the top half of the garden, fenced off. I would love to win an Undead mug. Love pink. xx

  66. Ooh. I’d love a mug to drink my morning coffee out of – especially if I could read a new book at the same time! Keep doing what you’re doing – so many people love you for it. Thank you. X

  67. The birds, the bees and the sun are what’s got me through Lockdown so far. A drama happening 24/7 under our very noses you just have to look. A cuppa and a cake help

  68. I did get totally lost in that 🙂 it was as though inwas sat having a brew and flap Jack with you watching Maggie together.

    Cant wait for undead 25…. oooooooooo

    Need a 4th book to extracted also….

    I’m hoping you get a good narrator for town called discovery. I’ve like all the narrators you have so far. 🙂

    I would love a pink undead cup……

  69. Wow that was quite intense! I think my brain grew 10 times reading that (I now have approximately 10 sparking cells :D) I’ll never be as bright as Maggie though, that bird knows her stuff!
    I came for the chance of a cup but stayed for the flapjack, rock cakes and chat waffle.
    Loved it, thank you 🙂

  70. Watched my husband put some stale bread out for the birds yesterday including some large tortilla wraps. I asked why he didn’t break the wraps up and he just shrugged but we were both in stitches shortly after when a pigeon clumsily tried to fly off with a whole wrap dangling from its mouth. Anyway would love a mug! Cheers.

  71. Hi boss

    We’ve got bird wars in the garden, with the good guys of sparrows, finches, doves, the (IQ challenged) pigeons, oh and the pheasants, rebelling against the evil empire of the magpies and chavdaws (like normal jackdaws, but more chavvy). Robins have no alliances and seem to be waging a guerilla war against the hedgehogs for their food (stalemate so far). The occasional sparrow hawk isn’t very sparrow-hawky, as he likes to sit on the gate in a kind of “ooh look, little birds, how cute” kind of way. Think the woodpecker might have sustained a brain injury, as he’s not realised there’s food and just keeps nutting the leg of the bird table.

  72. Hi Boss. Only having sex 5000. Life is so full of disappointments. Please let me have a cup so that I won’t have to suffer another disappointment today

    Thanks

    Richard

  73. Legend- I thought to myself that looks like a grand mug for my morning up of tea and so off I set to try and win one.

    A couple of minutes later and I had completely forgotton how I ended up here and taking notes on flapjacks.

    None the less, here I am back on track now ;-D

  74. Hi. So…I’m pretty sure 145 kilos would be lowballing the number. Especially since I’m in California and am surrounded by Mexican food. Which is so nice.
    I have Nightingales in my backyard. They start singing, loudly at 11pm. And continue singing , loudly, until 6am. Very annoying. I love them and I leave them be.
    P.S. I’ve loved your books since Day 1 (wheezes out a laugh)
    P.P.S. I’d love a mug

  75. I think a lovely Undead mug (and pink too!) will help me to get through life. Six months ago I had never heard of RR Haywood. I discovered the Undead series around Christmas time and have just finished reading all of your books one after the other (just finished the Extracted series). I am obviously now bereft (dramatic swoon). Oh, and I have a resident blackbird who likes to tweet “I’m a Barbie Girl”; now, I have to say, I’m not much of a fan of the original, but the blackbird version is a damn good cover to wake up to at 4.30 . And I have to stop my dogs from trying to hunt down any feathered friend who enters the perimeter.

  76. I think the birds are taking over, first we had loads of tits and their babies lovely, then the pigeons chased each other and built nests, blackbirds singing. Today we had at least forty crows making a racket and circling overhead all afternoon! There are so many birds, I’m thinking Hitchcock! I’d like a mug for me and flapjack projectile to throw for the birds (or at them if they attack) send help …

  77. Hi, I love The Undead series. Just finished A Town Called Discovery – Awesome- unfortunately devoured it in one day.

  78. The second watch biscuit club are like the pigeons big and cumbersome and a bit slow but we get the job done.

  79. This is such a lovely letter, it made me smile and laugh and forget the world. This plague, as awful as it is, hasn’t changed my lifestyle. I am a bit of a hermit and my health has been a bother these past few years. I prefer the company of dogs and wildlife… The birds gather in my yard. The squirrel proof feeders actually work. We leave corn on the ground in a separate area for the squirrels. The birds are the rulers. Sometimes at night the raccoons show up. I read. Thank you Rich, for your gift of words. P.S. I would love to drink my coffee out of one of those mugs.

    1. I feel all the feels about what you wrote. It really is like that. When you come outside, we really are that insignificant. Yet this is it, it’s where we are, where we live.
      I think your a cool person. If I dont win one, can you please tell me where I can buy one?
      Thanks

  80. I feel all the feels about what you wrote. It really is like that. When you come outside, we really are that insignificant. Yet this is it, it’s where we are, where we live.
    I think your a cool person. If I dont win one, can you please tell me where I can buy one?
    Thanks

  81. Wow. I want to try flapjacks and rock cakes now, but what I really want is to sit in your garden with you, talking about birds and drinking tea out of my new cup, lol.

  82. And this is why I read your books you lovely, clever man….even your stream of consciousness is interesting, thoughtful and funny! Hello…..enjoy your flapjacks, they look scrummy!! 🙂

  83. Hi RIch,

    I need a brew!! Looking forward to the Audibles for A Town Called Discovery & WSH! 🙂

    Stay safe big man!

  84. Can I have black coffee please?
    Or Earl Grey with almond milk?
    And if you’ve got a spare mug I’ll make you a keto mug cake….
    Xxx

  85. Hey Rich,

    Good Post, actually read it whilst keeping an eye on some new fledged sparrows getting fed by their pap, they are actually standing on the food but still waiting and screaming to be fed…

    Have a good one boss

  86. I read this while eating ginger cookies, that’s my favourite to dip in my tea.
    Also hilarious conversation with the magpie

  87. Hi, Can’t wait for the next undead book! I’m rereading the whole series, so excited. The mug is awesome 🙂

  88. I am sitting in my garden right now. A 1000 miles from where I was born and supposed to stay, drinking tea that I buy off ebay as it’s the only thing I really miss.

    Recently I bought an apartment that came with a grave as part of deal. I will lease the apartment no doubt to a young couple or students. But the grave bothers me immensely do I want to know where my remains will be deposited seems an awful lot room. Will the current occupants need to move and what happens to them if they do, and me, when my own story slips into family obscurity a curiosity but nothing more, and someone needs a deposit for their 2100 model Tesla and whatever is left of me gets its marching orders from the hole I own which I didnt really want in the first place. Your right mate better to just drink tea shut out the noise and the anger which could easily be avoided if people took a second to think, and just watch the birds and think of their problem neighbour’s.

  89. Every day is a struggle, just ask Howie. Sometimes, lots of times, it’s so much easier on the psyche to cuddle in a nice English garden. Never been to England so I do my internal cuddling in my workshop surrounded by paint and leaves and concrete. Happy day to all the animals.

  90. All of that & I’m really just stuck on the 22 sq ft of skin.
    I could really use a mug.
    Also, I’ve been summoned to return to the actual office.
    I could really use a mug.
    Xo

  91. Weird, it’s 8.45 in the morning and it’s muggy outside. If that isn’t fate telling me I need a new mug, I don’t know what is. My Jack has been flapped, my fin muffed and the less said about the spotted dick I made last night the better.

    So, despite all those human achievements, coffee is the staple, the life saving elixir, and it needs a vessel to survive. Give me that mug. It is mine.

  92. I like your books, and I like coffee.
    I have been on a hard zombie binge. Reading everything I can find, but I like your writing so much, it was nice to venture genres. I think A Town Called Discovery was Epic. Please may I have a mug.

  93. Since April 3rd I have read the Extracted series and the 24 Undead books. Starting the Camping Store tomorrow. Of the 46 books I’ve read since the lockdown, 27 are yours. Thank you from New Jersey, USA! and yes there’s some crazy shit goin on over here. Need a new coffee mug but looking forward to 25 even more!

  94. Thank you so much for taking the time to read that massive blog, and for entering the quiz. Two winners have been selected at random…and they are…dumdumdumdum…. Mike Heath and Amy Smith. Well done Mike and Amy. I’ll email you to get your addresses.
    Much love x

  95. Firstly I hope you are keeping safe and well and want to thank you as your undead series has been a lifesaver during the lockdown as I’m up to day 17 and my third time through reading the whole series.
    Still annoyed as reading your books make me think I’m there part of the team and although I was hoping for a zombie apocalypse we got Corona virus instead. Keep up the great work and keep the undead books coming as I’m sure things won’t return to normal for a while yet and need more undead fixes to keep me going.

  96. Didn’t enter for a mug. Didn’t see it to be honest. Not bothered really. I just want to say that your writing is important to me. I love your exquisitely drawn, imperfect perfect characters. Trying not to think about them as I think about them and the massive adventures we are going to go on next. Thanks

  97. I just love the UNDEAD series.
    My sister got me into the Extracted trilogy and I demolished those in a week. Then I got into the UNDEAD, a little daunted by the 20 books, but got the first one on Audible and got hooked. Love the characters, by book 3 I told my sister she had to get into them. I’m only on book 9 and she’s finished the lot, she even emailed you asking when the next one will be out!
    So if I win a mug, I’ll give it to my sister as she got me into your books.
    My son is on the ASD, so I totally get Dave’s Aspergers traits. How the hell do you research everything so well? I guess that what takes a huge amount of time.
    Anyway, I’ll stop. Love the books and keep them coming!!

  98. Erm. Hi! So I’m sad I don’t have the next undead installment yet… So I’ve started at the beginning! My mental health makes it hard to read so I listen to them! It’s honestly the best zombie series I’ve ever come across.

    Sooooo… I’d like some flapjack please and a Doggy picture. Thanks!

    Also, I’ll be naming new my kitten after one of your characters once he’s born!

  99. Richard shows some potential with his creative writing but spends too much time daydreaming and gazing out of the window.

    Must try harder

  100. looking forward to reading your lovely books and could you please send me a mug and pack it with one of those rock cakes as they look awesome. Ps I love magpies even though they are nasty bustards

  101. OMG I love your writing! Been staying up till 2 am reading the Undead series on my phone’s Kindle app. Often under the covers so the light doesn’t wake my hubby. I’ve laughed and I’ve cried, your writing is inspired. From Missouri in the U. S., please keep up your new career!!! And I would a pink mug!

  102. Okay, I read the whole thing (because you wrote it!) and the thing that stuck was “A life during which a woman may have 350 menstrual periods…” I’ve done the math and that number seems way too low.

    Anyhow, I adore The Undead books (and am really getting quite impatient waiting for the next one). It’s my all-time favorite series – and that’s saying a lot, because I have followed quite a few series. Howie is my favorite character. I do love all your books (and have read them all) but The Undead is the best. I reread the entire series before each new book comes out. I learn something new that I’d missed before each time I reread them. So good!

  103. Hi Rich,
    Love everything you write, wish I could do that but I can’t even spill prooperlie
    Keep up the good work I can’t wait for the undead 25!
    All the best
    G

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