About me

Hello. My name’s Phil Janes. You probably guessed from the eponymous website. I’d like to describe myself as a pen for hire, because that implies that I get paid sufficient amounts for it justifiably to form part of my description, but that would be stretching the truth. I’m happy to get paid for it on occasion, but what I do is just write, and I have always written. I don’t know why, but I very much suspect it’s because I enjoy it.

I started writing a long time ago, and the first published work I produced was The Cetl and the Ockterpoos, which hit the shelves when I was 4. (The Kettle and the Octopus, if you were struggling. My spelling back then was pretty much fnetik.) It was self published, with scissors and sticky tape, and it still exists …

The Story of the Cetl and the Ockterpoos You will be pleased to know that they lived happily ever after they built their house

The Story of the Cetl and the Ockterpoos
You will be pleased to know that they lived happily ever after they built their house

Since then I have been writing pretty much non-stop. Sometimes it has come in useful – like when my exam essays were sufficiently reader-friendly to get me a better grade than I deserved – and sometimes it has got in the way – like when I used to write short stories during Economics lectures at Bristol University instead of listening. Regardless of how friendly my degree essays were, the examiners clearly favoured facts over jokes. No accounting for taste, I suppose. And you should never approach Economics without a sense of humour.

There has been success and ‘postponed success’ ever since. The highlights have been the Galaxy Game series of books and ‘Tails of a Country Garden’ which stars the cats Fleet and Strongclaw and which I like lots.


Tails of a Country Garden

And not to forget the 8 years of writing for Expatriate Lifestyle magazine in Malaysia. A loyal band of gentle readers made this a monthly joy, though now it has come to an end.

Most recently, the first book a series for children – Alfie & the Ghost – has been published.


It is difficult to pick a precise age range for suitability, since kids are not homogenous, but as a rough guide from feedback this would be great to read to a 7 year old and great to be read by an 8-10 year old. I still enjoy reading it, and I’m well beyond that!

The sequel – The Elephantom – is written and currently being illustrated by the very talented Kealan Dennedy (available for other illustration work!) and will be published in November, all being well.

This site contains a lot of the stuff I have written in the past – actually all of it was written in the past, including this, but you know what I mean – as well as some new stuff.

I continue to write, as I have for half a century, and I always will. Currently I’m working on the plot for the third in the Alfie series.

I hope you find something here that makes you smile. My philosophy of life – honestly – is to leave this planet just a tiny bit happier than it would have been without me, and this is the only way I know which gives me a chance to do so.