Storage: The New Moneyspinner

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Remember the shelf? Wooden thing, long and flat, held all your records, then your videos, then your DVDs and CDs. Streaming made the shelf redundant. But unless you live in the country with freshly installed Broadband your speed may be too slow to watch a movie. That’s why internet speeds are faster in Latvia and […]

A Little Peace & Quiet

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I’m in a little place called Aiguafreda, where there’s nothing to listen to but the lap of water and the birds in the trees. And, it seems, my tinnitus. Of the six of us who met up a few days ago, four were sufferers. The process of gathering your thoughts in a moment of calm […]

Gilded Needles

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  I’ve talked in the past about rediscovering the writer Michael McDowell, who died too young. For decades his best work lay unnoticed on dusty bookshelves, but now smart new reprints have returned them to both print and online formats, and they deserve fresh success. Recently I wrote the foreword to one of his most […]

The Other Arthur Bryants

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Over two decades ago I invented a pair of detectives, Arthur Bryant and John May. But it turned out, to my surprise, that Arthur Bryant already existed. This namesake came to light because a reader pointed out the similarity, but when I discovered that Sir Arthur Wynn Morgan Bryant also spoke at my alma mater, […]

USA, Get Ready For My Backlist

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I’ve had many enquiries from American friends asking if my backlist of around twenty books would become available there for Kindle, Kobo, etc. The volumes are being released in sets in the UK and Europe at the moment, with The Curse of Snakes and Calabash due in about three weeks. I’ve now signed a deal for […]

Stepping Into Dreams

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What’s it like to be on a film set? Disappointing, mostly. Today’s sets are largely green-screened so that CGI can be added, but occasionally sets are built or locations are dressed. Today I was in Gerona, where a great many films have been shot – so many in fact that a museum is hosting an […]

A Writer’s Life: Why You Need A Good Editor

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In today’s world has everywhere been written about? I’ve read novels set in North Korea and among ancient tribes. What about the modern state of how we live now in the UK, our relationships and confusions, and the way in which ‘career portfolios’ replace traditional jobs? US novelists write state-of-the-nation books very well, but we […]

The Mystery of George Langelaan

ca.0905.fly.1--A scene from the 20th Century-Fox Production "THE FLY". Vincent Price (R) Herbert Marshall (L) and Charles Herbert.

Although he was born in Paris in 1908, Langelaan was British, and lived a life far stranger than almost any of his fictions. By my reckoning, he didn’t get published until he was approaching fifty – so what was he doing in the intervening years? Well, he began as a newspaper writer until the start […]

Films With Moral Dilemmas

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It’s a given these days that any film involving corporations, institutions or governments will present a black-and-white picture of good (independent, liberal, quirky, new age) against evil (fascist, secretive, dishonest, betraying) but once in a while we see ethical dilemmas explored in greater detail. Terrence Rattigan’s ‘The Winslow Boy’ has been filmed at least ten […]

Autumn Schedule: London Insights

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  As summer ends I’ll shortly be heading home and spending some time with something I need to catch up on: London. There are a few experiences in the city that I haven’t tried for a while, so I’ll be visiting institutions, tourist attractions and secret places to see what London in the Phoney War […]