I’m Moving To A Five-Post Week

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Thanks to those who offered me advice about social media, and the time it eats up in my job. I think the best way to deal with this is by making a small change. Due to Brexit and rising prices, I shall be switching to a five-post working week online. (Well, that’s what everybody else […]

Brass Monkeys

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The boiler broke down last weekend, and I remained wrapped in layers to type. I detest the damp and cold – not ideal for someone born in the Northern hemisphere. So for my trip tomorrow I think I must have gone mad. How did I ever get talked into this? My ideal holiday is a […]

London Endures

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The London Mayor Sadiq Khan is right; terror attacks are part and parcel of living in a big city and you have to be vigilant to combat the dangers. Donald Trump Jr  just launched an attack of his own on Kahn (on Twitter, this presidency’s preferred mode of communication for the conducting of ill-informed dialogue). Kahn […]

The Park Gates Are Open!

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‘Bryant & May: Wild Chamber’ is here at last – it’s my biggest B&M novel and took a little longer to write than usual because of the huge amount of research I did. However I ended up discarding about 80% of it, something I nearly always do. Not every novel has a lot of research, […]

The Voyage Of The Lucky Dragon

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One of the joys of spending hours creeping around secondhand bookshops is the array of unknown stories that get put in your way. I was not aware of Ralph Lapp’s book about this dark episode in Japanese/US history. On Friday 22 January 1954 the Lucky Dragon set sail from a port south of Tokyo and […]

More On Overlapping Time

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In my ongoing look at overlapping time, here’s a rather lovely example. A singer who has a new album out at the moment first sang when Sigmund Romburg had a hit with The Drinking Song. Dame Vera Lynn was seven when she started, and she’s 100 now. The ‘Forces Sweetheart’ is to have her face […]

Should Writers Be Topical?

Cole Porter contributed many songs to the Great American Songbook,  including "I've Got You Under My Skin" and "I Get a Kick Out of You."

Anyone with half a brain will know that we live in extraordinary times, but most writing doesn’t reflect the present. Part of the reason is that for fiction writers the gestation period is so long. The distance from the idea to the final version of the book, then to finding the publisher, and then to […]

How Much Time Do You Spend On Social Media?

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Last night I spoke with a writer who does no social media at all. Every morning I start my day by doing two hours of social media work. I love writing this site, hate Facebook because there’s simply too much on it to cope with, and enjoy Twitter because I like reading the articles people […]

Celebrating 20 E-Books: ‘Red Gloves’

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Quietly and without fanfare (that’s how we like it) my last three e-books snuck out into the ether this month. Red Gloves Volumes 1 and 2 and the new collection Frightening became available in new online editions. Frightening tidies up the short story backlist with the remaining new stories I produced in the declining days of the horror story […]

The Bad Boys Are Back

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There’s a running gag in the Bryant & May books about Bryant and Gilbert & Sullivan that reaches its head in the the new novel out next week, ‘Wild Chamber’. I’m drawn to partnerships, the push and pull of people who can’t live with or without each other, and whatever one thinks of their music, […]