Monthly Archives: August 2013

Things That Drive Me Crazy

When I saw this, I wanted to call up Car Giant and tell them to fire their agency. Is it wrong to be so anal about grammar and spelling?

People I Admire: Peter Nichols

‘You dare speak to an officer of the law like that and I’ll scream the place down.’ So says Captain Dennis of SADUSEA, Song And Dance Unit South East Asia, in Nichols’ autobiographical play ‘Privates On Parade’, his best known work. It’s a bravura piece that’s funny, gruesome, tragic and moving. ‘Vaudevilian’ is a good […]

Live In London’s New Student Silo. Or You Could Sleep In A Skip.

Yes, it’s official. London, voted 55th best world city to live in, will now flog you student accommodation with no light or space or dignity for around 700 nicker a month. University College London’s new plastic squat around the corner from my front door just won the Carbuncle Cup, the annual national award for Britain’s […]

Stop Press: New Nomination

BRYANT & MAY AND THE INVISIBLE CODE has been selected for the ITV3 Crime Thriller Book Club. the new 1-hour, 6 week, prime-time UK series which starts on September 17th. I was filmed for it a month ago, but couldn’t tell anyone. The show follows us six nominees during the run-up to the glittering awards ceremony, eventually zooming […]

‘You’ll Hurt Your Eyes Reading’

 ‘I’ll hurt yours in a minute,’ was Tony Hancock’s succinct reply when told this by Hattie Jacques. But e-reading has been suggested as causing new levels of eye strain for all of us. Since starting to read on an iPad, I’ve experiences serious eyestrain problems which don’t improve even when I turn the light to […]

The Fascination With British Gothic Cinema

Year after year, books continue to appear on the subject of  British horror film and the ways in which they vary from US horror output. They can generally be summed up like this. US Horror films – the great silents featuring Lon Chaney, the 1930s Universal cycle, 1950s SF leading to ‘The Fly’, ‘Wax Museum’ […]

Building Worlds

When I created the Bryant & May world, I hadn’t counted on what they call ‘the Springfield Effect’, wherein you start with a couple of characters and end up with a hundred. For Terry Pratchett, Alzheimer’s must be the worst disease in the world for a man who has created a galaxy of interconnected characters. […]

‘Readers, Not Critics, Determine A Book’s Fate.’

Wristwatches. Cufflinks. Neckties. Tea-cosies. Newspaper critics. What do they all have in common? They’re all still available long after their original need to exist has vanished. The future is never quite the future. Much of the past clings to it; retinal-display phones exist in the same world as letter-openers. For over 200 years newspapers provided […]

Bigger. Better. Bryantier: An Outline Of The Next Bryant & May Novel

The next Bryant & May novel, ‘The Bleeding Heart’, will be longer than the last half-dozen books. I’ve just finished the final edit and have the new cover rough, and have found that the text has clocked in at greater length than usual, with a rather more complex plot (or double plot) than the last […]

Writing In La Vida Loca

There is a long tradition of writers working far from their natural habitats. Two that spring readily to mind are Somerset Maughan and Paul Bowles, both of whom used exotic settings to test the mettle of their heroes, although Bowles had an altogether darker view of human nature (I won’t easily forget the scene in […]