Monthly Archives: May 2014

Re:View – ‘Ricky’

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As a big fan of the French director Francois Ozon, I was surprised that I had missed his 2009 movie – I’m pretty sure it never made London. There are a few superb art house cinemas, but nowhere near enough. Maybe it hadn’t opened. And to be fair, it’s a tricky one. Not a bourgeois […]

I Am Now Bionic

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  Hattie Jacques: ‘Reading again, eh? You’ll hurt your eyes, you will.’ Tony Hancock: ‘I’ll hurt yours in a minute.’ Like people in most other careers, writers suffer from occupational injuries. Mainly they have lousy eyesight, poor social skills and bad posture. The second and third are solved by getting out more and taking exercise […]

Slow News Day

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Lois Lane went undercover all the time – do you ever hear of a reporter doing that these days? Once newspapers were about data. A report of a war. A summation of a court case. Details of an accident. Before Maxwell and Murdoch destroyed Fleet Street, reporters were required to train for their jobs; you […]

Where Celebrity Scandals Started

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With the jailing of slimy publicist Max Clifford it would wonderful if the age of celebrity obsession became too tarnished to be worthy of our attention (although the Sunday Times is eerily obsessed with the idea of ‘hanging out with the famous’). But it’s not a new thing at all. The age of the ‘kiss […]

Remembering The Panarmonium

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  My London neighbourhood is pretty old, founded around 60 AD. Prasutagus, the ruler of the Iceni, ruled it as an independent ally of Rome and left his kingdom jointly to his daughters and the Roman emperor his will. But when he died, the will was ignored and the kingdom was taken. His wife Boudica was […]

How To Get Free Books

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I notice that I have a lot of bloggers and readers who run book club reviews here on the site. Some of you doubtless already know about this, but if you read on Kindle or any e-reader, and genuinely review books or spread the word about them via book clubs, you need to sign up […]

We Don’t Need No Writing Classes

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The playwright Dennis Kelly has credits that include ‘Matilda’ (co-credit) and ‘Taking Care Of Baby’, and his first play ‘Debris is being revived at Southwark Playhouse. He recently had this to say in an interview given to the excellent website What’s On Stage. He’s talking about plays and television, but I think it applies to […]

Dead Letters

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My friend the writer Conrad Williams is rather good at coming up with ideas for anthologies. He created ‘Gutshot’, a superb ecollection of western-themed horror and fantasy (including my tale ‘The Boy Thug), and now he’s come up with another smart idea. He decided to mail out a package to each of the authors he’d […]