Monthly Archives: August 2016

Which Version Is The Original?

An interesting situation has arisen concerning the variations in authors’ works around the world after ‘an astonishing degree’ of variance has been discovered in different editions of David Mitchell’s novel ‘Cloud Atlas’. The book’s manuscript remained unedited in the US for three months after an editor left Random House. Meanwhile in the UK, Mitchell and […]

Here Come More Backlist e-Books!

  Last month saw the arrival of ‘Rune’, ‘Red Bride’, ‘Disturbia’, ‘Psychoville’ and ‘Soho Black’ as matching e-books, all with new covers and forewords. Next month sees the arrival of my only YA novel ‘Hellion: The Curse of Snakes’, and one of my favourites, ‘Calabash’ (on September 15th to be exact). Here are their synopses: […]

12 Things British People Call Each Other

  Tosh 19th cent in the sense of ‘nonsense’, but its derivation as a nickname is less certain, although I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a diminutive of ‘kosher’, someone who scavenges in the sewers, especially in London during the Victorian era. The word ‘tosher’ was also used to describe the thieves who stripped copper from […]

The Guns Thing

I recently attended a lecture on law enforcement which partially explained why gun crime is so low in the UK (knife crime being the bigger problem). It turns out that police are less fussed about finding illegal firearms than controlling ammunition. If you can’t get the bullets, you can’t open fire. But there was another, […]

Invisible Ink: Reaching Late Heights

Reporting was once a brilliant training ground for becoming a novelist, and a very common one. (Where will the next generation of writers come from now that we mostly have content recyclers, I wonder?) But here’s proof once again that writing is a career in which, rather like music composition, you can enjoy late success. […]

Why The 70s Can Never Return

Stay away from religion or politics, they say, but a swift canter through our national history never hurts, especially as I’m planning to write a period novel, so bear with me today. For anyone over 45 certain parallels between past and present are obvious, if less severe now. In the 1970s even the Chancellor of the […]

HBO’s Most Elemental Series

The difference between TV and film is that nobody kicks you out of the cinema before the film is over. When a network cancels a series it strands you without a conclusion and fails to repay the hours you invested in their production. Viewers had their fingers badly burned by the damaging ‘Lost’, after the […]

Groundhog Day: Like Before, Only Different

After a short run at The Old Vic, ‘Groundhog Day’ is heading for Broadway – another film made into a play, so what? Well, this one should get your attention because it’s been turned into a rather different form through six years of development by the brilliant Tim Minchin, book by Danny Rubin. I’ve been a […]

Who Wants To Read About Work, Work, Work?

This week saw the death of Frank William Huline Dickens, creator of Bristol, a cartoon strip which ran for 41 years in the Evening Standard – a world record. Bristol was a little everyman at a desk, working for a vast faceless corporation. The character successfully transferred to stage, radio and TV, with Freddie Jones […]