Monthly Archives: April 2017

No Longer Cool? Thank God!

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In the Sunday Times this morning, a ‘nightlife entrepreneur’ (I guess he runs clubs) called Alex Proud releases a wail of anguish about how London is ruined and it’s cooler to be at the coast in places like Margate. I see he has a flat in Primrose Hill. The last time I’d read almost the […]

Why ‘Hamilton’ Will Work In London

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You might have noticed that a play written in a mix of hip hop and show tunes about an energetic writer of the US constitution and a British villain created a freakishly intense fever of ticket-buying in New York. Tickets are now on sale in London to an audience that’s less stand-and-applaud and a little […]

Books VS Kindle: Round Two

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  Here we go again. The Guardian just ran an article¬†excoriating the Kindle experience in the wake of lowered sales, accusing it of being ugly, clunky, unhip and lacking in user friendliness, and welcoming back the dear old print book. In some respects, of course, it’s absolutely right. But the picture is a bit more […]

Advice For The New Dark Ages

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Imagine a world governed by these rules: Your first child will always be a girl. Illness can be cured by urinating on a loaf and feeding it to your dog. Tying a bell on an ox stops it from beng struck by lightning. The wearing of a gold earring prevents eye complaints. Curses can never […]

Same Book, Different Countries…

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People often ask me if I’m published in other languages. The answer is yes – but I often don’t see the finished books. There was a time when I didn’t even see some of the different English language versions. Some from Eastern Europe had covers that were hotchpotches of old pirated film posters. One looked […]

Politics And Mr Bryant

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Like all authors, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I read some of my Amazon reviews, and the other day one surprised me. A reader said she was going to stop reading the books because Arthur Bryant was ‘a mouthpiece for (my) politics’. It’s surprising for three reasons; first, nobody really knows what […]

Location: London

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I was walking through Bloomsbury a few months back and thought I’d gone mad. As a hackney carriage clip-clopped past and some rhubarbing coachmen in brown bowlers crossed the road I looked at my watch and thought ‘Oh no, I’ve accidentally gone back 100 years again. I hate it when that happens.’ It turned out […]

That Mystery Book Explained

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Some while back I set out to write the kind of book that’s fairly alien to me in its construction; a psychological thriller. While I love them (especially those by Margaret Millar, a forgotten author just coming back into print), I don’t usually write them. I tend to construct matrices of facts rather than delving […]

Don’t Lose Your Readers!

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A friend wants to write fiction. She has an idea, but I pointed out to her that this is just the start of the process, and next you need a story. I used the example of Stephen King’s ‘The Shining’, in which Danny has a paranormal gift – the idea – which comes to the […]

A Very English Way Of Doing Things

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So Britain is to have another election – hardly any surprise there, as the current leader of the opposition is a phantom who has all but destroyed Labour’s core voter base. Jeremy Corbyn is a career politician with the magnetic presence of a retired postman and is unable to make a stand for or against […]