Monthly Archives: September 2017

The Thames Angel

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London’s myths and legends didn’t simply stop at the end of the nineteenth century. They continue to the present day. One of the oddest I’ve come across is the Thames Angel, a predictably mystical white-robed floaty lady said to spread calm and feelings of well-being, who supposedly first appeared to a 16 year-old student on […]

Blog Tour Update

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Apart from the physical tour starting next week, I’m being personally interviewed on all of these sites – many of which have terrific questions to ask. There’s a lot of good writing out there!

The Death Of Fleet Street

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The Fleet Street play ‘Ink’ has transferred from Islington’s local Almeida Theatre to the Duke of York’s in St Martin’s Lane, where I just saw it, and is a good example of a play whose seemingly esoteric subject reminds us of a pivotal point in British social history. It concerns the beginning of the end, […]

Rhymes With Orange: My Love/Hate Relationship With Poetry

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A recent query wondered why there were no blog posts on poetry. The first poem I was ever heard was ‘Naming of Parts’ by Henry Reed. It needed one simple line of explanation from our primary school teacher; soldiers are sitting outside a summer’s day and being taught how to load a rifle, but the […]

Back To Me: Personal Appearances (and a song)

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Today’s post features an old trick. I’m wedging tour details for my new book into the regular copy. Of course, you can skip to the second half (especially if you’re not based in the UK, or the YUK as we now think of it in post-Brexit days) but I’m trusting you to read through. On […]

What If You Don’t Tell Me A Story?

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The reviews for Darren Aronofsky’s film ‘Mother!’ caused an uproar – among audiences mostly, not critics, who quickly saw how the director had set out his stall. But in a time when Victorian linearity and 20th century realism still rule in literature, film and theatre the fuss was to be expected. At the start of […]

Design At The Crossroads

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London is awash with new design this week, both global and British, some of it great, some of it disappointing. London Fashion Week has ended, to be replaced by 100% Design, which unfolds in buildings, shops and open spaces across the capital, and incorporates furniture, lighting, materials, fashion, homewares, art and much more. I feel […]

The Secrets Of A Pseudonym

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One of the first questions you get asked as a writer is ‘Do you write under your own name? Considering I know a great many writers and none of them has a pseudonym it’s an odd thing to ask. I had certainly never considered adopting a pen name, because you spend years building a reputation […]

Corners Of London: Blackfriars

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When I visit my new publishers, Quercus, at Blackfriars, I find myself in a massively changed landscape, partly because after decades of dithering the road layout has finally been settled, and partly because of the huge tube/train station foyer that now stands opposite the old Blackfriar pub. Blackfriars was named after the black habits worn […]

London In The Background

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  I love to watch old London-set films as much for what’s going on in the background as the story, from ‘The Ladykillers’ (1955), which features my neighbourhood back when it was a sooty industrial wasteland bisected by railway lines (all still there), to the delightful ‘Genevieve’ (1953), which shows the tramlines still set in […]