Monthly Archives: September 2018

Could Box Sets Kill The Crime Novel?

At this time of the year crime books metaphorically hit my doormat in increased numbers, and a lot of them look the same; blocky white sans-serif typeface on moody landscape shot, a copy line that reads something like ‘She awoke from a coma to find her daughter dead…but what if she’s still alive?’ Inside the […]

A New ‘Forgotten Author’

Here it comes, on October 3rd – the snappy paperback version of ‘The Book of Forgotten Authors’. But the stories of 99 missing authors are now the stories of 100. I’ve revised the hardback, updating it with any publication changes that have happened in the one-year interim between the editions, and decided to add a […]

Bonkers New Books For Autumn

October, the time when all the weird books come out (including mine – more on that tomorrow). Last night the legendary Scala Cinema in King’s Cross rolled back the decades for the launch of my pal Jane Giles’s awesome Scala book, the definitive volume on this epoch-defining club/cinema/crazy space, covering everything from its punk years […]

Crazy Song Day!

I just flew back to London for a very unusual launch party – more on that tomorrow – and found London basking in Mediterranean temperatures. I’ve quickly opened enough mail to fill a room (October’s coming – Book Season!), took calls, showered and changed, remembered I have people staying with me, left keys and am […]

Writers, Why Don’t You Write More?

I I have a new hero. It’s the terrifyingly prolific British playwright James Graham, theatre’s Boy Wonder (at 36) who tends to have multiple plays running at once. I was astounding by ‘Ink’, his play about Rupert Murdoch and The Sun newspaper, not just because it was intelligent but because it was a smash hit […]

Six Things I Carry Everywhere

Whenever I travel I spent the hours before my flight in a frenzy of charging-up. It seems that travelling light now involves carrying 10 kgs of tech around, and it all has to be filled with ‘the new electricity’, as my great-grandmother called it. But there are a few essential items I need to keep […]

Did A Newspaper Help Start The First World War?

In case you think the social panic leading to Brexit is new, here’s the story of an earlier one that had grave consequences. In the months before war broke out in 1914, the United Kingdom underwent a social panic. People started imagining that British towns and villages were hotbeds of German spies. At that time […]

Still Undecided About E-Books?

A couple of days ago the author Jake Arnott and I hung out for the day, to talk about books in more depth; most of us bump into each other at events in the UK and don’t get a chance to properly chew the fat. He surprised me by mentioning that he doesn’t read e-books. […]

How To Exercise Without Leaving The House

So I was wandering about on Amazon, cruising for a casual pick-up in the world of literature, and stumbled across (then purchased) Christopher Hart’s ‘Lost Children’, a novel which has one of those chapters destined to be forever engraved in your mind – this one involves a terrified, unqualified British doctor and a very angry […]

And I Thought I Hated Rom-Coms…

‘Pretty Woman?’ I’d rather have 90 minutes of kidney dialysis than sit through that once more. ‘Notting Hill’? Pull my teeth out with rusty pliers, just don’t make me see it again. It’s safe to say that rom-coms and I don’t get on, from the first klutzy meet-cute to the final airport dash and the […]