Monthly Archives: January 2019

Upcoming Events

The government may be in meltdown but I’m organised for the next few months…first up, First Monday Crime on February 4th at City University (and the Blacksmith & Toffee Maker after) here. I’ll be launching ‘The Lonely Hour’ on March 21st at Waterstones Covent Garden (and probably at the Lamb & Flag, which features in […]

Fact VS Fiction II: Lying For A Living

The great thing about children is that they talk rubbish with more conviction than politicians. Lies, fantasies and half-truths are glued into a kind of surreal pudding that defies you to disbelieve your ears. I should know; at the age of the boy in this story I used to tell the kind of whoppers that […]

Too Many Old Queens: Fact VS Fiction

How do you make the the great stories of history relevant for a modern audience? It’s a question vexing many a writer and filmmaker. A cycle of historical films occurred some 40 years ago, with the huge success of the TV series ‘I, Claudius’ with Derek Jacobi, ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII’, starring Keith Michell, ‘Elizabeth R’ […]

An England That Might Have Been

‘We have chosen as targets the most beautiful places in England,’ said the German radio broadcasts on May 4th 1942. ‘Exeter was a jewel. We have destroyed it.’ Exeter was indeed an unusually beautiful Georgian city, because as its town planner said, ‘The character of the place depends less on its monuments than on the […]

You Think This Year Was Turbulent?

    Watching the parliamentary fallout of the Brexit vote, which can be read as a disaster of its own making or accidental proof of democracy reasserting itself in London, I wondered what was happening in our fair city during the same year in other centuries. We can take it as read that there were […]

The Short Story’s Shelf Life Comes To An End

You Have To Love Something Enough To Kill It Martin Scorsese said that. It’s how I feel about short fiction, which I love writing. Above are some of the giants who have created complete short story collections. The era of the short story is not quite over – the Sunday Times still offers the biggest […]

Nothing Happens

Sometimes a novel can benefit from a little less action. You often find that the best bits of books, films, plays or sitcoms are the parts near the beginning where nothing much happens, the calm before the storm. I like these quiet moments because characters still have room to breathe before becoming subject to the […]

Writers And The Subconscious

You need the pieces on the board before you can capture enemies I’m currently grappling with a slippery opponent; my new novel. So this is one of those articles in which I try to get at what happens inside the brain of any creative person when they’re trying to make something from nothing. If there’s […]

The Lost Art Of Papercraft

Think back to a time before your laptop screen, perhaps at a point during your childhood, when you discovered the joy of cutting and folding paper. The most primitive of hobbies is also the most sophisticated of arts. When I was small  you could buy paper cut-out activity books, now not allowed because they involve […]

Ideas On A Conveyor Belt

Having one good idea is not enough For me one of the most powerful films this year was a documentary. ‘McQueen’ did much more than look at the life of Lee Alexander McQueen CBE, the bad boy of fashion who hailed from Stratford East and tore down the class/taste barrier with his iconic shows. He […]