Monthly Archives: July 2019

Your Attention Please: The Battle For Readership

My pal Porl just bought his first Kindle and thinks of it as ‘succumbing’ – I say read by any means necessary. Of the various devices above, I can theoretically read on all except one – but I don’t. Books and a Kindle are enough. Reading is declining in general. A teacher from Seattle tells […]

The Children Of The Ritz

This is Hero Beauregard Faulkner Fiennes-Tiffin, who is an actor/model and salt-of-the-earth working class lad…joking, I’m joking. Hero is from acting royalty, and seen here wearing everything we were told to stay away from. Yet he somehow owns the look, even if the look is Jobless Man Answering Door to Debt Collector. Also here on […]

Bryant & May: Your Comments Answered

I’ve described the struggles of creating a long-term detective series, and you sent back some very interesting comments, so let me go through some of the main points. The idea of favouring Bryant over May goes to the heart of the problem with a series. There has always been a weight toward Bryant because every […]

Bryant & May: In For The Long Run Part 3

As any series extends, its effects diminish. We come to expect certain things from characters, we recognise the writer’s stylistic tics, we feel we can see where the plot is going, we grow tired and want something new. But there are many exceptions, from Batman to Doctor Who, because they’ve ceased to be a series […]

The Day The Earth Caught Fire…Is Now

Phew, what a scorcher! The second hottest day in history may become the hottest tonight as the temperature is still rising at currently just over 38C – no, I have no idea what that is in Fahrenheit, a system still clung to by papers like the Mail and Express. I’m not there, mercifully, as it’s […]

Bryant & May: In For The Long Run Part 2

In any crime series consistency is as important as originality. You’re not pulling off the trick once but again and again, without repeating yourself or deviating too far from the elements that attracted your readership in the first place. But it’s also a race to see whether you or your readers tire first. I don’t […]

Bryant & May: In For The Long Run: Part 1

I first noticed a problem when I went back to check on a character’s name in Book 12 of my Bryant & May novels. The character was using a Blackberry. As far as I know these devices have gone; nothing dates faster than technology. I flicked back through earlier books; a Fax machine turned up […]

London’s Most Surprising Walk

In all of the London guides I’ve read (clue: a few) the same entries crop up time and time again. Some are filled with fun trivia but unsatisfying; ‘Eccentric London’ is peppered with lazy mistakes, while ‘Curiocity’ leaves you wanting longer entries. There seem to be hardly any by women writers – why are travel […]

London Fables 2

Some more gems from Brewer’s London Phrase & Fable… When it goes off and people start ‘avin’ a pop at each other, this is known as ‘the devil among the tailors’. The devil was a spinning top knocking down pins called tailors. It came to mean a fracas because in 1830 a benefit performance of […]

The Kipper: A Brief History

Kipper: A whole herring, a small, smelly, oily fish that has been split from tail to head along the dorsal ridge, gutted, salted or pickled, and smoked over oak woodchips to produce a slimy, emetic meat some people insist on eating for breakfast. Not to be confused with; UKipper: A far-right racist also known for its unpleasant […]