Books

Chapter One: ‘Nyctophobia’

Solaris Books have a brilliant art department whose ingenious covers really help to sell a book. When I came to write my next novel for them, they took the idea of fear of the dark literally with their lightbulb image (left), which I loved. Originality often goes against the grain for book illustration, which tends […]

When Tomfoolery Gets Tired

There has always been a big market for very silly books, and the best are treasurable. ‘Squire Haggard’s Journal’,  ‘The Ascent of the Rum Doodle’, ‘Modern Types’, ‘My Uncle Harry’, ‘How To Be Topp’ and the whole raft of W Heath Robinson volumess like ‘How To Live In A Flat’ are all delightful, but one […]

Chapter One: ‘Plastic’

  I had such fun writing this novel, at least the first time. Then came rewrites – and more rewrites. The market was changing and publishers’ readers were nervous. Was it a comedy, a thriller, a horror story? In my head it was a female empowerment fable; housewife turns vigilante, like Doris Day with guns […]

Desert Island Books

It’s impossible to choose what you’d take to a desert island – where do you start? I’ve picked a starter-pack of ten terrific books, but the moment I jotted them down I wanted completely different novels. One day I must sort out all my books into ‘read’ and ‘yet to read’. King Dido Alexander Baron […]

Chapter One: The Curse Of ‘The Curse Of Snakes’

I’ve been asked about certain books by a few newcomers to the site, so I thought this would be a good time to take a look at first chapters, which can be very revealing – after all, they’re the ones that make the strongest impressions on readers. I’m starting with the oddest of the odd […]

Bookshops VS Amazon

A Kindle is like a toaster; it only does one thing. And its sales seem to have hit the buffers. This is not because readers don’t like onscreen reading, but because multipurpose devices have taken over; we now read on phones and tablets too, and we listen on audio. The Kindle did what the iPod […]

Today’s The Day! ‘Hall Of Mirrors’ Is Launched

Okay, I’m a newcomer to crime & mystery genre, unless you count The Girl On The Train. Nobody counts The Girl on the Train. So you want to know what to read? Something less remedial, perhaps? Yes, I’d like a good murder mystery with memorable characters. You’ve come to the right place, squire. I’m your […]

‘Wild Chamber’ Is Out In Paperback Now

It got pleasing reviews in hardback* so here it is now in handy portable form. ‘Wild Chamber’ (hiding behind the new hardback out in three weeks) is the 15th Bryant & May mystery in a series I hope to get up to twenty (I’m currently working on the seventeenth). Here’s how I came to write […]

Forgotten Authors: The Addiction That Can’t Be Cured

Readers sometimes ask, ‘Do your characters live with you 24 hours a day?’ to which I (and I suspect most regularly published authors) answer, ‘No, they live in my computer.’ When I turn my mind to stories I do so seated at a desk, although ideas sometimes run in the background if I’m particularly stuck […]

The Pleasure Of Past Horrors

This weekend sees the return of London’s paperback fair, an event which has seen growing numbers of fans and collectors discovering the delights of the humble MMP. The desire to fetishise old analogue items continues apace, with vinyl, reel-to-reel tape recorders, board games and the mass market paperbacks all undergoing big revivals. This doesn’t mean […]