I’m in a restaurant in Barcelona. Using my newly learned handful of Spanish words, I order what I think is cod, and get eggs in some kind of pink sauce. I think I used the right words but my accent was appalling – not enough lift to the Rs, no lilt – I sounded like [...]
Part of the next Bryant & May novel is set in a London park. I grew up right next to the large and beautiful Greenwich Park – although back then the naval college had no tall buildings behind it. Apparently London has more greenery than any other city in Europe, which surprises me as I [...]
Public lashings, Islamic fundamentalists seizing power, a secular gay blogger getting his throat slashed – few of the million annual visitors to the beautiful Maldives island see the mainland. Instead they’re fed a tropical dream that has nothing to do with the terrible state the Maldives now finds itself in.
Islamic hardliners, many trained in Pakistan [...]
There was a time when I wrote surrounded by huge stacks of books and newspapers. Research was immensely time-consuming, and had to be factored into the writing of any novel, short story or article. Not any more; for first drafts I just need my eyes, ears, an internet connection and my laptop. For second drafts [...]
As you rightly discerned, I Am Not Here Again.
Having finished the first draft of the new Bryant & May novel, I could actually stop thinking about books for a few days and take a break, so I vanished from freezing wet London to sunny Barcelona, and it appears we’re not the only ones fleeing the English [...]
When I lived in America, I was shocked by how hard everyone worked. They took no time off, stayed late, had few public holidays, worked incredible long hours and seemed to get little thanks for their efforts. Many people I knew had two or even three jobs.
Millions of Americans work full time, year round, for [...]
As mentioned somewhere here before, Talent Trickledown is the system by which a talented original is subsequently represented by lesser and lesser talented progeny. You start with Pablo Picasso and go down to Paloma Picasso (she has her own scent!), Earnest Hemingway to Mariel Hemingway, Conrad Hilton to (a long drop, this) Paris Hilton. ‘Punch’ columnist [...]
Tartarus Press, one of the most inventive and original publishing houses in the UK, has a new anthology out. What’s different about this one is that it’s edited by a 17 year-old, Tim Parker Russell, who is setting out to raise money for an orphanage in India
All profits from Dark World, the new collection of ghost [...]
So, here we have geysers and waterfalls and the astonishingly vast Gullfoss, which looks like the opening scene of ‘Prometheus’ (which was filmed in Iceland), our guide scaling a crevasse in an attempt to retrieve my mobile, the Blue Lagoon spa and a shop window (couldn’t go there without taking a shot of one of [...]
Having just travelled halfway up the world in a matter of days, going from ziplining through volcanic rainforests (hooked into 700 feet of vertigo-inducing line by a bored, disinterested local kid on his mobile) to glacier hiking in the land of the Vikings, I’m ready for a nice cup of tea and a sit-down.
First, a massive [...]