London

In Search Of A London Street Pt. 3

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I leave Postman’s Park, with the remains of the old White Horse Inn behind it, but I’m still no closer to discovering my mysterious cobbled street. Clearly it’s known to thousands; I’d seen it on a warm Friday night when its corners were overflowing with wine-imbibing city workers. Instead I start stumbling upon a few […]

In Search Of A London Street Pt.2

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I had now reached the back of Farringdon below Hatton Garden, an area that had changed unrecognisably. However, this part of London is surprisingly hilly, and the original road layouts have been adhered to. I’m heading to Fleet Street but not to Dr Samuel Johnson’s House, where a statue of his cat sits outside – […]

In Search Of A London Street Pt. 1

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London and the Sahara Desert share a peculiar link; every few years strong winds mean that the desert sand gets lifted, transported and dropped onto our city. Yesterday it turned the sky a deep reddish-brown and brought hot winds, but no rain. Before it hit, I went for a walk to see my chatty friend […]

Britain Reverts To Tradition

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The National Retail Sales Index makes for far more interesting reading than you might imagine. Its findings are picked over and analysed for retail trends. Prices have been steadily rising while the phenomenon known as shrinkflation has cut the size of many products for consumers, maintaining profits for producers. There are other signs of retrenchment, […]

‘The Shape Of Water’; Ravishing, Heart-Stopping, Kleenex Destroying

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No Spoilers Guillermo Del Toro and I have a bit of a history; I was there for his first film, he optioned one of my books and for a brief, glorious time we worked together. The Mexican director has the seemingly Latin ability of being able to make a cinematic point within the context of […]

Past, Present, First, Third…

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One of the hardest decisions you have to make whenever you start writing a book is choosing your voice. Do you write it in the first person or the third? (A handful of books have been written in the second person but they’re awkwardly self-conscious to read.) If you choose the third person, you get […]

Are The Days Of Bookshop Readings Ending?

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There was a time when it was very common for the bigger UK authors to tour American bookshops. Over here I spent part of every year touring UK bookstores giving talks, conducting Q&As and signing, but never got offered a US tour. Knowing you can’t pull a big crowd certainly stops you from getting a big […]

A Dazzling, Cerebral Vision Of The Future

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NO SPOILERS The figures are in; Americans do not love ‘Blade Runner 2049’. They clearly prefer to see a film about a monster clown living in a drain. The opening weekend for the noir SF sequel was dismal. However it has had a huge opening in the UK and will make back its cost internationally. In an […]

No Known Address

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I was tooling through the online version of ‘A Topographical Dictionary of London and Its Environs’ by James Elmes (as you do), which lists all of the streets and squares, alleys and wharves now largely lost to London, and my reading coincided with an article in Red Herrings, the ‘Confidential Monthly Bulletin of the Crime […]

Don’t Forget This: It’s Out Now!

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  The journey of writing a book doesn’t end on its publication day. It’s where the real journey begins. And I feel this is doubly so for ‘The Book of Forgotten Authors’, which is out today. Once there were popular novels almost everyone owned. Mum had Georgette Heyer, Dad had Eric Ambler, I had Dennis […]