The Second Time Around


Sometimes you just have to stop buying books and seeing new films and reassess what you already own. This month I’ve been going back to books, movies and shows I didn’t give enough time to first time around. I’ve rediscovered a love for Florida-based crime noir, especially John Dupresne’s series about a therapist dealing with […]

Why Readers Know Best (And Writers Should Listen)


  After I’ve created something new, it faces two tests; what the critics think and what the public thinks. In the old days, the second was reliant on the first. I thought of this today, because in the US two movies crowned the box office at 26 and 24 million dollars respectively. One garnered almost […]

Shagged Out


Mrs Lovett (to Sweeney Todd) ‘My, you do like a good story, don’t you?’ Like Sweeney, I do like a good story. I admire depth of characterisation, mise-en-scene, twists and turns in a well-wrought plot. What I don’t much care for is all the f*cking. It’s not a new thing. I always felt like this. […]

Support Your Local Theatre!


Turning out some old boxes the other day (something I do not recommend unless you are in a very good mood) I found an awful lot of old press clippings talking lots of rubbish about me in interviews, some lovely correspondence from writers as diverse as Tanith Lee, JG Ballard and Victoria Wood, and this […]

Connecting The Dots


Some of you may remember that I used to start off every volume of my short stories with a state-of-the-nation piece linking lots of different news items together. They were intended to provide a snapshot of the times in which the tales were written, the better to understand how these stories arose. For example, this […]

Mephisto’s Bridge


An enlightening little  mention here on where the ideas for the film ‘Hellboy 2’ came from. My novel ‘Spanky’ was turned into the film script ‘Mephisto’s Bridge’, and so very nearly got made. I’d rather director Guillermo del Toro had created an original feature rather than a comic book sequel, but the film he was persuaded […]

No Breath Left


While we’re talking about the amount of work that goes into a book, even a short small-press book that will earn you back no more than a hundred pounds or so, here’s a page of alternate titles I came up with for the novel ‘Breathe’. It’s one of ten documents I found pertaining to alternate […]

What’s On The Other Side?

'Blue Peter' presenter John Noakes with the show's new puppy, a border collie named Shep, UK, 14th September 1971.  (Photo by D. Morrison/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  If you are of a certain age, the lineup of Peter Purves, John Noakes and Valerie Singleton will mean only one thing – Blue Peter, the impossibly wholesome Make ‘n’ Do children’s TV show – the longest-running in the world (it started in 1958 and is still going.) These are the only things anyone […]

Why ‘1984’ Got It All Wrong


At school I became obsessed with US politics, and now the obsession has returned. As someone who grew up with the relatively fair-play concepts behind soft-spoken British manoeuvrings, the idea that a leader entrusted with the nation’s voice could be impeached for burglary and lying about it seemed surreal. Nixon proved the tip of an […]

From Bristol With Love


I’m at Bristol Crimefest, talking with authors and publishers about books and what’s ahead. Bits of Bristol like the Christmas Steps are charming, although the city seems to have endless building works. The Crimefest writers and guests are erudite and great fun to hang out with, and there are some terrific US writers I hadn’t discovered […]