Storage: The New Moneyspinner

Overloaded Shelf_JPG

Remember the shelf? Wooden thing, long and flat, held all your records, then your videos, then your DVDs and CDs. Streaming made the shelf redundant. But unless you live in the country with freshly installed Broadband your speed may be too slow to watch a movie. That’s why internet speeds are faster in Latvia and […]

Stepping Into Dreams


What’s it like to be on a film set? Disappointing, mostly. Today’s sets are largely green-screened so that CGI can be added, but occasionally sets are built or locations are dressed. Today I was in Gerona, where a great many films have been shot – so many in fact that a museum is hosting an […]

Why I’ve Come Off Facebook


Today I finally came off a horrible addictive drug – Facebook. In the past week four of my friends pulled their accounts, and I’ve now joined them. I’m free. Ten years ago Facebook was cutting-edge technology. But the experience felt increasingly clunky compared to modern sites, and the cross-tangle of live chat and posts is […]

Tech: Why We’re Not Always Keen To Change


We live in a world where everything, even buildings, now has a limited shelf-life (average lifespan of a post-2002 apartment building; 13 years, apparently). I think all creative people are collectors (well, it sounds nicer than ‘hoarder’) and we expect certain things to last. So it comes as a shock to read this about our […]

Forum: Should Writers Write For The Market?

Trotter did it

  In film industry terms the summer’s over, and it was another year of disappointments in Hollywood. Only one studio did well; Disney had four of the five biggest hits. What’s noticeable is how super-safe everything became this year. The top five films were ‘The Jungle Book’ (remake of cartoon), ‘Finding Dory’ (kiddie sequel), ‘Zootopia’ […]

Writers: Still Holding Out Against Electronic Books?


I’m surprised by how many writers I meet who dismiss e-readers without a second thought. I’ve now owned them for several years, and thought I should run a quick evaluation. Sales of e-readers are plateauing, paper book sales are up. I can see why; the publishing industry didn’t want to suffer the same fate as […]

One Place I May Never Get To Visit

Russian police

As a European, I’ve learned much; ¬†France loves bureaucracy (the omission of a comma in a document once caused me a delay of years), Spain loves children (always a shock after kid-free London), Italy never shuts up for a second and there’s no Cheddar anywhere (British Cheese Marketing Board, sort it!) but at least history […]

Here Come More Backlist e-Books!


  Last month saw the arrival of ‘Rune’, ‘Red Bride’, ‘Disturbia’, ‘Psychoville’ and ‘Soho Black’ as matching e-books, all with new covers and forewords. Next month sees the arrival of my only YA novel ‘Hellion: The Curse of Snakes’, and one of my favourites, ‘Calabash’ (on September 15th to be exact). Here are their synopses: […]

The Guns Thing


I recently attended a lecture on law enforcement which partially explained why gun crime is so low in the UK (knife crime being the bigger problem). It turns out that police are less fussed about finding illegal firearms than controlling ammunition. If you can’t get the bullets, you can’t open fire. But there was another, […]

HBO’s Most Elemental Series


The difference between TV and film is that nobody kicks you out of the cinema before the film is over. When a network cancels a series it strands you without a conclusion and fails to repay the hours you invested in their production. Viewers had their fingers badly burned by the damaging ‘Lost’, after the […]