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 […]

Crime Can Be Anything You Want…


Here are some jottings I found on writing crime fiction. I have a sneaking feeling some of these points came from a US TV writer, but I can’t for the life of me remember who – if it was you and I’ve not namechecked you, I’m sorry, tell me and I’ll correct it. Crime is […]

The Joy Of Unjoined-Up Thinking


‘I’d love to see what happens in the threshing machine of your mind,’ Tony Hancock says to Bill Kerr in his 65 year-old radio show, still relevant. ‘The whole ideas go in there and come out here in tiny bits.’ ‘Why should shampoo mend split ends?’ Victoria Wood asks Julie Walters. ‘It’s the herbs,’ comes […]

Game, Box-Set & Match


As  ‘Game of Thrones’ shifted from a smutty sub-‘Lord Of The Rings’ knock-off into a nuanced and sweeping epic with moments that outdid anything you can see on film right now, the cry of ‘Just one more!’ could be heard across the land. How did this immensely complicated niche-market show become the most watched series […]

Binning The Box

Personal TV

Now that we’re changing how we view, what’s the effect on our homes? That big box in the corner is off most of the day, so why give it prominence? This is what interior designers are asking. Television has now been with us in an affordable form for close to seventy years, and in that […]