I have a confession to make.
While I was working on this year’s seemingly prolific output, I was also quietly writing another novel.
One thing I’ve noticed about the review copies that come through my door is how many claim to have sold 3 or 4 or even 10 million copies. It’s pretty depressing when you know you’ve [...]
As Bryant & May embark on their eleventh full-length mystery, I’m amazed it’s taken them so long to settle on Clerkenwell for a location. It seems the neighbourhood has flitted in and out of most of my novels, but has never taken centre-stage before. It should have done; the Clerkenwell House of Detention is one [...]
The fiver has a new face – Sir Winston Churchill. He’s certainly had his detractors in the past, but what a life! His ‘History of the Second World War’ is not only a staggering achievement but also very funny. Setting aside his governance of Britain and roles in two world wars for a moment (because [...]
I love this word. It means; when something copies the original functional image of what it’s replicating. So, for example, a Kindle protective cover has cross-stitching that makes it look like a book, or an electric kettle continues to look like one that belongs on a stove even though it doesn’t go near a flame. When [...]
(This article contains an edited version of a passage in ‘Paperboy’)
With the arrival of e-reading I’ve found that short story anthologies seem to have largely vanished from shop shelves. My first break into fiction was via a collection of short stories, and I went on to produce ten volumes of them, most of which have [...]
I come from a generation that never said no to any job, no matter how crummy it was. It took me many years to figure out that this is not necessarily a good thing.
Admittedly, it’s different when you’re managing your own career. If you attain a modicum of minor success, people ask you to do [...]
Where do ideas come from?
Last week the Guardian website started a weekly round-up of best commercials (not a new concept; back in the 1970s ‘Newcomers’ used to round up commercials at 9:00am every Monday on ITV) but these Best Commercials are themselves preceded by a commercial, in this case a crappy one for instant coffee. [...]
Growing up in sixties suburban London was rather like lying in tepid bathwater for several years. Into this pleasant, sleepy complacency fell ‘1984’, a book that entrapped me for life.
I was on the cusp of adolescence, reading voraciously, gradually testing the limits of my smug world, and bought ‘1984’ in the Popular Book Centre Greenwich, [...]
After I posted old footage of London in the 1950s, I noticed that the original host site had been hit with a number of quasi-racist remarks, along the lines of ‘Weren’t things nicer then when we were all English,’ and so on.
I have no nostalgia for that selectively remembered past at all, just a natural [...]
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 [...]