Q. When is a book not a book?
A. When it’s a desirable object.
The e-book revolution has had some extremely positive results, one of which has been to shake publishers from their complacency a little. The big surprise was that hardback sales weren’t dented by Kindles and the like. E-books cut into the sales of mass-market [...]
Forgive the plugs this week, but you can always skip this post. The updated Film Freak paperback has got off to a flying start and here’s what the critics have to say about it so far…
‘Film Freak is a homage to pre-digital cinema, an elegy for the vanishing London of almost half a century ago, [...]
The cover is soft and silky, the innards have a new extra libel-cleared chapter – and the paperback is out now! In fact, I’m reading extracts from it all over town at the moment. What started out as a labour of love turned into something oddly different, and I’m thrilled that it’s doing so well. [...]
Novels are divided into classes. There are the intellectual exercises, the grand style experiments, the century-wide statements of the human condition, some readable, some not, many of which win academic prizes. And there are books that can speak truths although they aim for a middle market of readable, nicely written stories that sell.
This is the [...]
If you’ve ever wondered any there are so many theatres in London (but no theatre museum – it was sadly closed down due to lack of funding), you have to go back to the King’s, the Rose and the Globe, to Shakespeare’s plays, and the coffee houses of London. The leading wits of the seventeenth [...]
While I was away I reread a book I hadn’t touched since I was 12, Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger. One of the reasons I hated writing my only YA book The Curse of Snakes, was because I had to write within a dictated restrictive-material space, and that is not how kids read. At school we all [...]
I mentioned that I was always filling books with stories as a child. I still have some of them (see left). They’re densely plotted, drawn with an autistic eye for detail. There’s not really much point in keeping them as they’re juvenilia (I cut up one volume recently and stuck its pages inside books from [...]
By this time, having thoroughly confused my publishers about the direction in which my career was going, I decided to throw them for a loop and write a novel about a teenager who falls off a pier in the 1970s and wakes up in 13th century Persia. As you do. I think at this point [...]
It’s official; the British film industry is in the toilet again. In my career I’ve heard this maybe two dozen times, but something has really gone wrong in this decade.
It turns out that only 7% of British films have made any kind of a profit in the past ten years and the number in production [...]
This novel was my heartfelt response to working in a trivial industry (film media in London’s Soho) at a very specific time and place. My more perspicacious readers also understood that it was a study of mortality, and how one responds to the threat of life slowly ending. The director Stephen Daldry fell in love [...]