Reading & Writing

How Much Should Writers Expose about Themselves?


I’m currently doing a blog tour and finding it refreshing after years of doing regular press interviews. Instead of some poor exhausted journo trying to file ten stories in one day and not having had the time to even read your book jacket, let alone the book, I’m being asked intelligent and interesting questions by […]

His Name Became An Adjective – Now His Work Has Been Saved.


In America it’s a Rube Goldberg contraption, but here, predating Goldberg, it’s always been – and remains – a Heath Robinson contraption. I seem to have a great many books by the magical Mr Robinson and loved them as a child. Now hundreds of pictures by the illustrator who became a byword for eccentric, ingenious […]

Who Wrote The Most Books Of All Time?


I have three new books out this year. People always accuse me of being prolific, but it’s just the way novels sometimes bunch up in publication, even though they’ve taken years to write. And in the grand scheme of things, I’m really a long way from ‘prolific’. Harper Lee is being discussed all over the […]

Books Are Like Trees: They Should Be Everywhere


I don’t seem to have a naturally addictive nature, except when it comes to books. They appear around me, fall off me, stick to me, and I leave trails of them wherever I go. I only buy jackets that can accommodate a book. I like pubs that have bookshelves and cafes with books in them, […]

How I Ended Up Producing 23 Books In One Year


            …four of which are BRAND SPANKING NEW! Your friendly neighbourhood author is about to attempt the impossible, and I don’t mean watching an entire episode of ‘Gogglebox’. I’ve been writing up a storm for your delectation, partly because I love challenges and also because I feel that right now I’m […]

Why This Book Caused A Very English Outcry


First a bit of an explanation: Because I was born in 1953 I was a New Elizabethan, ie. born in the year of QEII’s coronation. My dates, therefore, match her reign, and I therefore have a fondness for Queen Elizabeth, despite only having ever seen her at the pictures. I mean she was at the […]

The Writer’s Diet


With apologies to my fellow scribes, I really don’t know many British writers who are fit. (I mean healthy, not fanciable.) We sit hunched over screens for a living. We consider time spent exercising to be time wasted. We’re trapped indoors for around six months of the year (at least). If we work at home, […]

You’re Invited to ‘The Burning Man’


One reader points out, ‘You’re running an authors website, how about some book news?’ Fair point well made. Okay, first out of the gate for 2015 is ‘Bryant & May and the Burning Man’, which inconveniently launches on my birthday, March 26th (inconvenient because it turns out there was a secret restaurant booking made some […]

Blog From The Bog: Meeting Galton & Simpson


In this occasional series I revisit past blog entries with further comments. Recently I read Graham Mccann’s ‘Spike & Co’, about the working life of Associated London Scripts, a company that included Eric Sykes, Johnny Speight, Spike Milligan and Galton & Simpson. As I get older I appreciate those last two more and more, especially […]

The Key To A Great Mystery


When it came to filling in the Crime Writer’s Association form for which sub-genre of crime I wrote in, I had to stop and think for a minute. I suddenly felt like Hamlet and the players discussing types of play; comedy-pastoral-allegorical and so on. What was I? Not procedural, that’s for sure, not cosies either, […]