The modern mantra is to say that globalisation has shrunk the world, turning cities into identical reproductions of each other, but I’m starting to wonder if that’s true. I make it a habit to regularly check out American and English Top 50 book lists and compare them, to try and gauge what we’re all reading, [...]
So, here’s the latest rough of the cover artfor my 2014 haunted house thriller, Nyctophobia.
Why do so many suspense and horror films take place in virtual darkness? I’ve always found the dark a cliche, probably because I was never very bothered by it. However, an early movie, ‘Wait Until Dark’, did scar me as a [...]
Guillermo Del Toro’s wonderful new book has a forward by James Cameron and an afterword by Tom Cruise, and me in it somewhere toward the end. This is the poshest company I’ve ever been in.
I was surprised to find myself in ‘Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities’ because the fantasy director’s notebooks, interviews and acquisitions [...]
Another reader has asked about the strange relationship of my earlier novels to the Bryant & May series. Let me see if I can untangle this particular rat king and make some sense of it all.
In the beginning was Sergeant Ian Hargreave, who turned up in ‘Roofworld’, along with Butterworth, his sidekick, who suffered Diminished [...]
I overheard this on the tube yesterday.
‘I was hosting a health talk show, sort of like Dr Miriam Stoppard, and I’d taken so many pills I had no idea what I was saying.’
‘Oh? I trod on her foot once, you know.’
I love overhearing odd snippets of conversation. Joe Orton was famous for making notes on [...]
An email from my author pal Guy Adams, whose wife is currently reading ‘Plastic’. This is what happens when writers get competitive.
‘I’m terribly cross with you. Debs is reading Plastic at the moment (before me I hasten to add). She’s become insufferable.
“He’s very funny,” she said on the first day. Which was fine.
Now. “He’s so [...]
Phyllis Dorothy James is, without doubt, the grande-dame of crime writing. At 93 and still going strong, she has just issued her top ten tips for writing novels. It’s heresy (especially coming from a writer with a fraction of her fame and longevity) but I do think some of them are wrong. What clearly works for [...]
Last night I was talking with a friend about Shakespeare. She had recently seen a production in Vancouver’s ‘Bard on the Beach’ festival, and had felt the need to explain the plot of Hamlet to her brother, who was unfamiliar with the play. To her surprise, he quickly got the gist of the play and [...]
Victorian children’s stories were the stuff of nightmares.
As a child I inherited my grandfather’s books and was haunted by an illustration, ‘Karik And Valya Trapped In The Lair Of The Water-Spider’, which showed two miniaturised Russian children being wrapped in slimy webbing by a gigantic eight-legged multi-eyed horror at the bottom of a pond, from [...]
I’ve been searching for a new title for my upcoming standalone abduction thriller, so I conducted some research on nursery rhymes. These seem to be surprisingly finite in number and variety, and are defaulted to by parents even though their topicality and meaning has long been lost. I learned, for example, that ‘Humpty-Dumpty’ was supposedly [...]