Reading & Writing

Blog Tour Update

BlogTour

Apart from the physical tour starting next week, I’m being personally interviewed on all of these sites – many of which have terrific questions to ask. There’s a lot of good writing out there!

The Secrets Of A Pseudonym

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One of the first questions you get asked as a writer is ‘Do you write under your own name? Considering I know a great many writers and none of them has a pseudonym it’s an odd thing to ask. I had certainly never considered adopting a pen name, because you spend years building a reputation […]

How I Came To Do This

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My father once told me ‘We are a nation of creators. What we fail to do is raise enough money to develop and distribute our creations. The Americans do that part brilliantly. They’re very clever at buying talent. They succeed by taking ideas to people.’ It stuck with me when I read about the histories […]

UK Writers Like A Challenge. Well, They Have One Now.

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I’ve always thought of myself as European but I’m not, of course. Bryant & May are only a very slight exaggeration of my relatives (although I have some German blood – ‘Like the royal family’, my mum said). I came from a solid middle-class if slightly desperate family who would have loved to go to […]

Reader Poll: Collected Short Fiction

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Recently I tried to collect all of the stories that Shirley Jackson wrote. It’s impossible to do so without getting overlaps. As a collector I find this very annoying. The complete short stories of JG Ballard are available in two volumes, but the stories of Daphne de Maurier are all over the shop and set […]

Can Supernatural Mysteries Ever Play Fair?

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In real life, crimes are frightening; they upset and disorient and rob you of faith in your fellow humans. There’s an element of fatality and strangeness and ‘Why me?’-ism that encourages superstitious thinking. We don’t tell ourselves that in say, London, which is nudging 9 million, it’s statistically amazing that there are 90 gun crimes […]

A Writer’s Life: The Unmentioned Side Effects

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There are a million books that will tell you how to write a novel (95% of them useless) but very few authors talk about the side effects of choosing such a career. The following ramble comes as I get ready to start the outline for a new thriller but end up watching the rain fall. […]

Little Boy Found: Verdict In

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I always read my reviews – don’t believe authors who tell you they don’t ever look at them – and provide as much feedback as I have time for to readers, especially if they’re confused about a book’s effects. But I was more than a little trepidatious about publishing a suspense novel under a pen […]

The Miscellany Of My Mind

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What’s in the picture-book today? A miscellany – some thoughts passing through my head as I sit in my study trying to cool down enough to concentrate on writing a new novel. ——————– Writers produce a lot of work that’s not published. For years I kept drawerfuls of abandoned manuscripts, movie scripts, TV productions, radio […]

Is This The Best Short Story Ever Written?

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A short while ago I gave a talk about short stories that touched me and I remembered this one, which I first read as a child. It’s a small story about a big thing – life. The start of the 20th century was a glorious time to be writing. There were lots of publishing outlets, […]