Reading & Writing

From Thunderer to Fish Wrapper

Send the children out to play and read the following: ‘I felt sexy and empowered in my slinky nightgown. Sauntering over to Bernie, I perched on top of him. I was straddling his legs as I kissed his lips gently. It turned me on that he was secure enough to let a woman take the […]

What The Hell I’m Up To

I’ve been asked to give a few clues about my upcoming books, at least two of which seem to have ‘Hell’ in the title. So here’s what I’m up to. Shortly after Christmas ‘Paperboy’ becomes ‘paperback’, and there’ll certainly be one more Bryant & May, already delivered. But I’ll also be rediscovering my roots with […]

Writers’ Houses

Mary Tribble writes to me pointing out that Edith Wharton lived in Hyeres, so I visited the house, an astonishing cubist building of immense grace and calm, overlooking the city, the sea and the islands beyond. Sadly the gardens don’t seem to be looked after as carefully as they once were. The house only opens […]

There’s Always A Dan Brown

Visitors who stay in my house always leave behind books and sun oil, and there’s always a Dan Brown. The little buggers breed – I have to keep throwing them out. But there has always been a Dan Brown. Recently I read ‘Judas!’ by Peter Van Greenaway, in which the discovery of a Dead Sea […]

Summer Night Debates

I am here on a starry coastline having dinner with eight old friends, and we should probably be discussing favourite books, but instead the subject turns to the unique peculiarities that separate men and women – and it’s suggested that only men would ever produce a poo so big they would want to proudly show […]

Bookshops: The Taboo Subject

When it comes to making criticisms about bookshops, authors must tread very carefully. If they speak out, there’s a good chance that someone will be stung into making the most obvious threat; ‘Well, we won’t stock your books, then.’ We all love bookshops, so it seems churlish to complain as we might in any other […]

No Sex Please – We’re Englishwomen

A new magazine purporting to be aimed at intelligent women seeking erotica has been the subject of cockblocking by its printers. ‘Filament’ launched in the UK with pretty tame coverage of men, and its female readers demanded edgier nudity. But the law is vague concerned states of male arousal in mainstream magazines. Filament attempted a […]

They’re Baaaaack!

After EC Comics reprinted their full series in hardback form I thought I’d died and gone to Heaven. Now Warren is similarly republishing the early runs of Eerie and Creepy magazines in hardback. The issues have superior artwork but suffer from generally weak storylines, probably because Archie Goodwin had to write every single one. Even […]

Grisly Murder!

Books In Black And White

Bloomsbury Books have had their knuckles rapped over their decision to feature a white girl on a book with a black heroine. Australian author Justine Larbalestier has won a fight with her American publishers to feature a black girl on the cover of her novel, but I have to say that the new cover model […]