Objects of Desire No.1

I don’t really enjoy shopping but you can’t help doing it in London, and I’m certainly not patriotic (I prefer to take a global view). However, these retro desert boots, spotted in Oxford Street, are pretty cool. Tomorrow night we’re having dinner in the Tower Of London and I have to wear a tie – […]

Real Places That Look Like Places In Books No.2

This is actually behind Monte Carlo – I took it from a boat. But if you were ever writing a country house murder or a thriller about a jewel robbery, isn’t this where you might set it?

Another Theory

I’d forgotten John Cleese’s wonderful Anne Elk. She reminds me of an awful lot of graduates.

The Drama Code

Dan Brown’s new book is approaching in the eye of a media hurricane, and I’ll probably read it despite the lousy writing, because it will be a page turner and will be hugely popular. What was it about The Da Vinci Code that propelled a very ordinary shelf-filler into superstardom? The traditional drama theory goes […]

More Gems From The Weird Shelf

They’re the kind of books Arthur Bryant would choose to collect, although a few are too weird even for him. Possibly in years to come they’ll be joined by ‘The Peter Andre Story’ and other bestsellers of our time. Especially odd when I recall there are some great books written by professional writer friends that […]

Not Forgotten

The Independent On Sunday just restarted my column ‘Forgotten Authors’ on September 6th, and will hopefully continue running regularly again, thanks to new lit. ed. Katy Guest. If there’s a forgotten author you’d like to see featured, let me know. I’m especially short of good popular women authors.

Warning: Random Contents

Reader Poll

This blog always responds to what you would most like to find here, so today I’m running a quick poll that will help me to determine what to put on the site. Would you like to see; 1. More fiction (new pieces I’ve written) 2. More personal stuff (what I’ve been up to lately) 3. […]

Fiction Becomes Fact

Reader Karen Pinder has named her little girl after a character in my novel ‘Calabash’, which is a compliment I’ve never had before. The story tells how a boy with too much imagination, trapped in an English seaside town, finds his way to ancient Persia via a portal at the end of the town’s pier, […]

Ad Break

I’m not remotely interested in grooming. When I open that free magazine Shortlist and see pages of male hair products (or football) my brain goes somewhere else. I also hate shaving cream because it dries out my skin. However my friend Carmelo invented a new moisturizing shave oil, and now I can’t use anything else. […]