Ian Fleming

Should You Write Ideas Or Action?

You have a great idea for a novel. You want to explore a particular theme. As you develop your characters, who adopt alternative viewpoints and lay out their arguments that you have spent a long time researching, you start to worry if the tale is becoming too dry. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of putting […]

The Writers’ Block

There are certain buildings that attract people in the creative community. At the start of WWII in Brooklyn, New York, there was one such house that was filled with the flatmates from hell. What happened when WH Auden, Carson McCullers, Benjamin Britten, Paul & Jane Bowles and Gypsy Rose Lee all moved in together? The […]

The Shock Of The Familiar

In Dominic Sandbrook’s ‘The Great British Dream Factory’ (now also a TV series) the author points out that far from bursting upon the music scene and shocking the world, the Beatles were as carefully planned as any boyband, with one member fired, an orchestrated assault on public wallets and a manager who knew how to […]

Essay: The Spectre Of 007

With the spectre of ‘Spectre’ on the horizon, it’s worth taking a look at the very peculiar world of James Bond in more detail. Bond is the idealised man for a generation of men who missed the war. It is hard to overestimate the effect 007 had on post-war readers and audiences. Here was the […]

007 On And Off The Page

While I was away I reread a book I hadn’t touched since I was 12, Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger. One of the reasons I hated writing my only YA book The Curse of Snakes, was because I had to write within a dictated restrictive-material space, and that is not how kids read. At school we all […]