Monthly Archives: January 2010

New For 2010

I’ve made this blog a little different from other author blogs in that I’ve revised many of the earlier pieces on this site. The purpose is to remove topicality and leave behind browsable items of long-term interest, so look back occasionally and you may find something you haven’t read before.

Favourite Thriller Writers: Michael McDowell

Like Tom Tryon, Michael McDowell was always careful to consider his readers. ‘I am a commercial writer and I’m proud of that,’ said the Alabama-born author, ‘I think it is a mistake to try to write for the ages.’ His gothic deep-South novels appeared mainly as paperbacks in the golden age of the throwaway read, […]

Your Favourite Thrillers

I’m researching for my next novel, which will be a thriller, and it’s a very different discipline to writing mysteries…so here’s a question – what’s the most exciting thriller you’ve ever read? I’d place Ira Levin and Robert Harris in my top ten, along with the early Michael Crichtons. Few people remember that Levin wrote […]

‘Legally Blonde – The Musical’ – Blonde But Not So Dumb

Having vaguely dreaded it, I was very pleasantly surprised by ‘Legally Blonde’ on the West End stage, which had a smart, knowing book, good performances and witty lyrics. The excellent score is by Laurence O’Keefe, who had a cult hit a few years back with the edgy, dark ‘Bat Boy’. This time he’s rustled up […]

What To Do In London While It’s Icy

This was the view from my lounge this morning, taken on my iPhone with the excellent free Gorillacam app. For the first time I can remember, the entire Battlebridge canal has frozen. Frost has covered the roof of St Paul’s, and the city looks calm and wintry. It’s a good time to visit museums or […]

Ten Things London Can Do Without In 2010

1. More tapas bars It was bad enough when they were only Spanish, offering the cuisine that consists of eggs, ham or potatoes on little plates, but now ‘tapas’ is being applied to everything. Nearby we have Mexican, Indian and Italian tapas. I’m waiting for Dim Sum to be rebranded as Chinese tapas. 2. ‘The […]

Britain’s Coldest Winter In 30 Years

At Knowsley Park they’re feeding the baboons hot potatoes to keep them warm. The rest of us are having to fend for ourselves, which means almost no post and impossible travel conditions. Was there ever a better time to go back to bed with a stack of books?

Bring Back The Bookstalls!

London is a strangely severe city. Our architects like trees in parks, not on pavements. We don’t do frills and fripperies (you only have to compare park benches in Paris and London to see the difference in styles) and seem drawn to barren open spaces. Paternoster Square at St Paul’s was named after the priests […]

Gorgon Bennett!

It’s typical. You wait ages for a Gorgon, then three come along at once. A weird synchronicity has resulted in two movies with the same horrific villainess appearing at exactly the same time as my teen horror novel ‘Hellion: Curse Of Snakes’. All three feature Medusa, but of course the other two are the ones […]

How Many Women Have iPhones?

Living near a railway terminal, you tend to see an awful lot of people using phones as they rush for trains, but I’ve noticed that while a great many men seem to have iPhones, few women have. This is dodgy data at best – after all, I’m only going by what I see, but it […]