Monthly Archives: August 2012

When Intolerance Turns Public

Peter and Hazel Bull, the Christian guesthouse owners who failed to overturn a £3,600 fine imposed on them for refusing to allow a gay couple to occupy a double room in their hotel, are taking their case to the Supreme Court, the highest court for civil cases in the UK. The court of appeal had […]

The Fightback Begins

Last year I took part in (i.e. did the early-pages heavy lifting) for the shared-world volume ‘Zombie Apocalypse’. My role was to create a believable backstory for the plague that causes the world to turn zombie. Editor Steve Jones had come up with the idea, and was able to create a unique book comprising diary […]

Was Art Restorer Also Rebel?

Looking at the disastrous restoration on ‘Ecce Homo’ done by the elderly well-intentioned Italian amateur restorer last week, I burst out laughing, having been struck by the likeness of her revised Christ to Tony Hancock’s painting ‘Self Portrait’ (Irene Handl: ‘Self portrait? Who of?’) in the film ‘The Rebel’. Do you think they’re one and […]

Neglected Films No. 10: ‘Where’s Poppa?’

The opening sequence; George Segal gets up, gets dressed for work and then puts on a gorilla outfit, bursting into his mother’s bedroom and leaping onto her bed before she punches him in the nuts. ‘Oh Gordon, it’s you,’ she laughs, ‘you nearly scared me to death.’ Segal pulls off the gorilla head and eyes […]

Story Tricks No. 2: The Still Moment

I learned this one a few years back, when I was writing a book called ‘Spanky’, which sold very well for me, partly because the first edition had a saucy cover that caused a kerfuffle in the press yes, they really are that simple). The novel was a modern take on Faust, and I had […]

Things People Say To Writers

Inspired by the earlier post about bookshops I’ve started making a note of the things people say to me when they find out I’m a writer, in order of the most frequent, and the responses I should have given. ‘Do you write under your own name?’ (Why? What’s wrong with my name?) ‘Aren’t you lucky!’ […]

Keeping An Eye On Europe

I’m in Greece, and now that boutique hotels no longer have bookcases (blame the Kindle) was searching about for something to read. I think if I ever met Canadian magazine editor and columnist Tyler Brulee I’d probably like him and we’d find plenty to talk about – we seem to visit the same European places, […]

What We Loved About Team GB

Despite being the greatest olympians in the world they were totally in touch with their inner showbiz gene. Especially Louis.

When Sex Doesn’t Sell

Possibly the most off-putting and depressing cocktail list (nailed to a wall outside a bar in a Greek street) that I have ever seen. And misspelled.

Re:View – ‘The Uninvited Guest’

The adjective ‘Hitchcockian’ is bandied about frequently but rarely proves well-chosen. However, in Guillem Morales’ knockout debut thriller there’s no other word for it. The fact that he went on to make ‘Julia’s Eyes’ says a lot. When it first appeared in 2004 the film was called ‘The Uncertain Guest’, a more accurate title, and […]