Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Next Big Thing

It’s spreading like a virus, or possible a minor rash, but I’ve foolishly agreed to encourage an author round-robin that goes like this… The Next Big Thing works by getting an author to answer these ten questions on his blog. He then tags five authors to do so the week after. Which presumes the author […]

Where Is It? No. 1

Doctor John Dee was one of the most influential philosophers of the Elizabethan Age. A close confidant of Queen Elizabeth, he helped to introduce mathematics to England, promoted the idea of maths as the basis of science, anticipated the invention of the telescope, charted the New World and created one of the most magnificent libraries […]

On Being A Professional Writer No. 6: Physical Work

The Physical Part Why is it everyone asks ‘Where do you get your ideas?’ and nobody says ‘How do you stay fit when you’re sitting in a chair all day?’ Ideas are never the problems – that’s our job – but wellness is. The short answer is; Well, you don’t. The downsides of this lifestyle […]

Priests and Pagans In The English Countryside

The English may not be church attendees beyond the odd carol service at Christmas, but they love a good Pagan festival. The Obby Oss carnivals in Padstowe, Cornwall, and in Somerset are Celtic in origin and involve fertility rituals. The Padstowe festival starts at midnight on May 1 with singing around the town starting at […]

My Favourite Movie Book

As I heard a six year-old toddler give his parents his Christmas present list – new apps for his iPhone – I wondered if anyone out there might actually be going retro and giving books this year. If you are, apart from forking out £40 for the astonishing ‘London’s Hidden Interiors’, worth every penny, you […]

Blood On The Boards

As I sat in the bar of a pop-up theatre this week, waiting for the rehearsed reading of my new play to start, half a dozen doctors were ‘birthing’ patrons through a rather disturbing ten-foot vagina as a performance got underway. God knows what happened after that. One of the best features of London is […]

Re:View – ‘The Woman In Black’

I realise I forgot to post this a while back. Better late than never, I say; In recent months scary house stories have made a return. We’ve had ‘The Pact’, ‘The House At The End Of The Street’, ‘Sinister’, ‘The Innkeepers’, ‘Penumbra’, ‘Dream House’ and ‘Intruders’, to name just a few. I found Ti West’s […]

When Writers Get Old

There are certain writers I can’t read now. They’ve got comfortable. They’re listened to. Their anecdotes calcify and they only hear themselves. They end up writing about writers because eventually that’s all they know. How do you avoid this happening? Earlier in the year I made a conscious decision to avoid festivals and professional events […]

On Being A Professional Writer No.5: My Working Week

This will give you a good idea of how I spend my working week. Not included here are my evening meetings, emails, social networking and which gigs are paid (answer, as in all creative trades, very few of them). Monday: Write ‘Invisible Ink’ column for following Sunday publication. Read and review two books for Financial […]

Hallowfawkes Week

I’m getting scary fatigue and there are still several days to go… Thanks to the confusion that now reigns between Hallowe’en and Guy Fawkes Night, we seem to have one week here in Central London when fireworks go off non-stop and the streets are full of people in peculiar fancy dress that’s neither one event […]