Monthly Archives: October 2014

What Is It About John Barry?

Why can you hear a John Barry track across a crowded room and tell it’s him within three notes? There’s a sense of melancholy in even his most cheerful compositions. Barry began as a jazz musician, but went on to become the most evocative film composer ever to work in England. Notable for his use of […]

The Link Between Bram Stoker, Henry James & Enid Blyton

It’s time to rediscover more parts of London I’ve forgotten; Some north London towns have changed very little because they’re awkward to reach by public transport, like Crouch End, Stoke Newington and Muswell Hill, where the land was too hilly for underground trains. But there’s a good change that if you live there, or in […]

No Longer A Nation Of Shopkeepers?

In an act of good will that spectacularly backfired, my well-meaning brother took my mother back to her home town of Brighton to relive happy memories of her childhood. Instead, she spent the day in tears, horrified by the destruction that successive town councils had wrought. The dirty, rundown, poorly rebuilt chaos that greeted her […]

My Secret London Isn’t Secret At All

In my rediscovery of London, I’m learning something new every day. A visit to the beautiful new Foyles bookshop yesterday revealed a vast new raft of London books on their way for Christmas, with looks at the river, new buildings, gardens, parks, art galleries,  different areas, culture, fashion, a couple of books on underground photography […]

Writing A Novel In One Draft

Some books are written like butter melting in a frying pan – smooth, fast and easy. Others are stubborn and keep you awake at night for months. The book I’m just finishing this month (probably for 2016) has been through seven drafts, to the point where I can no longer read it objectively. Does that […]

Re:View – ‘Painless’

NO SPOILERS When everyone else is busy producing sequels and reboots, you can rely on Spain to create genuinely original new genre films. The latest to appear as a subtitled DVD is this, which could be described as a Catalan ‘Devil’s Backbone’ – although it’s not quite in the same league.But if it falls short […]

Tricks & Treats @ Forbidden Planet

Just a reminder that this Saturday (Oct 11th) at 3pm in Forbidden Planet I’ll be signing copies of ‘Nyctophobia’, and on Sat Oct 25th there’ll be a mass/mess signing of horror and genre literature at the same venue with the following authors confirmed. It’ll be a nightmare but we’ll probably all go to the pub […]

The Panic Of ’83

The Daily Mail started it, of course – an article in 1983 called for the banning of videos which brought undesirable images into the home for the first time. Home entertainment was a new concept, and the Mail feared it would break up the nuclear family structure it was so desperate to cling onto. On […]

No, We’ve NOT Fallen Out Of Love With E-Readers

Today’s Independent runs a piece by Caroline Corcoran suggesting that the world is falling out of love with the Kindle. Although she makes some good points, beware the journalist with the ad hominem argument. And beware the Fox News approach of substituting opinion for fact. In this case, the facts are few; a study (we […]

Nyctophobia Out This Thursday!

Nyctophobia is a fear of the dark, and is a phobia you can ‘catch’ from someone else. I’m hoping to make the nation scared of the dark from this Thursday October 9th, when it appears in bookshops. I’m very proud of the way this novel has turned out, in a nice edition from Solaris. The […]