Monthly Archives: April 2016

Strange Tide Goes Out

So, last night we had the launch of ‘Strange Tide’ which my editor Simon Taylor thinks is the 13th book and I thought was the fifteenth. It turns out we were both wrong because it’s the fourteenth. I was counting ‘The Casebook of Bryant & May’, the lovely graphic novel by Keith Page, but apparently […]

An Englishman’s Home 2

The effect of needing a small plot of land and a house paid off over a lifetime kept alive a fundamental English concept; that ‘an Englishman’s home is his castle’. In the 1930s a set of volumes entitled the Arthur Mee Children’s Encyclopedia ran an article on ‘How To Build A British House’, the end photograph showing […]

Weird Word Fact Of The Week

This came from but is too good not to share. Do you know what a mondegreen is? It means a word that has reached us through mispronunciation. That’s how we got what was once the 27th letter of the alphabet. It used to follow Z, and its shape is one and a half thousand […]

An Englishman’s Home 1

Or rather an Englishwoman’s home, as females are more often deciders when it comes to moving. Now that London is unliveable for most young couples people are heading out and new homes are being built. But what kind of homes do people want? The term Metro-land was coined by the Met’s marketing department in 1915 […]

Shakespeare Remixed

‘Shakespeare Remixed’ was a project that ended up wowing Simon Cowell on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, even though it left the audience bewildered (rather hard to perform against an LED screen like that, I’d imagine). But it was far from the first attempt to do something fresh with the bard of Avon.   Bill Shakespeare didn’t […]

Can Stories Avoid Class Issues?

I hate rom-coms. I remember being forced to sit through ‘Pretty Woman’ and hating it, mainly because I brought the baggage of British class consciousness to the film, which then becomes about a middle-class man exploiting a working class prostitute. This clearly wasn’t the intention of the makers, who were simply modernising Cinderella, but unfortunately […]

My Desert Island Movies This Saturday!

This Saturday May 14th at the Cinema Museum in London’s Elephant & Castle, I’ll be talking to film expert Barry Forshaw about my Top Ten Movies – but how do you come up with such a shortlist? After a lifetime spent working more in film than in books, my range of choices is frighteningly wide. […]

Invisible Ink 4: Virginia Andrews

Sometimes an author’s work lives on, but here’s the first example I found of an author living beyond her death (the practice is commonplace now). Or rather, not – because the real Virginia Andrews has been forgotten and was replaced by a ghost writer called Andrew Neiderman, who penned over 40 subsequent volumes in her […]

Why Outsiders Make The Best Writers

I recently got into an argument about tattoos. We have our first Prime Minister with a tattooed wife, and I agree somewhat with the Joan Collins quote; ‘Once if you wanted to see the fat lady and the tattooed man you had to go the circus.’ The Times just ran an article about the rise […]

Author Update: What I’m Writing Next

Well, ‘Strange Tide’ has barely hit the ground (we haven’t had the launch party yet!) and I’m hard at work on ‘Wild Chamber’.  To all those of you who yelled at me for what I did to Arthur Bryant, I hope now all is being forgiven. Of course most readers buy the paperback (although hardback […]