Monthly Archives: February 2019

London Ceremonies & Rituals

Still no pictures! In the absence of a laptop I’m at the Christopher Columbus museum in Las Palmas.  I ended up here by default; Gran Canaria has never been high on my list of places to visit, but Spanish friends told me to avoid the beaches and head for the capital, which proved to be […]

Admin Screws Up – Talk Among Yourselves

A few days of pleasant weather and some nice meals, I thought, a mini Holliday and I can get the thriller finished, run the blog, chill out. When I got to the airport I opened my laptop case and discovered I’d left my laptop charging at home.  As a result, you’re off the hook for a […]

Why Does London Have Amusement Arcades?

In King’s Cross, opposite the railway station, there once stood a big dipper, and this wooden roller coaster was surrounded with funfair booths. Today there is still an amusement arcade on the opposite corner at the end of Euston Road. In Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus there are still amusement arcades filled with fruit machines […]

The Girl Who Loved French Films

I’m off for a week, heading to a small hotel in the sun to decompress before returning to finish my thriller and start the 2020 Bryant & May novel, which I hope is going to be a cracker. This means a little less blogging this week, although I’ll have my laptop and nearly 2,000 books […]

Collectors Beware!

In the book world, things got a lot better for collections of the rare and arcane; suddenly you could get hold of the most obscure out-of-print editions for mere pence. But the pleasure of finding a favourite edition is mitigated by the feeling that we’re in an endgame for paperbacks in particular, killed off by […]


It’s interesting that in all of the Brexit arguments no-one has brought up the word ‘Kafkaesque’. ‘Byzantine’, ‘paradoxical’, ‘labyrinthine’, yes. But Brexit is Kafkaesque in every way – populated by perverse people, based on impossibilities, an insoluble knot filled with barely glimpsed mysteries. The poor little Prague clerk-turned-writer Franz Kafka, in death as in life, has […]

The Books You’ll Never Finish

The illusion of choice is particularly applicable to books because you can buy them for small change when you’re tempted by momentary fancies. They’re still the best value impulse purchase of all. Trouble is, you sometimes put your book on a shelf where it sits for years, unopened. For me it’s even worse, because writers […]

Back To The Office

I have two office chairs; this is the relaxing one. It sits on a tiny balcony in the sun, and is waiting for me at the end of each working day in Barcelona. I escaped here because the flat below ours in London is being gutted, and the noise makes it impossible to concentrate. My working […]

William The Conkerer

In a world where everyone in media is searching for intellectual properties coming out of copyright, here’s a character who has hardly ever been away. Writers of children’s books have to tread a fine line. They need their lead characters to be interesting and a little wayward, but if they’re too wild the wrath of […]

Writers’ Advice: Go Niche Or Go Home

‘Nobody likes a good all-rounder.’ My English teacher once told that. It’s advice I’ve taken to heart. Over the years, my tastes have become ever more abstruse. Maybe yours have too. Perhaps I’m not the only author who has Gilbert & Sullivan, Steve Reichs, hi-BPM hard house and Count Arthur Strong on his playlist, but […]