Experiences For Sale

I remember early trips to the London Dungeon, especially when they had the terrifying Jabberwocky (a gigantic puppet used in the Terry Gilliam film) snarling inside a cave. It was a peculiar, vaguely disreputable experience that always felt a little unpredictable and dangerous – sadly now replaced with a tamer tourist attraction. I thought that […]

How Is Fiction Ever Believable?

In fiction you can take your reader on the most fantastical journeys providing you give them something to believe in at the outset. When this doesn’t happen you end up with MCU movies, which are based on old comics from the 1960s/1970s and have very little to do with reality. When ‘Spiderman’ began, the main […]

The Super-Smile Stays

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced since my prognosis has been dealing with the loss of my super powers, like walking in a straight line, standing on one leg for more than three seconds and not tripping over a toothpick. My father, a short Norman Wisdom-like man, fell over his own feet all the […]

The Night Of Fire

We have reached Peak Sap. The longest day. The shortest night. The summer solstice. The highest point of fertility, after which the sun’s energy begins to wane and must be given a helping hand by the people of Catalunia, who celebrate this date each year with the night of fire in honour of St Joan, […]

Write What You Like No.2: What On Earth Was I Thinking?

Fret not, for ‘The Foot on the Crown’ (official title) will be published, although now you have me thinking about splitting it into two volumes. I never write long, which makes me suspicious that I had too much fun with this – probably more than the average reader can stand. (Not, dear fellows, that I […]

The Saturday Song!

Remember the Friday Song? I ran it for years in an attempt to break tradition with writers’ blogs and make them a little more fun. Well, I think we need it now. So here are the delightful Reta Shaw and Eddie Foy Jr proving they can still cut a rug and put the young ‘uns […]

Write What You Like No.1: When Authors Go Mad

I’ve just put a title to Chapter 81. ‘Nuns At War’. This is my seventh draft of The Epic. It didn’t start out as that. I must be insane. What happened was. Back in oh, probably the nineties, I wrote a short story called ‘Tales of Britannica Castle’. It became a favourite of the more […]

The Author In Decline

‘Word Monkey’, my third and final memoir, will be about writing – not about how you become a debut author but what you do next, and next after that. It’s something few people are prepared to discuss. We always hear about the muse and the imagination but rarely about making a living in this peculiar […]

A Little Piece About Writing

I’m working on the final part of my trilogy-memoir ‘Word Monkey’ today, and therefore thinking about writing. A surprising amount of popular fiction is lazily, not to say badly, written. Want to write a quick bestseller? Try putting it in first person/present tense and you can get around the need for eloquence or better still, […]

RIP Writers’ Websites?

(My photo shows the cemetery where most of my family is buried) I’ve been blogging since (I think) 2006, starting on the site that preceded this one. It might have been earlier – the old site was far more complex and had revolving views of nighttime London built on Flash (remember that?), but was too […]