Agatha Christie

Books On Reading & Writing

Lately there have been quite a few books about the process of reading and writing. Certainly the addition of e-reading to formats has helped to develop this debate. How do we perceive the classics now? Why are books that are hard to read still on the curriculum? How can we read and improve our comprehension? […]

Advice From The Duchess of Death

Another republished portmanteau novel by the Detective Club has fallen into my possession after ‘The Floating Admiral’. This one features Dorothy L Sayers and the wonderful Gladys Mitchell, but a particular point of interest has been the essay in the foreword by Agatha Christie, from which I quote here; ‘What kind of people read detective […]

When Authors Work Together

Having been involved in two volumes of ‘Zombie Apocalypse’, in which a worldwide epidemic is given a factual genesis and relayed in the form of emails, notes, recordings and other methods of communication, I know how difficult it is to get right. Funnily enough, the easiest part was fitting my part of the story with […]

Story Tricks: No. 1 – Planting Plums

This is a new occasional series for both readers and budding writers, about some of the tricks that can be used to improve stories. This one’s a classic. Oddly enough, it’s use has been made much easier since the advent of computers, because you can go back and revise manuscripts accordingly. It involves the planting […]

What Are Authors Meant To Look Like?

I once did a gig at Chiswick Library. It was raining hard, and the librarians had very sweetly pinned my picture onto a blackboard, surrounding it with Christmas tinsel. Just before I went on, two old dears stood up and made their way over to the photograph, which showed me sitting on a London pavement […]

The Romance Of The Keyboard

It weighed the same as a boiler, and the keys were always getting jammed. Threading a ribbon turned your hands black and red. Tippex and Snopake, scissors and glue were required for the simplest documents. I bloody hated the typewriter. I do not find them remotely romantic. And yet this was the first picture my […]

A New Wrinkle In The Miss Marple Story

It was obviously, really. Sherlock Holmes has recently been turned into a virtually teenaged TV heart-throb and we had a ludicrous Henry VIII in the form of Jonathan Rhys-Myers, so it makes sense for Hollywood to recast the venerable Miss Marple, who solves crimes through her great experience of village life, to be played by […]

Writers Who Look Like Their Books

In these days of celebrity tell-all, it seems that writers are expected to resemble their creations. This has always escaped me, for the simple reason that I don’t. When I write dark fiction, people come up to me and say ‘You don’t look anything like I imagined. I thought you’d be really sinister.’ While writing […]