Third Time Lucky

When I began my first memoir, ‘Paperboy’, about craving books and growing up in a home without them, I faced a problem. I had kept notebooks filled with fiction but never wrote down what actually happened within our family. The reason is clear to me now; I felt more comfortable inside a fantastical world than […]

It’s Going To Be A Trilogy

I’ve been granted leave of absence by my doctors so I’m off to Madrid for the weekend to see my oldest friend, who has been restricted for a very long time by one of the toughest lockdowns in the world. The thought of fresh sights thrills me to the core. As much as I love […]

Aren’t You Rather Young To Be Writing Your Memoirs?

That’s what a publisher told me, paraphrasing the experimental author BS Johnson, who used that as the title of his own memoir – so how come I ended up writing two volumes of them? What happened was this. I’d been thinking of writing about growing up in a house virtually without books, in the style […]

The British & Euphemism

After that quick dip into slang the other day I got to thinking about an even more peculiar habit than that of using slang. We evolve language, we play with it – anyone who has seen the wholesome-yet-highly-peculiar ‘Pitch Perfect’ films will be familiar with the oddball spin you can put on teen talk – […]

Maternal Advice

A few days ago my mother passed away. It had not been as unexpected as her choice of music for the funeral (‘Happy Talk’ from ‘South Pacific’ – the musicals gene being carried on my mother’s side). We’re not a very materialistic family – I have a handful of photographs and memories, some of which […]

What Makes Appealing Writing?

A question: Do you want to try and get rich or do you want to be satisfied? Surprisingly, there are many writers who still believe that this is even a viable choice. Nobody who’s creative can ‘decide’ to get rich. Many writers who set out with supposedly killer hooks for their books quickly come a […]

Great Minds Think Alike

Obviously, old titles get re-used (particularly if they have words like ‘die’ or ‘kill’ in them) but it seems over the years people have used titles I’ve created with alarming regularity. Here are some of them: Disturbia – My version: Young couple trapped in commuter town take revenge on neighbours. Their version: Awful teen US […]

Where The Rainbow Ended

I think you’ll like this story. It’s also true. In ‘Paperboy’ (just reissued with an updated cover mentioning my award-win) I spoke about childhood books. There was one particular book that intrigued me. It was the fantasy ‘Where The Rainbow Ends’, a book considered ideal for every young child’s bedroom. One illustration showed a girl […]

Paperboy’s Back

Thanks to Transworld’s continued enthusiasm and my Green Carnation award – plus complaints from those of you who couldn’t find it – ‘Paperboy’ is making a comeback. The book is being reprinted at the moment, and will be back in shops very shortly. Hopefully it’ll be a Christmas stocking filler, you know, like Jeremy Clarkson’s […]

Paperboy Makes The Shortlist

The Green Carnation longlist surprised me for containing two of my books – pushing my luck, surely? But I’m thrilled that Paperboy has made it through to the shortlist now. The other contenders are succinctly summed up on as follows; ‘God Says No for putting you into the mind set of someone I never […]