“AMANDA LORIAN? IS THERE AN AMANDA LORIAN IN HERE?”

I think, like most of the world, I’ve an up and down relationship with STAR WARS. Due to the smorgasbord approach of George Lucas (over forty years ago!) there’s always something to like in the universe that he built, even when some of the choices might not necessarily be ones I can completely get behind. […]


The Kindle Storyteller Award And Being Part Of A Community

I’ve been hugely privileged to be involved with the last couple of Kindle Storyteller Awards. As a writer – and a busy writer at that – it can be tempting to get buried by the work and the deadlines, and not find the time to look around and see what others are doing. Fortunately, thanks […]


80 Ways Around The World

I wonder – is there such a thing as a universal language of story? Language is a wonderful, living, breathing thing, and the stories that can be told change and develop as tastes do the same. Or do they? Maybe the flavours of the stories do, but when you strip a good tale back down […]


Tua The Manner Born

There’s a lot going on in the world today. Every day I open the news app on my phone looking through my fingers. But every so often, something comes along to convince me that maybe – just maybe – things are going to work out alright. And, my friends, that something is Tua Tagovailoa.   Anyone who has […]


Hallowe’en – My Favourite Time Of The Year

October is a month I enjoy every year, especially as Hallowe’en is just around the corner – a date in the calendar that it’s impossible for me to forget. It’s my birthday.   Hallowe’en has certainly become more an event in the UK than it did when I was growing up.  The influence from across […]


READ A NEW BOOK MONTH (Or It Was…)

Now, I’m a bit late to this, but I notice that September is sometimes promoted as “Read A New Book Month”. Obviously, this is an initiative I can get behind…   But it did get me thinking about who I would recommend, (other than yours truly, natch), for someone who wanted to pick up a […]


Audiobooks, KILLA CITY And All Things To All People

One of the things I’ve really enjoyed seeing develop over my time as a writer is the explosion of interest in audiobooks.   Our lives are changing, now more than ever, and that also means that how people enjoy culture is changing. I like to be at the forefront of new trends and so I […]


LEAVE NO TRACE, And The Art Of Gentle Surprise

I sat down to watch LEAVE NO TRACE the other night. I’d read some positive reports and enjoyed director Debra Granik’s last film, WINTER’S BONE. I’m so glad I did. It’s one of the most affecting and touching films I can remember seeing for a long time.   It is deliberately vague in terms of back story, […]


Susanna Clarke, PIRANESI And However Long It Takes

Amongst the flurry of books released in September, I note with interest a new book from Susanna Clarke. Released with a relatively short build-up (I only found out that a book was due maybe six or seven weeks ago), it has come as a wonderful surprise, and a book I will certainly look forward to […]


SUCCESSION And Writing Without Heroes

I’ve been working my way through my endless list of TV shows to be watched, taking whatever chance I can get to switch my brain into a different gear after a long day mining words at the coalface. In a way, it’s a bit like the famous Stephen King quote about writers – “If you […]