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 […]


“Libraries Gave Us Power…”

I was fortunate enough to spend a few days in my hometown recently. I happened to pass the library as I walked through the town centre. Even years later, it was reassuring to see that it looks just as it did when I used to visit.   Growing up, the library was a huge part […]


A DUST COVERED BOX AND EARLY STORIES

I was fortunate to be able to visit family in my hometown last week. The old family home is in the midst of a big spring clean, with cupboards being cleared out and drawers being emptied, and things being brought out into the light for the first time in years, or in some cases, decades. […]


Clear The Corners – The Art Of Good Action

It’s been a while since I’ve written about any televisual distractions, but I’ve just spent a good few hours immersing myself in GANGS OF LONDON, and found myself thinking about the challenges of writing good action as opposed to the differences in choreographing action for a visual medium like television or film.   GANGS OF […]


The World Through A Fifteen Inch Screen

I talked about one aspect of online culture the other day (hi Dad!) but, sat here in the office, I’m taken to ponder another aspect of the internet that has become indispensable to me and my stories.   My tales take my protagonists all over the world, with location being an absolutely vital part of […]