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Category: Blog

The Enemy Within

My son informed me recently in solemn tones that he had some bad news for me. Steeling myself for the worst, I waited. The news as it turned out was indeed rather distressing.  He’d found a typo in my second novel. Given the times I’ve read the manuscript, not to mention the proofreaders and editors who’ve also been over it…

Stone Killer

When Neville Heath stood trial for murder in 1946, women queued for up to fourteen hours for the chance to get a glimpse of the charming killer. Throughout the three-day hearing, the defendant remained indifferent to his crimes and accepted the death penalty imposed by the Judge, Mr Justice Morris, without comment. What made the case all the more sensational…

Life as a QR code

Imagine how many bloggers there are out there, filling the world with unsolicited text. Solitary voices in cyberspace, looking for recognition. I began to wonder at the purpose of it all. What drives us ordinary mortals to pen these quaint little ramblings? Surely, we all have better things to do? For one thing it’s practise, I suppose. The more you do,…

Too much downtime

I shelved my third novel for a week at Christmas. Why? To recharge batteries and take a well-earned break from the ceaseless toil. The workaholic in me went haywire. To offset the sense of panic, I grabbed a notebook and began hastily penning the screenplay for my first novel, The Butterfly Collector. This would suffice until the New Year, I thought.…

What would my mum think?

I thought it might be amusing to compile a list of the excuses I have used in the past to convince myself I couldn’t make it in the writing game. Some of these are old recurring themes, others have popped up more recently. Here we go ….. I haven’t been to university I’m too old I have tattoos I don’t…

Rise of the New Barbarians

Jonathan Franzen says he doesn’t like Twitter. Neither does he like the tide of self-published dross that’s threatening to destroy literature forever. The reasons he gives for this dislike are understandable. As an author accorded almost god-like status by the critics and hailed as the last great American novelist, he can afford to be sceptical. But do his views have…

Last man standing

The publishing world has changed. Authors no longer need to follow the traditional model in order to see their work in print. They can simply upload their work to Amazon and be in business in a matter of minutes – a privilege unheard of in previous decades. Forward to the deluge of grateful readers and the six-figure advance from Harper…

The longest day

The hardest moment for any writer is beginning. You sit down at the laptop/notepad and stare at the intimidating white space before you, wondering how you arrived at this position. Then, after several gulps of filter coffee (or Jim Beam), you make a tentative start, one leaden finger after another. Soon, you’ve forgotten how intimidating the whole process is, and…

In the Lion’s Den

Novelists are a sensitive bunch on the whole. So it was with some trepidation that I agreed to face a library book club on a cold, wet Monday afternoon, to hear their comments on my novel The Butterfly Collector. One of the things a writer fears most is criticism. You’ve spent hours labouring over your magnum opus and expect the…

Living the Dream?

In 1908, a young newspaper reporter, Napoleon Hill, went to interview one of America’s richest and most influential businessmen of the time – the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie took to the personable young reporter so much he gave him a challenge. Would Hill be willing to spend the next twenty years interviewing the wealthiest men in the country to…