Revisiting the Christmas List

We’ve reached the time of year for the Christmas List. I’m revisiting my subject of the Christmas List for several reasons. Amongst these are the sheer poignancy of the subject, and the fact that since then I have published a revised version of the piece in a Christmas Anthology – available here to buy onContinue reading “Revisiting the Christmas List”

The Art of Writing Backwards: a Novelist’s Sleight of Hand?

When you saw that title what did you imagine?  A scene from Alice through the Looking Glass? One of those high speed reverse sequences in a magical fantasy film, when everything rewinds? Or perhaps a time-slip scenario? Or simply an image of mirror writing? Would it be wonderful if we could indeed start at theContinue reading “The Art of Writing Backwards: a Novelist’s Sleight of Hand?”

New Book About Writing, For Aspiring Writers

I’m currently working on a new book about writing, which has the working title of Perilous Path: a Writer’s Journey. The book contains 30 short pieces I’ve published online over the past 6 years, both on ezine articles and on this blog, all on the subject of writing a novel. Here’s a taster from theContinue reading “New Book About Writing, For Aspiring Writers”

Great Time at the Sherlock Holmes Prom

Even lovers of Sherlock Holmes may have learned something new about the great man on Sunday 16 August at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Matthew Sweet, BBC Radio 3 presenter, and Mark Gatiss, actor, and co-creator of the Sherlock TV drama series, together presented  a fantastic programme of music related to Sherlock Holmes.  Mark Gatiss readContinue reading “Great Time at the Sherlock Holmes Prom”

Review of “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green

I’ve just finished reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. This story of two young cancer “survivors” is a story that eats into your marrow. And if you haven’t seen the film or read the book, and would like to, don’t read on, for my review contains plot spoilers! Even though I hadContinue reading “Review of “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green”

Do Novelists Have an Agenda or a Moral Purpose?

This morning on BBC Radio 4’s Start the Week programme I listened to a fascinating panel discussion from  the Charleston Festival. Tom Sutcliffe questioned four novelists: Tim Winton, Nicola Barker, Michael Schmidt and Karl Knausgaard. Two of the questions Tom Sutcliffe asked were: Do novelists have an agenda or a moral purpose? Do you as a novelistContinue reading “Do Novelists Have an Agenda or a Moral Purpose?”

The Christmas List

Who else finds writing Christmas cards the cause not just of gladness but pain and sorrow? I put off “doing” my Christmas list until I’m in the mood – and light a candle and have a glass of sherry or wine to help create that mood. Why? Because each year I have to engage with the majorContinue reading “The Christmas List”

Do Creative Writers Ever Feel they’re On the Inside? Or are they Always On the Outside of Everything Looking In?

This morning I was listening to Howard Jacobson, comic novelist and Booker Prize winner, on Desert Island Discs, and among the many things he said which touched and amused me, the most striking was this, “I have always felt myself to be on the outside of everything, looking in.” He gave this reply to the interviewer’sContinue reading “Do Creative Writers Ever Feel they’re On the Inside? Or are they Always On the Outside of Everything Looking In?”